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Kings, etc., of England


Much foolish superstition has of late been circulated respecting certain days supposed to be “fatal” to the crowned heads of Great Britain. The following list may help to discriminate truth from fiction:

[From means the regnal year commenced from: To is the day of death.]

William L., from Monday, December 25th, 1066, to Thursday, September 9th, 1087; William II., from Sunday, September 26th, 1087, to Thursday, August 2nd, 1100; Henry I., from Sunday, August 5th, 1100, to Sunday, December 1st, 1135; Stephen, from Thursday, December 26th, 1135, to Monday, October 25th, 1154.

Henry II., from Sunday, December 19th, 1154, to Thursday, July 6th, 1189; Richard I., from Sunday, September 3rd, 1189, to Tuesday, April 6th, 1199; John, from Thursday, May 27th, 1199, to Wednesday, October 19th, 1216; Henry III., from Saturday, October 28th, 1216, to Wednesday, November 16th, 1272; Edward I., from Sunday, November 20th, 1272, to Friday, July 7th, 1307; Edward II., from Saturday, July 8th, 1307, to Tuesday, January 20th, 1327; Edward III., from Sunday, January 25th, 1327 (N.S.), to Sunday, June 21st, 1377; Richard II., from Monday, June 22nd, 1377, to Monday, September 29th, 1399; Henry IV., from Tuesday, September 30th, 1399, to Monday, March 20th, 1413; Henry V., from Tuesday, March 21st, 1413, to Monday, August 31st, 1422; Henry VI., from Tuesday, September 1st, 1422, to Wednesday, March 4th, 1461; Edward IV., from Wednesday, March 4th, 1461, to Wednesday, April 9th, 1483; Edward V., from Wednesday, April 9th, 1483, to Sunday, June 22nd, 1483; Richard III., from Thursday, June 26, 1483, to Monday, August 22nd, 1485.

Henry VII., from Monday, August 22nd, 1485, to Saturday, April 21st, 1509; Henry VIII., from Sunday, April 22nd, 1509, to Friday, January 28th, 1547; Edward VI., from Friday, January 28th, 1547, to Thursday, July 6th, 1553; Mary, from Thursday, July 6th, 1553, to Thursday, November 17th, 1558; Elizabeth, from Thursday, November 17th, 1558, to Thursday, March 24th, 1603.

James I., from Thursday, March 24th, 1603, to Sunday, March 27, 1625; Charles I., from Sunday, March 27th, 1625, to Tuesday, January 30th, 1649; [Commonwealth—Cromwell, died Friday, September 3–13, 1658;] Charles II., restored Tuesday, May 29th, 1660, died Friday, February 6th, 1685; James II., from Tuesday, February 6th, 1685, to Saturday, December 11th, 1688; William III., from Wednesday, February 13th, 1689, to Monday, March 8th, 1702; Anne, from Monday, March 8th, 1702, to Sunday, August 1st, 1714. (Both O.S.)

George I., from Sunday, August 1st, 1714, to Saturday, June 11th, 1727 O.S., 1721 N.S.; George II., from Saturday, June 11th, 1727, to Saturday, October 25th, 1760, N.S.; George III., from Saturday, October 25th, 1760, to Saturday, January 29th, 1820; George IV., from Saturday, January 29th, 1820, to Saturday, June 26th, 1830; William IV., from Saturday, June 26th, 1830, to Tuesday, June 20th, 1837; Victoria, from Tuesday, June 20th, 1837 * * (See Two.)

Hence five have terminated their reign on a Sunday, six on a Monday, four on a Tuesday, four on a Wednesday, six on a Thursday, four on a Friday, and six on a Saturday. Nine have begun and ended their reign on the same day, Henry I. and Edward III. on a Sunday; Richard II. on a Monday; Edward IV., Anne, and George I. on a Wednesday: Mary on a Thursday; George III. and George IV. on a Saturday.

Kings, etc., of England.

William I. styled himself King of the English, Normans, and Cinomantians; Henry I., King of the English and Duke of the Normans; Stephen, King of the English; Henry II., King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitania, and Count of Anjou; John, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitania, and Count of Anjou; Henry III., in 1259, dropped the titles of “Duke of Normandy” and “Count of Anjou;” Edward I., King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitania; Edward II. made his sonDuke of Aquitania” in the nineteenth year of his reign, and styled himself King of England and Lord of Ireland; Edward III., from 1337, adopted the style of King of France and England, and Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitania; Richard II., King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland; Edward VI., Of England, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith—this last title was given to Henry VIII. in the thirty-fifth year of his reign; Mary, Of England, France, and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, and Supreme Head of the Anglican and Hibernian Church; Charles I., Of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.; Commonwealth, The Keepers of the Liberties of England, by the authority of Parliament, and Cromwell was styled His Highness; Charles II. and James II. as Charles I.; William and Mary, Of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, King and Queen, Defenders of the Faith, etc.: Anne, Of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, etc.; George III., in 1801, abandoned the wordsKing of France,” which had been retained for 432 years, and his style was “George III., by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith.”


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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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