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calendar reform

calendar reform, 1751. To remedy the imperfections introduced by Julius Caesar, most of Europe adopted after 1582 the reform proposed by Pope Gregory XIII. Reluctant to follow popish examples, some protestant countries stayed with the old calendar, which became increasingly out of line. The Act 24 Geo. II c. 23 remedied this by eliminating eleven days in September 1752. At the same time, England fell into line with Scotland by starting the year on 1 January instead of 25 March. The protests were less concerned with ‘give us back our eleven days’ than with the genuine difficulties when contracts or birthdays fell between 2 and 14 September 1752, which disappeared. The ‘new style’ introduced a new anomaly, still with us, whereby the seventh month, September, became the ninth month.

J. A. Cannon

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