Fatality of Numbers

S. Baring-Gould

Coincidences of Dates

Some coincidences of dates are very remarkable.

On the 25th August, 1569, the Calvinists massacred the Catholic nobles and priests at Béarn and Navarre.

On the same day of the same month, in 1572, the Calvinists were massacred in Paris and elsewhere.

On the 25th October, 1615, Louis XIII married Anne of Austria, infanta of Spain, whereupon we may remark the following coincidences:

  • The name Loys de Bourbon contains 13 letters; so does the name Anne d'Austriche. (Up to Louis XIII all the kings of this name spelled Louis as Loys.)
  • Louis was 13 years old when this marriage was decided on; Anne was the same age.
  • He was the thirteenth king of France bearing the name of Louis, and she was the thirteenth infanta of the name of Anne of Austria.

On the 23rd April, 1616, died Shakespeare: on the same day of the same month, in the same year, died the great poet Cervantes.

On the 29th May, 1630, King Charles II was born. On the 29th May, 1660, he was restored; on the 29th May, 1672, the fleet was beaten by the Dutch; on the 29th May, 1679, the rebellion of the Covenanters broke out in Scotland.

The Emperor Charles V was born on February 24, 1500; on that day he won the battle of Pavia, in 1525, and on the same day was crowned, in 1530.

On the 29th January, 1697, M. de Broquemar, president of the Parliament of Paris, died suddenly in that city; next day his brother, an officer, died suddenly at Bergue, where he was governor. The lives of these brothers present remarkable coincidences. One day the officer, being engaged in battle, was wounded in his leg by a sword blow. On the same day, at the same moment, the president was afflicted with acute pain, which attacked him suddenly in the same leg as that of his brother which had been injured.

John Aubrey mentions the case of a friend of his who was born on the 15th November; his eldest son was born on the 15th November; and his second son's first son on the same day of the same month.

At the hour of prime, April 6, 1327, Petrarch first saw his mistress Laura in the Church of St. Clara in Avignon. In the same city, same month, same hour, 1348, she died.

The deputation charged with offering the crown of Greece to Prince Otho arrived in Munich on the 13th October, 1832; and it was on the 13th October, 1862, that King Otho left Athens, to return to it no more.

On the 21st April, 1770, Louis XVI was married at Vienna, by the sending of the ring.

On the 21st June, in the same year, took place the fatal festivities of his marriage.

On the 21st January, 1781, was the fête at the Hôtel de Ville, for the birth of the Dauphin; on the 21st June, 1791, took place the flight to Varennes; on the 21st January, 1793, he died on the scaffold.

There is said to be a tradition of Norman-monkish origin that the number 3 is stamped on the royal line of England so that there shall not be more than three princes in succession without a revolution:

  • William I, William II, Henry I; then followed the revolution of Stephen.
  • Henry II, Richard I, John; invasion of Louis, Dauphin of France, who claimed the throne.
  • Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, who was dethroned and put to death.
  • Edward III, Richard II, who was dethroned.
  • Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI; the crown passed to the house of York.
  • Edward IV, Edward V, Richard III; the crown claimed and won by Henry Tudor.
  • Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI; usurpation of Lady Jane Grey.
  • Mary I, Elizabeth; the crown passed to the house of Stuart.
  • James I, Charles I; Revolution.
  • Charles II, James II; invasion of William of Orange.
  • William of Orange and Mary II, Anne; arrival of the house of Brunswick.
  • George I, George II, George III, George IV, William IV, Victoria; the law has proved faulty in the last case, but certainly there was a crisis in the reign of George IV.

As I am on the subject of the English princes, I will add another singular coincidence, though it has nothing to do with the fatality of numbers.

It is that Saturday has been a day of ill omen to the later kings: William of Orange died Saturday, 18th March, 1702; Anne died Saturday, 1st August, 1704; George I died Saturday, 10th June, 1727; George II died Saturday, 25th October, 1760; George III died Saturday, 30th January, 1820; and George IV died Saturday, 26th June, 1830.