Very many academics and others have taken to dating the arrival of the so-called Great Army of Danes in East Anglia as 865. Yet the ‘Parker’, or Winchester copy of the Chronicle, states that they arrived in 866. For those who are confused by this contradiction, it is important to note that the Chronicle says they ‘took winter quarters’ there – so it is reasonable to assume they arrived in the Autumn.

According to a paper entitled The beginning of the year in the Alfredian Chronicle, by M.L.R. Beaven, published in the English History Review xxxiii in 1918, pages 328-342, at the time that this annal was written, the numbering of each new year began on 23 September.

Perhaps he was right. Perhaps he wasn’t.

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