- January 26 - Lisbon, Portugal is hit by an earthquake-- thousands die
- October 1 - Battle of Kappel - The forces of Zurich are defeated by the Catholic cantons. Huldreich Zwingli, the Swiss religious reformer, is killed.
- Our Lady of Guadeloupe: The Virgin Mary appears to Aztec convert Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin.
- Andrea Alciato publishes the first part of his Emblemata.
- The Comet Halley appears.
- James Stewart, Earl of Moray, illegitimate son of King James V of Scotland and later regent of Scotland