29 April 2010


A Handbook of Dates For students of British History appeared in a new edition in 2000; C R Cheney and revised by Michael Jones*. They wouldn't get away with that title nowadays, because, while the book gives the Regnal Years of English monarchs, it appears entirely ignorant of Scotch kings ... not to mention Welsh princes. It really is a trifle parochial; thus, it only gives Julian Easters down to 1752, when we went Gregorian, although it would have been useful in the one volume to have continued the Julian information down to the present and beyond. It does provide the complete layout of the unique year 1752, when the people of England were deprived of eleven days of life as September was reduced to a mere nineteen days so as to bring us into line with the Gregorian Calendar in Western Europe. Come to think of it, the riots of that year were not unlike the strong feelings some people now express about 'going into the Euro', EU standardisation of the shape of bananas, Imperial versus Metrical, and all that. Perhaps UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party) could enhance its chances of real power by adding the Julian Calendar to its wish-list: "Thirteen additional days of Life! A longer Summer!! A two week August Bank Holiday!!!" It wouldn't matter if a subsequent leftist regime under the Europhile Cameron reversed such legislation as long as in doing so they snipped the thirteen days out of the middle of winter. It would be a win-win situation. You know it makes sense.

Another year which exactly fits 2010 is 1686; a wonderful year because it comes during the glorious reign of our late Sovereign Lord King James II. (Incidentally, I wonder if his court and his Chapels Royal kept a Julian or a Gregorian Easter?) What we did lose when traitorous men brought over the Calvinist! Some sad little fragments of the Chapel Royal in Whitehall do survive in the church at Burnham-on-Sea; just as 1558 cut short the brilliance of the Marian Counter-Reformation and Renaissance, it is clear that 1688 deprived us of a glorious century in the European baroque mainstream.

*Paperback, Cambridge University Press, ISBN-10 0-521-77845-X


Anonymous said...

Wasn't Charles II the man for 1686? The man who loved his Church so deeply that he, religiously, went in unto 39 concubines - one for each Article! Truly a man who labored in the kingdom. And Purcell's Evening Hymn was published in 1688. I wonder?

Rubricarius said...

Fr Lr,

Charles II died on 6th February 1685.

Anonymous said...

Ah - he'd had enough then with the 39.