- January 7 - French troops led by Francis, Duke of Guise take Calais, the last continental possession of England
- July 13 - Battle of Gravelines: In France, Spanish forces led by Count Lamoral of Egmont defeat the French forces of Marshal Paul des Thermes at Gravelines.
- November 17 -Elizabeth I becomes Queen of England.
- Robert Greene, English playwright, poet, pamphleteer, and prose writer
- Thomas Kyd, English playwright