Weather reports from northern Britain, 1784
Presented here are reports relating to weather in 1784 from two northern English newspapers, the east-coast Newcastle Courant, and the west-coast Cumberland Pacquet (published in Whitehaven). [My own occasional comments appear in square brackets.]
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 3 Jan 1784: The storm has been very violent at sea, and, it is feared, very much damage has been done.
NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE, 3 Jan 1784: Thursday se'nnight, about ten o'clock in the morning, a very strong gale of wind began to blow from the S.E. which almost instantly caused a higher sea upon Tinmouth Bar, and at the mouth of Shields harbour, than can be remembered there by the oldest person living. A light ship coming over the Bar, belonging to Mr Armstrong, of Cullercoats, was drove ashore on the Black Midlings, where she now lays without any possibility of her being recovered. The crew were with difficulty saved. The violence of the wind was so great, she split one of the rocks against which she was drove, and was afterwards hoisted so far ashore, as to be out of the water-mark at the highest spring tides. In the evening, when the violence of the sea had abated, a set of villains came down and plundered the ship of the captain's chest, sailors' cloaths, and every thing of value which they could conveniently carry off.- The Britannia barque, laying of Tynemouth Castle, was drove to the northward as far as Newbiggin, where she cast anchor, and was obliged to have her mizen-mast cut away, to prevent her from driving ashore: She however rode out the storm, and is since safely arrived in Shields harbour.
Friday the Spring, Greenwell, coming to her moorings near the High Crane, in this harbour, with her sails standing, and neglecting to drop her anchor in proper time, run foul of another ship, and carried away her boom: She then drove with such violence against the Bridge, that her boom was also broken, and the ship in the most imminent danger.
The Falkirk, of and for Leith, James Hunter, master, from Newcastle, with treacle, sugar, glass, &c. was lost, near Holy Island, on Thursday se'nnight. The crew and passengers are saved, except a boy.
The Newcastle, of and for Aberdeen, from Newcastle, with sugar, cinders, &c. Francis Touch, master, was lost on Friday se'nnight near Kirkcaldy. The crew saved.
Another vessel from Newcastle, for Aberdeen, is shipwrecked on the North coast. The master and one of the crew are drowned.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 3 Jan 1784: Friday evening, the Spring, Greenwell, coming to moor at the High Crane, was, by the violence of the wind, driven under one of the arches of the Bridge, but was got out without much damage.
The light bark, mentioned in our last to have been driven from her moorings, under Tynemouth Castle, is arrived at Shields, without any material damage, except the loss of her mizen mast.
Thursday night, during the storm, the Chance, Armstrong, a light brig, coming over the bar, a sea struck her, which took away her tiller; from which she drove on the Black Middens, and is not yet got off.
Thursday se'nnight the Falkirk, Hunter, from this port, was lost at Holy Island.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 3 Jan 1784: Whitby, Dec. 28. Friday a violent gale of wind arose at or about the East, and a great many ships were drove upon the coast. The following ships came on shore near this place, viz. the Whitby, of Whitby, Brown, from Portsmouth to Whitby, the crew saved. The Favourite of Sunderland, Smith, from Dunkirk to Sunderland, came on shore about two miles from hence, the crew saved. The Stag, Pyman, from Hull to this place, came on shore near Whitby; the above ships, if the weather prove favourable, will be got off without much damage. The Nancy, Hudson, from Whitby to Hull, loaded with allum and other goods, is on shore near Hornsey, and it is feared she will be broken up; and, as the weather was very vehement, it is thought a great many ships would suffer.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 3 Jan 1784: Since Christmas day, the frost has set in remarkably keen, attended with much snow, so that the river was frozen up on Tuesday. Many keels that morning stuck fast amongst the large bodies of ice, carried by the tide, and one, in particular, close to the Bridge, in a very dangerous situation; the men, however, were drawn up by ropes on to the Bridge. People were skaiting on the river on Wednesday, and a passage made very easy to Gateshead.
Wednesday, in the market, the Butchers were unable to joint the meat, owing to the very intense frost, without having recourse to the ale-house fires in the neighbourhood. Very few of the country people attended the market, owing to the cold, and, in short, many circumstances concurred to make it be thought the most severe frost felt for many years.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 3 Jan 1784: A friend of ours, in the neighbourhood of this town, has given us the following particulars, shewing the different degrees of cold observed by a thermometer of Mr Nairnes, graduated according to Farenheit's scale, on which 32 above 0 is the freezing point, as applied to water.
|1783||Times of observation. || |
|Dec 29. ||Night 10½ ||14½ above 0|
|30. ||Morning 8 ||12|
| ||10½ ||20|
| ||Night 6 ||8¼|
| ||7 ||7¼|
| ||8 ||5½|
| ||10 ||5|
| ||11 ||4|
|31. ||Morning 7½ ||1|
| ||8 and 9 ||0|
| ||9½ ||½ below 0|
| ||10 ||0|
| ||11 ||4 above 0|
| ||Afternoon 1 ||8|
| ||2 ||10|
| ||3 ||11|
| ||4 ||23|
| ||5 ||25|
| ||Night 9 ||26|
| ||10 ||26½|
|1784 ||11 ||28|
|Jan 1. ||Morning 8 & 9 ||31|
| ||From that time to ||31, 32|
| ||½ past 7 at night ||&32½|
|2. ||Morning 8 & 9 ||34 to 35|
| ||10½ ||34½|
To the PUBLISHER of the COURANT.
As some late changes in the weather have been very remarkable, the following observations may be acceptable to some of your correspondents, and are at your service, from Yours, &c. J. ROTHERHAM.
Jan. 2d., 1784.
After an extraordinary mild, open, and temperate season, a sharp frost set in on Wednesday se'nnight, Dec. 24th in the evening, followed with a great depth of snow, and some on Saturday following. As the frost appeared to increase, I began the following diary on Monday the 29th ult. which I shall endeavour to continue as opportunity permits, and occasion requires.
The Thermometer which I use is perhaps one of the most accurate in England, made upon Farenheit's scale, by the late celebrated Mr Bird; the freezing point is 32, and the heat of boiling water 212. It is exposed to the open air, in an elevated situation, facing the N.E.
The Barometer is a plain perpendicular one, accurately measured; and the force of the winds, and quantity of snow, &c. computed, as usual, according to the degrees 1, 2, 3, and 4, from which the following table will be easily comprehended.
* I have observed this Thermometer occasionally since the year 1746, and never saw it so low. In our severest winters the degree is generally reckoned from 15 to 25 above 0. so that I question whether the oldest person living has found the frost more intense.
|Day ||Hour ||Barom. ||Ther. ||Wind ||Weather|
|29 ||Morn. 7 ||29.57 ||23 ||E N E 2 ||Snow 3|
| ||After.11 ||29.7 ||15 ||Calm ||Fair|
|30 ||Morn. 8 ||29.62 ||11 ||S W 1 ||Hazy|
| ||After.11 ||29.62 ||5 ||S W 1 ||Clear|
|31 ||Morn. 7 ||29.67 ||0 ||S W 1 ||Clear *|
| ||Noon 12 ||29.6 ||8 ||S W 1 ||Snow 2|
| ||After.11 ||29.55 ||31 ||S E 3 ||Cloudy|
|1 ||Morn 9 ||29.47 ||33 ||E S E 1 ||Cloudy|
| ||After. 1 ||29.47 ||35 ||E b S 1 ||Snow 1|
| ||After 11 ||29.6 ||35 ||S E 2 ||Snow 1|
|2 ||Morn 9 ||29.67 ||36 ||S E 3 ||overcast-thaw|
This morning an ounce of water, poured boiling hot into an earthen cup, froze in 20 minutes; and in 10 more it was all a solid dry lump of ice.
Wednesday morning, at ten o'clock, at Bickworth, near this town, a thermometer on Farenheit's scale, being exposed to the open air, in a northern aspect, the mercury fell down to 7 degrees below 0, or 39 degrees below the freezing point. On Friday morning, the 14h of January, 1780, the mercury in the thermometer was down at the same degree.
Another correspondent informs us, that Wednesday last, the 31st December, at half an hour past eight o'clock in the morning, a correct Mercurial Thermometer on Farenheit's Scale, exposed to the open air in this town, stood at 2½ degrees, which is 19½ degrees below the freezing point.— It was the coldest day we have had here since the 14th January, 1780, when the Thermometer stood 3 degrees below 0.
NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE, 3 Jan 1784: On Friday and Saturday se'nnight, and every day this week, the post has been on an average about six hours later than its usual time of arriving here, occasioned by the roads in many parts of the country, through which it passes, having been rendered almost impassable by the very great quantity of snow which has fallen and been blown into them. The roads from this town to Edinburgh have also been rendered so extremely difficult, that the diligence, and other modes of communication have been entirely stopped for some days past. On Sunday evening and Monday there was a considerable fall of snow in this neighbourhood, accompanied by a very strong frost, which was on Tuesday evening and Wednesday the most intense that can be remembered for some years past; the liquor in a very good spirit thermometer, was on Wednesday morning considerable lower than was ever before observed, having been below the first point, and almost into the bulb. The river was froze over both above and below bridge; but by the thaw which took place on Thursday evening, it is to be hoped it will soon be dispersed, and the suspended navigation again resumed.
Thursday morning the dead body of a sailor was landed at Shields, from a ship arrived in that harbour, who had perished on board her at sea by the coldness of the weather the preceding day.
London Chronicle, 6 Jan 1784: Edinburgh, January 3.
On Sunday night last, at half an hour after eleven o'clock, the thermometer exposed to the open air at the Observatory at Glasgow, pointed to four degrees above Zero. On Monday night, about the same hour, to eleven degrees. On Tuesday night, about ten o'clock, to four degrees below Zero.
The temperature of the snow at the surface, compared to that of the air three feet above, during the course of these three nights, was very variable. Sometimes the snow was coldest by 10 degrees, sometimes of the same temperature, and sometimes of a higher one by four or five degrees. These alterations, however, were found to be invariably connected with certain changes in the atmosphere, at that time remarkably frequent. From some new experiments and observations made during these three nights of frost, it will be demonstrated that the excess of cold in the snow, when such obtains, cannot possibly be owing to evaporation, how difficult soever it may be to account for it upon any other principles as yet known.
Last week, during the severe weather, the postboy from Dumfries to Thornhill, was found frozen to death on his horse.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 6 Jan 1784: The weather on Friday last was the most violent that we have experienced during the present winter. A thaw came on in the morning, and the wind, which was from the S.E. continued to blow excessive hard all day, and the greatest part of the night.
The frost was so intense on Wednesday night and Thursday, that most of the pumps in town were frozen, as was also the well at Bransty, so that it was with the greatest difficulty any soft water could be procured.
A great quantity of snow fell at Cockermouth, and in that neighbourhood, on Friday last.
We are informed that the delay of the post is at present occasioned, on the other side of Penrith, a road being cut through the snow on this side.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 6 Jan 1784: Prodigious quantities of snow fell last week, in different parts of the country, and the roads in many places were rendered impassable for carriages. The Ulverston coach, for this town, was obliged to stop at Broughton, on Saturday. And we hear from Cockermouth, that the snow lay very thick there.
This interruption of the post, by the bad weather, is the only one which has happened here since the tenth of January, 1776.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 6 Jan 1784: The roads to the northward of Newcastle are so filled with the snow that all communication has been stopped for several days past; and the frost on Wednesday last, was the most intense that has been remembered for many years past.
We hear that in the great snow-storm last week, one man perished on Stainmore.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 6 Jan 1784: The Radcliffe, Carel, and Dove, Losh, which sailed from hence on Wednesday, for Dublin, were put back, and got in here on Sunday. The former had her boat and two anchors washed off the deck, her starboard quarter rails carried away, and her sails much worn; two men were also washed overboard, but by a sudden swell of the sea were providentially thrown on the deck, without much hurt. The latter carried away her foresail— By the accounts they give, the weather was the most tempestuous on Friday last that it has been at any time this winter.
The William, Wilson, is also put back; and the Richard, Bragg, and the John & Hannah, Hennel, (all of which sailed on Thursday) are safe in Derbyhaven on the Isle of Man, after weathering the dreadful storm on Friday.— The vessels which sailed for Dublin the fore part of last week, it is supposed, would get through.
NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE, 10 Jan 1784: Friday evening a most violent storm of wind came on from the North East, accompanied by a very heavy fall of snow, which lasted till about eight o'clock the next morning; and though we have not yet heard of much damage being done to the shipping on this coast, we are extremely apprehensive that from its violence and direction it must have proved fatal to many of those who were so unfortunate as to be then out of port.- Many of the roads in this neighbourhood (particularly those laying to the West) were so much drifted by it, as to be rendered absolutely impassable for some days, which has prevented the Carlisle waggons that should have been here on Tuesday, from having yet arrived.- In the north part of Northumberland, and in Scotland, the snow is said to lie in greater quantities, especially on the roads, than can be remembered for some years past. The Edinburgh waggons have been stopped for some days past near that place, without a possibility of prosecuting their journey. The Edinburgh diligences have not arrived for ten days past; and Saturday night's post from thence did not arrive till eleven at night of the day following: The London posts of Saturday and Sunday were also about twelve hours later than their usual time; and indeed from the accounts we have received, the storm seems to be universal throughout the kingdom.
NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE, 10 Jan 1784: Friday night last, the quantity of snow which was blown into the road leading from this town to Hexham was so great, that the postman going with this paper to Carlisle, was under the necessity of returning without being able to prosecute his journey; a second attempt was made on Saturday morning, but he was still unable to accomplish it.- By this circumstance we were deprived of an opportunity of forwarding our paper of last week to our readers in that quarter, a disappointment which we are extremely sorry for, but which was entirely out of our power to prevent.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 10 Jan 1784: The storm was very violent yesterday se'nnight, the wind at N.W. with much snow: Many stacks of chimnies were blown down and other damage done. As the snow was much drifted, all communication with the neighbouring towns was broken off for three or four days, but by single horses; and they were obliged to leave the road frequently and take the fields. The post from the north, which should have arrived here on Saturday evening, did not arrive 'till Sunday night at half past eleven, and the south post was about eleven hours later than usual. The market on Saturday was never remembered to have been so thin, and provisions from the country were accordingly much raised in price.
A stack of chimnies, blown down on Friday night, broke into the house, and shattered to pieces the furniture of a room, and particularly the chair in which a gentleman had been writing, and had just left. The vestry and library chimnies of St Nicholas church were also blown down: They broke through the roof, snapped the oak timbers of a considerable thickness, and bore in the lead, &c. making a very large opening.
The Leeds waggon, loaded with wool, was blown over on Gateshead Fell, but by the particular mechanism of its shafts the horses kept their legs, and were unhurt.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 10 Jan 1784: Wednesday se'nnight, the frost was very severe at York, the thermometer, at nine in the morning, was so low as 8, or 22 degrees below the freezing point [sic]. It began to thaw that afternoon, and on Friday and Saturday there was the greatest fall of snow that has been known there for many years. It began to freeze again on Sunday evening, and still continues.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 10 Jan 1784: The storm has driven many birds into the town. Tuesday a brace of partridges were taken up in the Fleshmarket, and six seen together on the ice near the quay.
Haddocks were perhaps never so scarce, at this season of the year, as now, owing, as the Fishermen say, to the great number of the dog fish on the coast. A very great shoal of haddocks have been driven on shore by them, as it is believed, at Newbiggin.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 10 Jan 1784: On Monday the 29th, a Gentleman, who set out from Berwick that morning at five o'clock, in a chaise with four horses, did not reach Alnwick till near four in the afternoon, the roads being so much shut up with snow. The horses were once obliged to take into the adjoining field, and the horses were taken off, and the carriage lifted over the dyke into the road again, before they could proceed.
A person on the same road, with a single horse cart, got so deep into the snow, as that he lost the horse.
All the waggons to and from this town have been stopped this last week.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 10 Jan 1784: Monday, as a young man was sliding on the ice, in the river Wear, at Hilton Ferry, he unfortunately went on to a spot where the ice was too thin, some persons having been there dragging for coals the day before, and fell in and has not yet been found.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 10 Jan 1784: To the PUBLISHER of the COURANT.
As the frost still continues, with different degrees of intensity, I have sent you the following continuation of the diary from Friday last; and am, Sir, yours, &c.
Westgate-street, Jan 9th. 1784. J.R.
*Jan. 3d. Last night was very tempestuous, with a great quantity of snow, which continued most part of this day, with a strong N W wind. Most of the roads impassable, and the river strongly frozen up.
|Day ||Hour ||Barom. ||Ther. ||Wind ||Weather|
|2 ||After. 4 ||29.55 ||35 ||S E 3 ||overcast|
|3 ||Morn 9 ||29.36 ||32 ||S b E 3 ||Snow 4|
| ||After.10 ||29.47 ||34½ ||N W 1 ||Cloudy*|
|4 ||Morn. 8 ||29.58 ||32 ||S S W 2 ||Overcast|
| ||After.10 ||29.85 ||28 ||Calm ||Clear|
|5 ||Morn 3½ || ||24|| || |
| ||Morn. 7 ||30.05 ||28 ||N W 1 ||Clear|
|6 ||Morn. 1 || ||23|| || |
| ||Morn 9 ||29.7 ||18 ||W 2 ||Cloudy|
| ||After.10 ||30.05 ||28 ||S 1 ||Hazy|
|7 ||Morn. 8 ||29.98 ||24 ||S 1 ||Cloudy|
| ||After.11 ||29.75 ||25 ||S W 2 ||Cloudy, f Mn.|
|8 ||Morn. 8 ||29.65 ||27 ||SW b W 1 ||Snow 1|
| ||After.10 ||29.65 ||34 ||S W 1 ||Cloudy sleet|
|9 ||Morn. 8 ||29.8 ||29 ||N N W 1 ||Fair|
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 10 Jan 1784: To the Printer of the Newcastle Courant.
I take it as very obliging in your ingenious correspondents, who have so frequently given your readers observations from their barometers and thermometers: and doubt not, that when they have considered the matter, they will be convinced, that their good intentions towards the public will be enhanced, by mentioning the height their barometers are placed above the level of the sea, as near as they can, and also the specific gravity of the mercury they are filled with; for, without such data, no fair comparison can be made of the height of the atmosphere by different barometers.— I shall at another opportunity mention a few particulars relative to the thermometer.
Yours, &c. C. CLARKE.
[This is the same Mr C. Clarke who calculated and published tide-tables for the north-eastern ports, and was responsible for many of the earliest balloon flights in the region, which he toured in 1784]
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 10 Jan 1784: The Hope, of Blyth, Capt. Taylor, from London, is put into Scarborough in distress, having lost her main mast.
A Sloop from Rye, with Plank, for Sunderland, going into Scarborough, was drove ashore, but is hoped will be got off; one man was washed overboard and drowned.
The Newcastle, of and from Aberdeen, from this port, with sugar, cinders, &c. Francis Tooch master, was lost on the 19th of December, near Kirkaldy. The crew were saved.— Another vessel, for Aberdeen, is shipwrecked on the north coast. The master and one man are drowned.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 10 Jan 1784: Mr J. Chapple, Master of the ship Horn, has been missing since yesterday se'nnight in the evening, and is supposed to have perished in the snow, in his way to Sunderland, whither he was going on foot.
NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE, 10 Jan 1784: On Friday se'nnight in the evening, the master of a Sunderland collier set off from Shields for Sunderland, and has not since been heard of.
NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE, 10 Jan 1784: Friday night last, two vessels, whose names we have not yet been able to learn, were driven ashore on Cresswell-sands; the crew of one of them was entirely lost: A sloop was also drove ashore near Newbiggin, and two sloops, supposed to be Leith traders, near Bamborough Castle; the crews saved.
NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE, 10 Jan 1784: Extract of a letter from Berwick, Dec 27.
"Friday night a vessel, of about 200 tons, in ballast, from Dover to Leith, was put on shore near Spittal. The master had mistaken a light at some coal-works near that place for the Isle of May. A passenger, and one of the sailors, were drowned by the oversetting of the boat. The ship is not much damaged, and it is thought will be got off."
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 10 Jan 1784: Extract of a letter from Aberdeen, Dec. 29.
"Wednesday it began to snow, with the wind at north. In the evening the wind changed to about the east, and blew a perfect hurricane. During the gale the Industry, Macleod, from Newcastle for this place, went ashore a little to the northward of Don mouth. The master and mate were washed overboard a little before she struck; the rest of the crew go safe ashore, and a great part of the goods saved, although much damaged. The Rodney, Taylor, and the Venus, _____, both bound for this port, from Sunderland, with coals, were wrecked, the one near Skateraw, and the other at Cowie, and all the crews, to the number of 13, perished."
"Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer", 6 Jan 1784: [The same letter from Aberdeen, including further materal omitted in the Newcastle paper:]
"Captain Jolly's brig, with eight hands on board, with coals, of and for Montrose, was wrecked in Lunan Bay, and all perished. A brig from Isdale for Leith, with slates, came ashore at Peterhead; the crew were saved by the active humanity of the inhabitants.
These are all the accounts that have as yet come to hand of the damage done by the hurricane; but, from the extreme violence of it, there is reason to fear the effects have been equally fatal on other parts of the coast. The snow has continued ever since Tuesday to fall with little interval, and a greater quantity is seldom remembered to have fallen in so short a time. All communication with the country is in a manner stopped.
The post was nine hours between Old Melrose and Aberdeen, and it was only by going over the eminences on the road side, that they were able to get on. The Edinburgh Saturday's post did not come in here till Sunday afternoon, and yesterday's post at eight this morning."
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 10 Jan 1784: Edinburgh, Dec. 29. The London Post of Saturday did not arrive till past twelve o'clock at night. The mail due this day is not expected to arrive till to-morrow.
Since last night a greater fall of snow, if possible, than what happened the three preceding days, took place, The roads, by this means, have been rendered almost impassable, which has, in a great measure, stopped all intercourse with the country. This morning the Diligences were obliged to return after they had proceeded a short way.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 13 Jan 1784: We have accounts from all parts of the kingdom of the roads being filled up with snow, and travelling rendered almost impracticable. Considerable damage has also been done in many places, by the thaw, and some lives lost.— The post during the whole of last week was several hours later than usual; but on the whole there has been less delay and interruption in that and other conveyances, in this quarter, than in any other part of the kingdom.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 13 Jan 1784: on Friday a poor woman fell in James's-street, and broke her arm.— From the very bad condition of the streets, many of which were one continued plat of ice, it is amazing no more accidents happened.— On Friday afternoon a thaw came on, which has been very gentle and gradual.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 13 Jan 1784: [Report of a brutal murder at Waberthwaite, and the subsequent manhunt, which occupied most of the local news section for weeks, pushing weather reports aside. However:] On examining, there were plainly discovered footsteps in the snow, to the window, where the perpetrator of this horrid crime had been looking in ....
[Also, in the Reward notice:] it is also supposed that Wilson, or some other Villain concerned in the said Murder, had been wounded by the Deceased in self Defence, as Blood was traced in the Snow, from the House to a Place called Egremont Park Head, near Twelve Miles.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 24 Jan 1784: On the 2d inst. the Outer Light-house on the Farn Islands was swept away by the sea, in a very heavy storm at south-east. A Temporary Light will be fixed on a Swape on the innermost island but one, till the Light-house is rebuilt. The Great Fire Light on the Innermost Island is well kept.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 27 Jan 1784: The frost for several days past has been more severe, in this neighbourhood, than has been remembered for many years past.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 27 Jan 1784: The snow was laying last week, in the parish of Corney, (in this county) the height of the hedges; the thaw which came on about three weeks ago not having reduced it above two inches in depth; and it was so frozen that even carts could travel over it, without much inconvenience.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 31 Jan 1784: Thursday se'nnight a most extraordinary phoenomenon happened in the Tweed at Kelso: Though the river was almost wholly covered with a thick ice, it was observed to swell above the town, and continued to do so for about two hours, during which time the water is supposed to have risen eight feet perpendicular, and the ice was thrown up in great quantities to the sides of the river, the course of the stream changed, and mountains of ice left immediately above the bridge, notwithstanding which, the deep pool below the bridge, called Maxweel, was unmoved.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 31 Jan 1784: Thursday se'nnight a woman who lived at Hawthorn, and travelled the country with asses, selling earthen ware, was found dead amongst the snow.
Tuesday se'nnight as the vagrant cart came into Doncaster one man was taken out dead, and another man and child died in a few hours after, from the inclemency of the weather.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 3 Feb 1784: [Tuesday last week] one John Sherwin, a smith belonging to Seaton iron-works, stooping down to draw some water out of the river, (which was frozen) slipped his foot and fell against the ice which had been broken, by which accident he broke two of his ribs.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 3 Feb 1784: [List of great frosts in Europe.] 1784} Another began Dec. 5th, and lasted to the 1st of Feb. following, with an intermission of 7 days only, viz. from the 10th to the 16th of Jan. and after the intermission of another day (viz. the 1st of February) still continues.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 3 Feb 1784: Monday last a piece of beef was roasted upon the ice on the river Wear, at Wolsingham, in the county of Durham, by the gentlemen of that place, who regaled themselves very joyously therewith, and the entertainment was concluded by a country dance, after which the ladies were happily escorted from the icy plain, without the least injury.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 7 Feb 1784: We hear from Sunderland, that by reason of the long continuance of the severe weather, a second collection has been set on foot for the relief of the poor ...
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 7 Feb 1784: The navigation of the River Teese has been stopped for near six weeks past, even below Newport; a circumstance which has not happened for several years past.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 7 Feb 1784: Our correspondent at Maryport informs us, that Humphrey Senhouse, Esq; of Netherhall, had new potatoes as early as the 20th of last month. From one root there was a produce of eleven, one of which measured four inches in circumference, and each of the other ten was nearly as large.
Felix Farley's Bristol Journal, 7 Feb 1784 [spot the difference from the original report in the Cumberland Pacquet, 27 Jan 1784]: The snow was laying last week in the parish of Corney in Cumberland, the height of the hedges, the late thaw not having reduced it above two or three inches in depth; and it was so frozen, that even carts could not travel over it without much inconvenience.
Felix Farley's Bristol Journal, 7 Feb 1784: BARNARD-CASTLE, (Durham,) Jan. 23. We are in very great distress on account of the snow, which is here, on a level, two yards and a half in depth; the inclemency of the frost, which is more intense than is remembered since the year 1740, has confined the generality of people hereabouts within doors, and were it not that coals are so cheap as two shillings a chaldron, the poor would absolutely be lost, firing being the only comfort to be obtained here. Hay is 4£ 10s. a ton. The birds die in great numbers, and those which are yet alive may be taken by the hand. A great many sheep now lie buried in the snow, and provision is in general exceeding dear.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 10 Feb 1784: A great deal of snow fell in this town and neighbourhood on Thursday night and Friday afternoon. The post on Saturday morning rode through several drifts of it between Cockermouth and Workington above four feet deep.
So much snow fell last Friday and Saturday, on the road between Penrith and Cockermouth, that the post, on Sunday last, was twelve hours later in arriving here than the usual time. Yesterday it came in at the proper hour.
A great deal of snow fell yesterday, and there are accounts of the roads towards Penrith being impassable for carriages.
Derwent Lake has been frozen over, for several days, and quantities of timber have been drawn across it by horses. The appearance of this celebrated piece of water, and the surrounding mountains, is described by numbers who have seen it, as the most delightful of any prospect that can be conceived.— The four islands have been visited by crowds of people, who agree that the whole scene is at present more awfully grand and enchanting than it is in the height of summer.— The summits and sides of the mountains, at present clad with snow, the icicles hanging from the different cliffs, and the glassy surface of the lake,— all these glittering in the sun, fill the eye with such an assemblage of natural magnificence and beauty as beggars all description.— It may not be unnecessary to mention, for the information of some of our readers, that the whole length of this plat of ice is about three miles, and its greatest breadth a mile and a half.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 10 Feb 1784: We are expressly desired to contradict an account in the London papers, respecting the great fall of snow and severe weather at Barnardcastle, in the county of Durham, the same being greatly exaggerated, as the weather is not more felt there than in other places in the North.
We hear from Stockton, that the inhabitants of that place have very generously contributed to the relief of the poor there, and continue to distribute money to those that are prevented from working by the severity of the weather.
Last week a collection was made for the poor at Newcastle, which amounted to near 500£.
Two very liberal collections have also been made for the poor of Sunderland, who are greatly distressed by the severity of the weather; and charity sermons were to be preached last Sunday at the churches, by the Rev. Mr. Coxon and the Rev. Mr. Lancaster.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 10 Feb 1784: It is a melancholy reflection, that not a winter passes unattended with some fatality or other, occasioned by young persons incautiously adventuring on the ice of deep waters, where, should a failure happen, there is, frequently, no possibility of rescuing them from certain and inevitable death:— among the multiplicity of accidents of this kind, we hear, that, one day last week, not less than eleven children, unhappily, perished (by the breaking of the ice) in a large pit, on which they had been sliding, near Davenham, in Cheshire.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 14 Feb 1784: Wednesday evening the River Tyne again froze up.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 14 Feb 1784: The long severe season continuing, the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle has again ordered two oxen, also corn and money, to be distributed amongst the poor of the neighbourhood of Castle Howard, with the addition of a large quantity of coals.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 14 Feb 1784: The Carriers from the south, who come to this town on the Fridays, have this week been stopped, on account of the roads being choaked up by the late great falls of snow.
Wednesday morning the body of a man, belonging to Alnwick, was found frozen to death, within two miles of that place; he had left Morpeth on the Tuesday evening.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 17 Feb 1784: Tuesday morning, Mr. Forster, and excise officer at Ulverston, was found dead on the turnpike road, having perished through the severity of the cold, within a quarter of a mile of his own house. He has left a wife and five or six children, in great distress.
We hear from Sunderland, that nearly the sum of 500£ has been subscribed for the relief of the poor; the insurance office contributed 20£ and a charity play produced upwards of 60£.
It is a matter of astonishment that no subscription has been set on foot here for the relief of the poor at this inclement season. ...
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 17 Feb 1784: The poor inhabitants of the parish of Brampton, return their sincere thanks to the Earl of Carlisle, for his liberal benefaction of Coals; and to the Rev. Mr. Stoddard, for his seasonable present of Oat meal, and assiduous solicitation among gentlemen, Estatesmen, Farmers, and tradesmen, whose liberal contributions composed a handsome sum of money and corn, which was impartially distributed throughout the said parish.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 17 Feb 1784: Tuesday last, at eight o'clock P.M., a Farenheit's Thermometer, placed in the open air, in this town, stood at seven degrees below the freezing point; a degree of cold not felt here since the year 1740, and the more remarkable, considering the vicinity of the town to the sea.
At the same time, boiling water, exposed to the air, froze in eleven minutes and seven seconds; so as to form congelated Spiculae, visible to the eye.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 17 Feb 1784: A good deal of snow has fallen in this neighbourhood since last Thursday.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 17 Feb 1784: The river Tyne is again frozen over, and the navigation stopped.
No London traders have sailed from, or arrived at, Newcastle for these ten days past.— The London, Coxen, is cleared out for London.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 17 Feb 1784: Last Sunday, at seven o'clock in the evening, a very bright comet was seen in Pisces, with about 355 degrees of right ascension, and five degrees North declination. It has a tail of upwards of one degree. It appears like a star of the 4th magnitude, and is visible to the naked eye.— It is supposed to be the same as that which was seen in France by Compte de Lassini on the 24th of January last as mentioned in the London Chronicle of the 5th of February.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 21 Feb 1784: A correspondent from Alnwick informs us, that the principal inhabitants of that place have this week entered into a liberal subscription for the immediate relief of the industrious and indigent poor, who, from the long continuance and severity of the storm, are deprived of every means of procuring the necessaries of life; and it is with pleasure we hear, that his Grace the Duke of Northumberland has been pleased to order the sum of Fifty Pounds to be added to the subscription.
[Similar reports from other parts of the region]
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 21 Feb 1784: The severity of the weather has injured the theatre very much this winter. The Managers, who are always ready to embrace every opportunity to shew their respect to the inhabitants of Newcastle, gave last night a Benefit for the Poor: and they have furnished the Boxes with Busaglio [?] Stoves, which has rendered the Theatre very comfortable and warm. ...
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 21 Feb 1784: Saturday night we had a violent storm of wind from the N.E. accompanied with a great fall of snow, which continued all Sunday; and had drifted so much upon the turnpikes, that several carriages going north were obliged to return; and the mail, which is carried in a small cart, not being able to proceed any further than Gosforth, was with difficulty got forward on horseback.
We learn from Appleby, that Sunday last was nothing but snow, wind, and drift; the roads are so blocked up with snow, there is no passage; and that the preceding morning betwixt two and three o'clock, there was great lightning.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 21 Feb 1784: A correspondent remarks, that new and full moons commonly are accompanied with change of weather; but as the approaching new moon is in such a situation, as to produce grater tides than usually happen at this season of the year (See the Astronomical Tide Table, Feb. 22, 23, &c.) the weather will probably remain frosty until these high tides are over. This remark is founded on repeated observation, and amounts to a philosophical demonstration of a benign providence, superintending the works of nature; for if great tides, and great river floods were to meet frequently, we could not escape as frequently being involved in disastrous calamities.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 21 Feb 1784: On the 14th instant a very large fine sheep, which was purchased by the generous subscription of the Master Builders, Rope-makers, and Innholders, at Portrack, near Stockton, was roasted whole upon the ice on the river at Portrack; the belly of it was filled with some excellent potatoes, and considering the great many inconveniences attending this kind of dressing victuals, was served up much better than could possibly be imagined. A great number of people were assembled to view the machine that was constructed for the purpose, which was very curious, and the populace made a hearty repast, and drank freely to the success of the Ship-Building business, &c. lately begun there.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 24 Feb 1784: The wind, since Friday, having got to the South-West, a good many ships have arrived from Dublin.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 24 Feb 1784: The road from Cockermouth to Penrith has been impassable for carriages, since the 8th inst. till yesterday.
The roads have been in so bad a condition with the ice, that Monday's post did not arrive here till thee o'clock on Tuesday morning; Tuesday's post came in at seven on Wednesday morning, and Wednesday's post a little before four that afternoon.
Friday's post arrived about eleven in the forenoon, Saturday's came in about four in the afternoon, Sunday's a little before five in the afternoon, and Yesterday's at noon.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 24 Feb 1784: The Easterly Winds continuing so long, this harbour had fewer vessels in it last week than it is remembered to have had for many years at this season.
Friday last, about two in the afternoon, it began to snow, and continued several hours, with a smart gale of wind from the S.S.W.— This was succeeded by a fine gentle thaw, which still continues.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 24 Feb 1784: A correspondent informs us that in the greatest degree of cold this winter, Farenheit's Thermometer stood, at mid-day, at 26, and about eleven at night, at 19.— which is 6 degrees more [i.e lower] than that mentioned in our last.— On the 13th of January, 1780, it was down as low as 13. The most sudden change of air which has been known for some years past was about three months ago, when the barometer fell from 30¼ to 28¾ in seven hours.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 24 Feb 1784: The following places are distinguished by the liberal contributions made for relief of their respective poor at this inclement season, viz. York, Newcastle, Durham, Stockton, Liverpool, Warrington, Manchester, Morpeth, Alnwick, Carlisle, Workington, Appleby, Ulverston, Staindrop, Barnardcastle, Hull, Leeds, Chester, Shrewsbury, Exeter, and Bath.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 24 Feb 1784: On Saturday last a sheep was roasted upon the river Teese, at Portrack, which drew a vast concourse of people to that place, who regaled themselves with some excellent nappy brown beer on occasion.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 28 Feb 1784: We learn from Sunderland, that on Tuesday upwards of 100£ was distributed amongst the poor in that town; and as the river is now open, and the poor labouring people begin to work at their different employments, it is hoped this will be the last contribution during this year.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 28 Feb 1784: On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday last, we had very high tides, particularly on Monday evening, when the water spread to a considerable width on the top of the Quay, although the fresh was only approaching, and has since come down much crowded with ice, but so gradually, that its increase never exceeded the decrease of the tides, by which happy circumstance much loss and inconvenience had been prevented; and now to the satisfaction, and pleasure of every beholder, traffic on the river is going on with its usual harmony and briskness.
Whitehall Evening Post, London, 2 Mar 1784: [Copy, almost word-for-word, of the Pacquet's thermometer report from 24 Feb, but headed Leeds, March 2.]
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 6 Mar 1784: Since the alteration of the weather, the Theatre seems to revive, and it resorted by all the fashionable people, as the boxes lately have appeared in their usual gaity, the seat of beauty, elegance, and taste. ...
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 6 Mar 1784: A correspondent in Hexham informs us, that the extreme season has reduced the fodder in that country so low, that it scarce could be procured even at the extravagant price of 4£ 13s 4d per ton, and that many of the poor people were of consequence greatly distressed: when John Lowes, of Ridley Hall, Esq; ordered the Bellman to inform the public, that Hay would be sold at Ridley Hall, at 3£ per ton, or delivered in that town at 3£ 10s. which benevolence was gladly accepted of, and the inhabitants hope it will encourage other gentlemen to follow the laudable example.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 9 Mar 1784: The weather since our last has in general been exceedingly mild and temperate, and a fine spring may reasonably be expected. The spring of 1740, after the great frost, was indeed short, but very effectual, and the summer (it is said) more luxuriant than any that has been since.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 9 Mar 1784: Extract of a letter from Stromness, January 20.
"For three weeks back we have had very tempestuous weather, by which two vessels said to belong to Port Rush, in Ireland, and Portsby, were put ashore, and both crews perished."
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 13 Mar 1784: As it may be agreeable to our Readers to know the Degrees of Cold lately experienced in this part of the Kingdom, we take this opportunity of communicating the following particulars for their information.
Note, At ½ past 7 in the morning of the 31st December, the Thermometer stood at 1 degree above 0; at 8, 2½, and 9 it stood at 0; at 9½ it fell to ½ a degree below 0; at 10 it was again at 0; and at ¼ past 10 it stood at1 degree above 0.
| Degrs. on Fahrenheit's scale.|
| 1783 || 8 Morn. || Noon || 11 Night ||||| 1784 || 8 Morn. || Noon || 11 Night |
| Dec. 24 || 38 || 38 || 30 ||||| 31 || 30 || 33 || 30 |
| 25 || 27 || 26 || 30 ||||| Feb. 1 || 31 || 36 || 36 |
| 26 || 32 || 34 || 32 ||||| 2 || 26 || 31 || 27 |
| 27 || 29 || 31 || 28 ||||| 3 || 25 || 33 || 32 |
| 28 || 30 || 30 || 31 ||||| 4 || 34 || 38 || 37 |
| 29 || 30 || 23 || 24 ||||| 5 || 36 || 34 || 30 |
| 30 || 22 || 20 || 4 ||||| 6 || 29 || 29 || 32 |
| 31 || 0 || 7 || 28 ||||| 7 || 32 || 35 || 32 |
| 1784 || || || ||||| 8 || 34 || 31 || 25 |
| Jan.1 || 31 || 32 || 33 ||||| 9 || 24 || 31 || 26 |
| 2 || 34 || 33 || 33 ||||| 10 || 19 || 34 || 27 |
| 3 || 33 || 34 || 32 ||||| 11 || 20 || 28 || 19 |
| 4 || 30 || 33 || 27 ||||| 12 || 19 || 26 || 26 |
| 5 || 16 || 19 || 17 ||||| 13 || 27 || 33 || 27 |
| 6 || 27 || 22 || 21 ||||| Feb. 14 || 31 || 33 || 33 |
| 7 || 23 || 23 || 28 ||||| 15 || 32 || 33 || 32 |
| 8 || 25 || 30 || 26 ||||| 16 || 32 || 34 || 30 |
| 9 || 30 || 30 || 19 ||||| 17 || 30 || 32 || 31 |
| 10 || 20 || 25 || 31 ||||| 18 || 31 || 35 || 30 |
| 11 || 35 || 36 || 39 ||||| 19 || 27 || 34 || 29 |
| 12 || 41 || 42 || 43 ||||| 20 || 29 || 33 || 29 |
| 13 || 42 || 42 || 41 ||||| 21 || 29 || 34 || 33 |
| 14 || 44 || 46 || 42 ||||| 22 || 34 || 37 || 37 |
| 15 || 39 || 42 || 34 ||||| 23 || 39 || 43 || 40 |
| 16 || 30 || 31 || 34 ||||| 24 || 36 || 38 || 40 |
| 17 || 30 || 27 || 21 ||||| 25 || 42 || 48 || 44 |
| 18 || 27 || 32 || 28 ||||| 26 || 39 || 48 || 44 |
| Jan. 19 || 30 || 31 || 21 ||||| 27 || 41 || 42 || 36 |
| 20 || 27 || 25 || 24 ||||| 28 || 34 || 37 || 34 |
| 21 || 23 || 24 || 18 ||||| 29 || 33 || 35 || 31 |
| 22 || 27 || 33 || 29 ||||| Mar. 1 || 32 || 35 || 32 |
| 23 || 23 || 25 || 26 ||||| 2 || 30 || 33 || 28 |
| 24 || 20 || 24 || 19 ||||| 3 || 28 || 36 || 35 |
| 25 || 25 || 25 || 25 ||||| 4 || 36 || 45 || 41 |
| 26 || 28 || 30 || 19 ||||| 5 || 39 || 42 || 46 |
| 27 || 25 || 28 || 25 ||||| 6 || 45 || 50 || 42 |
| 28 || 22 || 27 || 25 ||||| 7 || 43 || 52 || 43 |
| 29 || 24 || 29 || 20 ||||| 8 || 42 || 45 || 42 |
| 30 || 25 || 31 || 22 ||||| 9 || 36 || 37 || 34 |
| || || || ||||| 10 || 32 || 33 || 32 |
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 16 Mar 1784: We hear, from the Isle of Mann, that last week they had a very heavy fall of snow, which was laying a considerable depth on the roads, last Friday.
The cold during last week has, at intervals, been as intense here as it was in the month of January; it froze in the nights, and some snow fell on Wednesday and Friday.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 23 Mar 1784: A Correspondent has furnished us with the following state of the weather at Kirk Oswald in this county, lat. 54.47, from January 1. to February 23. 1784.— By a Farenheit's Thermometer, exposed to the open air, fronting the west. The first column of the Thermom. shews the degrees at 8 o'clock in the morning, the second, at 4 in the afternoon.
| January || || ||||| Jan 28 || 20 || 25 |
| 1 || 25 || - ||||| 29 || 19 || - |
| 2 || 30 || - ||||| 30 || 19 || - |
| 3 || 33 || - ||||| 31 || 19 || - |
| 4 || 38 || - ||||| February || || |
| 5 || 26 || - ||||| 1 || 28.5 || - |
| 6 || 14.5 || 19 ||||| 2 || 28.5 || - |
| 7 || 28 || - ||||| 3 || 24.5 || 33 |
| 8 || 18 || - ||||| 4 || 34 || - |
| 9 || 24 || - ||||| 5 || 38 || - |
| 10 || 25 || - ||||| 6 || 27 || - |
| 11 || 26 || - ||||| 7 || 32 || - |
| 12 || 34 || - ||||| 8 || 30 || 26 |
| 13 || 39 || - ||||| 9 || 23.5 || 31.5 |
| 14 || 41 || 42 ||||| 10 || 31 || - |
| 15 || 44 || - ||||| 11 || 11.5 || 15 |
| 16 || 37 || 34 ||||| 12 || 19.5 || - |
| 17 || 32 || 29 ||||| 13 || 31 || - |
| 18 || 29 || - ||||| 14 || 30 || - |
| 19 || 31 || - ||||| 15 || 37 || - |
| 20 || 29 || - ||||| 16 || 31 || - |
| 21 || 28 || - ||||| 17 || 30.5 || - |
| 22 || 30 || - ||||| 18 || 34 || - |
| 23 || 25 || - ||||| 19 || 27 || - |
| 24 || 26 || - ||||| 20 || 27 || - |
| 25 || 19 || - ||||| 21 || 35 || - |
| 26 || 18 || - ||||| 22 || 39 || - |
| 27 || 25 || - ||||| 23 || 44 || 44 |
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 5 [recte 6] Apr 1784: A considerable quantity of snow fell here on Thursday last, which soon melted; the next morning the wind changed from the Eastward (where it had long been) to the South west, but continued only a short time in that quarter, and on Friday night it froze very hard.— The weather has, in some respects, been harder than it was in 1739 and the beginning of the following year.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 5 [recte 6] Apr 1784: We are informed, from good authority, that during the late severe weather, Sir Gilfrid Lawson, Bart. of Brayton, gave a considerable sum of money and a quantity of oatmeal to be distributed amongst the poor of the several townships of Aspatria, Baggeraw, Lees Rigg, Blennerhasset, Blindcrake, Issell Old Park, Sunderland, and Whitehaven.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 13 Apr 1784: The SNOW BALL
When lovely Mary flung the gather'd Snow,
I fear'd not burning from the wat'ry Blow;
'Tis cold I cry'd; but, ah! Too soon I found,
Sent by that Hand, it dealt a scorching Wound.
Resistless Fair! We fly thy Pow'r in vain,
Who turn'st to fiery Darts the frozen Rain.
Burn, Mary, burn like me, and that Desire,
With Water which thou kindlest, quench with Fire.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 13 Apr 1784: On Tuesday se'ennight, the extensive plantations belonging to Mr. Copland of Collierston, and Mr. Maxwell of Muncoies, on the lands of Richorn, &c. in the parish of Urr in Scotland, by the burning of heath in the neighbourhood were set on fire, which continued to burn with astonishing rapidity till Wednesday at noon, notwithstanding the exertions of more than one hundred people to extinguish it, whereby above two hundred acres of the most thriving plantation in that part of the country, betwixt 15 and 20 years old, was totally consumed.
Last Wednesday se'ennight, the dwelling-house and offices at Cocklick, in the same parish, were burnt to the ground, together with the stack yard, which were consumed so instantaneously, that Mr. McGeorge had only time to save his four children (who were then confined with the measles) and a very trifling part of his furniture. This accident was occasioned by a buy firing a gun in the stackyard, (which immediately set fire to a hay-rick adjoining the house) who being so frightened immediately ran off without alarming the family.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 27 Apr 1784: A considerable quantity of fresh salmon was brought here last week; on Wednesday a cart load of it was sent to Lancaster.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 4 May 1784: We are credibly informed that hay sells in some parts of Westmorland, at the enormous price of eightpence per stone, a circumstance truly distressing to many farmers whose stocks are large, and who have not a sufficient quantity of fodder to make up the deficiency occasioned by the late hard winter, and the backwardness of the spring.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 11 May 1784: Friday evening a fine gentle rain came on here, which continued the greatest part of the night, and has produced a delightful change on the face of the country.— Several showers since.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 18 May 1784: We hear from several parts of this county and the North Riding of the county of York, and south and south-east parts of the county of Durham, that last week they have had some fine rains, which have fallen very opportunely for the spring corn, and grass lands, and the weather still continuing very warm and favourable, there is the pleasing prospect of great crops of corn and grass.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 18 May 1784: Notwithstanding the backwardness of the season, a cucumber was cut yesterday in Mrs. Wattery's garden at Linethwaite, which measured seven inches in length, and six and a half in circumference.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 25 May 1784: There is the most flattering prospect of a good and plentiful crop this year; the change the country has undergone, within these few days, is the most sudden and delightful of any thing in the memory of the oldest person living.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 5 Jun 1784: The 23d past, about half past five in the afternoon, at Spalding in Lincolnshire, there was the most violent hail storm ever known in the memory of man, attended with a continual thunder and lightning, which lasted till past six. The hailstones were large solid pieces of ice of an angular form; great numbers of them were taken up, which weighed half an ounce each, and measured from two to three inches in circumference. Several windows were broke, and the garden glasses were entirely destroyed. Though the day had been excessive hot, the hailstones covered the Market-place almost an hour after the storm.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 8 Jun 1784: There is a lake on the very top of Conniston fell, in Westmorland, which is seldom viewed even by those who visit its neighbourhood for the professed purpose of entertaining themselves with a sight of these waters, for which this northern part of the kingdom is celebrated.— This lake, which is positively the highest piece of water in the country, is called LOW WATER, for what reason we know not, nor shall we hazard any conjecture as to its appellation; the reason of our mentioning it is, to introduce a remarkable instance of the uncommon inveteracy of the late frost.— This water was frozen so hard a few days before Christmas that it was frequently passed over both by men and cattle, from that time to the 5th of May last. On that day, a strong easterly wind coming on, it began to break up, and, about three days afterwards, large pieces of ice were taken out of it, measuring from five to six inches thick. A large quantity of snow, supposed to be nearly twenty feet deep, was laying near it the last day of May, so strongly congealed, that the neighbouring inhabitants are of opinion it will not be dissolved in the course of the summer.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 12 Jun 1784: Accounts from every part agree, that the weather was never known so favourable for the Farmers, as at present, and for some time past; and that there is the greatest appearance of plenty ever known; there is already abundance of Grass, and the crops of wheat are uncommonly promising.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 15 Jun 1784: The frequent showers, which have fallen for some days past, have brought the season forward in a most surprising manner, and there is the greatest appearance of a plentiful crop in every part of the country.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 22 Jun 1784: Grain has been falling considerably at Carlisle the last three weeks.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 3 Jul 1784: Saturday the hay harvest began in this neighbourhood, which proves a good crop.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 3 Jul 1784: Tuesday se'nnight there was a violent storm of thunder and lightning, though not accompanied with rain, at Kelso; yet in the neighbourhood, the fall of rain and hail was truly astonishing. At Ednam the hail lay upon the ground for more than an hour, and in the Church-yard there, an open grave in the highest part of the burying-ground, into which there could be no run, was almost filled with water. At Stitchell the thunder was very loud, and the rain and hail were excessive. Two peals, which almost instantaneously followed the fire, were particularly terrible.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 7 Aug 1784: Monday Mr Hall, of Uigham Wood-house, near Morpeth, began to cut down barley, which was sown last autumn, and proves an exceeding good crop.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 21 Aug 1784: Thursday se'nnight the barley harvest commenced at Forres, in Scotland. The scorching winds they have had for some time past have hurt it a little.
Tuesday new oats were sold at Hexham, by Mr Ralph Reed of Walwick Grange, esteemed the finest which have been in that market for many years: the crop proves very fruitful; so that we hope that useful article will soon be at a moderate price, to the great comfort of the poor.— Mr Reed has been the first at the above market with oats these three years past.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 21 Aug 1784: Monday se'nnight a potatoe was taken up in the garden of James Hogg, at Kelso, which weighed 12 ounces, and measured the largest way 15 inches round. They are now selling at 3d per capful, which weighs from 10 to 14 pounds.— Such is the difference of measuring! And so great is the absurdity of allowing that article to be sold otherwise than by weight.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 21 Aug 1784: A correspondent recommends the following simple, but certain, method to prevent young turnips from being destroyed by vermin, as has been the case this summer. Mix among the feed some flour of brimstone, let it lie 24 hours, and then sow all together. ...
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 28 Aug 1784: The barley and oat harvest has begun near Morpeth, and the crops are tolerably good.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 31 Aug 1784: A field of barley was cut yesterday, near Hensingham.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 4 Sep 1784: We are happy to inform the public, that, notwithstanding the long continuance of uncertain weather, the wheat harvest began this week in several parts of this neighbourhood, and the crops prove very fine: And as the weather apparently has got a favourable turn, it is to be hoped the harvest will soon become general.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 11 Sep 1784: One day last week a Gentleman shot a woodcock in the grounds near Ripley, in Yorkshire.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 25 Sep 1784: STOCKTON RACES [15-17 Sep]
The weather was very favourable for the diversion, and there was a vast concourse of genteel people. Every day's sport gave uncommon satisfaction.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 12 Oct 1784: Every account of the harvest agrees that no crop, in the memory of the oldest person living, exceeded the present one, either in an abundance of grain, or the quality of it. This is a circumstance which demands the gratitude of all ranks of people in this kingdom: for though its effects may be more immediately felt by the poor and laborious part of mankind, yet it is certain that everything which conduces to the more convenient support of the poor, is an accommodation to the man of affluence, which no other resource can furnish.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 23 Oct 1784: The inhabitants of Hull, much to the credit of humanity, and themselves in particular, have opened subscriptions for the relief of the inhabitants of Shetland, now struggling under all the miseries of a famine, of which many have died.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 26 Oct 1784: The weather for several days past has in general been very stormy; and on Saturday a great deal of snow fell in some parts of the country, which at present covers the mountains, and is also laying on the hills of Scotland and the Isle of Mann.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 30 Oct 1784: HULL, October 8, 1784.
The latest advices from Shetland confirming the former accounts of the distresses of the people of that country, from the failure of their crops and fisheries, and the death of their cattle, the following particulars are laid before the public, with hopes that they may be favoured with the notice of those who have it in their power, without injury to themselves, of contributing to the relief of our distressed fellow-subjects in those Islands, who are now suffering the miseries of famine, under which many have already died.
The petition presented to the House of Commons on the 3d of July last, from the inhabitants of Shetland, sets forth,
"That their two last years crops had failed in a greater degree then ever known, and, by the length and severity of the last Winter, most of their sheep and cattle have died, and many of the poor people have been lost for want of the real necessaries of life— That their fisheries had almost totally failed, and the land-owners of the country had supported the inhabitants until all their resources were exhausted— That at this time there is bread to be bought, but the funds of the land owners being expended, and the sheep and cattle belonging to the poor people dead, their distress is only aggravated by seeking a relief which they are now incapable of purchasing."
Part of a letter from Thomas Balfour, Esq. of Orkney, to Mr Parker of Cottingwood, near Hull.
Kirkwall, July 30, 1784.
"By last advices from Shetland, it seems oat and barley meal, with a few other necessaries of life, were to be had in that country; but there was no money, neither had the greater part of the inhabitants any thing to give in exchange; and that nineteen, mostly old people, had died in one parish entirely for want of almost every necessary of life.— Their sheep and black cattle are the greatest part of their internal Wealth; but the greater part of their numbers had died for want of provender, occasioned by snow and frost, uncommonly lasting and severe. And the little crop of corn which even the best seasons produce, affords at present but a slender appearance that their calamities are yet near an end— During the last harvest, winter, and spring, and down to the date of my last intelligence, the bounties of the sea had also been denied them.
You may have observed by the public papers, that Sir Thomas Dundas had petitioned Government for 500 quarters of barley, and 40 tons of biscuit. This, if it be procured, will be but a temporary relief to at least 30,000 young and old, the known number of inhabitants, unless this number has of late been reduced by famine or by emigration. If the supplies expected should amount to 1500£ it will be no more then one shilling a head."
Several persons in the town and neighbourhood of Hull, to whom the above information has been mentioned, being willing to contribute to the relief of these distressed people, and the bankers applied to at Hull having consented to take the trouble of receiving any sums which might be sent them for this purpose, Sir Thomas Dundas has been asked, to whom the supply granted by government was sent to be distributed in Shetland, and whether any sum which might be contributed, would, in his opinion, be in more ral use in money or provisions? He has been pleased to return the following answer:
Aske, September 14, 1784.
"I am satisfied that oat, barly, or pease meal, or potatoes, are the best things that can be sent to the distressed inhabitants of Shetland. The sending money would only enable those who have sent grain or meal on speculation to keep up their prices— The relief sent by government was consigned to Robert Hunter Esq; of Lunna, and John Bruce, Esq; of Sumburgh. Whatever is sent to those Gentlemen, or to Mr Bolt of Lerwick, will be properly distributed."
Alexander Alison, Esq; of Leith, has expressed his readiness to serve these distressed people, by directing the sums, which have already and may be contributed and sent to him, to be laid out to the best advantage in provisions, and sent as speedily as possible from the port of Leith to Shetland for the suffering inhabitants.
*SUBSCRIPTIONS for the relief of the inhabitants of Shetland, where a famine now prevails, will be received by the following persons, and the sums contributed, with the names of the subscribers, will be sent by them to Alexander Alison, Esq; of the Excise Office, Edinburgh, and by him be laid out in the purchase of provisions, and consign'd to Robert Hunter and John Bruce, Esqrs, and Mr Robert Bolt of Shetland, agreeable to the recommendation of Sir Thomas Dundas, and by them to be distributed among the distressed inhabitants; and on receipt of the advice of the distribution, the account of the whole sum received, and of its application, will be published for the information of the subscribers.
SUBSCRIPTIONS are received at the house of Abel Smith, Esq. and Sons bankers in Hull and Lincoln— Mess. Garforth and Co. and Mess. Crompton and Co. bankers, York— Mess. Wickham, Field, Cleaver and Eamunson, and Mess. Wilson, Beckett, and Calverley, Bankers, Leeds, and at the Tyne Bank, Newcastle.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 30 Oct 1784: Monday morning there was a heavy fall of snow in this town and neighbourhood, which lay with a considerable depth; and accounts from Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Yorkshire say, that the falls of snow have been unusually large.
Last Sunday forenoon a heavy shower of hail fell in and about Sunderland, some of the stones being of an uncommon size, measuring two inches and a half in circumference.
The continual fall of hail,. snow, and rain, accompanied with much wind, almost without intermission last Monday, proved very inauspicious to the Crispinian procession at Sunderland, and forcibly imprinted, on the minds of a numerous crowd of pitying spectators, a truth, very mortifying to human grandeur, that even Kings themselves are not exempt from the common calamities of human life, for his Majesty was wet to the skin, and the Bishop of Osnaburg &c. with the rest of the nobility and gentry, were so compleatly drenched, that they hastened precipitately to recruit their spirits with beef and bumbo, beneath the friendly roof of the assembly room, where the evening was concluded with all the decorum due to so solemn a festival.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 2 Nov 1784: The trees at present have more foliage than they ever before exhibited at this season of the year; their leaves have indeed lost their verdure; but few of them have yet quitted their stations.
There are roses now in full blow at Mr. George Stalker's, Millgrove, near this town; a remarkable instance of the mildness of the season.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 6 Nov 1784: The distressed situation of the inhabitants of Shetland, set forth in this Paper, by the petition to the House of Commons on the 3d of July, and the letters from Thomas Balfour, of Orkney, Esq; and Sir Thomas Dundas, Bart. plead strongly for the interposition of every friend to society. Too much praise cannot be bestowed on those whom true philanthropy urged to step forward as petitioners for so distressed a people.— See the advertisement in the 3d page.
[The advert was a repeat of the announcement in the 30 Oct edition, explaining the subscription scheme]
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 27 Nov 1784: The following gentlemen have subscribed for the relief of the poor inhabitants in Shetland, now suffering all the miseries of famine.
[27 names listed, the highest contribution being £10 10s from Trinity House; joint second The Proprietors of the Tyne Bank, and Joseph Reay, Esq;— £5 5s each]
It is earnestly requested, that the generous and humane, wishing to patronize this Charity, will send their subscriptions as soon as convenient, as it is proposed to remit the produce without loss of time.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 4 Dec 1784: Since our last the following additional subscriptions for relief of the poor inhabitants in Shetland, have been received at the Tyne Bank:
[14 names listed, the largest contributions being £5 5s from Lady Liddell, and £3 4s from The Rev. Mr Eltringham's Congregation of Independents at Horsley, on Tyne Side]
It is earnestly requested, that the generous and humane, wishing to patronize this Charity, will send their Subscriptions as soon as convenient, as it is proposed to remit the produce without loss of time.
We hear that a collection will be made to-morrow in the afternoon, at the Chapel of the Rev. Mr Sommerville, in Sunderland, for the relief of our brethren in Shetland, who are feeling the rage of famine at this time. An example worthy of every denomination of christian societies.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 4 Dec 1784: There is now in the garden of Mrs Blagdon, at Westoe, near South Shields, an apple tree in full blossom; and also a gooseberry bush in flower.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 11 Dec 1784: A Charity Sermon is intended to be preached in St John's Chapel, Sunderland, to-morrow morning, for the benefit of the distressed inhabitants of Shetland.
Since our last, the following additional subscriptions for relief of the poor inhabitants in Shetland have been received at the Tyne Bank:
Amount of subscriptions to 2d inst. £85 1 0
[13 additional names listed, the largest contributions being from The Brethren of St John's Lodge, in Newcastle, of Free and Accepted Masons, £13; Collection at the Rev. Mr Summervill's Chapel, Sunderland, £9; John Simpson Esq, £5. New total:] £125 14  : 0
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 11 Dec 1784: Sunday night about nine o'clock a strong wind sprung up from the east, and about midnight the hurricane was most violent, attended with a very heavy fall of hail and snow, which continued with unremitting fury till Tuesday noon, when it began to abate; but that night it blew again very hard, till Wednesday at noon, when the wind became moderate; but the snow continued at intervals till Thursday, when it fell very severe during the whole day, and continues yet at intervals. The fall was so great on Monday, that all the roads were completely blocked up, till labourers were procured to clear some of them for passengers, particularly the great north road between Felton and Alnwick, and westward between Harlow-hill and Hexham; at both of which the labourers were numerous; and what was never known before, the Mail on Tuesday was obliged to have an additional horse to drag it through the snow from Durham to this town; and from hence to the north. Consequently all trade is now at a stand, not a waggon being able to arrive in town, except the Darlington yesterday.
At sea it has been dreadful beyond description, all along the coast being strewed with wrecks, and vessels on ground, so that from every part we hear of nothing but distress; nor may we ever perhaps be able to get a perfect account of the loss of ships. The following is the best, which can be procured at present.
The under has been sent from intelligencies, which may be depended on:— The Restoration, Hutchinson; Broderick, Craister; Friendship, Stephenson; Loyalty, Hillyard, Druridge Sands— Leostaff, Tisley, off Sunderland— Hunter, of Sunderland; Royal Briton, of Whitley, to the northward; Mic [?], Ware; Providence, Watt, Cresswell— Friendship, Dean, of Sunderland, Prior's Haven, broke up, and the Master drowned— Leighton, Leighton; Newcastle, Redhead, northward; supposed will break up— Good Design, C. Heron; Elizabeth, Greenwell; Robert, A. Scott, northward, lost— Pallas, Shipley, Hartlepool, broke up— Elizabeth & Mary, Armstong; Willington, Scott, Herd Sands— Grace, Armstrong, a little to the north of the bar, with her masts gone, riding— William and Frances; and Crescent, of Blythe, near Sunderland— Joseph, D. Smith, near Hartlepool— Northumberland, (Clarke's) Amble Pans, broke up Industry, Spence; Richard (Clarke's); Thomas and Sarah, Ayre, of Lynn; John's Endeavour, Chapman, of Sunderland, Hawkesly— Margaret (Rayne's), south of Boudicar— Eliza, _____, Hudston Rocks— Friendship, Carling; Hartley & Broderick, south of Hudston Rocks— Jane, of Whitby (Clarke's) lost; and Mary, Carling; Success, Garbut; Venus, Cannaway, Creswell Sand— English Hero, (Story's) Blythe, 13 drowned, and four boys saved— Farn, Scott, Hartlepool, broke up— Good Design, _____, Herd, broke up— Friends, Wilson, near Storey's Landing, will be got off— Good Agreement, Wright; Betsey, Tewart, south of Sunderland, broke up— Good Intent, Ware, northward— Charles & Jane, (Cunningham's), Hawkesly; Spring, Appleby, Hawksley, lost;— Happy Return, Barton, Sunderland— Endeavour, Carling, Cresswell— Adventure, Cart, (Rowe's); Mercury, (Hall's) Hartlepool, will be got off— Friendship, lost in the Harbour by some evil disposed persons cutting her ropes— Two Janes, Guy, southward, gone to pieces— Perseverance, Jefferson, of Newcastle, northward, lost— Active, Gale, of Petershields, northward, lost, crew perished in going to Dunbar— Jane, _____, of Borostoness; with goods, gone to pieces on Cresswell Rocks, five men and passengers drowned— Friends Regard; Travellers Restoration, near Hartlepool— Friendship, Coppin, Yorkshire coast— Dorothy, Scott, near Hartlepool, lost— Kitty, Harwood, Hartlepool, gone to pieces— Good Intent, Smart, Marston— Rochester, Rippon, south of Sunderland— Ann and Mary, Davidson, south of Sunderland, lost— Susannah, (Wallace's) off Tees, lost— Industry, Wood, Cullercoates, staved will not be got off— Folkstone, Robinson, northward, lost— Two Brothers, Walton, Cresswell— Cromer, Crook, lost, with all hands, in making the harbour— Amity, of Ipswich, Hartley— Hopewell, Scarfe; Squirrel, Heslop; Farne, Murray; Brothers, Hall, loaden from Petersburgh, Dunstonburgh— Elizabeth, Greenwell, north of Sunderland, lost— Margaret, Alex. Stephenson, of Shields; Samuel, W. Dee; William, J. Moor; Hartley, J. Howe; Elizabeth & Hannah, Mark Liddell, of Sunderland; Adventure, S. Liddle, of Scarborough; Friends Adventure, Jackson Kildin, of Yarmouth; Granby, Tho. Bygate, of Wisbech; the master and one man drowned, all on shore off Warkworth— a sloop, attempting to make the harbour, lost, and all hands.
The names of the following ships have been sent to the Publisher, as having been drove on shore, but as the places are not mentioned, they have not been added in the foregoing list. ___ Isabella, _____; Betsey, Stonehouse; Nancy, Stephenson; Brotherly Love, Bell; Ann, Bourn; Kitty, Watson; Spring, Hewitson; Betsey, Dunn; Ann & Mary, Storr, of Shields. Providence, Wray; Jenny, Simpson; Good Intent, Ford; Robert & Ann, Young; William, Havelock, of Sunderland; Centurion, Knight; Eliza, Watson, Whitby. Holderness, Watt, of Blythe. Perseverance, Bagg, Lynn. Brothers, Sordibell, of Scarborough. A ship from Borostoness, worth 45,000£ only five men out of twenty-six saved. A ship on Cocquet Island, and several more, names unknown, all light, crew saved, on shore, mere wrecks.
Mr Dean, the Master of the Friendship, which went on shore in Prior's Haven, was washed overboard, and drowned, and two of his seamen nearly suffered the same fate, but were providentially thrown back by the next wave. Some men from the shore humanely lent every assistance, and particularly one Ralph Franks, who, with equal courage and humanity, dashed into the waves, swam to the ship, and, with a rope in his hand, back again to the shore. To this rope was fastened a large cable, which the people on shore pulled to them, and secured, and by that means seven of the crew got safe to land. A subscription, it is said, has been opened for rewarding him.
Mr James Craister, Master of the Broderick, was once washed overboard, but was thrown back by the next waves. The lives of many are owing to the same providential circumstance.
When the English Hero was cast on shore at Blythe, the crew took to their boat, and left two boys on board, whom they would not take in. One of them, determined to follow it, was preparing to throw himself in, but was hindered by the other; and when he perceived the boat overset soon after, he told his companion, who kept above board, that he would go down to prayers, where he continued till low tide, when the people came to their assistance. The boy on deck, being asked if any more were on board, told them of his companion, whom he supposed was dead, not having seen him so long; but on going to the hold, they found the boy fast asleep as if nothing had happened. Ten of the bodies of the boat's crew have been found, and buried in Blythe burial ground.
At the above place, as a poor man was going along the coast, he saw a dead body laying, and in a pocket found 13£ in cash; when taking particular notice of the body, he got it conveyed to the Church-yard, to be owned by his friends, and put the money into proper hands for their use.
The body of the late Countess of Dundonald was in one of the ships now on Cresswell sands, bound for Scotland, where it was sent to be interred: It came on shore, and now lays at a farm-house in the neighbourhood.
The Jenny, Lawton, there is every reason to hope, is now safe in Leith. She was deeply laden with merchant goods for this town, and was seen by many of the fleet, to stand with her head much out to sea.
Some ships were seen to founder at sea, the crews of which immediately perished; and no doubt but many others have had the same miserable fate.
Though the late storm has occasioned losses, to this port, beyond memory or record, it is no small comfort to a feeling mind to consider, that much fewer lives have been lost, than might have been expected in so great and heavy a calamity.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 11 Dec 1784: A correspondent writes, that, to the disgrace of humanity, upwards of 200 persons have been busy on Cresswell Sands, in stealing wreck, and plundering the dead.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 11 Dec 1784: Monday evening, the Friendship, George Carr, Master, having lost her steerage in the storm, and received much damage on the Bar, came into this harbour, water-logged, and in a shattered condition, and moored in the Coble landing, at South Shields, when some malicious person or persons, that night, either cut or threw off her shore ropes, and set her adrift, by which means she sunk in the river, and four boys in her were drowned.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 11 Dec 1784: From Sunderland we learn, that on Monday morning above 30 keels were found sunk in the river, mostly laden with coals; also several ships broke from their moorings, but received little damage; that day a sloop for Leith loaden with barley, drove on shore between the piers, the Master and Mate drowned, but two men, ship, and cargo saved. On Tuesday evening the coast wore an awful appearance, being covered with wrecks and dead bodies; upwards of 50 sail being on shore, between that port and Hartlepool, and about 16 between it and Shields.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 11 Dec 1784: We hear from Seaton, near Hartlepool, that the coast there presents a most melancholy and distressing scene of ships, some upon the rocks, others upon the sands, others at anchor some distance from the shore, which appear in the utmost danger, and the sea running so high, that it s impossible to give them any assistance from shore. There are about 26 ships on shore near Hartlepool, one of which has no living creature on board, and appears to be a light collier. There has been a great fall of snow in Cleveland, particularly on the mountains near Kirkleatham, Gainsbrough, and Stokesley.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 11 Dec 1784: So intense was the frost on Saturday night and Sunday, the 20th and 21st ult. that the Tweed was frozen over at Maxwell; a circumstance unknown so early in the season since the year 1739, when the ice carried over at the same place on Martinmas Day.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 14 Dec 1784: From the prodigious quantity of snow, which fell on Tuesday last and the preceding night, the roads, in many parts of this county, were rendered impassable. No carriage can pass between Penrith and Keswick: a road has been cut for horses, and the snow, in some parts of it, is laying on each side, the height of seven yards. The post which should have been here by half past seven on Wednesday morning, did not arrive till near ten the next day. A very heavy snow has also fallen since the time above mentioned, and the roads in general are in a very bad condition. We also hear from the Isle of Mann, that they are more incommoded by the snow than they have been for some years past, and that the communication between some of the towns was stopped last week, an inconvenience they are seldom subjected to, as the snow rarely falls in any great quantities, or lays long on the island.
Yesterday se'ennight one Henry Dixon of White Bank, perished in the snow, on Kinnyside common.— He had set forward to look after some sheep, in company with another person, who had turned back.— The unfortunate man was found next day, laying upon his back, his stick three or four yards distant from him, and his dog laying at his feet.
We hear from various parts of the adjoining country, that there are the greatest number of sheep at present under the snow, that have been known for many winters past. The storm coming on so suddenly, and with such violence, prevented the shepherds driving them into shelter before such quantities of snow had been drifted, as rendered it impossible to get them out.— Several have however been dug out in places where the access was more easy, but by far the greatest number are lodged in it. Whole stocks have, in former winters, been buried thus for a month or five weeks, and when found, seemed to have suffered little by their frozen confinement. The snow serving them in part for aliment, and the heat of their bodies melting it gradually, they are generally found standing up in the ground, from which they probably pick up a little sustenance.
It appears, from all accounts, that the snow is much deeper to the eastward of Carlisle, where the roads are in some places entirely blocked up; from that city to this town, they are open; and a few miles from hence to the westward, there is not near as much snow as lays in this neighbourhood.— The frost continues very intense.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 14 Dec 1784: Last week, a sloop belonging to Douglas in the Isle of Mann, sailed from thence for Whitehaven, for a cargo of coals; she had got within two leagues of this harbour, when the wind blew so strong that she was obliged to put about, and stand for the Manks land again. A few hours after, she was driven on the rocks near Douglas; the people are all saved.
Several of the posts in Scotland were stopped, by the snow, last week.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 14 Dec 1784: NEWCASTLE, December 11.
On Sunday evening a most violent storm of wind from the S.E. attended with a heavy fall of snow, came on here, which continued almost without abatement till the Tuesday evening, and has been productive of more damage to the shipping on this coast than can ever before be remembered. The severity of the weather has prevented any perfect accounts being received of the ships that have suffered; but it is apprehended not less than a hundred sail are either totally lost or driven ashore, many of them in very dangerous situations, as a fleet of light colliers, amounting to upwards of two hundred sail, came in company from Yarmouth roads, and a very small part of them are yet arrived here, though some of them were in sight of the port when the storm arose. The coast to the southward of Blyth on Monday, afforded a spectacle of horror almost too shocking to relate, being nearly covered with wrecks, and dead bodies washed from them: nine of the crew of the English Hero, stranded near Blyth, were taken up and buried in Bedlington church yard. Two boys that were left on board this ship, and were saved, say, that when the other part of the crew took to the boat, they refused to take them in, and that, before the bat had got many yards from the ship, she sunk instantly, and all on board, thirteen in number, perished. The body of a young lady genteely dressed in black, was also drove ashore to the northward of Blythe: a sum of money was found in her pocket, but her name cannot yet be discovered.
The following is the most perfect list that can be procured of the ships which have suffered between Hartlepool and Bamborough Castle.
The following are lost.— Good Design, Good Agreement, (two of the men perished near Whitburn,) Betsey, Newcastle, Pallas, Spring. The John, (in attempting the bar, and all hands perished) Dorothy, Harmony, Royal Briton, (master lost, the crew saved) Blackbird, and Jane, (master and three men lost).
The following are ashore.— Northumberland, at Amble Pans; another, near her, name unknown, at ditto; Industry, at Hauxley, Richard, at ditto; Thomas and Sarah, at ditto; a sloop from Sunderland, at ditto; Margaret, near Bondicar; Elitha [?], on Haddon rocks; Friendship, near ditto; Hartley and Broderick ditto; Broderick, on Druridge sand; Friendship, on ditto; Loyalty, ditto; Resoration, ditto; Mary, ashore at Cresswell; Success, ditto; Venus, ditto. (The people of the above are all saved.
The Jane, of Borrowstounness, gone to pieces on Creswell sands; five people drowned.
There are some ships ashore north of Cocquet river, and one on Cocquet island rocks, of which we have not got the names; the people it is hoped are saved.
The following are ashore at sundry places to the south: True Briton, Nancy, Leighton, William, Good Design, Elizabeth, Lowestoffe, Robert, Willington, Isis, Good Intent, Fame, Providence, John and Thomas, Elizabeth and Mary, Pallas, Charles and Jane, Judith and Jane, Endeavour, Joseph, Wm. and Francis, Crescent, Perseverance, Adventure, Two Janes, Mercury, Rochester, Francis and Mary.
The Happy Return, Capt. Barton, is ashore at Cullercoats, and gone to pieces; a boy and a girl, passengers, are lost. There is also a sloop come ashore on Tynemouth rocks, but the hands had left her. It is said there are 29 sail on Seaton sands near Hartlepool.
Monday, a sloop laden with barley, from Lynn, came ashore near Sunderland; two of the crew were drowned.
The Mary, Capt. Rawson, of Sunderland, coal loaden, is lost on the Downings; the crew saved.
The scene in Shields harbour, on Monday last, was truly dreadful; of the ships, which with great difficulty got in there, many of them had lost their masts, and the crews were almost perished with cold and fatigue. The Friendship, Capt. Dean, of Sunderland, came into the harbour in this situation, and the crew, except three boys, being ashore in the night, it is supposed her mooring had been maliciously cut away, she was next morning found overset, and the boys all drowned.
We hear from Hartlepool, that there are not less than 18 ships put on shore between the Tees-mouth and Black halls; some of them have lost all their hands and are dismasted; but as yet we have not been able to learn their names, as the weather continued stormy when the last advices came away, which makes it to be feared there will be accounts of further damage.
The body of the late Countess of Dundonald was in one of the ships now on Cresswell sands, bound for Scotland, where it was sent to be interred; it came on shore, and now lays at a farm house in the neighbourhood.
Some ships were seen to founder at sea, the crews of which immediately perished; and no doubt but many others have had the same miserable fate.
It s a very lucky circumstance for many tradesmen, that only one of the traders between Newcastle and London was at sea during the storm: that was the Jenny, Hall; but there are accounts of her having got safe into Leith.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 18 Dec 1784: A very severe frost set in on Saturday night and Sunday morning last; the thermometer stood in the night at 13, and in the morning at 15, but on Monday it rose to 24, and has kept rising from that to 36, until Thursday night it fell below 32 on the freezing point. The barometer has generally stood this week at about 29½ inches, and the wind varying twice or thrice a day, chiefly from the S.E. to the N.E. with much snow. Other associations have prevented the correspondent, who favours the Publisher with this account, from keeping so constant a register as he gave last year, when, upon the 31st of December, the frost was much more intense, as the thermometer was down at 0; and an ounce measure of boiling water froze into a solid lump of ice in 40 minutes. He has been so very obliging as to promise that he shall probably keep a more accurate register during the rest of the winter, which shall be at the Publisher's service.
Owing to the stormy weather, on yesterday se'nnight, the post did not arrive here till near twelve o'clock that night; and the next day the frost set in so keen, that the Tyne was frozen over on Sunday morning, by which the communication both above and below bridge has been entirely stopped up, and has continued so ever since. And the waggons from Glasgow, Edinburgh, &c. which should have been here on the Friday noon, did not arrive till Monday night.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 18 Dec 1784: Since our last, the following additional subscriptions for relief of the poor inhabitants in Shetland, have been received at the Tyne Bank:
Amount of subscriptions this day week £125 14 0
[eight new subscriptions, the largest Mrs Trevelyan, of Netherwitton, £3 3s, bringing the total to £137 5s 9d]
Contributions paid in at Darlington Bank, for the same charitable purpose:
[10 listed, including £50 from Mrs Allan, of Grainge, near Darlington; total £66 11s]
The sum of 54£ has been received by Abel Smith, Esqrs. and Sons, Bankers in Hull and Lincoln, for the relief of the Shetland poor.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 18 Dec 1784: The following ships, mentioned in our last being on shore, are got off, and arrived at Shields, viz. The Broderick, Craister; Endeavour, Carling; Mercury, (Hall's) Ritchie; Friends, Holland; Susannah (Wallis's). Early on Saturday morning the Willington, which got on shore on the Herd Sand, in the gale, got safe into harbour. At noon the same day, the Grace, Armstrong, which rode the gale out off Souter, dismasted, was towed in by cobles that went to her assistance from Man-Haven [?], master and people all well.
The Hunter, (Hunter's) proves not to have been on shore. The Pallas, Shipley, said to be broke up off Hartlepool, has righted, and is likely to be got off.
[almost illegible here:] The A___'s Increase, McNaughton, from ____gs, and the Friendship, Donaldson, from Hull, are arrived at Leith.
The Judith and Jane, Davison, came out of the Teese on Sunday, but was forced to put back again, in doing which, she got on shore, and has gone to pieces.
Advice has been received from Hartlepool, that a vessel has been riding off there, by her own anchors, bottom up; name unknown.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 18 Dec 1784: A correspondent in North Shields, whose letter was dated at ten yesterday morning, writes word that no ships had arrived during the last 48 hours.
We are happy to assure the public, that many of the ships belonging to this port, which were blown ashore in the late storm will be got off, so that the effects of this calamity will not be so bad as at first was apprehended.
We hear from Scarborough, that during the late storm much damage has been done on that coast. A vessel from Kent, laden with apples, in endeavouring to get into harbour, struck on the pier end and went to pieces; it being dark, the crew were with difficulty saved.— A large vessel (supposed from Bristol) was seen in great distress at the beginning of the storm, but had since made the harbour to refit, not having a single mast or yard standing.— Three or four other vessels, after struggling till their crews were almost worn out with fatigue, were run a shore near the town, luckily sustaining little damage; and many, though with the greatest difficulty, got into harbour.— One house was blown down, and many unroofed.
By a letter from Dunbar, dated the 11th inst. the bodies of seven of the unhappy sufferers, who were on board the Active, of Shields, Thomas Gale master, which was wrecked off there, as mentioned in our last, had been found, and it was supposed that several others had been on board the vessel, not then come on shore.
Extract of a letter from Sunderland, Dec 15.
"I am happy to inform you that the loss of ships belonging to this port is not so great as that expected last week, as six sail have arrived that were at sea during the gale; and letters from several more yesterday, that have got into the Humber, all of which were given up for lost. There are about twelve ships got off that were on shore near Hartlepool, and have got into that harbour; and three of the ships on shore near this town are also got off, and brought into port: It is thought that had the weather proved moderate during the course of the week, a great many more would have been got off, as the spring tides were much in their favour."
Extract of a letter from Whitby, Dec. 4.
In a hard gale of wind at N.E. the following ships were drove on shore near this place, viz. the Good Intent, Suites, of Sunderland; the Concord, Johnson, of Margate; the John, Ramshaw, of Newcastle; the Golston, Brown, of Yarmouth; the Thomas and Alice, Bunneal, of Stears; all the men are saved."
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 18 Dec 1784: To the Owners of vessels which suffered in the late severe storm.
"I lament your loss of property, and sympathize with you in the loss of your brave seamen, and in all your anxieties: but at the same time congratulate you on an approaching opportunity of regaining such vessels as are able to keep unbroken up to the month of February, when you will have a Tide, which will give 28 feet of water on Shields bar, and proportionately along shore; and in March one, which will give from 29 to 30 feet. The uncommonness of the height of these tides will, I hope, produce good effects in respect to taking off vessels, even uncommonly grounded; but the mode of doing it, your own good sense, experience, and interest, can best suggest.
I am, in sincerity, Gentlemen,
Your obedient humble servant, C. CLARKE
Author of the Astronomical Tide Table, published annually on the first of January.— Newcastle, 18th Dec. 1784.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 18 Dec 1784: Eymouth, Dec 7. We have had a very heavy gale of wind since Sunday night, blowing E. b N.N.E. with a very heavy sea. The storm has been so severe, that we are afraid the shipping will have suffered greatly; one ship is on Gossuck Sands, but we have not learnt her name. The Glasgow Smack, Capt. Walker, belonging to Carron, had her sails much torn, her main boom broke, and a deal of water in her hold; she run in for this harbour, and though the sea made constant breaches over her, she got safe in.
Edinburgh, Dec. 12th. The weather during last night and this day, has been remarkably cold. This forenoon, at 10 o'clock, in a north window of a house in the neighbourhood of this city, a Fahrenheit's thermometer stood at 14½ deg. that is, 17½ deg. below the freezing point.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 18 Dec 1784: Extract of a letter from Aberdeen, Dec. 12.
"An express is just arrived, that a vessel of 400 tons, belonging to Stockton, only six months from the stocks, loaded at St. Petersburgh for Newry, in Ireland, was drove ashore, in a violent gale of wind, on Friday morning the 10th instant, one mile south of Rattray Head, about 20 miles from this port. The crew are saved; and when my advices came away, she had made no water; but what her situation is, is not mentioned, only whether she can or cannot be got off is uncertain. There are 250 tons iron, cotton, hemp, besides codilla and deals, but no information of her name or the Master's. She must be at least unloaded."
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 18 Dec 1784: We hear from Shields, that Mess. Bates and Cawdell's Company performed a Play, on Monday evening last, for the benefit of those Widows and their Families, belonging to North and South Shields, who have had the misfortune to lose their husbands and fathers, in the late calamitous storm. The Theatre was crouded before the usual time of beginning, and many, who wished to contribute to so humane a purpose, were unable to gain admittance. The entire profits of the night have been appropriated as above; the performers having unanimously agreed to lay gratis, and generously relinquish all their salaries, for that evening.— The Address, written by Mr Cawdell, for the occasion, was delivered by Mrs Marshall, in deep mourning, and in the character of a ship-wreck'd Seaman's Widow. The pathos of the Address was most affectingly heightened by the introduction of three little Orphans.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 21 Dec 1784: To the Printers of the Cumberland Pacquet.
As the intense coldness of the weather is now the general topic of conversation, the following extremes of the temperature in the air, at different periods of time, for the last eighty years, may perhaps be acceptable to many of your readers. Part of them are extracted from the manuscript papers of a gentleman who was curious in such observations; and they form together a more extensive statement than you have yet printed.
I am, &c. J. BROWN. Cockermouth
*** It should be remarked that the scale of variation is that of Farenheit's, whose freezing point is marked at 32, and the temperate, blood heat, at 96.
[Lists extreme temperatures as reported in newspapers over many years, mostly from places like London and Paris, but ending:]
January, 1784, at Paris, 12 deg.
December 14th, about ten o'clock at night, within doors, at Cockermouth in Cumberland, at 12 deg. and at eleven o'clock, the thermometer being placed in the open air, upon a garden wall, it fell to 0.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 24 Dec 1784: Since our last, the following additional subscriptions for relief of the poor inhabitants of Shetland have been received at the Tyne Bank:
Amount of subscriptions last week £137 5 0
[14 new donations, the largest amounts being from The Congregation of St John's Chapel, Sunderland, £12 12s 6d, and The Brethren of St John's Lodge in Newcastle, a further subscription, £7. Total of all subscriptions now £172 7s 6d]
December 23d, At a Meeting of the Subscribers to the above Charity this day, to consider of the most proper mode of tending relief to the poor sufferers, they adjourned to a further day, of which notice will be given.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 24 Dec 1784: Last week, as Mr Todd, a Farmer, near Stanhope, in Weardale, with his servant, was on the search for some sheep which had been covered by the drifts of snow, they came to the mouth of an old lead mine, of 12 fathoms depth, which, from the bushes around it, was concealed by the snow, when he unfortunately fell down it. The servant immediately ran for assistance, but, on his return, met with his master, who had been but slightly bruised by the fall, and had climbed to the top, by means of the wood work of the shaft.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 24 Dec 1784: His Majesty's cutter Kite, Henry Gunter, Esq; commander, arrived at Hull, on the 13th, after having weathered the late storm. She is much damaged, and was obliged to bear away for the Humber, having carried away her maintopmnast in chase of a large smuggling cutter.
The fatal effects of the dreadful storm are perceived daily by the dead bodies and wrecks which float up the Humber.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 24 Dec 1784: Yesterday se'nnight, William Crosby, Weaver, of Darlington, was found dead in a drift of snow, near Witton Castle, into which he had fallen on Tuesday se'nnight before.
The 10th instant, Christopher Rudd, of Water Houses, near Appleby, aged 67, went to an out-house about a mile distant to water some young cattle; on his return, he got into a drift of snow, near his own house, and expired.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 24 Dec 1784: Chester, Dec. 12. [sic] A thermometer exposed to the north, aspect to a low situation in this city, on Sunday the 12th inst. at midnight, the mercury was at 10½ degrees, which was 21½ degrees below the freezing point. On Monday the 13th, at noon, it stood at 25 degrees.
CUMBERLAND PACQUET (Whitehaven), 28 Dec 1784: Newcastle, Dec. 24. The storm in this neighbourhood still continues extremely rigorous: on Friday and Saturday last there was an appearance of that, but since that time, we have had a very severe frost, attended with heavy falls of snow.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 31 Dec 1784: Since our last, the following additional subscriptions for relief of the poor inhabitants of Shetland have been received at the Tyne Bank:
Amount of subscriptions last week £172 7 6
[four new subscriptions, the largest being £5 5s from Walker, Fishwick & Co.]
A Meeting of the Subscribers to the above Charity will be held on Tuesday the fourth day of January next, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, at Bella's Coffee-house, on the Sandhill, to consider of, and determine on, the proper time and mode of sending relief to the objects of the Subscription.
NEWCASTLE COURANT, 31 Dec 1784: We learn from Hexham, that large numbers of sheep have been lost in the last storm; one farmer particularly, in the neighbourhood of Chipchase, lost no fewer than 140, and his two herds who attended them.
For several days past, we have had fine mild weather, tending to a that, but every night turning frosty, till Monday night, when we had some smart showers of rain; and on Tuesday afternoon, the ice on the Tyne began to give way, and the river continues open, so that all the craft is again employed.