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ing redundancy of dates appears in others. A charter of William the First is dated A. D. 1082, indiction 15, epact 29, concurrent 5, lunar cycle 19, and regnal year 16. We also find not only these terms, but the solar cycle, the golden number, paschal term, dominicial letter, the moon's age, the position of the sun and moon in the signs of the zodiac, * Easter day, the kalends of the month, and even the hour of the day, crowded together in the same instrument.The early writers of annals and chronicles, though they could not agree in commencing the year from the same day, sometimes indulged in this profusion of dates. Taking a few cases almost at random, we find that the death of Edmund the martyr occurred in the year of grace 870, of his age 29, and of his reign 16, on the 12th day before the kalends of December, the second day of the week, indiction 3, and in the 22nd day of the moon's age. The capture of the knights templars, an important event, is loaded with dates : In the year of our Lord 1306, and the first of Edward II., dominicial letter A, the moon current 16 days, on Wednesday next after the feast of the Epiphany, and in the 4th year of Pope John, all the brethren of the temple were seized in pursuance of the king's mandate and the papal bull. In a chronicle, quoted by Dr. Whitaker, the death of a monk is recorded thus : - In the
of 1309 from his incarnation, on the day of St. Vincent the martyr, died our first abbot, indiction 8, the 2nd year from leap year, dominicial letter D, golden number XIX., and the 3rd year of king Edward II.|| A battle was fought be
* See a charter of the year 1079. Nouv. Histoire de Languedoc, Tom. II., p. 303.
+ Chart. Baldrici Dolensis Episc. an. 1109, apud D'Achery, Spicil. Aliquot Vet. Script, Tom. VII., p. 196; Chart. Henr. Comit. D’Eu, apud Mabillon, de Re Diplom., p. 594. Madox, Dissert., S. xxi., p. 30. Formulare, No. 225, 231.
Matt. Westmon., p. 135.
Hist. Anglic. Script., col. 2531. || Hist. Whalley, p. 531.
tween the Scots and English on Friday, June 10, 1138, which, to modern ears, is thus obscured by the chronicler, John, prior of Hexham; This battle took place at Clitheroe, on the sixth feria or day of the week, the quinzime of the nativity of St. John the Baptist.* A ludicrously turgid date is employed by John Whethamstede to convey the information that the king arrived at St. Albans about Easter, 1458 :- The 7th year being completely passed, in the first term of the ensuing year, about that season in which our lord Jesus rode upon an ass into Jerusalem, there to celebrate the passover with his disciples, came our lord the king to the monastery to eat his paschal lamb with his dukes, earls, barons and knights. In a similar style he designates the end of July as the time when the sabbath or solstice of the year is past, and the sun has gone farther and farther, until he has nearly described all
the degrees of the sign Leo. I End of the From a mistaken notion of the import of the six Persian world, in
gahan bars, or Zoroastrian thousands of light,ß an opinion early obtained that the world would terminate at the expiration of six thousand years, and, in the tenth century, it was every where believed that this period had nearly arrived. Theologians attempted to calculate the precise moment of the end of the world ;ll and numerous charters
* Hoc bellum factum est inter Anglos, Pictos et Scottos apud Clitherou, feria vi die xv. ante nativitatem Sancti Johannis Baptistæ, anno prædicto, i. e. MCxxxviii.Sim. Dunelm. Continuat. per Johannem Priorem Hagustaldensem, p. 261, n. 11.
+ Chron. Hearne edente, Tom. II., p. 531.
Lord, Religion of the anc. Persians, ch. 2. It was the end of the great year of Plato, Aristotle, and the ancient astronomers," which the spheres of the planets constitute when they come together to the same places where they once met before; the winter of which made the world's deluge, and its summer will make the last conflagration.-Censorin. de die Nat., cap. 18, apud Strauch. Brev. Chron., B. I., c. 5, s. 16.
|| A Saxon monk of the following century, fixes the great judgment and end of the world at forty days after the advent of Anti-Christ, which seems
of that age commence with the words, “ As the world is now drawing to its close.”* The terror inspired by this opinion, seems not to have subsided in 1068, the date of a charter of William the Conqueror, which begins with the alarming annunciation.
Events of national importance, and even the transactions Singular of private persons, have been, from whatever motive, se- dutes. lected as the epochs of charters. A Saxon grant of manumission to a serf, in the reign of William the First, requires a minute acquaintance with ecclesiastical history to ascertain the date.I So also a charter of Alice de Gant, in 1154, which is dated on the 5th day before the ides of June, in the reign of king Stephen, during the vacancy in the church caused by the death of archbishop William, and while he lies unburied. Here all is particular, and yet, except the day of the month, obscure. The remarkable circumstance of the archbishop's death and lying in state seems to have been uppermost in the mind of the clerical notary, who, no doubt, considered it to be a more memorable date than the regnal year of the prince or the year of the nativity. A charter of William de Romana was made
to have been momentarily expected in the reign of Edward the Confessor:☆ seczaþ bec $ rý xl. daga fynse: And rade æften þam þær se bec sæczap. gepeonb re micla dom. y teos poruld ge-endaþ.-Sermo de Temporibus, Lye edente. But the cardinal Peter de Aliaco determines this matter with greater precision; " for from the beginning of Aries to the end of Virgo, is equal to half of that space, which is from the beginning of Libra to the end of Pisces; so there ought to be from the birth of Christ to the end of the world, as much time as there was from the creation to the coming of our Saviour. But this space was 2560 years; therefore, from the beginning to the end of the world will be 10,400, at which time all the stars will have finished their orbicular course."--Strauch. Brev. Chron. ut supra.
* Hallam, Europe in the Middle Ages, Vol. III., p. 339.
+“ Mundo accrescentia mala minantur etiam mundi appropinquare exidia.-Hickes, Tom. III., Diss. Epist., p. 77.
On þan dæg man dide Osbern bisceop. 7 Leofric bisceop. On the day of the translation of bishops Osbern and Leofric.-Hickes, Ibid., p. 76.
Ś Dugd. Monast. Anglic., Tom. I., p. 312, col. 1. Madox.
A, D. 1172, on the kalends of April, at the abbey of St. Laurence, in the time of abbot Hugh.* Walter Fitz Gerard, impressed with the importance of the event, dates in that year in which died king Henry, the younger, the son of Alianora and king Henry, and after the death of the same younger Henry, at the festival of St. Michael next ensuing. A charter of Owen de Bromfield is dated, A.D. 1195, dominicial letter A, on Sunday after the feast of St. Benedict. I William the Conqueror has a magnificent date, taken from the completion of the Domesday Survey. A charter, conferring upon Alan, count of Bretagne, all earl Edwin's towns and lands in Yorkshire, which is ascribed to the same king, but believed by Spelman to be a forgery, is dated during the siege of the city of York.ll A charter of the year 1164, is dated on that Easter in which the king banished the relations of the archbishop of Canterbury from the feast of St. Michael, after the consecration of H. archdeadon of Canterbury as bishop of Salisbury. The nativity of patrons of religious houses has been sometimes employed, probably from motives of gratitude, as a convenient point from which to compute the dates of the smaller monkish chronicles.** Trevisa's translation of Higden's
* Ibid., p. 824, col. 1, apud eundem.
“ Post descriptionem totius Angliæ.”—Madox, Form. 396, p. 196. It is a singular circumstance that Bale having mentioned the English name,
Domys daye," and stated that the work in Latin was called “ Diem judicii, lib. I.” (De Script. Brit., p. 166. Ed. Basil., 1559), Fabricius should mistake the purport of the observation, and say that Bale praises William's Description of England, and his Day of Judgment. (Biblioth. Med. et Inf. Lat. Lib. VII., p. 404.) The blunder is also found in Gesner, who says that this prince wrote a book concerning the day of judgment. (Bibl. Univers., p. 308.) Il “ Datum in obsidione coram civitate Eboraci."
Madox, Form. 464, p. 276. “ Anno II Henrii Regis Archiepiscopus Cantuariensis exulatus est."- Annales Waverl. p. 159.
** Baines, Hist. Lanc., Vol. III., p. 174. Whitaker, Whalley, p. 131.
Polychronicon has a date of this kind. It was completed, he says, 18th April, 1387, 10 Richard II., “the yere of my lordes age, sire Thomas Berkley, that made me make thys translacion, fyve and thrytty.” Perhaps the most singular of historical dates is contained in a charter of William Fitz Walter de Stanes, in 1193: it is taken from the regnal year, and the year of his own marriage.* Modern writers sometimes furnish dates of this kind, which would, unaccompanied by other materials, be attended with equal obscurity: thus the South Sea scheme, which ruined many hundred families, communicated its name to the year 1720, when the bubble was dissipated :
“ What made Directors cheat in South Sea Year.”+
Dr. Maty, in 1751, mentions the year of the South,' as a remarkable epoch of human weakness, in which sudden opulence threw more people into the madhouse than unexpected reverses. I
Some of the Carlovingian princes employed the years of their own age, as well as of their reign, in the dates of diplomas, statutes, and public acts; and a charter of a Saxon king, Egfrid, is dated, in a similar manner, in the 40th year of his age,
and the 15th of his reign. Irregularity prevailed in naming the place from which Place of charters were granted. It was not unfrequently mentioned date immain Anglo-Saxon charters.
In the charter of Athelstan, before cited, the date is in a city known to all men, which is called London :|| and in another by which, in the same
• Madox, Form. 509, p. 296.
“ Dans l'année de Sud, brilliante époque de la foiblesse humaine, et qui fit pout-être moins de foux qu'elle n'en trouva, on cut lieu de remarquer qu’une opulence subite conduisit plus de gens aux petites maisons que des revers inattendus.”—Journ. Britannique, Tom. V., p. 244.
Dugd. Monast. Anglic., T I., p. 46, col. 2. Madox. || “ Anno Dominicæ Incarnationis DCCCC.XXX., regni vero mihi commissi vi., indictione vii., epacta iii., concurrente i., septinis Junii