16 and 24 year old dating
Until the Calendar Act of 1752, the year in England began officially on 25 March (Lady Day), and not 1 January (even though this was when New Year’s Day was celebrated).
Thus the year number did not change until 25 March, so taking 1558 as an example, the dates ran as follows: So if you see a document dated any time between January and 24 March before 1752, be aware that in modern terms, you need to add a year.
By 1752 England was some 11 days behind other European countries.
So in 1752 these days had to be cut out of the year to make the adjustment.
So documents written in the first year that Charles II was on the throne would actually be styled 12 Charles II. Jones (eds), ‘A Handbook of Dates: For Students of British History’ (Cambridge University Press, revd 2000).
Some documents will be dated not by the calendar year but by the regnal year - how long the ruling monarch had been on the throne.
‘1 Elizabeth I’ means the first year of the reign of Elizabeth I.
For more information about dates (including saints days, regnal years, religious festivals and terms of the law courts) see C. Top of page Arabic numerals were not used in England until the 16th century, and even after then Roman numerals continued to be used.
Most people today are still familiar with the classic Roman numerals.
Be aware, however, that you will find them represented in a slightly different way in documents written in English. A ‘1’ by itself, or at the end of a number, was usually represented by a ‘j’.