January 3 – Battle of Kinsale: The battle happened on Thursday, 3 January 1602 according to the Gregorian calendar used by the Irish and Spanish forces in the battle, although, for the English who were still using the old Julian calendar, the date of the battle was Thursday, 24 December 1601.
February 2 (Candlemas night) – First known production of William Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night, in London.
March 20 – The United East India Company is established by the United Provinces States-General in Amsterdam, with the stated intention of capturing the spice trade from the Portuguese.
May 15 – English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold becomes the first European at Cape Cod.
June – James Lancaster's East India Company fleet arrives at Achin (now Aceh), Sumatra to deal with the local ruler. Having defeated Portugal's ally, the ruler is happy to do business, and Lancaster seizes a large Portuguese galleon and loots it.
November 8 – The Bodleian Library at Oxford University is opened.
December 11 – A surprise attack by forces under the command of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, and his brother-in-law, Philip III of Spain, is repelled by the citizens of Geneva (This actually took place after midnight, in the early morning of December 12, but commemorations/celebrations on Fête de l'Escalade are usually held on December 11 or the closest weekend).
Russian famine of 1601–03
Long Turkish War (1591/1593-1606)
Portuguese expelled from Bahrain.
Ben Jonson writes The Poetaster.
William Shakespeare's comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor is published.
The Safavid dynasty of Persia and the Spanish Empire conclude a defensive alliance and declare war on the Ottoman Empire.
A private trading company is established in Copenhagen, with a monopoly on the trade with Iceland.
The iconoclast and Confucian scholar Li Zhi commits suicide while in a Chinese prison during the late Ming dynasty; he had taught that women were the intellectual equals of men and should be given equal opportunity in education; he was charged with spreading "dangerous ideas".
Copies are printed of the geographical map of East Asia created by Matteo Ricci, an Italian Jesuit stationed in Ming dynasty Beijing, China, with Chinese-written labeling and map symbols.
Publication of the play A Larum for London, or the Siedge of Antwerp in London.
Rodrigo Ponce de León, 4th Duke of Arcos, Spanish noble (d. 1658)
Sir Thomas Twisden, 1st Baronet, English politician (d. 1683)
January 14 – Sir Henry Slingsby, 1st Baronet, English Baronet (d. 1658)
January 18 – Robert Stuart, Duke of Kintyre and Lorne, fifth child of James VI of Scots and Anne of Denmark (d. 1602)
January 19 – Anna Maria Antigó (d. 1676)
January 24 – Mildmay Fane, 2nd Earl of Westmorland, English politician (d. 1666)
January 29 – Countess Amalie Elisabeth of Hanau-Münzenberg, Regent of Hesse-Kassel (1637–1650) (d. 1651)
January 31 – Adam Billaut, French poet, carpenter (d. 1662)
February 2 – Jeanne des Anges, French Ursuline nun in Loudun (d. 1665)
February 12 – Michelangelo Cerquozzi, Italian painter (d. 1660)
February 13 – William V, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (d. 1637)
February 14 – Francesco Cavalli, Italian composer of the early Baroque period (d. 1676)
February 16 – Eleonore Dorothea of Anhalt-Dessau, Duchess of Saxe-Weimar by marriage (d. 1664)
Pieter Meulener, Flemish Baroque painter (d. 1654)
Per Brahe the Younger, Swedish soldier and statesman (d. 1680)
March 12 – Juan Velez, Roman Catholic prelate who was appointed Bishop of Cebu (d. 1661)
March 18 – Jacques de Billy, French Jesuit mathematician (d. 1679)
March 24 – Edward Leigh, English writer (d. 1671)
March 27 – Sir Christopher Yelverton, 1st Baronet, English politician (d. 1654)
John Arrowsmith, English theologian and academic (d. 1659)
John Lightfoot, English churchman and rabbinical scholar (d. 1675)
April – William Lawes, English composer and musician (d. 1645)
April 2 – Mary of Jesus of Ágreda, Franciscan abbess and spiritual writer (d. 1665)
April 12 – Daniel Knudsen Bildt, Dano-Norwegian military officer and a large estate owner in Norway (d. 1651)
April 28 – Tokugawa Yorinobu, Japanese nobleman (d. 1671)
April 30 – Robert Baillie, Scottish divine and historical writer (d. 1662)
May 1 – William Lilly, English astrologer (d. 1681)
May 2 – Athanasius Kircher, German scholar (d. 1680)
May 10 – Samuel Newman, clergyman in colonial Massachusetts (d. 1663)
May 12 – Dorothea Augusta of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, German duchess (d. 1682)
May 26 – Philippe de Champaigne, French painter (d. 1674)
June 2 – Rudolf Christian, Count of East Frisia, Ruler of East Frisia in the early years of the Thirty Years' War (d. 1628)
July 8 – François Perrochel, French cleric (d. 1682)
July 9 – Maeda Gen'i, Buddhist priest
July 14 – Cardinal Mazarin, French statesman (d. 1661)
July 15 – John Bradshaw, English judge and regicide (d. 1659)
July 18 – Samuel Stone, Puritan Minister (d. 1663)
July 26 – Ana de los Angeles Monteagudo, Peruvian nun (d. 1686)
August 10 – Gilles de Roberval, French mathematician (d. 1675)
August 23 – Sir John Marsham, 1st Baronet, English politician (d. 1685)
August 31 – Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, countess of Solms-Braunfels (d. 1675)
September 1 – Peregrine Hoby, English politician (d. 1679)
September 17 – Sir Richard Newdigate, 1st Baronet, English politician (d. 1678)
September 29 – Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland, English military leader (d. 1668)
October 3 – Arnold Braemes, English politician (d. 1681)
October 9 – Robert Caesar, English politician (d. 1637)
October 12 – William Chillingworth, controversial English churchman (d. 1644)
November 6 – William Morice, English politician (d. 1676)
November 17 – Agnes of Jesus, Roman Catholic nun (d. 1634)
November 20 – Otto von Guericke, German inventor and Mayor of Magdeburg (d. 1686)
November 22 – Elisabeth of France, queen of Philip IV of Spain (d. 1644)
November 23 – Louis Philip, Count Palatine of Simmern-Kaiserslautern, Prince of Paltinate (d. 1655)
November 27 – Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Italian abbess and composer (d. 1670)
December 4 – Johann Hülsemann, German theologian (d. 1661)
Delano family, Plymouth Colony settler (d. 1681)
Anne Holck, Danish noble and war heroine (d. 1660)
Bartholomew Mastrius, Italian theologian (d. 1673)
December 18 – Simonds d'Ewes, English antiquarian and politician (d. 1650)
December 26 – Sir Norton Knatchbull, 1st Baronet, English politician (d. 1685)
John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton (d. 1678)
Caesar, duc de Choiseul, French marshal and diplomat (d. 1675)
John Greaves, English mathematician and antiquary (d. 1652)
Jean-Baptiste Budes, Comte de Guébriant, marshal of France (d. 1643)
Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester, English soldier (d. 1671)
Henry Marten, English lawyer, politician and regicide (d. 1680)
Théodore Moret, Belgian mathematician (d. 1667)
Nectarius of Jerusalem, Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem (d. 1676)
Dudley North, 4th Baron North, English politician (d. 1677)
Katarzyna Ostrogska, Polish noblewoman (d. 1642)
Antoine de l'Age, duc de Puylaurens, French courtier (d. 1635)
Owen Feltham, English religious writer (d. 1668)
Richard Óge Martyn, Irish politician (d. 1648)
Salomon van Ruysdael, Dutch landscape painter (d. 1670)
February 13 – Alexander Nowell, English clergyman (b. 1507)
February 19 – Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercœur, French soldier (b. 1558)
March 11 – Emilio de' Cavalieri, Italian composer (b. c. 1550)
March 12 – Philip IV, Count of Nassau-Weilburg (1559–1602) and Nassau-Saarbrücken (1574–1602) (b. 1542)
March 22 – Agostino Carracci, Italian painter and graphical artist (b. 1557)
March 24 – Ii Naomasa (b. 1561)
April 8 – Ludvig Munk, Governor-general of Norway (b. 1537)
April 10 – Amalia of Neuenahr, German noble (b. 1539)
April 20 – Thomas Tichborne, English martyr (b. 1567)
April 26 – Antonio Maria Salviati, Catholic cardinal (b. 1537)
May 9 – Giulio Antonio Santorio, Catholic cardinal (b. 1532)
May 22 – Renata of Lorraine (b. 1544)
May 27 – Robert Stuart, Duke of Kintyre and Lorne, infant son of King James I/VI
July 4 – Anna of Mecklenburg, Duchess consort of Courland (1566–1587) (b. 1533)
July 7 – Friedrich Wilhelm I, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, German noble (b. 1562)
August 12 – Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak, Mughal vizier and historian (b. 1551)
August 23 – Bastianino, painter (b. c. 1536)
Caspar Peucer, German reformer (b. 1525)
William Redman, Bishop of Norwich (b. 1541)
September 30 – Catherine of Brandenburg-Küstrin, daughter of Margrave John of Küstrin (b. 1549)
October – Thomas Morley, English composer (b. 1557)
October 1 – Hernando de Cabezón, Spanish composer and organist (b. 1541)
October 7 – Thomas Schweicker, German artist (b. 1540)
October 20 – Walter Leveson, Elizabethan member of parliament, Shropshire landowner (b. 1550)
Hedwig of Brandenburg, Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Duchess consort of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (b. 1540)
David I of Kakheti, King of Kakheti (b. 1569)
October 28 – John, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein, youngest son of Frederick II of Denmark and Norway (b. 1583)
October 30 – Jean-Jacques Boissard, French antiquary and Latin poet (b. 1528)
October 31 – Dominic Collins, Irish Jesuit lay brother and martyr (b. 1566)
November 23 – Agnes of Solms-Laubach, Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel (b. 1578)
November 29 – Anthony Holborne, English composer (b. c. 1545)
December 1 – Kobayakawa Hideaki, Japanese samurai and warlord (b. 1582)
December 29 – Jacopo Corsi, Italian composer (b. 1561)
Kim Myeong-won, Korean politician
Epifani Olives i Terès, Spanish politician
Jean Pithou, French lawyer and author (b. 1524)
Oda Ujiharu, Japanese warlord
Valpuri Innamaa, Finnish shipowner
1602 (MDCII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (dominical letter F) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Friday (dominical letter C) of the Julian calendar, the 1602nd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 602nd year of the 2nd millennium, the 2nd year of the 17th century, and the 3rd year of the 1600s decade. As of the start of 1602, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.