OnLine Parish Clerks
for the County of
-- Lancashire --

Dates in Registers prior to 1752

Prior to 1752, the Julian calendar was in use in England. In this calendar, the new year began on 25 March each year, so 31 Dec would be followed by 1 Jan of the same year, and 24 Mar would be followed by 25 Mar the following year. This applied up to 31 Dec 1751, after which the Gregorian calendar was adopted. 31 Dec 1751 was followed by 1 Jan 1752.

To avoid any ambiguity, we record dates between 1 Jan and 24 Mar of each year prior to 1752 as dual dates. So for example, 31 Dec 1746 is followed by 1 Jan 1746/7, 2 Jan 1746/7 and so on until 24 Mar 1746/7, then 25 Mar 1747.

Sometimes the minister would not record the change of year correctly, forgetting to do it until a few days later. The information presented on our website will normally reflect the change of year at the point where it should have occurred, not necessarily where the minister wrote it.

The move to the Gregorian calendar had taken place in Europe some years earlier, in 1582. As part of this, a greater understanding of the true length of a year had resulted in ten days being 'removed' from the calendar in Europe between 4 Oct 1582 and 15 Oct 1582. After England moved to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, a similar change was made, to bring dates back into line with Europe, and 2 Sep 1752 was followed by 14 Sep 1752.

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