Famous People Of The 16th Century

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The 16th century is regarded by several historians as the century in which the rise of the West occurred. European nations were widely exploring the hitherto unexplored corners of the Earth and opened newer trade routes. Sir Francis Drake, Francisco de Orellana, Fernão Mendes Pinto, and Luis Váez de Torres were among the prominent navigators and explorers who were born in the century. The era also saw the birth of several famous rulers and emperors including Akbar the Great-third Mughal emperor, Charles V-Holy Roman Emperor, Edward VI of England, and Henry IV of France and Navarre. Fine arts also thrived during this period which saw the emergence of artists like Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Giorgio Vasari, and Juan de Herrera. Musicians and composers including Felice Anerio, Adriano Banchieri, Sebastian Aguilera de Heredia, and Claudio Merulo lived during this period. Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler made important mathematical discoveries while the likes of Michael Servetus and Francisco Suarez enriched the field of philosophy. The people of the 16th century played very significant role in shaping the world as it is today. Read on to learn more about the life and works of famous people of the 16th century.
Vote for Your Favourite People Of The 16th Century
 1 
William Shakespeare
(English Playwright & Poet Who is Regarded as the Greatest Writer in the English Language)
William Shakespeare
174
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 26, 1564
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Died: April 23, 1616
 2 
Leonardo da Vinci
(Italian Polymath & Artist Known for His Paintings: ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘Virgin of the Rocks’)
Leonardo da Vinci
76
Birthdate: April 15, 1452
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Anchiano, Italy
Died: May 2, 1519
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 3 
Galileo Galilei
(Known as “Father” of Observational Astronomy who Invented the ‘Thermoscope’ and Various Military Compasses)
Galileo Galilei
72
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: February 15, 1564
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pisa, Italy
Died: January 8, 1642
 4 
Martin Luther
(German Theologian, Religious Reformer and Key Figure in Protestant Reformation)
Martin Luther
40
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 10, 1483
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Eisleben, Germany
Died: February 18, 1546
 5 
Michelangelo
(Regarded as the Most Accomplished Artist of His Era (High Renaissance))
Michelangelo
18
Listed In: Architects
Birthdate: March 6, 1475
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Caprese Michelangelo, Italy
Died: February 18, 1564
 6 
Elizabeth I of England
(Queen of England)
Elizabeth I of England
34
Birthdate: September 7, 1533
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Palace of Placentia
Died: March 24, 1603
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 7 
King James I
(King of Scotland)
King James I
39
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 19, 1566
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Died: March 27, 1625
 8 
Henry VIII of England
(King of England (1509 - 1547))
Henry VIII of England
49
Birthdate: June 28, 1491
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kent, England
Died: January 28, 1547
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 9 
Mary, Queen of Scots
(Queen of Scotland (1542 - 1567))
Mary, Queen of Scots
70
Birthdate: December 8, 1542
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow, Scotland
Died: February 8, 1587
 10 
Niccolò Machiavelli
(Diplomat & Philosopher Best Known for His Political Treatise 'The Prince')
Niccolò Machiavelli
22
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: May 3, 1469
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: June 22, 1527
 11 
Henry VII of England
(Monarch of England (1485-1509))
Henry VII of England
35
Birthdate: January 28, 1457
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Died: April 21, 1509
 12 
Guy Fawkes
(Soldier)
Guy Fawkes
32
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 13, 1570
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: York
Died: January 31, 1606
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 13 
Nicolaus Copernicus
(Polish Astronomer Who Proposed That the Earth Revolves Around the Sun)
Nicolaus Copernicus
12
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: February 19, 1473
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toruń, Poland
Died: May 24, 1543
 14 
Suleiman The Magnificent
(10th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)
Suleiman The Magnificent
64
Birthdate: November 6, 1494
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Trabzon, Turkey
Died: September 6, 1566
 15 
Philip II of Spain
(King of Spain (1556 - 1598), King of Portugal (1580 - 1598))
Philip II of Spain
25
Birthdate: May 21, 1527
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: September 13, 1598
 16 
Elizabeth Báthory
(Hungarian Noblewoman and Serial Killer)
Elizabeth Báthory
38
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 7, 1560
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nyírbátor, Hungary
Died: August 21, 1614
 17 
Anne Boleyn
(Queen Consort of England from 1533 to 1536)
Anne Boleyn
28
Birthdate: 1507 AD
Birthplace: Hever Castle, Kent, England
Died: May 19, 1536
 18 
Catherine de' Medici
(Queen Consort of France (1547 - 1559))
Catherine de' Medici
13
Birthdate: April 13, 1519
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 5, 1589
 19 
Edward VI of England
(King of England and Ireland from 1547 to 1553)
Edward VI of England
16
Birthdate: October 12, 1537
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 6, 1553
 20 
Nostradamus
(French Astrologer and Physician Best Known for His Book 'Les Prophéties')
Nostradamus
16
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 21, 1503
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Died: July 2, 1566
 21 
Catherine of Aragon
(Queen Consort of England (1509 - 1533))
Catherine of Aragon
24
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 16, 1485
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Alcala de Henares, Spain
Died: January 7, 1536
 22 
Francis Bacon
(Philosopher, Statesman and Lord High Chancellor of England)
Francis Bacon
20
Birthdate: January 22, 1561
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Strand, London, England
Died: April 9, 1626
 23 
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
(Former Holy Roman Emperor)
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
8
Birthdate: February 24, 1500
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ghent
Died: September 21, 1558
 24 
Hernán Cortés
( Spanish Conquistador Who Led an Expedition that Caused the Fall of the Aztec Empire)
Hernán Cortés
15
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1485 AD
Birthplace: Medellín, Spain
Died: December 2, 1547
 25 
Amerigo Vespucci
(Discoverer of South America)
Amerigo Vespucci
15
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: March 9, 1454
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Florence
Died: February 22, 1512
 26 
Francis II of France
(Former King of France (1559 - 1560))
Francis II of France
21
Birthdate: January 19, 1544
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fontainebleau, France
Died: December 5, 1560
 27 
Oda Nobunaga
(16th Century Japanese Feudal Lord)
Oda Nobunaga
18
Birthdate: June 23, 1534
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nagoya Castle, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Died: June 21, 1582
 28 
John Calvin
(French Theologian, Pastor and Reformer in Geneva During the Protestant Reformation)
John Calvin
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 10, 1509
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Noyon, France
Died: May 27, 1564
 29 
Elizabeth of York
(Forme Queen Consort of England (1486 - 1503))
Elizabeth of York
9
Birthdate: February 11, 1466
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 11, 1503
 30 
Johannes Kepler
(Astronomer Best Known for his Laws of Plantery Motion)
Johannes Kepler
15
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: December 27, 1571
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Weil der Stadt, Germany
Died: November 15, 1630
 31 
Anne of Cleves
(Former Queen Consort of England (January 1540 - July 1540))
Anne of Cleves
14
Birthdate: September 22, 1515
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Düsseldorf, Germany
Died: July 16, 1557
 32 
Francis Drake
(Best Known for His Circumnavigation of the World in a Single Expedition)
Francis Drake
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1540 AD
Birthplace: Tavistock, Devon, England
Died: January 28, 1596
 33 
Caravaggio
(One of the Most Prominent Italian Painters of His Generation)
Caravaggio
12
Birthdate: September 29, 1571
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: July 18, 1610
 34 
Henry IV of France
(King of France from 1589 to 1610)
Henry IV of France
19
Birthdate: December 13, 1553
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pau, France
Died: May 14, 1610
 35 
Miyamoto Musashi
(Japanese Swordsman and Philosopher Who Became Popular Through His Unique Double-Bladed Swordsmanship)
Miyamoto Musashi
6
Birthdate: 1584 AD
Birthplace: Harima Province, Japan
Died: June 13, 1645
 36 
Juan Ponce de León
10
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1474 AD
Birthplace: Santervás de Campos
Died: June 30, 1521
 37 
Thomas Hobbes
(English Philosopher and One of the Founders of Modern Political Philosophy)
Thomas Hobbes
13
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 5, 1588
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Westport, Wiltshire, England
Died: December 4, 1679
 38 
Catherine Parr
(Queen of England & Ireland)
Catherine Parr
7
Birthdate: 1512
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London
Died: September 7, 1548
 39 
Albrecht Durer
(German High Renaissance Painter Best Known for His Work ‘Meisterstiche’)
Albrecht Durer
7
Birthdate: May 21, 1471
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nuremberg, Germany
Died: April 6, 1528
 40 
Sandro Botticelli
(One of the Greatest Painters of the Florentine Renaissance)
Sandro Botticelli
3
Birthdate: 1445 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: May 17, 1510
 41 
Miguel de Cervantes
7
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 29, 1547
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Died: April 22, 1616
 42 
Catherine Howard
(Queen Consort of England from1540 to 1541)
Catherine Howard
4
Birthdate: 1521 AD
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: February 13, 1542
 43 
Walter Raleigh
(English Statesman, Soldier, Writer, Explorer and One of the Most Notable Figures of the Elizabethan Era)
Walter Raleigh
7
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 1552 AD
Birthplace: Hayes Barton,United Kingdom, United Kingdom
Died: October 29, 1618
 44 
Mary I of England
(Former Queen of England & Ireland (1553 - 1558))
Mary I of England
25
Birthdate: February 18, 1516
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Palace of Placentia, England
Died: November 17, 1558
 45 
Akbar
(3rd Emperor of the Mughal Empire (1556 - 1605))
Akbar
69
Birthdate: October 25, 1542
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Umarkot, Pakistan
Died: October 27, 1605
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 46 
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
(Priest, Confessor and Founder of the Society of Jesus)
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
9
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 23, 1491
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Azpeitia, Spain
Died: July 31, 1556
 47 
Moctezuma II
(Emperor of Aztec Empire (1502-1520))
Moctezuma II
12
Birthdate: 1466 AD
Birthplace: Tenochtitlan, Mexico
Died: June 29, 1520
 48 
Tycho Brahe
(16th Century Danish Astronomer Who is Known for His Accurate and Comprehensive Astronomical Observations)
Tycho Brahe
12
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: December 14, 1546
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Knutstorp Manor, Sweden
Died: October 24, 1601
 49 
Titian
(One of the Greatest Venetian Artists of the 16th-Century)
Titian
6
Birthdate: 1488 AD
Birthplace: Pieve di Cadore, Italy
Died: August 27, 1576
 50 
Cesare Borgia
(Duke of Valentinois (1498 - 1507))
Cesare Borgia
8
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 13, 1475
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Subiaco, Italy
Died: March 12, 1507