Notes on the dating of Books I-VI


Centre for Metropolitan History



J. V. Kitto (editor)

Year published




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'Notes on the dating of Books I-VI', St Martin-in-the-Fields: The accounts of the churchwardens, 1525-1603 (1901), pp. X. URL: Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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The following are the dates given in the captions of the first Six Books. I have supplied the regnal years for Book III.

Page I. Book I. June 24, 16 H. viii to March 25, 21 H. viii. Four and threequarter years.

" 21. " II. March 25, 23 H. viii to " 25 H. viii. 1531 to 1533 (1532—1534).

" 32. " III. " [25 H. viii] to " [27 H. viii]. 1533 to 1535 (1534—1536).

" 44. " IV. " 27 H. viii to " 29 H. viii. (1536–1538).

" 58. " V. " 29 H. viii to " 31 H. viii. (1538–1540).

" 66. " VI. " 31 H. viii to " 33 H. viii. 1540–1542.

1. It will be noticed that the dates of Book I include five years and three-quarters.

2. The regnal years of Books II to VI are complete and consecutive.

3. The years (a.d.) for Books II and III do not correspond to the regnal years.

4. The dating of Book VI (and of subsequent books) is correct.

5. Working backwards from Book VI, I have supplied the years (in brackets).

6. The gap of regnal years, between Books I and II, is the ordinary term of churchwardens' office at that time, namely two years; I assume [therefore] that the date of the end of the accounts in Book I is correct as Lady-day 21 H. viii or March 25, 1530.

7. Hence the first date should be June 24, 1525, i.e. 17 H. viii.

8. If we assume that in Book I, 16 H. viii is correct, the second date must be 20 H. viii, leaving a gap of three years between Books I and II, whereas to judge from the regnal years in Books II to V and onwards, the series of biennial accounts began in March 23 H. viii, 1532, in which case we may expect that 21 H. viii is correct, and that the other date should be 17 H. viii. If 21 H. viii and the years a.d. in Books II and III are all correct, there will be found a gap of one year between Books I and II, and of another year between Books V and VI, and all the regnal years from 23 H. viii onwards must be wrong. The simplest explanation is that the regnal years (except 16 H. viii) are correct, and that the years a.d. in II and III are wrong.