Famous 16th Century Military Leaders

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 1 Philip II of Spain

Philip II of Spain.
Famous As: King of Spain
Birthdate: May 21, 1527
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pimentel Palace, Valladolid, Spain
Died: September 13, 1598
Philip II, son of Charles V, was a 16-th century king of Spain and Portugal. Also known as Philip the Prudent, he became the king of Ireland and England through his marriage to Mary I. Following Mary’s death, he attempted to overthrow Elizabeth I with his armada invasions, but failed.

 2 Yi Sun-sin

Yi Sun-sin.
Famous As: Naval Commander
Birthdate: April 28, 1545
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hansung
Died: December 16, 1598

Yi Sun-sin was a Korean military general and admiral best remembered for his famous victories during the Imjin war, where his troops were victorious against the Japanese navy. Since the Imjin war, Yi Sun-sin has been revered in Korea as a national hero. Most of his victories were achieved despite being outnumbered by the enemies.

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 3 Suleiman The Magnificent

Suleiman The Magnificent.
Famous As: 10th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Birthdate: November 6, 1494
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Trabzon, Ottoman Empire
Died: September 6, 1566
Suleiman The Magnificent ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566 and was instrumental in the empire’s expansion, leading the conquests of Belgrade, Rhodes, and Hungary. He was a patron of art and culture, and a talented poet and goldsmith himself. He married Roxelana, a Christian-turned-Muslim from his harem.

 4 Francis Drake

Francis Drake.
Famous As: Navigator
Birthdate: 1540 AD
Birthplace: Tavistock, Devon, England
Died: January 27, 1596

Francis Drake was an English explorer and naval officer. He is remembered for his Raiding Expedition, a prominent historical maritime event which unfolded between 1577 and 1580. Although Drake is considered a hero in the United Kingdom, his privateering led the Spanish to refer to him as a pirate. His expedition has also had a major cultural impact in Britain.

 5 James IV of Scotland

James IV of Scotland.
Famous As: King
Birthdate: March 17, 1473
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Stirling Castle, Stirling,Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: September 9, 1513

James IV of Scotland reigned as the king of Scotland from 1488 until his death in 1513. Although his reign ended at the Battle of Flodden, where he was defeated, James is widely considered the most successful monarch of Scotland from the House of Stewart

 6 Lapu-Lapu

Famous As: Chieftain of Mactan, Philippines
Birthdate: 1491 AD
Birthplace: Mactan, Philippines
Died: 1542 AD
Lapu-Lapu, also known as Çilapulapu or Cilapulapu, was a datu of Mactan. He is remembered for his revolt against the Spanish colonizers of the Philippines and is regarded as the first Filipino hero. He defeated Ferdinand Magellan and his allies at the Battle of Mactan in 1521.

 7 Akechi Mitsuhide

Akechi Mitsuhide
Famous As: Samurai
Birthdate: March 10, 1528
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gife Prefecture
Died: July 2, 1582
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 8 Grace O'Malley

Grace O'Malley
Famous As: Pirate
Birthdate: 1530 AD
Birthplace: Umhaill, Ireland
Died: June 18, 1603

 9 Date Masamune

Date Masamune
Famous As: Samurai
Birthdate: September 5, 1567
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Yonezawa
Died: June 27, 1636

 10 Bairam Khan

Bairam Khan
Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: January 18, 1501
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Badakhshan
Died: January 31, 1561

 11 Birbal

Famous As: Advisor
Birthdate: 1528 AD
Birthplace: Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: 1586 AD

 12 John Hawkins

John Hawkins
Famous As: Privateer
Birthdate: November 30, 1532
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Plymouth, Devon, England
Died: November 12, 1595

 13 Hasekura Tsunenaga

Hasekura Tsunenaga
Famous As: diplomat
Birthdate: 1571 AD
Birthplace: Japan
Died: August 7, 1622

 14 William the Silent

William the Silent.
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: April 24, 1533
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dillenburg, Germany
Died: July 10, 1584

William the Silent played an important role in the Dutch Revolt where he led a group of fighters against the Spanish Habsburgs. The revolt resulted in the Eighty Years' War, which in turn paved the way for the independence of the United Provinces. Thanks to his efforts during the Dutch Revolt, William is referred to as Father of the Fatherland.    

 15 Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé

Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé
Famous As: General
Birthdate: May 7, 1530
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vendôme, France
Died: March 13, 1569

 16 Louis, Prince of Conde

Louis, Prince of Conde
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: May 7, 1530
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vendôme, France
Died: March 13, 1569

 17 Pier Gerlofs Donia

Pier Gerlofs Donia.
Famous As: Pirate
Birthdate: 1480 AD
Birthplace: Kimswerd, Frisia, Netherlands
Died: October 28, 1520

Pier Gerlofs Donia was a Frisian rebel leader and pirate, whose life is shrouded in mystery. He was said to be a big, strong man with a dark complexion. He led an armed band, known as the Arumer Zwarte Hoop, against the Hollanders and Burgundians at sea and targeted ships that traveled the Zuiderzee. He died in 1520. 

 18 John Dudley, duke of Northumberland

John Dudley, duke of Northumberland
Famous As: General
Birthdate: 1504 AD
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: August 22, 1553

 19 Piri Reis

Piri Reis.
Famous As: Ottoman Admiral, Geographer, Cartographer.
Birthdate: 1465 AD
Birthplace: Gelibolu, Turkey
Died: 1553 AD

Piri Reis was an Ottoman navigator, admiral, cartographer, and geographer. He is best remembered for his Book of Navigation, which contains maps and charts and information on navigational techniques. He gained international recognition in 1929 when a portion of his first world map was discovered at the Topkapı Palace in Turkey. Piri Reis finds mention in several popular video games.  

 20 Bohdan Khmelnytsky

Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Famous As: Cossack
Birthdate: 1595 AD
Birthplace: Subotiv, Ukraine
Died: August 6, 1657

 21 John of Austria

John of Austria
Famous As: Military Officer
Birthdate: February 24, 1547
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Regensburg, Germany
Died: October 1, 1578

 22 Henry I, Duke of Guise

Henry I, Duke of Guise
Famous As: Noblemen
Birthdate: December 31, 1550
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: France
Died: December 23, 1588

 23 Pedro Menéndez de Avilés

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: February 15, 1519
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Avilés, Asturias, Spain
Died: September 17, 1574

Remembered as the founder of St. Augustine in Florida, USA, Spanish admiral and explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés has also been credited with planning the first regular trans-Atlantic convoys. Ruthlessly loyal to the Spanish king, he massacred the entire population of a nearby French post and established a string of forts along the Atlantic coast to protect Spanish interests.

 24 Askia Mohammad I

Askia Mohammad I
Famous As: Political figure
Birthdate: 1443 AD
Birthplace: Futa Tooro, Senegal
Died: 1538 AD

 25 Aḥmad Grāñ

Aḥmad Grāñ
Famous As: Somalian Muslim leader
Birthdate: 1506 AD
Birthplace: Saylac, Somalia
Died: February 21, 1543

 26 Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba

Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba
Famous As: Statesman
Birthdate: October 29, 1507
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Piedrahíta, Spain
Died: December 11, 1582

An adviser of King Charles I and, Philip II of Spain, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba was a Spanish general and diplomat. A master of logistics, he had an unshakable self-confidence, which helped him to sail through most adverse situations. Notable for his conquest of Portugal, he is also remembered for his tyranny as the governor-general of Netherlands.

 27 Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma

Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma
Famous As: Military Commander
Birthdate: August 27, 1545
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: December 3, 1592

 28 Francis, Duke of Guise

Francis, Duke of Guise
Famous As: General
Birthdate: February 17, 1519
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bar, France
Died: February 24, 1563

 29 Gaspard II de Coligny

Gaspard II de Coligny
Famous As: Admiral
Birthdate: February 16, 1519
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Châtillon-Coligny, France
Died: August 24, 1572

 30 Wang Yangming

Wang Yangming
Famous As: Calligrapher
Birthdate: October 26, 1472
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Yuyao, Zhejiang Province
Died: January 9, 1529

 31 Joseph-François Dupleix

Joseph-François Dupleix
Famous As: French colonial official
Birthdate: January 1, 1697
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Landrecies, France
Died: November 10, 1763

 32 Claude, Duke of Guise

Claude, Duke of Guise
Famous As: Nobleman
Birthdate: October 20, 1496
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Castle of Condé, France
Died: April 12, 1550

 33 Lautaro

Famous As: Indigenous Leader
Birthdate: 1534 AD
Birthplace: Treguaco, Chile
Died: April 29, 1557

 34 Charles III, Duke of Bourbon

Charles III, Duke of Bourbon
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: February 17, 1490
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Montpensier, France
Died: May 6, 1527

 35 Ashikaga Yoshiaki

Ashikaga Yoshiaki
Famous As: Shōgun
Birthdate: December 5, 1537
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Japan
Died: October 9, 1597

Ashikaga Yoshiaki is remembered as the last shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate. He deposed his cousin, Ashikaga Yoshihide, the fourteenth shogun, to take over the as the next shogun. However, Yoshiaki was deposed by Oda Nobunaga and banished from Kyoto. He later became a Buddhist monk. 

 36 Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham

Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham
Famous As: politician, military personnel
Birthdate: 1536 AD
Died: December 14, 1624

 37 Richard Grenville

Richard Grenville
Famous As: Naval commander
Birthdate: June 15, 1542
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bideford, Devon, England
Died: September 10, 1591

 38 Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy

Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy
Famous As: Duke Of Savoy
Birthdate: July 8, 1528
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chambéry, France
Died: August 30, 1580

 39 Anne, duke de Montmorency

Anne, duke de Montmorency
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: March 15, 1493
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chantilly, France
Died: November 12, 1567

 40 Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada

Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada
Famous As: Conqueror
Birthdate: 1509 AD
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: February 16, 1579

Legend has it that Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada had inspired the character Don Quixote penned by Cervantes. Initially a lawyer, Quesada later gained fame as a Spanish conquistador and explored parts Colombia, then known as New Granada. He also made unsuccessful voyages in search of El Dorado.

 41 James Hamilton, 1st earl of Arran

James Hamilton, 1st earl of Arran
Famous As: Nobleman
Birthdate: 1475 AD
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: 1529 AD

 42 Konishi Yukinaga

Konishi Yukinaga
Famous As: General
Birthdate: 1555 AD
Birthplace: Sakai, Japan
Died: November 6, 1600

 43 Walter Devereux, 1st earl of Essex

Walter Devereux, 1st earl of Essex
Famous As: Military leader
Birthdate: September 16, 1541
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Carmarthen, Wales
Died: September 22, 1576

 44 Lamoral, Count of Egmont

Lamoral, Count of Egmont
Famous As: General
Birthdate: November 18, 1522
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ellezelles, Belgium
Died: June 5, 1568

 45 Sorley Boy MacDonnell

Sorley Boy MacDonnell
Famous As: Scots-Irish chieftain
Birthdate: 1505 AD
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: 1590 AD

 46 Andrea Gritti

Andrea Gritti
Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: April 17, 1455
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bardolino, Italy
Died: December 28, 1538

 47 René of Chalon

René of Chalon
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: February 5, 1519
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Breda, Netherlands
Died: July 15, 1544

 48 Albert II Alcibiades

Albert II Alcibiades
Famous As: margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach
Birthdate: March 28, 1522
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ansbach, Germany
Died: January 8, 1557

 49 Georg von Frundsberg

Georg von Frundsberg
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: September 24, 1473
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mindelsheim Castle, Germany
Died: August 20, 1528

 50 Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquess of Santa Cruz

Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquess of Santa Cruz
Famous As: Admiral
Birthdate: December 12, 1526
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Granada, Spain
Died: February 9, 1588

In his 50-year career, Spanish admiral Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquess of Santa Cruz had remained undefeated. Born to a naval commander, he was quick to follow into his father’s footsteps. He was also behind the planning of the Spanish Armada, that attempted an invasion of England after his death.