The Thirty-seconde of March

Just came upon something interesting in the vault: A 1752 sermon entitled:

The Thirty-seconde of March / On the dangers of calendar reform / and touching upon the false method of rectifying the seate of Easter. With godly warnings to the Parliament that seekes to deprive good Christians of eleven dayes of life.  A sermon. By P. Lloyd, A. M. Curate of Roxwell, in Essex  (London : printed for C. Bathurst, at the Cross-Keys, over-against St. Dunstans Church, Fleetstreet, M.DCC.LIII. [1752])

The brief sermon was in response to the 1752 act of Parliament that altered the calendar in England and its colonies, so as to bring it into line with most other countries of Western Europe. England’s Julian Calendar was replaced by the Gregorian Calendar and the formula for calculating leap years and Easter was changed.  The beginning of the legal new year was moved from March 25 to January 1.  In addition,  11 days were dropped from the month of September 1752.

Apparently many people, including the Rev. P. Lloyd who wrote our sermon, thought that their lives were being shortened thereby.

He also argues that by changing the date of Easter and other holy days, the prayers of Christians would be rendered ineffective since they would be delivered up to God on the wrong day!

After this sermon was delivered, a large group of workers rioted and marched on Parliament because they believed that they were going to lose eleven days’ pay. People also feared losing 11 days of their lives.  They went through the streets of London, crying  “Give us back our eleven days!” Rioting spread to Bristol, in those days the second largest city in England, where several people were killed in stampedes. VH