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Weather Report

The following was published in The Times newspaper on 12th November, 1816 and would suggest that the weather had a big influence on our ancestor's lives.


(The following meteorological account of the year 1698 shows that our forefathers were occasionally visited by as unnatural seasons as those of the present year. Snow has fallen as late as described, but we believe not so generally at so advanced a period as May. It is still less to be paralled, that gooseberries should not be ripe enough even for tarts till the end of July; and that three suns should have appeared at once would be pronounced perfectly apocryphal, unless the circumstance were published in Philosophical Transactions.)

January much snow in deep drifts: all this month ice upon the water, which on the 26th night was 8 inches thick. This within two and a half as thick as at any time on the canal of St. James Park in 1740. Yet, on the 29th, lightning and five claps of thunder.

February, wind N.E. almost all the month and little sunshine, except six days the second week. The 14th great storm, and lanes blown up, with snow several yards deep the whole month while the fields lay bare. the 26th ice 4 inches thick.

March the 24th and 26th, thunder and lightning, warm sunshine all day, with sulphureous clouds, hot evening.

April 14th, thunder followed by showers. The 22nd snowed hard from morning to noon, then a little sunshine, then snowed again very fast, then sunshine followed with large hail, as in April, 1740. The 25th, showers of fierce great hail, with thunder and sunshine mixed. The 27th, thunder and a storm of hail after. A cold month. The 30th, the first cuckoo; gooseberries not blossomed still.

May 3rd, a great deep snow over all England. The 15th, woods like winter. The 17th great hail. The 31st, wheat very slow; cold weather.

June 3rd, cold yet great lightning and thunder, loud and near, with fierce loud hail 3 inches deep on the ground. The 16th, in a warm rich soil was the first wheat-ear seen near London. The backwardest spring in 47 years.

July, first part, very wet. The 15th evening, great rain. From the 18th to 26th, cloudless sunshine. The 9th, rain with a great deal of red lightning with unceasing thunder. No gooseberry tarts till July. The 30th, apple trees in small blossom as in the Spring.

August 13th, 14th and 15th, frosts yet; the latter half, the pleasantest time in the year. The 6th one clap of thunder, with a shower of the biggest drops known.

The four last months had scarce 2 days together without rain (except from July 18th to 29th), the wettest season known, whole fields of corn spoiled even in Kent, much more in the North. Horses were turned into the pease and barley. The earliest wheat not cut till the middle of September.

In Kent, September 29th, barley standing uncut, much lay in the swaithe till December; that which was brought in was soaked with wet, and almost useless.

Much corn in the North ungot at Christmas; and in Scotland they were throng reaping in January, and heating the deep snow off it, as they reaped the poor green empty crop.

Bread made of wheat was got, would not stick together, but fell in pieces, and tasted sweet as if made of malt.

October 3rd, much lightning and pretty much thunder. The 15th, 16th and 17th, extreme cold nights, wind N.N.W. The 30th a great deal of rain and snow, wind N.E.

December warm. The 7th a hot steam. The 22nd, wheat sown which proved as forward in harvest as any. The seed time was so wet that there was hardly above half a crop sown this year.

I have been more particular on the account of this year, which upon the whole, was the coldest from 1695, that my journal began, to 1742 - Mr. Say.

A terrible war abroad; scarcity, dearth, famine, and divisions between the contenders for liberty or slavery at home.

The poor were compelled to feed on uncommon and unwholesome things.

In October began that very fatal and contagious spotted fever, which prevailed over all England, and made sad havock of people. But for the symptoms of history and cure, we must be obliged to foreigners next year.

1696 and 1697 were both bad and dear years.

December 22nd, a terrible tempest of thunder and lightning at Halifax.

August 28th, at Sudbury in Suffolk, were three suns seen, the sky of a light azure blue; the circles were white, and a large red fiery half moon, with its horns turned upward.

February 26th, 1699, 3 suns were seen at Canterbury.

In 1626, 5 were seen in Rome.

April 1702, 2 were seen in London.


Source: Palmer's Full Text Online

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