Friday, September 2, 2011

September 2, 1752: A New Calendar for Great Britain

When I was researching Supremacy and Survival, I was really surprised when I learned about the English reaction to Pope Gregory XIII's 1582 correction of the Julian calendar. It seemed clear that the English government rejected the valid, scientific and reasonable corrections just because it was the Catholic Pope in Rome who promulgated and ordered the changes through a Papal Bull, Inter gravissimas. To stay with the out-of-date Julian calendar just because the "Church in Rome" issued a better calendar seemed to me not only reactionary, but ridiculous.

Along with other Protestant countries that is exactly what England did, to the consternation of modern historians, who always have to include a note about Old Style and New Style, New Year's Day being March 25, not January 1 . . .

The fact that England stayed with the Julian calendar while Catholics in Ireland adopted the Gregorian calendar meant that even England and Ireland were out of sync for the celebration of Easter and the holydays dependent upon the date of Easter (Ascension and Pentecost).

After 170 years--on September 2, 1752--Great Britain finally revised their calendar to catch up; and they had some catching up to do. An eleven (11) day adjustment was necessary: Wednesday, September 2, 1752 was followed by Thursday, September 14, 1752.


  1. Yes but they were siding with all the Orthodox Churches of the East. Some of which still stand by the Julian and claim it is of Divine Origin. The Churches that adopted the reform calendar simply call it the NEW JULIAN CALENDAR. There is always a way around everything.

  2. I know that the Church of England conducted ecumenical negotiations with the Orthodox Church for years. Do you know if they still hold such discussions, after the CofE started ordaining women priests?