Prior to 1963, Acts of Parliament were numbered using the year of the sovereign’s reign in which the Act was passed, a system known as regnal years.
Under the regnal year system, an Act passed early in a parliamentary session has a citation such as 5 Edw. 7, c. 9, for the ninth chapter in the session that commenced in the fifth year of the reign of King Edward 7th. It was common for a session to extend into a second regnal year, resulting in citations such as 8 & 9 Geo. 6, c. 4. Occasionally, a session could extend into a third regnal year, with citations such as 12 13 & 14 Geo. 6, c. 87.
JustCite supports searching by regnal year, although we do not list regnal years as separate parallel citations alongside the modern year and chapter reference for full-text linking purposes. Please note that regnal year searching is not compatible with Local Acts. For Local Acts please use the reckoner below.
You can use the reckoner to determine the calendar year corresponding to a regnal year and then enter your search in JustCite in the form yyyy c. x
Select the name of a monarch in the following list, and look for the regnal year in the first column of the table for that monarch. Note that:
- Monarchs who never summoned Parliament, such as Edward V, do not appear.
- Any Acts which survived the interregnum will have regnal years dating from the restoration.