Regnal years of English monarchs
The following is a list of the official
For centuries, English official public documents have been dated by the
Regnal years are calculated from the official date (year, month and day) of a monarch's accession. For example, King George III acceded on 25 October 1760. That marks the beginning of his first regnal year. His second regnal year starts on 25 October 1761, his third regnal year on 25 October 1762, and so on. When a monarch dies, abdicates or is deposed, the regnal year comes to an end (whether the full year has run its course or not). A new regnal year begins from a new date, with a new monarch.
As different monarchs begin their reigns at different times, the exact month and day when a regnal year begins varies across reigns. For example, Elizabeth I's regnal year starts on 17 November, James I's on 24 March, Charles I's on 27 March, and so on.
Within this article English dates before the official introduction to England of the
This means that when the legal year began on 25 December the legal year was nearly a year behind the historical calendar. For example, the first January of William the Conqueror's reign was in the legal year of 1066 but the historical calendar year of 1067. From the 13th century until the middle of the 18th century the start of some monarch's regnal year may be transposed onto different years depending on whether the transposition uses the legal year or the historic calendar. For example, the reign of
These date differences can also be confusing when sorting dates in old documents before 1753. For example, a parliamentary statute that was passed on, say, 10 February 1585 (in normal calendar date) would be dated in the official record as 10 February 1584 (the legal year), and simultaneously said to have been passed in the 27th year of Elizabeth I (the regnal year that started on 17 November 1584).
The following table gives the dates of the regnal years for