26 September 2010

Dying on Saturdays

"But the superstitious noted that the death of Prince Albert Victor on a Thursday broke a remarkable spell or curse which had hung over the present royal family of England for more than a century and three-quarters — bringing about the death of all the prominent members of that family on Saturdays. William III died Saturday, March 18, 1702; Queen Anne died Saturday, August 1, 1714; George I died Saturday, June 10, 1727; George II died Saturday, October 25, 1760; George III died Saturday, January 29, 1820; George IV died Saturday, June 26, 1830; the Duchess of Kent died Saturday, March 16, 1861; the Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria and grandfather of the recent deceased Prince Albert Victor, died Saturday, December 14, 1861; Princess Alice of Hesse-Darmstadt, Victoria’s second daughter, and sister of Albert, died Saturday, December 14, 1878..."

– William Shepard Walsh, Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities, 1892
One wonders whether the list is simply selectively compiled from the obits of a huge family, or whether circumstances of the era made it more "convenient" for deaths to occur on Saturdays.

Found in the ever-interesting Futility Closet.

1 comment:

  1. I cannot remember my source or the details, but I read somewhere than in one community it was unusually common for women to die soon after a certain holiday, but rare for them to die right before it, because they had a duty to perform on that holiday and were able to stave off death just a few days.


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