15 June 2017

Give us back our 11 days

It's popularly believed that there was rioting in the streets when the calendar was changed  in England in 1752.

That's a myth.

It's one of the myths exploded and curiosities revealed in an article Confusion and Myth in the Gregorian Calendar Reform by Peter Maggs published in the June issue of the Genealogists' Magazine, the journal of the (UK) Society of Genealogists.

Did you know:

Queen Elizabeth I was in favour of calendar reform in 1582, despite having been excommunicated by Pope Gregory, but the Archbishop of Canterbury opposed the change.

In Sweden a change was made in 1700 when February 29 was omitted. That put Swedish calendar out of phase with both the Julian and Gregorian calendar. In 1812 the country reverted to the Julian calendar only adopting the Gregorian in 1753.

In England before the change in 1752, 31 December 1750 was followed by 1 January 1750, but 24 March 1750 was followed by 25 March 1751.

The tax year in England starts on 6 April, switched from 25 March with the change in calendar so that those who paid quarterly rent were not shortchanged 11 days.

There's much more in this interesting article.

The Genealogists' Magazine is a benefit of membership in the Society of Genealogists.

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