Julian v Gregorian date challenge - 4 Nov 1612 diary of John Chamberlain

0 votes

Confirming a death date.

Source cited by Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 63:

John Chamberlain, Esquire to Sir Dudley Carleton. London 4 Nov 1612:

''Judge Yelverton[1] died on Friday last, of very age... Editor's Footnote: [1]Not Sir Henry Yelverton, who did not die till 1630.''

Source: Birch, Thomas; Williams, Robert Folkstone. The Court and times of James the First: Illustrated by authentic and Confidential Letters, from Various Public and Private Collections. Vol 1. 1848, p. 200-2. London: Henry Colburn.

30 Oct 1612: Day of the Week: The day of the week for 30 Oct 1612 under the old Julian calendar was Friday. 

Note: The History of Parliament says he died on 31 Oct. Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 63 says 30 Oct.

Assuming that The Court and Times of James doesn't specify Julian v. Gregorian, should Gregorian be assumed, in which case, neither 30 Oct nor 31 are correct?[2]

[2] November 2, 1612 was the 307th day of the year 1612 in the Gregorian calendar. There were 59 days remaining until the end of the year. The day of the week was Friday.

WikiTree profile: Christopher Yelverton
in Genealogy Help by Porter Fann G2G6 Mach 5 (56.4k points)
reopened by Porter Fann
Julian calendar
Thanks. That makes sense.

2 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer

A link to when the switch from Julian to Gregorian calendar took place:


by Tommy Buch G2G6 Pilot (415k points)
selected by Porter Fann
That pretty much settles it that Julian was still ruling the day, based upon the conventional wisdom.

One source said 31 Oct for some reason (doesn't match with Gregorian or Julian), so I don't know what's up with that, but all the other sources, and an independent calculation, puts the death date at 30 Oct.

Thanks for your help!
I would add a “research notes” section and make note of the source that is incorrect.
Thank you for the link to Julian/Gregorian timeline.

+1 vote


"He died on 31 October 1612 ‘of very age’ at seventy-five[14] in his 70-room mansion at Easton Maudit.[15] and was buried on 3 November in the church at Easton Maudit, where a monument with his recumbent effigy in robes survives."

(Citing the same source that DNB does.) What's notable is that he was buried on 3 Nov, which might help sort out how much time elapsed, as was custom, if a customary length of time existed, then, between death and burial. If he died 2 Nov (Gregorian), is it conceivable that he would be buried the next day, for example? Or, would the burial date predict 30 Oct (or 31 Oct) as the more likely (Julian) death date?

14. ^ Court and Times of James I, i. 202; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1611–18, p. 154

15. ^ Jump up to: a b "Family History of the Yelvertons, Viscounts Avonmore"

by Porter Fann G2G6 Mach 5 (56.4k points)

Yes, the inscription clearly says 31st

Also,  according to the Vic County History which  references his inquisition post mortem, he died, seized of the manor (of Easton Maudit), in London, on 31 October 1612. The IPM would be the official date of death for inheritance purposes


 I can't find an abstract of the IPM online  anywhere.The originals are in the Nat Archives but the catalogue entrie(s) have  no summary. His burial on the 3rd is recorded in the Easton Maudit register (image on ancestry misindexed as Christopherus Johonson)

 (Maybe he died in his sleep between the night of the 30th and morning of the 31st.)

Perhaps a few people knew on Friday and nobody else was told until Saturday.

Or perhaps John Chamberlain didn't know what day of the week it was (with which I can sympathize).

Here's a discussion on FindAGrave in another instance.

Is deferring to a FindAGrave headstone on vital dates the best strategy?

Having said that, we have the History of Parliament agreeing to the 31 Oct date, and the IPM, noted elsewhere. So the anecdote that he died on a Friday may have been "after midnight," per an official examination? We may never know.

Thanks for the note about the inscription. All of the faults and weaknesses of FindAGrave aside, the inscription is compelling and we have at least two points of agreement, plus presumptively two footnote citations from BHO.

I'll transcribe the inscription. What does A with the o superscript mean?
Also, if you'd kindly convert your Reply to an Answer, that would be much appreciated. Great finds!
Trust me: I got up today and thought that it was Sunday.

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