The Trevelyon Miscellany: Calendars

Word & Image:
The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608

on exhibit January 23 - May 22, 2004

Calendars and Calculations

The calendar that governed the lives of Trevelyon and his contemporaries was the calendar of the Christian church year, which centered around the date of Easter. Before printed calendars in prayer books and almanacs became readily available, one needed the skill of time reckoning, or "Computus," to determine the dates of Easter and the other movable feasts. Calendrical tables in prayer books and early almanacs were often paired with images of "the labors of the months," entertaining illustrations that had a long tradition. By Trevelyon's time these images had mostly disappeared from almanacs, while the practical tables remained. Nevertheless, representations of seasonal agricultural tasks continued to be a reassuring part of the visual culture Trevelyon recorded.

Thomas Trevelyon, Miscellany, fol. 11v (September hath 30 dayes)

Thomas Trevelyon, Miscellany, fol. 12r (September hath 30 dayes)
Thomas Trevelyon
Miscellany, fols. 11v and 12r
("September hath 30 dayes")

Detail, from The Shepardes Kalender, London, 1570?

Detail, from
The Shepardes Kalender
London, 1570?

The two men harvesting grapes in the image for September appear to have been copied from a small woodcut in The Shepardes Kalender.

The accompanying tables, shown above, follow the format of printed almanacs, giving saints' days, time of sunset, and other practical information.

Note the columns of "evill dayes" and "good dayes," probably derived from an edition of Leonard Digges's Prognostication Everlasting which contained tables of good and evil days to let blood, to purge, and to bathe.

Word and Image: The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608
Exhibition Highlights

Thomas Trevelyon: the man and his sources | History and Religion | Calendars and Calculations | Memento Mori | Proverbs | The Old Testament | Lettering | A Quest for Order | Women | Astronomy | Personifications | Embroidery

Exhibition Intro | Visiting the Folger

This page updated March 26, 2004