Understanding the calendar year

Four hundred years ago our calendar year started on March 25th known as Lady Day, because it celebrates the Virgin Mary. All official records started the New Year on 25th March.

January 1st became the start of the year in England in 1752. 1751 was therefore a short year with only 282 days. Ireland and the British colonies changed at the same time although Scotland had already changed to January 1st in 1600 and 1599 was a short year.

Later in 1752 in September the Gregorian calendar was introduced throughout Britain and 11 days were removed from the month of September in that year.

Throughout our search aids we have numbered years assuming that the year starts on 1st January.

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