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Toolkit - Dates

If you have additions or corrections to any of this, link to How to contribute.

Lists of Elizabethan Weekdays, Old Style:
Regnal Years, England
Regnal Years, Scotland
New Year and Lady Day
Gregorian Calendar or Pope’s calendar
The Quarter Days in England
The Quarter Days in Scotland
Some Saints days and other days
Easter and associated Variable Dates
Law Terms
Time Immemorial

Try also Ian’s English Calendar from Albion College Michigan

Weekdays
Sunday dies solis or The Lord’s Day dies Domenica
Monday dies lunae, Tuesday dies marti, Wednesday dies mercuri
Thursday dies jovis, Friday, dies veneris Saturday, dies saturni

Lists of Elizabethan Weekdays, Old Style:

1559 - - 1560 - - 1561 - - 1562 - - 1563 - - 1564 - - 1565 - - 1566 - - 1567 - - 1568 - - 1569 - - 1570 - - 1571 - - 1572 - - 1573 - - 1574 - - 1575 - - 1576 - - 1577 - - 1578 - - 1579 - - 1580
1581 - - 1582 - - 1583 - - 1584 - - 1585 - - 1586 - - 1587 - - 1588 - - 1589 - - 1590 - - 1591 - - 1592 - - 1593 - - 1594 - - 1595 - - 1596 - - 1597 - - 1598 - - 1599 - - 1600 - - 1601 - - 1602

Regnal Years, England


Henry VIII from 22nd April 1509
Edward VI from 28th January 1547
Mary from 19th July 1553
Philip and Mary from 25th July 1554

1 Mary 6th July 1553 - 5th July 1554
2 Mary 6th July 1554 - 24th July 1554
1 and 2 Philip and Mary 25th July 1554 - 5th July 1555
1 and 3 Philip and Mary 6th July 1555 - 24th July 1555
2 and 3 Philip and Mary 25th July 1555 - 5th July 1556
2 and 4 Philip and Mary 6th July 1556 - 24th July 1556
3 and 4 Philip and Mary 25th July 1556 - 5th July 1557
3 and 5 Philip and Mary 6th July 1557 - 24th July 1557
4 and 5 Philip and Mary 25th July 1557 - 5th July 1558
4 and 6 Philip and Mary 6th July 1558 - 24th July 1558
5 and 6 Philip and Mary 25th July 1558 - 17th November 1558

Elizabeth from 17th November 1558

Anno 1 Eliz. runs from 17th November 1558 to 16th November 1559,
1 - 1558-1559 12 - 1569-1570 23 - 1580-1581 34 - 1591-1592
2 - 1559-1560 13 - 1570-1571 24 - 1581-1582 35 - 1592-1593
3 - 1560-1561 14 - 1571-1572 25 - 1582-1583 36 - 1593-1594
4 - 1561-1562 15 - 1572-1573 26 - 1583-1584 37 - 1594-1595
5 - 1562-1563 16 - 1573-1574 27 - 1584-1585 38 - 1595-1596
6 - 1563-1564 17 - 1574-1575 28 - 1585-1586 39 - 1596-1597
7 - 1564-1565 18 - 1575-1576 29 - 1586-1587 40 - 1597-1598
8 - 1565-1566 19 - 1576-1577 30 - 1587-1588 41 - 1598-1599
9 - 1566-1567 20 - 1577-1578 31 - 1588-1589 42 - 1599-1600
10 - 1567-1568 21 - 1578-1579 32 - 1589-1590 43 - 1600-1601
11 - 1568-1569 22 - 1579-1580 33 - 1590-1591 44 - 1601-1602

Anno 45 Eliz. 17 November 1602 to 24th March 1603

James I, 24th March 1603

Regnal Years, Scotland

James V from 9th September 1513
Mary from 14th December 1542
James VI from 24 July 1567

New Year and Lady Day

This year started in England on 25th March not 1st January.
Thus 15th Feb 1580 for an Elizabethan writer would by today’s reckoning be 15th Feb 1581.

Gregorian Calendar or Pope’s calendar

In many European states the calendar changed from the Julian to the Gregorian, from 5th October 1582. Observance was at first patchy but the Gregorian calendar was in general use in Catholic states by the end of the decade. The designation New Style (n.s.) and Old Style (o.s.) began to be used in international correspondence after the change.

To convert an old style or Julian date to a new style Gregorian or Pope’s date:
Until 28th February 1700, add ten days, The day of the week remains the same.

To convert a new style, Gregorian or Pope’s date to an old style or Julian date:
Until 28th February 1700, subtract ten days. The day of the week remains the same.

The calculation of the date of Easter could give a different result for the two calendars. Easter Sunday is the Sunday after the first full moon after 20th March.

The Quarter Days in England

25 March The Annunciation of St Mary the Virgin, or Lady Day.
24 June St John the Baptiser, or the Baptist, or Midsummer
29 September St Michael the Archangle, or Michaelmas
25 December The Nativity of Christ, or Christenmas Day

The Quarter Days in Scotland

2nd February, Candlemas
Whitsunday
1 August, Lammas
11th November, Martinmas

Some Saints days and other days

All Souls, 2nd November
All Hallows, 1st November, All Saints
All Saints, 1st November, All Hallows
The Annunciation of St Mary the Virgin, 25th March, Lady Day
Candlemas, 2nd February, The feast of the Purification
Christenmas Day, 25th December, The nativity of Christ
Decollation (beheading ) of St John, 29th August
Lady Day, 25th March The feast of the Annunciation
Lammas, 1st August, St Peter advinculo
Martinmas, 11th November, St Martin the Bishop
May Day, 1st May
Michaelmas, 29th September, St Michael the Archangel
Midsummer 24th June, St John the Baptiser
The Nativity of Christ, 25th December, Christenmas
The Feast of the Purification, 2nd February, Candlemas
St John the Baptist, or the Baptiser, 24th June, Midsummer
St Luke the Evangelist, 18th October
St Martin the Bishop, 11th November, Martinmas
St Michael the Archangel, 29th September, Michaelmas
St Peter advinculo, 1st August, Lammas
St Valentine, 14th February
Twelfth Night, 6th January

Easter and associated Variable Dates (Julian Calendar)
Easter Day is a sunday

Year Easter Day Year Easter Day Year Easter Day Year Easter Day
1558 April 10 1570 March 26 1582 April 15 1593 April 15
1559 March 26 1571 April 15 1583 March 31 1594 March 31
1560 April 14 1572 April 6 1584 April 19 1595 April 20
1561 April 6 1573 March 22 1585 April 11 1596 April 11
1562 March 29 1574 April 11 1586 April 3 1597 March 27
1563 April 11 1575 April 3 1587 April 16 1598 April 16
1564 April 2 1576 April 22 1588 April 7 1599 April 8
1565 April 22 1577 April 7 1589 March 30 1600 March 23
1566 April 14 1578 March 30 1590 April 19 1601 April 12
1567 March 30 1579 April 19 1591 April 4 1602 April 4
1568 April 18 1580 April 3 1592 March 26 1603 April 24
1569 April 10 1581 March 26        


Lent contains six sundays before Easter Sunday, and starts on Ash Wednesday, the day after Shrove Tuesday.
Holy Week is the last week in Lent and starts with Palm Sunday, includes Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and ends on Holy or Low Saturday.
Easter Week starts on Easter Day, a sunday, and continues to Easter Saturday, or the Saturday in Easter Week.
Ascension Day is on a thursday, forty days after Easter Day.
Whitsunday or Pentecost is seven sundays or fifty days after Easter.
Trinity Sunday is the sunday after Pentecost
Corpus Chrisi is on the thursday after Trinity Sunday
Advent, begins with the fourth sunday before Christmas Day.
Plough Monday is the first monday after 6th January.

Law Terms
(corrections to this section will be very welcome)

King’s Bench
Michaelmas Term started on 6th Oct and ended on 25 Nov.
Hilary Term started on 20th January and ended between the 3rd and the 16th of February.
Easter Term started on a Wednesday, seventeen days after Easter and ended the morrow of the Ascension.
Trinity Term started on the morrow of Trinity for formal matters and the full term started on the following Friday then lasted for three weeks
The Exchequer always opened eight days before the King’s Bench, except for Trinity term when it opened four days before.
Chancery worked more or less to the law terms, though, being a court of equity and not law, they were in theory always open.

Time immemorial

‘Since time immemorial’ means since 3rd Sept 1189.

If you have additions or corrections to any of this, link to How to contribute.

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