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Year 1216 (MCCXVI) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.
- January – First Barons' War: The English army sacks Berwick-on-Tweed, and raids southern Scotland.
- April 10 – Upon the death of Erik Knutsson, he is succeeded by his rival Johan Sverkersson, as king of Sweden.
- April 22 – Battle of Lipitsa: Mstislav the Daring and Konstantin of Rostov defeat their rivals for the rule of the Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal.
- May 21 – First Barons' War: Prince Louis of France, the future King Louis VIII, invades England in support of the barons, landing in Thanet. Entering London without opposition, he is proclaimed, but not crowned, King of England at Old St Paul's Cathedral.
- July 24 – The French Albigensian Crusaders of the castle of Beaucaire surrenders to Raymond, future count of Toulouse.
- October 18 or 19 – John, King of England, dies at Newark Castle, Nottinghamshire; he is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry, with William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, as regent. The young Henry III of England is crowned at Gloucester on October 28.
- November 12 – William Marshal and the papal legate to England, Guala Bicchieri, issue a Charter of Liberties, based on the Magna Carta, in the new King of England's name.
- Dresden receives city rights.
- In England, Roger of Wendover begins to cover contemporary events, in his continuation of the chronicle Flores Historiarum.