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Centuries: 15th century - 16th century - 17th century
- March 23 - Peace of Longjumeau ends the Second War of Religion in France. Again Catherine de Medici and Charles IX make substantial concessions to the Huguenots
- May 13 - Battle of Langside: the forces of Mary Queen of Scots are defeated by a confederacy of Scottish Protestants under James Stewart, Earl of Moray, her half-brother.
- May 16 - Mary Queen of Scots flees to England.
- May 19 - Queen Elizabeth I of England arrests Mary Queen of Scots.
- May 23 - Battle of Heiligerlee - Troops under William of Orange's younger brother, Louis of Nassau, defeat a small loyalist force under the Duke of Arenberg in an attempt to invade the Northern Netherlands.
- July 21 - Battle of Jemmingen - The main Spanish army of the Duke of Alva utterly defeats Louis of Nassau's invading army in the Northeastern Netherlands.
- August 18 - Beginning of the Third War of Religion in France after an unsuccessful attempt by the Royalists to capture Condé and Coligny, the Huguenot leaders.
- October 5 - William of Orange invades the Southeastern Netherlands
- October 20 - Battle of Jodoigne. Spanish forces under the Duke of Alva destroy Orange's rearguard. Orange abandons his offensive.
- Beginning of the Azuchi-Momoyama period in Japan.
- February 11 - Honore d'Urfe French writer.