The Eleven Days

From: John Cowan <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 09:49:33 -0500

Clive D.W. Feather scripsit:

> What, I wonder, did the various churches do about the Eleven Days?

Why, nothing.

> They can hardly have been taken down and rebuilt at a slight angle,
> after all.

Orienting to saints' days was an architectural nicety, not a dogmatic
requirement. Even the general principle of aligning the church to the
East is frequently violated in modern times, where churches have to fit
into city grids like Manhattan's (which is aligned to the long axis of
the island, so that "north" (or "uptown") is about 30 degrees, not 0).

The 1751 Act of Parliament that changed "the legal Supputation of the
Year" explicitly excepted certain recurring dates from the change, so that
they would occur on the same "natural Days" as before, and consequently on
different "nominal Days": terms of courts and the dates of markets, fairs,
opening and enclosing of commons, and payments of rents and annuities.
(The dates specified in contracts for the delivery of goods, for the
commencement and expiration of leases, and the legal majority age of
individuals born before 1752-09-14 Gregorian, were similarly adjusted.)
Consequently, the beginning of the tax year in England remained on Old
New Year's Day, 25 March Julian, until 1900, when it should have been
updated to April 7 Gregorian but wasn't. Oh well.

(Full text:

Work hard,                                      John Cowan
play hard,                            
die young,                            
rot quickly.                          
Received on Thu Jan 27 2005 - 06:49:49 PST

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