The 1530s decade ran from January 1, 1530, to December 31, 1539.
- February 14 – Tangaxuan II, last cazonci of the Tarascan State, is executed by conquistador Nuño de Guzmán, ending the Tarascan State's independence from Spain.
- February 24 – Charles V is crowned emperor in Bologna, by Pope Clement VII.
- June 25 – The Augsburg Confession is presented to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.
- August 3 – Battle of Gavinana: Florence is captured by Spanish troops under Prince Philibert of Chalon (who is killed in the action). The Piagnon (followers of the memory of Girolamo Savonarola) are overthrown, ending the Siege of Florence, and the Medici are restored, in the person of the Pope's nephew Alessandro de' Medici.
- September 15 – The miraculous portrait of Saint Dominic in Soriano appears in Soriano Calabro, Calabria.
- October 8 – A flood engulfs Rome.
- October 26 – The Knights of Malta are formed, when the Knights Hospitaller are given Malta by Charles V. They transfer the island capital from Mdina to Birgu.
- November 5 – St. Felix's flood devastates Zeeland: a large part of the Verdronken Land van Reimerswaal is lost leading to decline of the city of Reimerswaal.
- December – Martim Afonso de Sousa's expedition sets out for the Americas from Portugal.
- The ducal palace of Celle is constructed in Germany.
- Austrian forces capture Esztergom, Hungary, and raid as far as Buda.
- Humayun starts to rule the Mughal Empire.
- Paracelsus leaves Nürnberg.
- Erasmus publishes A handbook on manners for children (De Civilitate Morum Puerilium Libellus), which becomes popular and widely translated.
- January 26 – Lisbon, Portugal is hit by an earthquake, in which thousands die.
- February 27 – Lutheran princes in the Holy Roman Empire form an alliance known as the Schmalkaldic League.
- February or March – Battle of Antukyah: Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi of the Adal Sultanate defeats the Ethiopian army.
- April – Battle of Puná: Francisco Pizarro defeats the island's native inhabitants.
- April 16 – The city of Puebla, Mexico, is founded.
- May – The third Dalecarlian rebellion in Sweden appears to be over, when the king accepts an offer made by the rebels, but violence flares up again the following year.
- June 24 – The city of San Juan del Río, Mexico, is founded.
- July 25 – The city of Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico is founded.
- August 26 – Comet Halley achieves its perihelion.
- September 22 – Battle of Obertyn: The Moldavians are defeated by Polish forces under Jan Tarnowski, allowing the Poles to recapture Pokucie.
- October 11 – Battle of Kappel: The forces of Zürich are defeated by the Catholic cantons. Huldrych Zwingli, the Swiss religious reformer, is killed.
- October 28 – Battle of Amba Sel: Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi again defeats the army of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia. The southern part of Ethiopia thus falls under Imam Ahmad's control.
- December 9 – The Virgin of Guadalupe first appears to Juan Diego at Tepeyac, Mexico City.
- December 12 – Mary, mother of Jesus, in the guise of Our Lady of Guadalupe, appears imprinted on the tilmàtli of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, an Aztec convert to Catholicism, in Tepeyac near Mexico City.
- Andrea Alciato publishes the first part of his Emblemata.
- Conquistador Francisco de Montejo claims Chichen Itza as capital of Spanish-ruled Yucatán.
- The University of Sarajevo is founded by Gazi Husrev-beg.
- Kõpu Lighthouse is completed.
- An enormous drought in Henan province, China, coupled with a gigantic swarm of locusts in the summer, forces many in destitute agricultural communities to turn to cannibalism instead of dying by starvation.
- Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor abolishes the worst abuses of the encomienda system, by pressure of Bartolomé de las Casas.
- A witch-hunt is conducted in the town of Schiltach, Germany.
- January 22 – São Vicente is established, as the first permanent Portuguese settlement in Brazil.
- March 18 – The English Parliament bans payment by the English Church to Rome.
- April – Battle of Quipaipan in Peru: Atahualpa wins the civil war in the Inca Empire, defeating his brother Huáscar.
- May 13 – Francisco Pizarro lands on the northern coast of Peru.
- May 16 – Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor of England.
- June 25 – Suleiman the Magnificent leads another invasion of Hungary.
- July 23, the Nuremberg Religious Peace was granted to members of the Schmalkaldic League, granting them religious liberty.
- August 13 – Union of Brittany and France: The Duchy of Brittany is absorbed into the Kingdom of France.
- September 1 – Lady Anne Boleyn is created Marquess of Pembroke by her fiancé, King Henry VIII of England.
- November 16 – Francisco Pizarro and his men capture Inca emperor Atahualpa at Cajamarca, ambushing and slaughtering a large number of his followers, without loss to themselves. He subsequently offers a ransom of approximately $100 million in gold.
- The Prince is published five years after the death of the author, Niccolò Machiavelli.
- Pantagruel is published by François Rabelais.
- Henry VIII of England grants the Thorne brothers a Royal Charter, to found Bristol Grammar School.
- Stamford School is founded by William Radcliffe.
- The Paris Parlement has the city's beggars arrested "to force them to work in the sewers, chained together in pairs".
- January 25 – King Henry VIII of England marries Anne Boleyn, who becomes his second queen consort.
- January 26 – Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Walden, is appointed Lord Chancellor of England.
- March 30 – Thomas Cranmer becomes Archbishop of Canterbury.
- May 23 – King Henry VIII of England's marriage with Catherine of Aragon is declared annulled by Archbishop Cranmer. Since Pope Clement VII had rejected Henry's petition for annulment in 1530, Catherine continues to believe herself Henry's wife until her death.
- June 1 – Cranmer crowns Anne Boleyn as queen consort of England, in Westminster Abbey.
- July 11 – Henry VIII is excommunicated by Pope Clement VII, as is Archbishop Cranmer.
- July 22 – Treaty of Constantinople between the Ottoman Empire and the Archduchy of Austria: Ferdinand I, King of the Romans, withdraws his claims to most of Hungary and János Szapolyai, voivode of Transylvania, becomes King of Hungary under the suzerainty of Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
- July 26 – Sapa Inca Atahualpa is executed by garotte, at the orders of Francisco Pizarro in Cajamarca. The Spanish arrange for his younger brother Túpac Huallpa to be crowned as a successor, but he dies of smallpox soon afterwards.
- September 7 – Anne Boleyn gives birth to Princess Elizabeth, the future Elizabeth I of England, at the Palace of Placentia.
- October 28 – The 14-year olds Henry, Duke of Orléans – the future King Henry II of France – and Catherine de' Medici are married at the Église Saint-Ferréol les Augustins in Marseille.
- November 15 – Francisco Pizarro arrives in Cusco, Peru.
- December 3 – Ivan IV succeeds his father Vasili III as Grand Prince of Muscovy at the age of three years.
- December – Hernando de Grijalva and his crew discover the uninhabited Revillagigedo Islands, off the Pacific coast of Mexico.
- The Statute in Restraint of Appeals declares the king to be the supreme sovereign in England, and forbids judicial appeals to the papacy.
- Paracelsus interprets the Bible in Appenzell.
- Pechenga Monastery is founded, in the far north of the Grand Duchy of Moscow.
- 1533–1534 – Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent makes the Ruthenian harem girl Roxelana his legal wife.
- January 15 – The Parliament of England passes the Act Respecting the Oath to the Succession, recognising the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and their children as the legitimate heirs to the throne.
- February 23 – A group of Anabaptists, led by Jan Matthys, seize Münster, Westphalia and declare it The New Jerusalem, begin to exile dissenters, and forcibly baptize all others.
- April 5 (Easter Sunday) – Anabaptist Jan Matthys is killed by the Landsknechte, who lay siege to Münster on the day he predicted as The Second Coming of Christ. His follower John of Leiden takes control of the city.
- April 7 – Sir Thomas More is confined in the Tower of London.
- May 10 – Jacques Cartier explores Newfoundland, while searching for the Northwest Passage.
- June 9 – Jacques Cartier is the first European to discover the Gulf of St Lawrence.
- June 23 – Copenhagen opens its gates to Count Christopher of Oldenburg, leading the army of Lübeck (and the Hanseatic League), nominally in the interests of the deposed King Christian II of Denmark. The surrenders of Copenhagen and, a few days later, of Malmö represent the high point of the Count's War for the forces of the League. These victories presumably lead the Danish nobility to recognize Christian III as King on July 4.
- June 29 – Jacques Cartier discovers Prince Edward Island.
- July 4 – The Election of Christian III, as King of Denmark and Norway, takes place in the town of Rye.
- July 7 – The first known exchange occurs between Europeans and natives of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in New Brunswick.
- August 15 – Ignatius of Loyola and six others take the vows that lead to the establishment of the Society of Jesus, in Montmartre (Paris).
- August 26 – Piero de Ponte becomes the 45th Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller.
- October 13 – Pope Paul III succeeds Pope Clement VII, as the 220th pope.
- October 18 – Huguenots post placards all over France attacking the Catholic Mass, provoking a violent sectarian reaction.
- November 3–December 18 – The English Reformation Parliament passes the Act of Supremacy, establishing Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church of England.
- December 6 – Over 200 Spanish settlers, led by conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar, found what is now Quito, Ecuador.
- Act for the Submission of the Clergy is confirmed by the Parliament of England, requiring churchmen to submit to the king, and forbidding the publication of ecclesiastical laws without royal permission.
- Manco Inca Yupanqui is crowned as Sapa Inca in Cusco, Peru by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, in succession to his brother Túpac Huallpa (d. October 1533).
- Cambridge University Press is given a Royal Charter by Henry VIII of England, and becomes the first of the privileged presses.
- Gargantua is published by François Rabelais.
- Martin Luther's translation of the complete Christian Bible into German is printed by Hans Lufft in Wittenberg, adding the Old Testament and Apocrypha to Luther's 1522 translation of the New Testament, and including woodcut illustrations.
- The first book in Yiddish is printed (in Kraków), Mirkevet ha-Mishneh, a Tanakh concordance by Rabbi Asher Anchel, translating difficult phrases in biblical Hebrew.
- January 18 – Lima, Peru, is founded by Francisco Pizarro, as Ciudad de los Reyes.
- February 27 – George Joye publishes his Apologye in Antwerp, to clear his name from the accusations of William Tyndale.
- March – English forces under William Skeffington storm Maynooth Castle in Ireland, the stronghold of Thomas FitzGerald, 10th Earl of Kildare.
- March 10 – Fray Tomás de Berlanga discovers the Galápagos Islands, when blown off course en route to Peru.
- May 4 – The first of the English Carthusian Martyrs is executed.
- May 10 – Amsterdam: A small troop of Anabaptists, led by the minister Jacob van Geel, attacks the city hall, in an attempted coup to seize the city. In the counter-attack by the city's militia, the burgemeester, Pieter Colijns, is killed by the rebels. In another incident this year in Amsterdam, seven men and five woman walk nude in the streets; and Anabaptists rebel in other cities of the Netherlands.
- May 19 – French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail for his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona's two sons (taken by Cartier during his first voyage).
- May 20 – William Tyndale is arrested in Antwerp for heresy, in relation to his Bible translation, and imprisoned in Vilvoorde.
- June 1 – The Conquest of Tunis by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, begins with the destruction of Barbarossa's fleet. Following the eventual capture of the city from the Ottoman Empire, around 30,000 inhabitants are massacred.
- June 8 – Battle of Bornholm: Combined Swedish and Danish fleets defeat the Hanseatic navy.
- June 22 – Cardinal John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, is executed for his refusal to swear an oath of loyalty to King Henry VIII of England.
- June 24 – Münster Rebellion: The Anabaptist state of Münster is conquered and disbanded.
- July 6 – Sir Thomas More, author of Utopia and one time Lord Chancellor of England, is executed for treason, after refusing to recognize King Henry VIII as head of the English Church, and separate from the Roman Catholic Church.
- July 15 – Archdeacon Charles Reynolds (cleric), envoy to James V, Charles V, and Pope Paul III, is buried in Rome. He died of malaria while lobbying for the excommunication of King Henry VIII for heresy.
- October 2 – Jacques Cartier reaches the island in the Saint Lawrence River, that eventually becomes Montreal.
- October 4 – The first complete English-language Bible is printed in Antwerp, with translations by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale.
- December – Manco Inca Yupanqui, nominally Sapa Inca, is imprisoned by the Spanish Conquistadors of Peru.
- Mughal Emperor Humayun gives battle to Bahadur Shah of Gujarat.
- Spanish forces abandon the second attempted conquest of Yucatán.
- The earliest printed book in Estonian, a Catechism with a translation by Johann Koell from the Middle Low German Lutheran text of Simon Wanradt, is printed by Hans Lufft in Wittenberg, for use in Tallinn.
- Suleiman the Magnificent begins the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem.
- Paracelsus visits Bad Pfäfers.
- January 7 – Catherine of Aragon, first queen of Henry VIII of England, dies.
- January 22 – John of Leiden, Bernhard Knipperdolling, and Bernhard Krechting are executed in Münster for their roles in the Münster Rebellion.
- February 2 – Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza founds Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- February 25 – Jacob Hutter is burned at the stake for heresy.
- April 30 – The Inquisition is implemented in Portugal.
- May 2 – Anne Boleyn, second queen of Henry VIII of England, is arrested on the grounds of incest, adultery, and treason.
- May 6 – Incan emperor Manco Inca Yupanqui, having on April 18 escaped from imprisonment in Cuzco, begins his revolt against his captors, when his army begins the 10-month Siege of Cuzco, against a garrison of Spanish conquistadors and Indian auxiliaries, led by Hernando Pizarro.
- May 17 – The five men accused of adultery with Anne Boleyn, including her own brother George Boleyn, are executed.
- May 19 – Anne Boleyn, queen consort of Henry VIII of England is executed in the Tower of London.
- May 30 – Henry VIII of England marries Jane Seymour.
- June 24 – Cristóbal de Oñate founds San Juan Bautista del Teul.
- June 26 – Andrés de Urdaneta and a few companions arrive in Lisbon, completing a circumnavigation which began with de Loaísa's expedition of 1525.
- June 27 – San Pedro Sula is founded by Pedro de Alvarado.
- August 10 – Francis III, Duke of Brittany, Dauphin of France, dies having caught a chill after a game of tennis which has developed into a fever; under torture Sebastiano de Montecuccoli, his Italian secretary, confesses to poisoning him and is brutally executed on October 7. Francis' younger brother, Henry, Duke of Orléans, succeeds as heir to the kingdom.
- October 13 – The Pilgrimage of Grace, a rebellion in York (England), is "resolved" by Robert Aske.
- War resumes between Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Francis seizes control of Savoy, and captures Turin. Charles triumphally enters Rome, following the Via Triumphalis, and delivers a speech before the Pope and College of Cardinals, publicly challenging the king of France to a duel.
- Battle of Un no Kuchi: Takeda Family forces defeat Hiraga Genshin.
- Various religious buildings are closed as part of Henry VIII of England's Dissolution of the Monasteries, including
- The legal and political union of Wales with England is reinforced, by An Acte for Lawes & Justice to be ministred in Wales in like fourme as it is in this Realme.
- Reformation in Denmark–Norway and Holstein: Protestantism is introduced in Denmark and Norway, by King Christian III.
- John Calvin's Institutio Christianæ religionis, a seminal work of Protestant systematic theology, is published.
- Battle of Reynogüelén: Spanish conquistadors defeat the Mapuches in Chile, in the opening battle of the Arauco War.
- The Portuguese crown divides Colonial Brazil into fifteen donatory captaincies.
- A trade compact exempts French merchants from Ottoman law and allows them to travel, buy and sell throughout the sultan's dominions, and to pay low customs duties on French imports and exports. The compact is renewed in 1569.
- January – Bigod's Rebellion, an uprising by Roman Catholics against Henry VIII of England, is crushed.
- January 6 – Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence, is assassinated.
- March – Diego de Almagro successfully charges Manco Inca's siege of Cuzco, thereby saving his antagonists, the Pizarro brothers.
- March 12 – Recife is founded by the Portuguese, in Brazil.
- April 1 – The Archbishop of Norway Olav Engelbrektsson flees from Trondheim to Lier, Belgium.
- April 20 – Spanish conquest of the Muisca: Bacatá, the main settlement of the Muisca Confederation, is conquered by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, effectively ending the Confederation in the Colombian Eastern Andes.
- June 2 – Pope Paul III publishes the encyclical Sublimis Deus, which declares the natives of the New World to be rational beings with souls, who must not be enslaved or robbed.
- June 23 – Siege of Hamar ends with the arrest of Bishop Mogens Lauritssøn, and the Catholic rebellion is definitively ended in Norway.
- August 15 – Asunción is founded by Juan de Salazar de Espinosa.
- August 25 – The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army, and the second most senior, is formed.
- August-September – The Ottomans fail to capture Corfu.
- Manco Cápac establishes the independent Neo-Inca State, at Vilcabamba, Peru.
- The Spaniards bring the potato to Europe.
- Kiritimati (Acea or "Christmas Island") is discovered by the Spanish expedition of Hernando de Grijalva.
- The islands of Paros and Ios are conquered by the Ottoman Empire.
- Bangalore is first mentioned.
- Dissolution of the Monasteries: Religious buildings are dissolved by Henry VIII of England, including
- Publication of complete Bible translations into English, both based on Tyndale's:
- February 24 – Treaty of Nagyvárad: Peace is declared between Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and the Ottoman Empire. John Zápolya is recognized as King of Hungary (Eastern Hungarian Kingdom), while Ferdinand retains the northern and western parts of the Kingdom, and is recognized as heir to the throne.
- April 26 – Battle of Las Salinas: Almagro is defeated by Francisco Pizarro, who then seizes Cusco.
- June 18 – Truce of Nice: Peace is declared between Emperor Charles V and Francis I of France.
- June 19 – Dissolution of the Monasteries in England: The newly founded Bisham Abbey is dissolved.
- August 6 – Bogotá, Colombia is founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.
- September 28 – Battle of Preveza: The Ottoman fleet of Suleiman the Magnificent, under the command of Hayreddin Barbarossa, defeats the Holy League of Emperor Charles V, under the command of Andrea Doria.
- September 29–October 6 – The last significant volcanic eruption in the Phlegraean Fields of Italy creates Monte Nuovo.
- October 28 – The first university of the New World, the Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino, is founded on the island of Hispaniola.
- November 30
- December 17 – Pope Paul III confirms the excommunication of Henry VIII of England from the Roman Catholic church.
- Michelangelo starts work on the Piazza del Campidoglio on the Capitoline Hill in Rome.
- The first in a decade-long series of severe famines and epidemics sweep central and southeastern China during the Ming dynasty, made worse by a decision of 1527 to cut back on the intake of grain quotas for granaries.
- In China, a tsunami floods over the seawall in Haiyan County of Zhejiang province, inundating fields with saltwater, ruining many acres of crops. This drives up the price of foodstuffs, and many are forced to live off of tree bark and weeds (as Wang Wenlu stated in his writing of 1545).
- Paracelsus visits Villach.
- January – Toungoo–Hanthawaddy War – Battle of Naungyo, Burma: The Toungoos decisively defeat the Hanthawaddys.
- January 12 – Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (and Charles I of Spain) and Francis I of France sign the Treaty of Toledo, agreeing to make no further alliances with England. The treaty comes after Henry VIII of England's split with Rome and Pope Paul III.
- January 14 – Spain annexes Cuba.
- February 9 – The first horse race is held at Chester Racecourse, the oldest in use in England.
- March – Canterbury Cathedral surrenders, and reverts to its previous status of 'a college of secular canons'.
- May 30 – Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay, Florida with 600 soldiers, with the goal to find gold. He also introduces pigs into North America.
- May – The Six Articles, an Act of the Parliament of England, reaffirms certain Catholic principles in Henry VIII's Church of England.
- August 15 – King Francis I of France issues the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêt, that places the whole of France under the jurisdiction of the royal law courts, and makes French the language of those courts, and the official language of legal discourse.
- September 7 – Guru Angad Dev becomes the second Guru of the Sikhs.
- October 4 – Henry VIII contracts to marry Anne of Cleves.
- November 1 – Joachim II Hector introduces Lutheranism in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, becoming the second Prince-Elector after the Prince-Elector of Saxony to turn Protestant.
- Protestant Reformation
- Lutheranism is forcibly introduced into Iceland, despite the opposition of Bishop Jón Arason.
- Beaulieu Abbey, Bolton Abbey, Colchester Abbey, Newstead Abbey, St Albans Abbey, St Mary's Abbey, York and Hartland Abbey (the last) fall prey to the Dissolution of the Monasteries in England.
- The first edition of the Calvinist Genevan Psalter is published.
- In Henan province, China, a severe drought with swarms of locusts is made worse, by a major epidemic outbreak of the plague.
- The first printing press in North America is set up in Mexico City.
- Teseo Ambrogio's Introductio in Chaldaicam lingua, Syriaca atq Armenica, & dece alias linguas, published in Pavia, introduces several Middle Eastern languages to western Europe for the first time.
- Rachel Lawrence: 2010, Page 183
- article on the Nuremberg Religious Peace, page 351 of the 1899 Lutheran Cyclopedia
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