A New Source of Information for Mother Nature’s Tests
I received this post from The Global Warming Policy Foundation today. It concerns new studies of weather events in England during the Little Ice Age. It’s worth a read.
Dr. Madeline Bassnett, along with colleagues at Western University, have organized a new project. Their website is Weather Extremes in England’s Little Ice Age 1500-1700. Their introduction says, “Explore the Weather Extremes historic weather database creation project, which uses English national chronicle records (Holinshed, Stow), local chronicles, letters, diaries, and pamphlets to document extreme weather and meteorological events (such as earthquakes and comets) between 1500-1700. These years were part of what is known as the Little Ice Age, a period of global cooling. Written accounts—both formal and informal—are crucial to documenting weather and climatic patterns prior to the development of weather recording technologies.”
You can download their dataset in various formats to study for yourself. This data is available to use with attribution for non-commercial purposes. There is an interactive map. You can click on locations to see what weather events transpired and when. There are 252 records included in the database so far.
Event and records are subdivided by the type of category in which they fit and how they may have impacted animals, trees and crops, humans, and property. Storms are the largest group, as might be expected. Each record is located on the index map so one can see where they occurred.
This looks like a great source of information about historical records of different types of natural, and other, events. I intend to spend time looking at the data to learn more about what specific events occurred and where that will help me with my own research.
Records can also be reviewed by the year in which they occurred.
Here is one entry included in the dataset:
09/06/1563 - 09/06/1563
Source: Holinshed's Chronicles, Vol. 4.
Contemporary Location: Newhaven East Sussex, England
Historical Location: New Haven, Sussex, England
Meterological Record: "At last, he imbarked in one of the queenes majesties ships called the Greiehound…And as they were on the furthest coast toward Newhaven, they were by contrarie wind and foule weather driven backe toward the coast of England; and plieng towards Rie [Rye], they forced the capteine of the ship, a verie cunning seaman named William Malaine, and also the maister and mariners, to thrust into the haven before the tide, and so they all perished seven of the meaner sort onlie excepted, whereof three died shortlie after they came to land."
Primary Event Type: Storm
Secondary Event Type: Strong Wind
Effects of Event
Humans: Deaths of Thomas Finch, over 200 others
Cross References: John Stow. Annales, Or, a Generall Chronicle of England. Begun by John Stow: Continued and Augmented with Matters Forraigne and Domestique, Ancient and Moderne, Unto the End of this Present Yeere, 1631. By Edmund Howes, Gent. London, 1632, pp. 654-655.
Citation: Raphael Holinshed and Henry Ellis. Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, rpt. 1808 ed., vol. 4. AMS Press, 1965, p. 217.