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1605 (MDCV) was a common year starting on Saturday (dominical letter B) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Tuesday (dominical letter F) of the Julian calendar, the 1605th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 605th year of the 2nd millennium, the 5th year of the 17th century, and the 6th year of the 1600s decade. As of the start of 1605, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
- January 16 – The first part of Miguel de Cervantes' satire on the theme of chivalry, Don Quixote (El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha, "The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha"), is published in Madrid. One of the first significant novels in the western literary tradition, it becomes a global bestseller almost at once.
- March 11 – A proclamation declares all people of Ireland to be the direct subjects of the British Crown and not of any local lord or chief.
- April 1 – Pope Leo XI succeeds Pope Clement VIII as the 232nd pope as a result of the heated Papal conclave of March 1605.
- April 13 – Tsar Boris Godunov dies; Feodor II accedes to the Russian throne.
- April 16 – In England, John Winthrop, later governor of the future Massachusetts Bay Colony, marries his first wife (of 4), Mary Forth, daughter of John Forth, of Great Stambridge, Essex.
- May 16 – Pope Paul V succeeds Pope Leo XI as the 233rd pope, making this the last Year of Three Popes until 1978. He is elected as a compromise candidate after the Papal conclave of May 1605 leads to physical assault.
- June 1 – Russian troops in Moscow imprison Feodor II and his mother, later executing them.
- June 20 – Pretender Dmitriy and his supporters, including troops of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, march to Moscow.
The Red Hall, Bourne
, England, dating from 1605
- Tokugawa Ieyasu abdicates as shogun of Japan, becoming Ogosho. His son Tokugawa Hidetada succeeds him to the office.
- Habitation at Port-Royal established by France under Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, the first European colonization of Nova Scotia in North America (at this time part of Acadia); the Gregorian calendar is adopted.
- Crew of the Olive become the first English visitors to Barbados.
- Refugee French Huguenot merchants begin to settle in Dublin and Waterford.
- The Priory of St. Gregory's is founded at Douai, Flanders, at this time in the Spanish Netherlands, by its first prior, John Roberts, and other exiles, thus becoming the first English Benedictine house to renew conventual life after the English Reformation. More than two centuries later the community will establish Downside Abbey back in England.
- The Irish College in Paris is co-founded by John Lee, an Irish priest, and John de l'Escalopier, President of the Parlement.
- Central Mexico's Amerindian population reaches one million.
- January 16 – Shahryar, fifth and youngest son of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (d. 1628)
- January 17 – Anthony Irby, English politician (d. 1682)
- February 1 – Isaac Aboab da Fonseca, Sephardi rabbi (d. 1693)
- February 17 – Luca Ferrari, Italian painter (d. 1654)
- February 18
- February 20 – Sir John Lowther, 1st Baronet, of Lowther, English politician (d. 1675)
- March 1 – James Wriothesley, Lord Wriothesley, English politician (d. 1624)
- March 2 – René Menard, Canadian explorer (d. 1661)
- March 3 – George Horner, English politician (d. 1677)
- March 14 – Francis Davies, British bishop (d. 1675)
- March 17 – George II, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (1626–1661) (d. 1661)
- July 6 – Ulrich II, Count of East Frisia, Ruler of East Frisia in the later years of the Thirty Years' War (d. 1648)
- July 25 – Theodore Haak, German scholar (d. 1690)
- July 29 – Simon Dach, Prussian German lyrical poet and writer of hymns (d. 1659)
- August 6
- August 8 – Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, first Proprietor and Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland (d. 1675)
- August 18 – Henry Hammond, English churchman (d. 1660)
- August 25 – Philipp Moritz, Count of Hanau-Münzenberg, German noble (d. 1638)
- August 30 – Felice Ficherelli, Italian painter (d. 1660)
- August 31 – Nicolas Talon, French Jesuit (d. 1691)
- September 1 – Michele Mazzarino, Italian cardinal (d. 1648)
- September 8 – Cornelis Jan Witsen, Mayor of Amsterdam (d. 1669)
- September 12 – William Dugdale, English antiquary and herald (d. 1686)
- September 14 – Brynjólfur Sveinsson, Icelandic bishop and scholar (d. 1675)
- September 17 – Francesco Sacrati, Italian composer (d. 1650)
- September 24 – Antoine Godeau, French bishop and poet (d. 1672)
- September 28 – Ismaël Bullialdus, French astronomer (d. 1694)
- October 15 – Marie de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier, French princess (d. 1627)
- October 16 – Charles Coypeau d'Assoucy, French writer and composer (d. 1677)
- October 19 – Sir Thomas Browne, English physician and philosopher (d. 1682)
- October 22 – Frédéric Maurice de La Tour d'Auvergne, prince of the independent principality of Sedan (d. 1652)
- November 3 – John Henderson, 5th of Fordell, Scottish noble (d. 1650)
- November 4 – William Habington, English poet (d. 1654)
- November 5 – Thomas Shepard, American Puritan minister and a significant figure in early colonial New England (d. 1649)
- December 1 – Roger Hill, English politician (d. 1667)
- December 8 – François Vavasseur, French writer (d. 1681)
- December 16 – Jerome Weston, 2nd Earl of Portland, English diplomat and landowner who held the presidency of Munster (d. 1662)
- December 23 – Tianqi Emperor, Ming emperor of China (d. 1627)
- December 25 – Francis Godolphin, English politician (d. 1667)
- April 5 – Adam Loftus, English Catholic archbishop (b. c. 1533)
- April 6 – John Stow, English historian and antiquarian (b. 1525)
- April 10 – Albrecht VII, Count of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (b. 1537)
- April 13 – Boris Godunov, Tsar of Russia (b. 1551)
- April 25 – Naresuan, Siamese King of Ayutthaya kingdom (b. c. 1555)
- April 27 – Pope Leo XI (b. 1535)
- May 4 – Ulisse Aldrovandi, Italian naturalist (b. 1522)
- May 10 – Casimir VI, Duke of Pomerania, Lutheran Administrator of Cammin Prince-Bishopric (b. 1557)
- June 3 – Jan Zamoyski, Polish nobleman (b. 1542)
- June 9 – John Louis II, Count of Nassau-Wiesbaden-Idstein (1596–1605) (b. 1596)
- June 20 – Tsar Feodor II of Russia (b. 1589)
- July 2 – Louis I, Count of Sayn-Wittgenstein (1588–1605) (b. 1532)
- July 18 – Johann II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, German duke (b. 1570)
- July 26 – Rev. Fr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P., Spanish clergyman and sinologist (b. 1552)
- August 2 – Richard Leveson, admiral (b. c. 1570)
- August 4 – Charles I, Duke of Elbeuf, French duke and nobleman (b. 1556)
- September 9 – Heinrich Khunrath (b. 1560)
- September 11 – Sir Thomas Tresham, English politician (b. 1550)
- September 14 – Jan Tarnowski, Archbishop of Kraków (b. 1550)
- September 19 – Edward Lewknor, English politician (b. 1542)
- September 23 – Pontus de Tyard, French poet (b. c. 1521)
- September 24 – Manuel Mendes, Portuguese composer (b. 1547)
- October 13 – Theodore Beza, French theologian (b. 1519)
- October 18 – Beate Clausdatter Bille, Danish noblewoman (b. 1526)
- October 22 – Constantine I of Kakheti, King of Kakheti (b. 1567)
- October 27 – Akbar, Mughal emperor (b. 1542)
- October 31 – Dorothy Bray, Baroness Chandos, English noble (b. 1524)
- November 5 – Nyaungyan Min (b. 1555)
- November 8 – Robert Catesby, English conspirator (b. 1573)
- November 12 – Jan Tomasz Drohojowski, Polish noble (b. 1535)
- November 14 – Anna Maria of Anhalt, German noblewoman (b. 1561)
- December – Francis Tresham, English conspirator (b. 1567)
- December 6 – Murai Nagayori, Samurai (b. 1543)
- December 25 – Marino Grimani, Doge of VEnice (b. 1532)
- December 29 – John Davis, English explorer (b. 1550)