: 15th century
- 16th century
- 17th century
Decades: 1530s 1540s 1550s 1560s 1570s - 1580s - 1590s 1600s 1610s 1620s 1630s
Years: 1581 1582 1583 1584 1585 - 1586 - 1587 1588 1589 1590 1591
- Sir Philip Sidney, English poet, courtier and soldier, known as a writer of sonnets, killed in the battle of Zutphen
- June 28 - Primoz Trubar, the author of the first printed book in Slovenian
- Lucas Cranach the Younger, a painter
- Sir Anthony Babington, executed for leading the Babington plot.
- Stephen Báthory King of Poland.
- Joan Naylor, mother of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork.
- Composer Andrea Gabrieli
- Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma
- Joachim Ernest who united the whole of Anhalt under his rule
- Peter Symonds whose will creates a fund to create Peter Symonds College
- Theoleptus II, Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople\n