Re: [LEAPSECS] building consensus

From: Rob Seaman <seaman_at_NOAO.EDU>
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 10:17:15 -0700

On Jun 7, 2006, at 2:03 AM, Clive D.W. Feather wrote:

> In the UK in 1750, there were two different Julian calendars in
> use: the
> day and month enumeration matched, but year numbers changed at
> different
> dates (1st January in Scotland, 25th March in England and Wales).

I've heard this said, but what exactly does this mean from the point
of view of the people of the time? Could see how the 1st of any
month would be as good as any other for marking the count of years.
But presumably you are saying something like that the sequence of
dates was:

        22 March 1750
        23 March 1750
        24 March 1750
        25 March 1751
        26 March 1751
        27 March 1751


What this suggests to me is that the day-of-the-month and year-of-our-
Lord counts were considered to be separate entities by folks of that
time. This may not be surprising since years until the last few
centuries were often tied to the rule of some sovereign with phrases
like, "in the nineteenth year of good Queen Bessie's reign". In that
case, the date of the coronation would be "new year's day" and this
would change with each Monarch.

Was also thinking to comment that day-of-the-week seems to have been
considered quite distinct from day-of-the-month. Our current usage
is to tie all three together into a single unitary calendar.
Presumably this dates from Gregory, too, along with all the other
cycles his priests were seeking to synchronize.

Received on Wed Jun 07 2006 - 10:17:37 PDT

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