- Jan 2 Tsar Ivan the Terrible's march to Novgorod begins
- Feb 25 Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth I of England for heresy and persecution of English Catholics during her reign. Also absolves her subjects from allegiance to the crown.
- Jan 3 Bartholomeus Latomus [Steinmetz], Flemish archbishop of Trier, dies
- Jan 8 Philibert de l'Orme, French royal architect (Château de Chenonceau), dies at about 55
- Mar 12 Jacob van den Eynden, Grand Pensionary of Holland, dies
- Jul 3 Antonio Paleario, Italian humanist, executed by inquisition at 67
- Jul 25 Ivan Viskovati, chancellor of Russia, executed
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