Leapling. It sounds like a creature from a fantasy novel — I’m thinking a cross between Gollem and the Marshwiggle from CS Lewis’ Narnia. However, this is the fabulous-sounding name given to those born on February 29th. So, happy birthday to all leaplings of this world, and others!
The concept of the leap year is interesting, and I wondered how it worked in Tudor times, because I knew their New Year began on March 25th. The Tudors used the Julian calendar (Julius Caesar being the man who calculated the leap year), which dictated every year divisible by 4 would be a leap year.
And so, here are some Henrican-Tudor dates that occured in a leap year (I’m sure I missed quite a few, but I just picked these from the top of my head!):
- 1504: death of Mary I’s grandmother, Isabella of Castile
- 1512: England declared war on France
- 1516: birth of Mary I, death of Mary’s grandfather Ferdinand of Aragon
- 1528: the sweating sickness sweeps England and Anne Boleyn falls ill
- 1536: death of Catherine of Aragon, execution of Anne Boleyn
- 1540: Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves and Katheryn Howard; Thomas Cromwell was executed
- 1544: Mary and Elizabeth were restored to the succession
Caesar miscalculated by only 11 minutes, but by the sixteenth century the calendar was inaccurate by 10 days. A new calendar was opted by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 which put things back on track, but because of the Protestant reign of Elizabeth I, England did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752. Our calendar is Gregorian.
I just love learning new things.
Happy birthday to you, if you are a leapling!
Sorry this post is a bit late. A neighbour’s horse was loose, which means 1) everyone has to check it isn’t their horse and 2) once they realize it isn’t their horse, everyone in a five kilometer radius feels compelled to help (or rather, flock together uselessly while the first responders take care of it). Weather doesn’t matter. -20 C. Brr!