1569 1570 1571 – 1572 – 1573 1574 1575
| Decades: |
1540s 1550s 1560s – 1570s – 1580s 1590s 1600s
| Centuries: |
15th century – 16th century – 17th century
1572 in literature
1572 in science
- January 16 – The Duke of Norfolk is tried for treason for his part in the Ridolfi plot to restore Catholicism in England.
- April 1 – The Sea Beggars, Netherlandish Calvinist rebels, capture the port city of Brielle. This leads to a wave of uprisings in Holland and Zealand, leaving most of those provinces (with the exception of Amsterdam), under rebel control.
- June 25 – The Sea Beggars capture the city Gorkum. Several Roman Catholic priests are put into a prison.
- July 9 – The Sea Beggars hang 19 previously imprisoned Roman Catholic priests at Brielle.
- August 18 – Wedding in Paris of the Huguenot King Henry III of Navarre with Marguerite de France, sister of King Charles, in a supposed attempt to reconcile Protestants and Catholics.
- August 24 – St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in Paris. Catholics in Paris murder thousands of Protestants, including Gaspard de Coligny, at the order of King Charles IX. Henry of Navarre and the Prince of Condé barely escape the same fate. This brings about the Fourth War of Religion in France.
- December – The Duke of Alva, Spanish commander in the Netherlands, lays siege to Haarlem.
- Ending of the Muromachi period in Japan
- Tycho Brahe observes supernova in Cassiopeia
- Vilcabamba, last independent remnant of the Inca Empire, conquered by Spanish
- June 11 – Ben Jonson, English dramatist (d. 1637)
- December 31 – Emperor Go-Yozei of Japan (d. 1617)
- Johann Bayer, German astronomer (d. 1625)
- John Donne, English writer and prelate (d. 1631)
- Thomas Tomkins, English composer (d. 1656)
- May 1 – Pope Pius V (b. 1504)
- June 9 – Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre (b. 1528)
- August 24 – Gaspard de Coligny, French protestant leader (killed) (b. 1519)
- August 24 – Pierre de la Ramée, French humanist scholar (killed) (b. 1515)
- August 27 – Claude Goudimel, French composer (killed)
- November 24 – John Knox, Scottish religious reformer (b. 1505)
- September 24 – Tupac Amaru, last of the Incas