1537 1538 1539 - 1540 - 1541 1542 1543
1510s 1520s 1530s - 1540s - 1550s 1560s 1570s
Events of 1540
- January 6 – King Henry VIII of England marries Anne of Cleves, his fourth Queen consort.
- January – Dunstable Priory falls prey to the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
- July 7 – Coronado captures Hawikuh, then known as part of Cíbola, but fails to find the legendary gold.
- July 9 – King Henry VIII of England divorces Anne of Cleves, his fourth Queen consort.
- July 28 – One of the most important political figures of the reign of Henry VIII of England, Thomas Cromwell, is executed on order from the king on charges of treason. Henry marries his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, on the same day.
- September 3 – Gelawdewos succeeds his father Lebna Dengel as Emperor of Ethiopia.
- September 27 – The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is approved by Pope Paul III, in his bull Regimini militantis Ecclesiae.
- John Calvin's L'Institution chrétienne (originally in Latin) is translated into French.
- Antwerp is besieged for three days by Maarten van Rossum.
- Waltham Abbey is the final priory to fall prey to Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries.
- Humayun ends to rule.
- Musket is introduced in Japan from Europe (approximate date).