1596 (MDXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. As of the start of 1596, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar.
|Ab urbe condita||2349|
|Balinese saka calendar||1517–1518|
|English Regnal year||38 Eliz. 1 – 39 Eliz. 1|
|Chinese calendar||乙未年 (Wood Goat)|
4292 or 4232
— to —
丙申年 (Fire Monkey)
4293 or 4233
|- Vikram Samvat||1652–1653|
|- Shaka Samvat||1517–1518|
|- Kali Yuga||4696–4697|
|Japanese calendar||Bunroku 5 / Keichō 1|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 10 days|
|Minguo calendar||316 before ROC|
|Thai solar calendar||2138–2139|
1722 or 1341 or 569
— to —
1723 or 1342 or 570
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1596.|
- January 6–20 – An English attempt led by Francis Drake to cross the Isthmus of Panama ends in defeat.
- January 28 – Francis Drake dies of dysentery off Portobelo.
- February 14 – Archbishop John Whitgift begins building his hospital at Croydon.
- April 9 – Siege of Calais: Spanish troops capture Calais.
- May 18 – Willem Barents leaves Vlie, on his third and final Arctic voyage.
- June – Sir John Norreys and Sir Geoffrey Fenton travel to Connaught, to parley with the local Irish lords.
- June 10 – Willem Barents and Jacob van Heemskerk discover Bear Island.
- June 17 – Willem Barents discovers Spitsbergen.
- June 24 – Cornelis de Houtman arrives in Banten, the first Dutch sailor to reach Indonesia..
- July 5 – Capture of Cádiz: An English fleet, commanded by Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and Lord Howard of Effingham, sacks Cádiz.
- July 14 – King Dominicus Corea (Edirille Bandara) is beheaded by the Portuguese in Colombo, Ceylon.
- August – David Fabricius discovers the star Mira.
- September 20 – Diego de Montemayor founds the city of Monterrey, Mexico.
- October 8–10 – The Union of Brest: The Ukrainian Church west of the Dnieper becomes known as the Ukrainian Rite of Catholicism, whereas the East officially renounces the authority of the Pope.
- October 18 – The Second Armada, a Spanish fleet sent to attack England in revenge for the raid on Cadiz, is wrecked in storms off Cape Finisterre; nearly 5,000 men and 44 ships are lost including five galleons
- October 19 – The Spanish galleon San Felipe founders in Japan, leading to 26 Christians being martyred the next year.
- October 24–26 – Battle of Keresztes: The Turks defeat a combined Habsburg–Transylvanian army.
- Elizabeth I of England decrees that all Africans should be removed from the British realm, in reaction to the food crisis.
- The first water closet, by Sir John Harington, is installed in a manor near Kelston in England.
- King Sigismund III Vasa moves the capital of Poland from Kraków to Warsaw.
- Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, is founded.
- The Black Death hits parts of Europe.
- Dutch ships, commanded by Frederick de Houtman, reach Sumatra and Java for the first time.
- The fourth of a five year run of poor harvests, largely caused by the weather, a pattern typical of the last third of the century. This causes famine throughout Europe, which leads to food riots in Britain.
- January 1 – Elizabeth Ribbing, Swedish noble (d. 1662)
- January 13 – Jan van Goyen, Dutch painter (d. 1656)
- February 2
- February 3 – Brás Garcia de Mascarenhas, soldier, poet and writer (d. 1656)
- February 8 – Louis Giry, French lawyer, classical scholar (d. 1665)
- February 27 – Johan Stiernhöök, Swedish lawyer (d. 1675)
- March 1 – Duke Frederick of Saxe-Weimar, German prince and colonel (d. 1622)
- March 10 – Princess Maria Elizabeth of Sweden (d. 1618)
- March 11 – Isaac Elzevir, Dutch printer and publisher (d. 1651)
- March 16 – Ebba Brahe, Swedish countess (d. 1674)
- March 24 – Elizabeth of Hesse-Kassel, Duchess of Mecklenburg-Gütsrow (d. 1625)
- March 26 – Catherine Henriette de Bourbon, French noble (d. 1663)
- March 31 – René Descartes, French philosopher and mathematician (d. 1650)
- April 8 – Juan van der Hamen, Spanish artist (d. 1631)
- April 11 – Moritz Gudenus, German Catholic preacher (d. 1680)
- May 9 – Abraham van Diepenbeeck, Dutch painter (d. 1675)
- May 21 – John Louis II, Count of Nassau-Wiesbaden-Idstein (d. 1605)
- June 5 – Peter Wtewael, Dutch painter (d. 1660)
- June 6 – Michel Particelli d'Emery, French politician (d. 1650)
- June 23 – Johan Banér, Swedish field marshal in the Thirty Years' War (d. 1641)
- June 27 – Maximilian, Prince of Dietrichstein, German prince (d. 1655)
- June 29 – Emperor Go-Mizunoo of Japan (d. 1680)
- July 1 – Bertuccio Valiero, Doge of Venice (d. 1658)
- July 12 – Michael I of Russia, Russian Tsar (d. 1645)
- August 10 – Lorentz Eichstadt, German mathematician and astronomer (d. 1660)
- August 26 – Frederick V, Elector Palatine (d. 1632)
- August 18 – Jean Bolland, Belgian Jesuit, Founder of the Bollandist (d. 1665)
- August 19 – Elizabeth Stuart, later Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia (d. 1662)
- September 4 – Constantijn Huygens, Dutch Golden Age poet and composer (d. 1687)
- September 3 – Nicola Amati, Italian luthier from Cremona (d. 1684)
- September 7 – John Casimir, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (d. 1660)
- September 11 – Francis Eaton, Mayflower passenger and New World colonist (d. 1633)
- September 23 – Joan Blaeu, Dutch cartographer (d. 1673)
- October 1 – Cesare Dandini, Italian painter (d. 1657)
- October 5 – Pieter van Mierevelt, Dutch painter (d. 1623)
- October 18 – Edward Winslow, American Pilgrim leader (d. 1655)
- October 23 – Daniel Hay du Chastelet de Chambon, French mathematician (d. 1671)
- October 26 – Robert Coe, American colonial (d. 1689)
- November 1
- November 5 – Charles II, Duke of Elbeuf, French noble (d. 1657)
- November 6 – Jeanne Chezard de Matel, French mystic (d. 1670)
- November 21 – René de Voyer de Paulmy d'Argenson, French politician (d. 1651)
- December 12 – Sir Edward Osborne, 1st Baronet, English politician (d. 1647)
- December 13 – António Luís de Meneses, 1st Marquis of Marialva, Portuguese general and noble (d. 1675)
- December 21
- December 24 – Leonaert Bramer, Dutch painter (d. 1674)
- Francesco Buonamici, Italian architect, painter and engraver (d. 1677)
- John Dury, Scottish-born Calvinist minister (d. 1680)
- Franz von Hatzfeld, Prince-Bishop of Würzburg (d. 1642)
- Lucas Holstenius, German humanist (d. 1661)
- Georg Jenatsch, Swiss political leader (d. 1639)
- Richard Mather, American clergyman (d. 1669)
- Horio Tadaharu, Japanese warlord (d. 1633)
- January 27 – Sir Francis Drake, English explorer, sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, pirate and politician (b. 1540)
- February 7 – George I, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (b. 1547)
- February 17 – Friedrich Sylburg, German classical scholar (b. 1536)
- February 19 – Blaise de Vigenère, French cryptographer, diplomat, scientist, and author (b. 1523)
- March 23 – Henry Unton, English diplomat (b. 1557)
- March 27 – Frederick IV of Liegnitz, German noble (b. 1552)
- April 4 – Philip II, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen (b. 1533)
- May – Janet Fockart, Scottish merchant and moneylender
- May 5 – Catherine de Montpensier, politically active French duchess (b. 1552)
- May 6 – Giaches de Wert, Flemish composer (b. 1535)
- May 31 – John Lesley, Scottish bishop (b. 1527)
- June 10 – John Louis I, Count of Nassau-Wiesbaden-Idstein, Germany noble (b. 1567)
- July 10 – Alessandro Alberti, Italian painter (b. 1551)
- July 23 – Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon (b. 1526)
- August 11 – Hamnet Shakespeare, son of William Shakespeare (b. 1585)
- September 9 – Anna Jagiellon, queen of Poland (b. 1523)
- September 14 – Francisco de Toledo, Spanish Catholic cardinal (b. 1532)
- September 15 – Leonhard Rauwolf, German physician and botanist (b. 1535)
- October 3 – Florent Chrestien, French writer (b. 1541)
- October 26 – István Esterházy, Hungarian noble (b. 1572)
- November 1 – Pierre Pithou, French lawyer and scholar (b. 1539)
- November 10 – Peter Wentworth, English Puritan politician (b. 1530)
- November 29
- December 27 – Pietro Pontio, Italian music theorist and composer (b. 1532)
- date unknown
- probable – Henry Willobie, English poet (b. 1575)
- Emily C. Bartels (April 2006). "Too Many Blackamoors: Deportation, Discrimination, and Elizabeth I". SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500–1900. Rice University. 46 (2): 305–322. JSTOR 3844644.
In 1596, Queen Elizabeth issued an 'open letter' to the Lord Mayor of London, announcing that 'there are of late divers black-moores brought into this realme, of which kinde of people there aire allready here to manie,' and ordering that they be deported from the country.
- Stratton, J.M. (1969). Agricultural Records. John Baker. ISBN 0-212-97022-4.
- Oechslin, Werner (1972). "BUONAMICI, Francesco". Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (in Italian). 15. Archived from the original on January 23, 2020.