Originally posted to 15 March 1659/60 entry by Susanna:
This was the Feast of the Annunciation, celebrated on March 25. "Known popularly as Lady Day in honour of the Virgin Mary, it was a favourite date for the payment of quarterly rents and dues. From the twelfth century to 1752 it also marked the formal beginning of the year..." (Ronald Hutton, The Stations of the Sun) So on the 25th of March 1659/60 becomes 1660, and Pepys is paying his quarterly rent early, as he will be at sea when it is due.
Originally posted to 15 March 1659/60 by David Bell:
As annotated earlier this year, in discussion of the calendar differences, the date of the formal year-end for accounting, etc, shifted to the current April date when the calendar was changed in the middle of the next century.
However, in Britain at least, Estate Agents will still refer to "Lady Day" for this particular quarter day, though in contracts they use the calendar date.
David Quidnunc • Link
Geoff • Link
I believe that under English law, it is still the case that rent on a lease is payable on the "usual quarter days" unless the lease states to the contrary.
I was told at law school that you can remember the usual quarter days because for the first three, the second number is the same as the number of letters in the month (and even law students know the date of Christmas!)
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.