Re: CALNDR-L Digest - 18 Jan 2019 to 22 Jan 2019 (#2019-13)

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Re: CALNDR-L Digest - 18 Jan 2019 to 22 Jan 2019 (#2019-13)

McCarty, Richard

That's a good question.

I believe that the civil calendar in England before 1752 observed January 1 as the start of the new year, and that the church calendar observed March 25 (exactly 9 months preceding the holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus).

Dates between December and March 25 in this period were often written to acknowledge the difference in calendars; for example: February 1, 1745-6. That notation would indicate the first of February in 1745 for the church calendar, near the end of the year, and in 1746 for the civil calendar, near the beginning of the year.

It would be consistent with the motivation behind the separate church calendar that the extra day would be introduced in leap year based on the year number  of the civil calendar (which was the calendar of Julius Caesar, after all). This hypothesis might be confirmed by grave stones in church yards with dates of February 29 in years divisible evenly by 4.


From: East Carolina University Calendar discussion List <[hidden email]> on behalf of CALNDR-L automatic digest system <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 4:00 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: CALNDR-L Digest - 18 Jan 2019 to 22 Jan 2019 (#2019-13)

There is 1 message totaling 27 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. 29 February in civil calendars


Date:    Tue, 22 Jan 2019 10:09:04 +0100
From:    Claus T√łndering <[hidden email]>
Subject: 29 February in civil calendars

Dear calendar people,

To the best of my knowledge, leap years have always been determined
based on a year that starts on 1 January, regardless of the new year's
date used for civil calendars.

For example, in England (where the civil year before 1752 started on 25
March), 1703 should have been a leap year because 29 February 1703
(civil) corresponds to 29 February 1704 (historical), and 1704 is
divisible by 4.

But I have never actually seen a document dated 29 February 1703 (or
some other similar year). Does anyone have an example of such a
document? Or is my understanding wrong?

Best wishes,
Claus T√łndering


End of CALNDR-L Digest - 18 Jan 2019 to 22 Jan 2019 (#2019-13)