|Covid-19|February 1 – Queen Elizabeth I of England signs the death warrant of her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, after Mary is implicated in a plot to murder Elizabeth. Seven days later, on the orders of Elizabeth's privy council, Mary is beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle.
April 29 – "Singeing the King of Spain's Beard": On an expedition against Spain, English privateer Sir Francis Drake leads a raid in the Bay of Cádiz, sinking at least 23 ships of the Spanish fleet.
July 22 – Roanoke Colony: A group of English settlers arrive on Roanoke Island off of North Carolina to re-establish the deserted colony.
August 18 – According to legend, Saul Wahl is named king of Poland.
According to legend, Saul Wahl is deposed.
Polish and Lithuanian nobles elect Sigismund III Vasa as their king.
August 27 – Governor John White leaves the Roanoke Colony to get more supplies from England.
October 1 – Shāh ‘Abbās I "The Great" succeeds as Shahanshah of Iran.
October 20 – Battle of Coutras: Huguenot forces under Henry of Navarre defeat Royalist forces under Anne de Joyeuse, favorite of King Henry. Joyeuse is killed.
October 31 – Leiden University Library opens its doors after its founding in 1575.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi attacks Kyūshū.
The first Filipinos in North America land in Morro Bay, near San Luis Obispo, California.
A severe famine breaks out in China during the Ming dynasty.
The Rose (theatre) is founded in London by Philip Henslowe.
The chapbook Historia von D. Johann Fausten, printed by Johann Spies in Frankfurt, is the first published version of the Faust story.
Everard Digby's De Arte Natandi, the first treatise on swimming in England, is published.
Establishment of St. Dominic's Church, Macau.
January 2 – Anders Arrebo, Danish writer (d. 1637)
January 5 – Xu Xiake, Chinese adventurer and geographer (d. 1641)
January 6 – Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares, Spanish politician (d. 1645)
Jan Pieterszoon Coen, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (d. 1629)
Johannes Fabricius (d. 1615)
January 12 – John Winthrop, wealthy English Puritan lawyer, leading figures in the Massachusetts Bay Colony (d. 1649)
February 1 – Pál Esterházy, Hungarian noble (d. 1645)
February 3 – Dorothea Hedwig of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Princess of Anhalt-Zerbst (d. 1609)
February 20 – Emanuel Sueyro, historian, translator, spymaster (d. 1629)
February 23 – Edward Convers, American settler (d. 1663)
February 26 – Stefano Landi, Italian composer (d. 1639)
March 17 – David Lindsay, 1st Lord Balcarres, Scottish politician and noble (d. 1642)
April 1 – Sir John Mill, 1st Baronet, English politician (d. 1648)
April 2 – Virginia Centurione Bracelli, Italian saint (d. 1651)
April 18 – Sir Charles Morrison, 1st Baronet, Member of the Parliament of England (d. 1628)
Ferdinando Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, Catholic cardinal (d. 1626)
Abraham van der Haagen, Dutch painter (d. 1639)
April 29 – Sophie of Saxony, Duchess of Pomerania (d. 1635)
April 30 – Éléonore de Bourbon, Dutch princess (d. 1619)
May 7 – Richard Newport, 1st Baron Newport, English politician (d. 1651)
May 8 – Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy (d. 1637)
May 17 – Esaias van de Velde (d. 1630)
May 26 – Susan de Vere, Countess of Montgomery, English noblewoman (d. 1628)
June 2 – Willem Bontekoe, skipper in the Dutch East India Company (d. 1657)
June 5 – Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick, English colonial administrator and admiral (d. 1658)
June 11 – Thomas Jervoise, English politician (d. 1654)
June 15 – Gabriel Gustafsson Oxenstierna, Swedish statesman (d. 1640)
June 21 – Kaspar von Barth, German philologist and writer (d. 1658)
William Arnold, American settler (d. 1676)
Hans van Steenwinckel the Younger, Danish architect (d. 1639)
July 4 – Magdalene of Bavaria, Consort of Wolfgang William, Count Palatine of Neuburg (d. 1628)
July 28 – George Yeardley, English colonial administrator in America (d. 1627)
August 16 – Khusrau Mirza, Mughal prince (d. 1622)
August 18 – Virginia Dare, Virginia colony settler, the first person of English parentage born in America (date of death unknown)
August 23 – Johann Friedrich, Count Palatine of Sulzbach-Hilpoltstein (1614–1644) (d. 1644)
August 28 – Christian William of Brandenburg, Administrator of bishoprics of Magdeburg and Halberstadt (d. 1665)
September 1 – Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, 3rd Duke of Feria, Spanish general (d. 1634)
September 3 – Countess Juliane of Nassau-Dillenburg, by marriage Landgravine of Hesse-kassel (d. 1643)
September 18 – Francesca Caccini, Italian composer
Robert Sanderson, English theologian and casuist (d. 1663)
Mu Zeng, Chinese politician (d. 1646)
October 8 – Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Berkshire, English politician (d. 1669)
October 17 – Nathan Field, English dramatist (d. 1620)
October 18 – Philippe-Charles, 3rd Count of Arenberg (d. 1640)
October 19 – Thomas Dacres, English politician (d. 1668)
October 22 – Joachim Jungius, German mathematician and philosopher (d. 1657)
October 23 – Sir Gilbert Gerard, 1st Baronet of Harrow on the Hill, English politician (d. 1670)
November 3 – Samuel Scheidt, German composer (d. 1653)
Charles Lallemant (d. 1674)
Joost van den Vondel, Dutch dramatist and poet (d. 1679)
November 25 – Sir Gervase Clifton, 1st Baronet, English politician (d. 1666)
December 13 – Emmanuel Stupanus, Swiss physician (d. 1664)
December 19 – Dorothea Sophia, Abbess of Quedlinburg Abbey (1618–1645) (d. 1645)
December 30 – Simon VII, Count of Lippe-Detmold (1613–1627) (d. 1627)
Nathan Field, English dramatist and actor (d. 1620)
Francis Kynaston, English courtier and poet (d. 1642)
Krzysztof Ossoliński, Polish nobleman (d. 1645)
Yun Seon-do, Korean politician and poet (d. 1671)
Song Yingxing, Chinese encyclopedist (d. 1666)
January – Thomas Seckford, English official (b. 1515)
February 8 – Mary, Queen of Scots (executed) (b. 1542)
February 9 – Vincenzo Ruffo, Italian composer (b. 1510)
March 15 – Caspar Olevian, German theologian (b. 1536)
March 30 – Ralph Sadler, English statesman (b. 1507)
April 8 – John Foxe, English author (b. 1516)
April 14 – Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland (b. 1548)
April 16 – Anne Seymour, Duchess of Somerset (b. 1497)
June 11 – Ōtomo Sōrin, Japanese Christian daimyo (b. 1530)
June 23 – Ōmura Sumitada, Japanese Christian daimyo (b. 1532)
August 29 – Vincenzo Bellavere, Italian composer (b. c. 1540)
October 19 – Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (b. 1541)
Abe Motozane, Japanese warlord (b. 1513)
Dudley Fenner, English puritan divine (b. c. 1558)
Jan Tarło, Polish nobleman (b. 1527)
Hai Rui, Ming dynasty "model official" (b. 1514)
probable – George Whetstone, English writer (b. 1544)
1587 (MDLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (dominical letter D) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday (dominical letter A) of the Julian calendar, the 1587th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 587th year of the 2nd millennium, the 87th year of the 16th century, and the 8th year of the 1580s decade. As of the start of 1587, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.