Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Tudor year: March

Theme: law

photo source: UK Parliament

March 24, 1603: death of Queen Elizabeth
March 25: Lady Day

One of the absolutely "crucial fixed dates" of the Tudor calendar was Lady Day, March 25th. Named for the Virgin Mary, it was the Feast of the Annunciation, the start of a nine-month countdown to Christmas and therefore a fresh start to the familiar pageant of salvation. It was also the day to pay rents and sign contracts, and the day the secular year changed: Queen Elizabeth, dying the day before Lady Day, would be considered by her contempraries to have died on the last day of 1602. In London, Lady Day also marked the end of the first sitting of the Westminster Courts for the year -- official business had been conducted since January 13th -- and the beginning of a vacation which would last until Easter Term, when the courts next sat commencing on the fifteenth day after Easter.


David Cressy, Bonfires and Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989, p. 20 ("crucial fixed date"), pp. 10-11 (secular year, Westminster calendar).


  1. Hi Nancy,

    well I'm so glad I visited your MOMMY BLOG, which is so refreshingly un-momblog-like (refer your previous post).

    A lady-day is such a quaint concept - makes one think how it can be re-marketed for this generation.

    Happy birthday (it's already May 9 in India) and I'm really happy that I met you in the ether-world.

  2. Thank you so much, and I, too am glad to have met you!

    wink, wink Already May in India??!! I had no idea the other side of the world spun so fast!