HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADAM SMITH!
According to his baptism certificate, Adam Smith was baptised on 5 June, 1723, which by common convention is taken to be his birthday, because sickly children were baptised at birth in case they did not survive infancy (a common practise among religious families until recently).
However, there are always those overly-smart know-alls who insist on showing how clever they are by unnecessarily complicating the consequences of their actions. I refer to those persons who shift Adam Smith’s birthday from the calendar date in operation in 1723 (5 June) to 16 June by adding 11 days to the Julian calander to bring it into line with the Gregorian calender that came into operation from 1752.
If you watch carefully, some announcements of Adam Smith’s 16th of June birthday will appear in the press somewhere soon. Consider the consequences if historians were to conduct a parallel operation to change the Julian to Gregorian dates on all of Adam Smith’s correspondence to and from others, plus the biographically dated events in his life up to 1752. His biographies would need to be re-set or constantly re-marked on the page or by footnotes, as would events in the wider-world during those centuries preceding 1752.
I suggest we stick to the documented dates in the appropriate records and ignore the 11-day discrepancies that are of no interest to sensible people, much like the sex-life of a rhinosorous is only of interest to another rhinosorous.
To celebrate Adam’s birthday, I am having lunch today with Chris Smith in Edinburgh, not fay from where Smith's close friend, James Hutton explored the geology of the defunct volcano that 5 million years ago graced the lands where Edinburgh now stands.
As for the Gregorian ‘know-alls’, I offer them a metaphoric two fingers …