The following is a list of the official regnal years of the monarchs of the Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Great Britain and United Kingdom from 1066. The regnal calendar ("nth year of the reign of King X", etc.) is used in many official British government and legal documents of historical interest, notably parliamentary statutes.
A regnal year is a year of the reign of a sovereign, from the Latin regnum meaning kingdom, rule. Regnal years considered the date as an ordinal, not a cardinal number. For example, a monarch could have a first year of rule, a second year of rule, a third year of rule, and so on, but not a zeroth year of rule.
A monarch is a sovereign head of state in a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority and power in the state, or others may wield that power on behalf of the monarch. Typically a monarch either personally inherits the lawful right to exercise the state's sovereign rights or is selected by an established process from a family or cohort eligible to provide the nation's monarch. Alternatively, an individual may become monarch by conquest, acclamation or a combination of means. A monarch usually reigns for life or until abdication.
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
For centuries, English official public documents have been dated by the regnal years of the ruling monarch. Traditionally, parliamentary statutes are referenced by regnal year, e.g. the Occasional Conformity Act of 1711 is officially referenced as "10 Anne c.6" (read as "the sixth chapter of the statute of the parliamentary session that sat in the 10th year of the reign of Queen Anne").
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, and domestically simply as Parliament or Westminster, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.
The Occasional Conformity Act was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which passed on 20 December 1711. Previous Occasional Conformity bills had been debated in 1702 and 1704, the later causing the 'Tackers' controversy. It was passed by the Tories to undermine the Whig party, and to ensure that elections to Parliament were under the control of Tories, with non-conformists locked out. It applied to any national or local official in England or Wales who was required to attend Church of England services and take the Lord's Supper. If such a person attended "any coventicle, assembly or meeting" of any other religion, they would be subject to a penalty of £40 and permanently barred from government employment.
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.
The regnal year is distinct from the official "legal year" – that is, the calendar used for legal, civic and ecclesiastical purposes. The legal year also did not always coincide with the start date for the historical year. Until the 13th century, the English legal year began at Christmas (25 December). From the 14th century until 1752, the legal year began on 25 March. It is only since 1752 that the legal year was re-set to coincide with the start of the historical calendar year (1 January) (see Calendar (New Style) Act 1750).
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.
The Calendar Act 1750 (c.23) was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. The Act had two parts: first, it reformed the calendar of England and the British Dominions so that the new legal year began on 1 January rather than 25 March ; and, second, Great Britain and its Dominions adopted the Gregorian calendar, as already used in most of western Europe.
These date differences can also be confusing when sorting dates in old documents before 1753. For example, the reign of Charles I came to an end with his execution on 30 January 1649, but contemporary legal records such as the House of Commons Journals record this as 30 January 1648.To account for this complication, it is customary for historians referring to legal events between 1 January and 25 March to write the year down in "double-barreled" format (e.g. "30 January, 1648-49", the former being the legal year, the latter the historical year).
Charles I was the monarch over the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649.
The regnal years listed below are given in normal historical date (not legal year). So 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 1750 Act reforming the legal year also officially introduced to England the Gregorian calendar on Thursday 14 September 1752. Up until then, England had been using the Julian calendar, which by that time was eleven days behind the calendar of most countries on the European Continent. So events before 1752 in English records often differ from European records, and it is sometimes necessary to refer to both sets of dates using "Old Style" (Julian) and "New Style" (Gregorian) notation, e.g. William of Orange's armada landed in England on November 5, 1688 (OS) or November 15, 1688 (NS)(see Old Style and New Style dates). The dates in the table below follow the English calendar (OS until 1752, NS thereafter).
The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. The calendar spaces leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day tropical year that is determined by the Earth's revolution around the Sun. The rule for leap years is:
Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the year 2000 is.
The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in 708 AUC (46 BC/BCE), was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on 1 January 709 AUC (45 BC/BCE), by edict. It was the predominant calendar in the Roman world, most of Europe, and in European settlements in the Americas and elsewhere, until it was gradually replaced by the Gregorian calendar, promulgated in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.
William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from the 1670s and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known as "King Billy" in Northern Ireland and Scotland, where his victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is still commemorated by Unionists and Ulster loyalists.
The following table gives the dates of the regnal years for Kings of England (and subsequently Great Britain), from 1066 to the present day.These are official de jure dates, and may or may not coincide with whether a particular king had de facto power or not at that time. For example, as the Commonwealth era was suppressed in the official record, the regnal years of Charles II are measured from 30 January 1649 (the day his father Charles I was executed); as a result, when Charles II actually became king, on 29 May 1660, he was already in his 12th regnal year. (For the de facto tabulation of English rulers, see any conventional list of English monarchs.)
To calculate the regnal year from a particular date, just subtract the first regnal year from the calendar year in question. If the month and day fall before the regnal date, do nothing; if it falls on or after the regnal date, add one. Finally — for the regnal year of William III after Mary’s death (that is, from 28 December 1694 onwards) — you must also add 6.
|Monarch||No. of years||First regnal year||Regnal year start date||Regnal year end date||End of final year|
|William I||21||1066||14 October||13 October||9 Sep 1087|
|William II||13||1087||26 September||25 September||2 Aug 1100|
|Henry I||36||1100||5 August||4 August||1 Dec 1135|
|Stephen||19||1135||26 December||25 December||25 Oct 1154|
|Henry II||35||1154||19 December||18 December||6 Jul 1189|
|Richard I||10||1189||3 September||2 September||6 Apr 1199|
|John||18||1199||May (Ascension Day)||May (varied)||19 Oct 1216|
|Henry III||57||1216||28 October||27 October||16 Nov 1272|
|Edward I||35||1272||20 November||20 November||7 Jul 1307|
|Edward II||20||1307||8 July||7 July||20 Jan 1327|
|Edward III||51 (England), |
|1327||25 January||24 January||21 Jun 1377|
|Richard II||23||1377||22 June||21 June||29 Sep 1399|
|Henry IV||14||1399||30 September||29 September||20 Mar 1413|
|Henry V||10||1413||21 March||20 March||31 Aug 1422|
|Henry VI||39 + 1||1422||1 September||31 August||4 Mar 1461|
|Edward IV||23||1461||4 March||3 March||9 Apr 1483|
|Edward V||1||1483||9 April||25 June||25 Jun 1483|
|Richard III||3||1483||26 June||25 June||22 Aug 1485|
|Henry VII||24||1485||22 August||21 August||21 Apr 1509|
|Henry VIII||38||1509||22 April||21 April||28 Jan 1547|
|Edward VI||7||1547||28 January||27 January||6 Jul 1553|
|Mary I||2||1553||6 July||5 July||24 Jul 1554|
|"Philip and Mary"||5 & 6||1554||25 July||24 July||17 Nov 1558|
|Elizabeth I||45||1558||17 November||16 November||24 Mar 1603|
|James I||23||1603||25 March||24 March||27 Mar 1625|
|Charles I||24||1625||27 March||26 March||30 Jan 1649|
|Charles II||37||1649||30 January||29 January||6 Feb 1685|
|James II||4||1685||6 February||5 February||11 Dec 1688|
|"William and Mary"||6||1689||13 February||12 February||27 Dec 1694|
|William III||8 |
(7 to 14)
|1694||28 December||27 December||8 Mar 1702|
|Anne||13||1702||8 March||7 March||1 Aug 1714|
|George I||13||1714||1 August||31 July||11 Jun 1727|
|George II||34||1727||11 June||10 June||25 Oct 1760|
|George III||60||1760||25 October||24 October||29 Jan 1820|
|George IV||11||1820||29 January||28 January||26 Jun 1830|
|William IV||7||1830||26 June||25 June||20 Jun 1837|
|Victoria||64||1837||20 June||19 June||22 Jan 1901|
|Edward VII||10||1901||22 January||21 January||6 May 1910|
|George V||26||1910||6 May||5 May||20 Jan 1936|
|Edward VIII||1||1936||20 January||11 December||11 Dec 1936|
|George VI||16||1936||11 December||10 December||5 Feb 1952|
2019 = 67 Eliz. 2 – 68 Eliz. 2)
|1952||6 February||5 February|
Year 1554 (MDLIV) was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar.
Philip II of Spain was King of Spain (1556–98), King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily, and jure uxoris King of England and Ireland. He was also Duke of Milan. From 1555 he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands.
A monarchical system of government existed in Ireland from ancient times until—for what became the Republic of Ireland—the early twentieth century. Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, remains under a monarchical system of government. The Gaelic kingdoms of Ireland ended with the Norman invasion of Ireland, when the kingdom became a fief of the Holy See under the Lordship of the King of England. This lasted until the Parliament of Ireland conferred the crown of Ireland upon King Henry VIII of England during the English Reformation. The monarch of England held the crowns of England and Ireland in a personal union. The Union of the Crowns in 1603 expanded the personal union to include Scotland. The personal union between England and Scotland became a political union with the enactments of the Acts of Union 1707, which created the Kingdom of Great Britain. The crowns of Great Britain and Ireland remained in personal union until it was ended by the Acts of Union 1800, which united Ireland and Great Britain into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from January 1801 until December 1922.
Adherents of Zoroastrianism use three distinct versions of traditional calendars for liturgical purposes, all derived from medieval Iranian calendars, ultimately based on the Babylonian calendar as used in the Achaemenid empire. "Qadimi" ("ancient") is a traditional reckoning introduced in 1006. "Shahanshahi" ("imperial") is a calendar reconstructed from the 10th-century text Denkard. "Fasli" is a term for a 1906 adaptation of the 11th-century Jalali calendar, following a proposal by Kharshedji Rustomji Cama made in the 1860s.
The British Five Guinea coin was a machine-struck currency produced from 1668–1753. It was a gold coin 37 millimetres in diameter and weighing between 41 and 42 grams. Although the coin is now known as the "five guinea" piece, during the 17th and 18th centuries it was also known as a five-pound piece, as during the reign of Charles II a guinea was worth twenty shillings — until its value was fixed at twenty-one shillings by a Royal Proclamation in 1717 the value fluctuated rather in the way that bullion coins do today.
Regnal numbers are ordinal numbers used to distinguish among persons with the same name who held the same office. Most importantly, they are used to distinguish monarchs. An ordinal is the number placed after a monarch's regnal name to differentiate between a number of kings, queens or princes reigning the same territory with the same regnal name.
A calendar era is the year numbering system used by a calendar. For example, the Gregorian calendar numbers its years in the Western Christian era. The instant, date, or year from which time is marked is called the epoch of the era. There are many different calendar eras such as Saka Era.
A regnal name, or reign name, is the name used by monarchs and popes during their reigns and, subsequently, historically. Since ancient times, some monarchs have chosen to use a different name from their original name when they accede to the monarchy.
The precise style of British sovereigns has varied over the years. The present style is officially proclaimed in two languages:
Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are terms sometimes used with dates to indicate that the calendar convention used at the time described is different from that in use at the time the document was being written. There were two calendar changes in Great Britain and its colonies, which may sometimes complicate matters: the first was to change the start of the year from Lady Day to 1 January; the second was to discard the Julian calendar in favour of the Gregorian calendar. Closely related is the custom of dual dating, where writers gave two consecutive years to reflect differences in the starting date of the year, or to include both the Julian and Gregorian dates.
From the 1340s to the 19th century, excluding two brief intervals in the 1360s and the 1420s, the kings and queens of England also claimed the throne of France. The claim dates from Edward III, who claimed the French throne in 1340 as the sororal nephew of the last direct Capetian, Charles IV. Edward and his heirs fought the Hundred Years' War to enforce this claim, and were briefly successful in the 1420s under Henry V and Henry VI, but the House of Valois, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, was ultimately victorious and retained control of France. Despite this, English and British monarchs continued to prominently call themselves kings of France, and the French fleur-de-lis was included in the royal arms. This continued until 1801, by which time France no longer had any monarch, having become a republic. The Jacobite claimants, however, did not explicitly relinquish the claim.
The Kings of Judah were the monarchs who ruled over the ancient Kingdom of Judah. According to the biblical account, this kingdom was founded after the death of Saul, when the tribe of Judah elevated David to rule over it. After seven years, David became king of a reunited Kingdom of Israel. However, in about 930 BCE the united kingdom split, with ten of the twelve Tribes of Israel rejecting Solomon's son Rehoboam as their king. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to Rehoboam, and re-formed the Kingdom of Judah, while the other entity continued to be called the Kingdom of Israel, or just Israel.
This article augments the List of parliaments of England to be found elsewhere and to precede Duration of English, British and United Kingdom parliaments from 1660, with additional information which could not be conveniently incorporated in them.
Events from the year 1694 in England.