Earliest Ash Wednesday since 1856

Thanks to Ian at Musings from a Catholic Bookstore for the information that Ash Wednesday this year is on the earliest date since 1856. Looking up the Wikipedia entry for 1856, I find that it was the year that
  • Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross
  • The Treaty of Paris ended the Crimean War
  • Christchurch, new Zealand was chartered as a City
  • Seton Hall University was founded
  • Britain went to war with Persia
  • Gregor Mendel began his research on genetics
  • Sigmund Freud, George Bernard Shaw, Frank Kellogg and Woodrow Wilson were born
It was also the year in which the Prince Imperial, Louis Napoleon was born (son of Napoleon III) - I will remember this on Sunday as I enjoy some roast beef at the family home in Chislehurst (now the clubhouse of the Chislehurst Golf Club.)

UPDATE - Apparently this is all tosh anyway. See the comment by Berolinensis. Nevertheless, I am going to lunch at Chislehurst tomorrow :-)

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