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1520s decade ran from January 1, 1520, to December 31, 1529.
January 19 – King Christian II of Denmark and Norway defeats the Swedes, at Lake Åsunden in Sweden. The Swedish regent Sten Sture the Younger is mortally wounded in the battle. He is rushed towards Stockholm, in order to lead the fight against the Danes from there, but dies from his wounds on February 3.
April 16 – Revolt of the Comuneros: Citizens of Toledo, Castile opposed to the rule of the Flemish-born Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, rise up when the royal government attempts to unseat radical city councilors.
June – Moctezuma II, Aztec ruler of Tenochtitlan, is declared deposed due to his captivity by conquistador Hernán Cortés. His brother Cuitláhuac rises to the throne.
June 7 – King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France meet at the famous Field of Cloth of Gold.
June 10 – Revolt of the Comuneros: Segovia is blockaded.
June 15 – Pope Leo X issues the bull (Arise O Lord), threatening Exsurge Domine Martin Luther with excommunication, if he does not recant his position on indulgences and other Catholic doctrines.
July 1 – La Noche Triste (Night of Sorrow): The forces of Cuitláhuac, Aztec ruler of Tenochtitlan, gain a major victory against the forces of conquistador Hernán Cortés. This results in the death of about 400 conquistadors, and some 2,000 of their Native American allies. However, Cortés and the most skilled of his men manage to escape and later regroup.
July 20 – Otumba near Lake Texcaco: The Spaniards defeat the Aztecs.
August – Martin Luther writes . To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation
September 7 – Christian II makes his triumphant entry into Stockholm, which had surrendered to him a few days earlier. Sten Sture's widow Christina Gyllenstierna, who has led the fight after Sten's death, and all other persons in the resistance against the Danes, are granted amnesty and are pardoned for their involvement in the resistance.
September 22 – Suleiman I succeeds his father Selim I as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
October – Cuitláhuac, Aztec ruler of Tenochtitlan, dies from smallpox. He is succeeded by his nephew Cuauhtémoc.
October 21 (Feast of St. Urusula) – The islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon are discovered by Portuguese explorer João Álvares Fagundes, off Newfoundland. He names them Islands of the 11,000 Virgins, in honour of Saint Ursula.
October 26 - Charles V is crowned as Holy Roman Emperor.
November 1 – Christian II is elected king of Sweden.
November 4 – Christian II is crowned king of Sweden. The coronation is followed by a three-day feast in Stockholm.
November 7 – At the end of the third day of Christian's coronation feast, several leading figures of the Swedish resistance against the Danish invasion are imprisoned, and tried for high treason.
November 8– November 10 – Stockholm Bloodbath: 82 noblemen and clergymen, having been sentenced to death for their involvement in the Swedish resistance against the Danish invasion, are executed by beheading.
November 28 – After navigating through the South American strait, three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reach the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first Europeans to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific (the strait is later named the Strait of Magellan).
December 10 – Martin Luther burns a copy of The Book of Canon Law (see Canon Law), and his copy of the Papal bull . Exsurge Domine
No specific date
January 3 – Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther, in the papal bull . Decet Romanum Pontificem
January 22 – Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, opens the Diet of Worms in Worms, Germany.
January 27 – Suleiman the Magnificent suppresses a revolt by the ruler of Damascus.
January 28 – The Diet of Worms begins, lasting until May 25.
February 2 – The Nydala Abbey Bloodbath take place in Nydala Abbey, Sweden.
March 16 – Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Philippines. Starting this year, the Philippines is now one day behind its Asian neighbors.
April 16– 18 – Martin Luther is examined before Emperor Charles V and the Diet of Worms, where he proclaims, "Here I stand", regarding his belief in the Bible alone, as the standard of Christian doctrine.
April 24 – Revolt of the Comuneros – Battle of Villalar: Castilian royalists defeat the rebels and execute their three leaders.
April 26 – Martin Luther leaves Worms and disappears for a year – he is rumored to be murdered, but is actually in hiding at the Wartburg castle.
April 27 – Battle of Mactan: Ferdinand Magellan is killed in the Philippines.
May – The Italian War of 1521–26 breaks out between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and Francis I of France.
May 17 – Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, is executed for treason in London.
May 20 – Battle of Pampeluna: The French defeat the Spanish.
May 25 – The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.
May 27 – Jiajing Emperor ascends the throne of the Ming Dynasty.
June 29 or 30 – The oldest surviving dateable document written primarily in the Romanian language: Neacșu's letter, written by a trader from Câmpulung, to Johannes Benkner, the mayor of Brașov, warning that the Ottoman Empire is preparing its troops to cross into Wallachia and Transylvania; the script used is Romanian Cyrillic.
June 30 – Battle of Esquiroz: French forces under Henri d'Albret, exiled King of Navarre, are defeated by the Spanish, and forced to abandon their attempt to recover Henri's kingdom.
July – The English army attacks Brittany and Picardy from Calais, burning and looting the countryside. 
July 28 – Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I begins his siege of the Knights of St. John in Rhodes. August – The
Knights' Revolt erupts in Germany.
September 6 – The Vittoria, one of the surviving ships of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition, returns to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, under the command of Juan Sebastián Elcano, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the world.
September 21 – : Luther Bible Martin Luther's translation of the Bible's New Testament into Early New High German from Greek, Das newe Testament Deutzsch, is published in Germany, selling thousands in the first few weeks. November – The
Diet of Nuremberg opens.
December 18 – The Turks finally break into Rhodes, but the Knights continue fierce resistance in the streets.
December 20 – Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually re-settle on Malta, and become known as the Knights of Malta.
January 17 – Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, on board in the service of La Dauphine Francis I of France, sets out from Madeira for the New World, to seek out a western sea route to the Pacific Ocean.
March – Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado destroys the K'iche' kingdom of Q'umarkaj, taking the capital, Quiché.
March 1 (approximate date) – da Verrazzano's expedition makes landfall at Cape Fear.
April 17 – Verrazzano's expedition makes the first European entry into New York Bay, and sights the island of Manhattan.  
April 30 – Battle of the Sesia: Spanish forces under Charles de Lannoy defeat the French army in Italy, under William de Bonnivet. The French, now commanded by François de St. Pol, withdraw from the Italian Peninsula.
June 8 – Battle of Acajutla: Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado defeats a battalion of Pipiles, in the neighborhoods of present day Acajutla, El Salvador.
January 21 – The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptize each other in the home of Manz's mother on Neustadt-Gasse, Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union.
February 24 – Battle of Pavia: Spanish forces under Charles de Lannoy and the Marquis of Pescara defeat the French army, and capture Francis I of France, after his horse is wounded by Cesare Hercolani. While Francis is imprisoned in Madrid, the first attempts to form a Franco-Ottoman alliance with Suleiman the Magnificent against the Habsburg Empire are made.
February 28 – The last Aztec Emperor, Cuauhtémoc, is killed by Hernán Cortés.
March 20 – In the German town of Memmingen, the pamphlet The is published , the first human rights related document written in Europe. Twelve Articles: The Just and Fundamental Articles of All the Peasantry and Tenants of Spiritual and Temporal Powers by Whom They Think Themselves Oppressed
April 10 – Albert, Duke of Prussia commits Prussian Homage.
May 15 – Battle of Frankenhausen: Insurgent peasants led by radical pastor Thomas Müntzer are defeated, ending the German Peasants' War in the Holy Roman Empire in which over 75,000 peasants have been killed.
June 13 – Martin Luther marries ex-nun Katharina von Bora. The painter Lucas Cranach the Elder is one of the witnesses.
June 16 – Henry VIII of England appoints his 6-year old illegitimate son Henry FitzRoy Duke of Richmond and Somerset.
Mixco Viejo, capital of the Pocomam Maya State, falls to the Spanish conquistadores of Pedro de Alvarado (in modern-day Guatemala) after a 3-month siege. European-brought diseases sweep through the
Andes, killing thousands, including the Inca. The
Bubonic plague spreads in southern France.
William Tyndale's New Testament Bible translation into English is made (printed copies reach England in 1526). The
Navarre witch trials (1525-26) begin. The Chinese Ministry of War under the
Ming dynasty orders ships having more than one mast sailing along the southeast coast to be seized, investigated, and destroyed; this in an effort to curb piracy and limit private commercial trade abroad. The Age of Samael ends, and the Age of Gabriel begins, according to
Johannes Trithemius. Esmahan Sultan, daughter of Sah Sultan, and wife of Sehzade Mehmed.
January 14 – Treaty of Madrid: Peace is declared between Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Francis agrees to cede Burgundy to Charles, and abandons all claims to Flanders, Artois, Naples, and Milan.
April 21 – Battle of Panipat: Babur becomes Mughal emperor, invades northern India and captures Delhi, beginning the Mughal Empire, which lasts until 1857.
May 22 – Francis repudiates the Treaty of Madrid and forms the League of Cognac against Charles, including Pope Clement VII, Milan, Venice, and Florence.
May 24 – A transit of Venus occurs, the last before optical filters allow astronomers to observe them.
June 9 – Emperor Go-Nara ascends to the throne of Japan.
July – The Spanish ship Santiago, from García Jofre de Loaísa's expedition, reaches the Pacific Coast of Mexico, the first to navigate from Europe to the west coast of North America.
July 24 – Milan is captured by the Spanish.
August 21 – Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar becomes the first European to sight the Marshall Islands, in the Pacific Ocean. 
August 29 – Battle of Mohács: The Turkish army of Sultan Suleiman I defeats the Hungarian army of King Louis II, who is killed in the retreat. Suleiman takes Buda, while Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and John Zápolya, Prince of Transylvania, dispute the succession. As a result of the battle, Dubrovnik achieves independence, although it acknowledges Turkish overlordship.
December – Paracelsus arrives at Strasbourg.
Spring – The first complete printed translation of the
New Testament of the Bible into the English language by William Tyndale arrives in England from Germany, having been printed in Worms. In October, Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of London, attempts to collect all the copies in his diocese and burn them. The first official translation is made of the
New Testament into Swedish; the entire Bible is completed in 1541. Gunsmith Bartolomeo Beretta establishes the
Beretta Gun Company, which will still be in business in the 21st century, making it one of the world's oldest corporations.
January 1 - Croatian nobles elect Ferdinand I of Austria as King of Croatia in the Parliament on Cetin.
January 5 – Felix Manz, co-founder of the Swiss Anabaptists, is drowned in the Limmat in Zürich, by the Zürich Reformed state church.
March 17 – Battle of Khanwa: This and two other major Moghul victories lead to their domination of northern India.
March – Paracelsus is appointed as town physician of Basel, Switzerland.
April 30 – The Treaty of Westminster (1527), an alliance during the War of the League of Cognac, is signed.
May 6 – Sack of Rome: Spanish and German troops led by the Duke of Bourbon sack Rome, forcing Pope Clement VII to make peace with Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, marking the end of the High Renaissance. The Pope grows a beard in mourning.
May 16 – In Florence, the Piagnon, a group devoted to the memory of Girolamo Savonarola, drive out the Medici for a second time, re-establishing the Republic of Florence until 1530.
June 17 – The Narváez expedition to conquer Florida sets sail from Spain.
June 17 – The Protestant Reformation begins in Sweden. The Riksdag of the Estates in Västerås adopts Lutheranism as the state religion, in place of Roman Catholicism. This results in the confiscation of church property and dissolution of Catholic convents in accordance with the Reduction of Gustav I of Sweden.
June 21 – Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher and humanist dies in Florence, Italy.
June 22 – Jakarta, current capital of Indonesia, is founded as Jayakarta.
June 23 – Paracelsus burns the books of Avicenna.
Perak Sultanate established at Perak Darul Ridzuan (modern-day Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia).
Johor Sultanate established at Johor Darul Takzim (modern-day Johor Darul Takzim, Malaysia).
February 2– The Örebro Synod provides the theological foundation of the Swedish reformation, following the economic foundation of it after the Reduction of Gustav I of Sweden.
March 7– March 9 – Battle of Shimbra Kure: Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi, with 200 men armed with matchlocks, defeats the army of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia.
April 8 – The Flensburg Disputation is held, a debate attended by Stadtholder Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (later King Christian III of Denmark), between Lutherans (led by Hermann Fast) and the more radical Anabaptists (led by Melchior Hoffman). Johannes Bugenhagen, a close associate of Martin Luther, presides. The Disputation marks the rejection of radical ideas by the Danish Reformation. 
April 9 – The Westrogothian rebellion breaks out in Sweden.
April 19 – Diet of Speyer: A group of rulers ( German: Fürst) and independent cities ( German: Reichsstadt) protest the reinstatement of the Edict of Worms, beginning the Protestant movement.
April 22 – The Treaty of Zaragoza divides the eastern hemisphere between the Spanish and Portuguese empires, stipulating that the dividing line should lie 297.5 leagues or 17° east of the Moluccas. May–July – Cardinal
Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, presides over a legatine court at Blackfriars, London, to rule on the legality of King Henry VIII of England's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. 
May 10 – The Turkish army under Suleiman I leaves Constantinople, to invade Hungary once again.
June 21 – War of the League of Cognac – Battle of Landriano: French forces in northern Italy are decisively defeated by Spain.
July 30 – The only continental outbreak of English sweating sickness reaches Lübeck, spreading from there into Schleswig-Holstein in the next few months. 
August 5 – Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and Francis I of France sign the Treaty of Cambrai, or Ladies' Peace in the War of the League of Cognac: Francis abandons his claims in Italy, but is allowed to retain the Duchy of Burgundy. Henry VIII of England accedes on August 27. 
September 1 – Sancti Spiritu, the first European settlement in Argentina, is destroyed by local natives.
September 23 – Siege of Vienna: Vienna is besieged by the Ottoman forces of Suleiman the Magnificent.
October 15 – With the season growing late, Suleiman abandons the Siege of Vienna (a turning point in the Ottoman wars in Europe).
October 26 – Cardinal Wolsey falls from power in England, due to his failure to prevent Habsburg expansion in Europe, and obtain an annulment of Henry VIII's marriage. Thomas More succeeds him as Lord Chancellor. 
November 4– December 17 – The English Reformation Parliament is first seated. 
^ Collier's Encyclopedia
^ a b Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 142–145. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
^ a b c d Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 204–210. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
^ Hackett, Francis (1937). Francis the First. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. p. 253.
^ Keay, John (2008). . London: HarperPress. China: A History ISBN 9780007221776. 0007221770. The 'breech-loading culverins presented at the Ming court in 1522' were a gift from the Portuguese; and Portuguese arquebuses were acquired in the 1540s by the Japanese, who copied and greatly improved them.
^ Paine, Lincoln P. (2000). . New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 37. Ships of Discovery and Exploration ISBN 0-395-98415-7.
^ Grun, Bernard (1991). The Timetables of History (3rd ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 235. ISBN 0-671-74919-6.
^ Sharp, Andrew (1960). Early Spanish Discoveries in the Pacific. pp. 11–13.
^ Steffensen, Kenneth (2007). Scandinavia After the Fall of the Kalmar Union: a Study of Scandinavian Relations, 1523-1536. Unpubl. M.A. Thesis, Brigham Young University.
^ Fisher, George P (1873). The Reformation. Scribner.
^ Los viajes de Diego García de Moguer.
^ "Renaissance: The Reconstructed Libraries of European Scholars: 1450-1700". Archived from the original on 2008-07-20 . Retrieved . 2007-11-08
^ Reported by local gazetteers.
^ Collins, WE (1903) The Scandinavian North, in AW Ward, GW Prothero & Stanley Leathes (eds.) . Cambridge Univ. Press, pp. 599-638. The Cambridge Modern History
^ Christiansen, John (2009). "The English Sweat in Lübeck and North Germany, 1529". Medical History. 53: 415–424. doi: 10.1017/S0025727300004002. PMC . 2706052