True and Correct Tables of Time

This posting is to remind us all that the daylight savings time clock change is coming next weekend.

A sacrifice to Time, Fate dooms us all // And at his Feet poor Mortals daily fall // Time whose bold hand alike does bring to Dust // Mankind, and Earthly Pov’ns in which they Trust

Robert Tailfer (1710-ca.1736), True and correct tables of time: calculated for the old stile for 784 years viz. from A. D. 1300, to 2083, both inclusive; and for the new stile, from its commencement viz. 1582 to 2083 inclusive, being 501 years (London 27 Decr. 1736). Graphic Arts (GAX) 2009 -in process

Written by a British naval officer Robert Tailfer, these tables were designed to ease the conversion between dates on the Gregorian calendar and the Julian (Old Style) calendar. The book includes a brief history of the Gregorian calendar (part seen above) and three tables: the first giving the dominical letter for each year from 1300 to 2083, the second relating the days of the week to the dominical letter for each month of the year, and the third relating the epact (surplus days of the solar over the lunar year) and golden number for each year in both the Old Style and the Gregorian systems. See:

According to Tailfer, these tables are useful “in examining ancient Records, Deeds, Conveyances, Notes of Hand, or any kind of Contracts whatsoever, but more especially in discovering fictitious & forged Deeds of Gift, it being well known that all Writings dated on Sunday (excepting what the Law allows) as null and Void.”

The English artist George Bickham I (also known as the Elder, ca. 1684-1758) engraved the entire work, including the allegorical frontispiece. Bickham was a writing master who is best known for his engraved copy books, such as Art of Writing, in its Theory and Practice (1712) Rare Books (Ex) 2007-0692Q; Second Part of Natural Writing: Containing the Breakes of Letters and Their Dependance on Each Other (1740) Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2007-0421Q; Natural Writing: In All the Hands, with Variety of Ornament (1740) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) 2007-0462Q; and most important of all, The Universal Penman; Or, the Art of Writing Made Useful to the Gentleman and Scholar, as well as the Man of Business … (1743) Cotsen (CTSN) Folios 11406