1603 (MDCIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar, the 1603rd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 603rd year of the 2nd millennium, the 3rd year of the 17th century, and the 4th year of the 1600s decade. As of the start of 1603, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
|Ab urbe condita||2356|
|Balinese saka calendar||1524–1525|
|English Regnal year||45 Eliz. 1 – 1 Ja. 1|
|Chinese calendar||壬寅年 (Water Tiger)|
4299 or 4239
— to —
癸卯年 (Water Rabbit)
4300 or 4240
|- Vikram Samvat||1659–1660|
|- Shaka Samvat||1524–1525|
|- Kali Yuga||4703–4704|
|Japanese calendar||Keichō 8|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 10 days|
|Minguo calendar||309 before ROC|
|Thai solar calendar||2145–2146|
1729 or 1348 or 576
— to —
1730 or 1349 or 577
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1603.|
- February 25 – Dutch–Portuguese War: the Portuguese ship Santa Catarina is seized by Dutch East India Company ships off Singapore. The first permanent Dutch trading post in Indonesia is established in Banten.
- March 24
- Queen Elizabeth I of England dies at Richmond Palace (having ruled since 1558), and is succeeded by her cousin's (Mary Queen of Scots') son, King James VI of Scotland (where he has ruled since 1567), uniting the crowns of Scotland and England.
- Tokugawa Ieyasu is granted the title of shōgun from Emperor Go-Yozei, and establishes the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo, Japan. The 265-year-long Edo period begins.
- March 31 – The Nine Years War (Ireland) is ended by the submission of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, to the English Crown, and the signing of the Treaty of Mellifont.
- April 28 – The funeral of Elizabeth I of England is held in Westminster Abbey.
- July 17 or July 19 – Sir Walter Raleigh is arrested for treason.
- July 25 – James I is crowned as King of England in Westminster Abbey. Ceremonies are limited because of plague.
- August 17 – The Accademia dei Lincei, the oldest scientific academy in the world, is founded in Rome by Federico Cesi.
- September 20 – Samuel Champlain arrives back in France.
- October – The Sangley Rebellion takes place, ending in the massacre of 20,000 Sangley Chinese in Manila.
- November – Rokugō rebellion: More than 1,000 rōnin rebel in support of their exiled lord, Onodera Yoshimichi, in Japan.
- November 17 – Sir Walter Raleigh goes on trial for treason, in the converted Great Hall of Winchester Castle. He is found guilty, but his life is spared by King James I at this time, and he is returned to imprisonment in the Tower of London.
- December 22 – Ottoman dynasty: Sultan Mehmed III of the Ottoman Empire dies, and is succeeded by his son Ahmed I.
- A rebellion breaks out in Transylvania.
- French Huguenot Pierre de Gua is granted royal permission to settle in North America, founding the colony of Acadia.
- Yaqob is deposed as Emperor of Ethiopia for the first time by Za Sellase, who appoints his cousin Za Dengel to replace him.
- Johann Bayer publishes the star atlas Uranometria, the first to cover the entire celestial sphere.
- The earliest of eight companies that will eventually merge to form the Kikkoman Corporation, the ubiquitous producers of soy sauce, is founded in Japan.
- January 3 – Paul Stockmann, German hymnwriter (d. 1636)
- January 27
- January 30 – David Denicke, German jurist and hymnwriter (d. 1680)
- January – Shackerley Marmion, English dramatist (d. 1639)
- February 2 – Louise de Bourbon, French noble (d. 1637)
- February 7 – Friederich Stellwagen, German organ builder (d. 1660)
- February 12 – Friedrich Wilhelm II, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg (1639–1669) (d. 1669)
- March 2 – Pietro Novelli, Italian painter (d. 1647)
- March 13 – Ivan III Drašković, Croatian nobleman and soldier (d. 1648)
- March 18 – Simon Bradstreet, English colonial magistrate (d. 1697)
- March 21 bapt. – Samuel Luke, English politician (d. 1670)
- April 6 – Simon Paulli, Danish physician (d. 1680)
- April 10 – Christian, Prince-Elect of Denmark (d. 1647)
- April 19 – Michel le Tellier, French statesman (d. 1685)
- April 21 – Chamaraja Wodeyar VI, King of Mysore (d. 1637)
- April 24 – Thomas Allen, English politician (d. 1681)
- May 18 – Herbert Croft, English churchman (d. 1691)
- June 3 – Pietro Paolini, Italian painter (d. 1681)
- June 17 – Joseph of Cupertino, Italian saint (d. 1663)
- June 24 – Maria Overlander van Purmerland, Dutch noble (d. 1678)
- July 11
- July 12 – Edward Benlowes, English poet (d. 1676)
- July 23 – Axel Lillie, Swedish soldier and politician (d. 1662)
- July 27 – Alonso de Ovalle, Chilean priest and historian (d. 1651)
- August 9 – Johannes Cocceius, Dutch theologian (d. 1669)
- August 17 – Lennart Torstensson, Swedish Field Marshal, Privy Councillour and Governor-General (d. 1651)
- August 24 – Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur, Khan of Khiva, historian (d. 1663)
- September 10 – Henri Valois, French historian (d. 1676)
- September 14 – John Vaughan, English judge (d. 1674)
- September 15 – Tokugawa Yorifusa, Japanese nobleman (d. 1661)
- October 2 – Sir John Yonge, 1st Baronet, English politician (d. 1663)
- October 20 – Simon de Vos, Flemish painter (d. 1676)
- November 10 – Agneta de Graeff van Polsbroek, Dutch noble (d. 1656)
- November 16 – Augustyn Kordecki, Polish prior of the Jasna Góra Monastery (d. 1673)
- November 24 – John, Count of Nassau-Idstein (1629–1677) (d. 1677)
- December 21
- Abel Janszoon Tasman, Dutch seafarer and explorer (d. 1659)
- Louis Abelly, French monk and priest (d. 1691)
- Margareta Brahe, Swedish noble (d. 1669)
- John Ashburnham, English Member of Parliament (d. 1671)
- Daniel Blagrave, English Member of Parliament (d. 1668)
- Valentin Conrart, one of the founders of the Académie française (d. 1675)
- Denis Gaultier, French lutenist and composer (d. 1672)
- January 25 – Francesco Zirano, Italian priest who was a member of the Order of Friars Minor (b. 1564)
- February 7
- February 23
- February 26 – Maria of Austria, Holy Roman Empress, spouse of Maximilian II (b. 1528)
- March 14 – Ulrich, Duke of Mecklenburg-Güstrow (1555–1603) (b. 1527)
- March 22 – Robert Seton, 1st Earl of Winton, Scottish peer who supported Mary, Queen of Scots (b. 1553)
- March 24 – Queen Elizabeth I of England (b. 1533)
- March 25 – Ikoma Chikamasa, Japanese warlord (b. 1526)
- April 4 – Aegidius Hunnius, German theologian (b. 1550)
- April 25 – George Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach (b. 1539)
- May 4
- May 14 – Magnus II, Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg, German duke (b. 1543)
- June – Baldassare Donato, Italian composer and singer (b. 1525)
- June 2
- June 27 – Jan Dymitr Solikowski, Polish archbishop, writer, and diplomat (b. 1539)
- July 4 – Philippe de Monte, Flemish composer (b. 1521)
- July 10 – Joan Terès i Borrull, viceroy of Catalonia (b. 1538)
- July 11 – Richard Drake, English courtier (b. 1535)
- July 17
- July 23 – Santi di Tito, Italian painter (b. 1536)
- August 1 – Matthew Browne, English politician (b. 1563)
- August 2 – John Townshend, English politician (b. 1568)
- August 16 – Silvio Antoniano, Italian Catholic cardinal (b. 1540)
- August 25
- August 26 – Thomas Drury, English government informer and swindler (b. 1551)
- September 1 – Barnim X, Duke of Pomerania-Stettin (1569–1603) (b. 1549)
- September 9 – George Carey, 2nd Baron Hunsdon, English politician (b. 1547)
- September 19 – Matsudaira Iemoto, Japanese samurai (b. 1548)
- October – Ralph Lane, English explorer (b. 1530)
- October 6 – Jakob Monau, Polish writer and linguist (b. 1546)
- October 18 – Edward Stafford, 3rd Baron Stafford, English baron (b. 1535)
- October 23 – Johann Wanning, Dutch composer, kapellmeister, and singer (b. 1537)
- October 26 – Otto II, Duke of Brunswick-Harburg (1549–1603) (b. 1528)
- October 27 – Irina Godunova, Russian tsarina (b. 1557)
- November 12 – John VII, Count of Oldenburg (1573–1603) and Delmenhorst (1573–1597) (b. 1540)
- November 16 – Pierre Charron, French 16th-century Catholic theologian and philosopher (b. 1541)
- November 18 – Elisabeth of Nassau-Dillenburg, Dutch countess, sister of William the Silent (b. 1542)
- November 20 – Krzysztof Mikołaj "the Thunderbolt" Radziwiłł, Polish nobleman (b. 1547)
- November 30 – William Gilbert, English scientist (plague) (b. 1544)
- December 4 – Maerten de Vos, Flemish painter and draughtsman (b. 1532)
- December 5 – George Brooke, English aristocrat (b. 1568)
- December 8 – Girolamo Mattei, Italian Catholic cardinal (b. 1547)
- December 9 – William Watson, English conspirator (b. 1559)
- December 22 – Mehmed III, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1566)
- December 27 – Thomas Cartwright, English Puritan churchman (b. 1535)
- December 28 – John Joscelyn, English clergyman and antiquarian as well as secretary to Matthew Parker (b. 1529)
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "Historical Events for Year 1603 | OnThisDay.com". Historyorb.com. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- Des Sauvages: ou voyage de Samuel Champlain, de Brouages, faite en la France nouvelle l'an 1603.
- Jose Eugenio Borae. "The massacre of 1603: Chinese perception of the Spaniards in the Philippines" (PDF). Homepage.ntu.edu.tw. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- Asimov, Isaac. Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (2nd ed.).
- "Elizabeth I | Biography, Facts, Mother, & Death". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved March 22, 2019.