7 January - England's last dominion in France, Calais, is lost to the French.
17 November - Queen Mary dies. Elizabeth becomes Queen.
21 September - Charles V dies, aged 58.
24 April - Mary Queen of Scots marries Francis, heir to the French throne.
14 December - Mary I is buried at Westminster.
15 January - Coronation of Elizabeth I.
2 May - John Knox returns to Scotland.
8 May - Elizabeth's Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity are passed, implementing the Elizabethan religious Settlement.
10 May - John Knox incites the Scottish Lords of the Congregation to rise against the regency of Mary Queen of Scots mother. They seize Edinburgh, destroy religious houses, and subsequently approach Elizabeth I for aid in their cause.
3 April - The Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis which brings peace with France.
20 June - Henry II is seriously injured in a jousting tournament.
10 July - Henry II dies. His son, Francis, becomes King. Mary Queen of Scots declares herself Queen of England.
18 August - Pope Paul IV dies aged 83.
21 October - Scottish Lords depose Mary of Guise, for not preventing the French fortifying Leith.
18 December - Elizabeth I sends aid to the Scottish Lords by land and sea.
6 July - Peace with Scotland in The Treaty of Edinburgh. Mary's claims to the throne of England are annulled, but Mary refuses to ratify the treaty.
25 June - Gustavus I of Sweden dies, aged 64, and is succeeded by his son Charles IX.
8 September - Robert Dudley's wife, Amy Dudley (or Robsart as she is also known) is found dead in mysterious circumstances.
5 December - The death of Mary, Queen of Scots' husband, Francis, King of France. Charles IX becomes King, with Catherine de Medici as Regent.
19 August - Mary, Queen of Scots returns to Scotland.
O'Neill's rebellion in Ireland.
Council of Trent session III.
Elizabeth's secret Treaty of Richmond, with French Huguenots.
26 May - Shane O' Neill leads a second rebellion in Ireland.
1 March - The Duc de Guise orders a massacre of Huguenots at Vassay, which begins the wars of religion in France.
22 September- Elizabeth signs the Treaty of Hampton Court, which gives assistance to the French Huguenots.
October - Elizabeth is seriously ill with small pox.
The Thirty Nine Articles are issued, which define the Anglican faith.
John Foxe's "Acts and Monuments" or as it is better known, "Book of Martyrs," is published.
Plague in London.
6 February - Birth of Christopher Marlowe.
8 February - Michaelangelo Buonarroti dies in Rome age 88.
15 February - astronomer Galileo dies.
11 April - Peace of Troyes : Peace between England and France. England renounces claim to Calais, on payment by French of 222,000 crowns.
23 April - Reputed birth of William Shakespeare.
27 May - John Calvin dies in Geneva.
25 July - Maximilian II succeeds as Holy Roman Emperor, as King of Austria, Bohemia and Hungary on death of Ferdinand I. Rest of Hapsburg dominions pass to the Archduke Charles.
29 July - Mary Queen of Scots marries Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.
Kat Ashley, Elizabeth's old governess, dies.
Sir John Hawkins introduces Tobacco to England.
9 March -The murder of David Rizzio by Darnley and his friends.
19 June - James VI (and later I of England) is born.
10 November - Robert Devereux, the future Earl of Essex.
10 February - Darnley is murdered at Kirk O Field, Scotland.
24 April - Mary Queen of Cots is "abducted" by James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell.
15 May - Mary, Queen of Scots, marries James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, after his marriage is annulled.
2 June, Shane O Neill, Earl of Tyrone, is assassinated.
24 July - Mary is forced to abdicate. Mary's son, James, is proclaimed King of Scotland.
29 September - Huguenot conspiracy of Meaux to capture Charles IX provokes the second phase of the wars of religion in France.
6 October - Margaret of Parma resigns the regency of the Netherlands. The Duke of Alva takes complete command.
23 March - Treaty of Longjumean ends second phase of French wars of religion.
2 May - Mary Queen of Scots escapes from Lochleven.
16 May - Mary takes refuge in England. But her relief is short lived, as she is imprisoned.
23 May - William of Orange defeats a Spanish force at Heiligerlee. This marks the beginning of the Revolt of the Netherlands.
30 September - Eric XIV is depose as he has shown signs of mental illness, and replaced by his brother John III.
The first Eisteddfod for Welsh music and Literature is held at Caerwys.
The English Catholic College of Douai founded by William Allen.
Elizabeth seizes the treasure of a Spanish fleet driven into Plymouth.
9 November - The Northern Rebellion against Elizabeth I breaks out.
20 February - Northern Rebellion completely defeated.
23 January - James Stewart, Earl of Moray, (half brother of Mary Queen of Scots and Regent of Scotland in King James VI's minority) is assassinated. 25 February - Elizabeth is excommunicated by the Pope (The Papal Bull).
8 August - The Peace of Germain-en-Laye ends the third period of the French Wars Of Religion.
Potato is introduced to Europe from Spanish America.