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River Thames

851 Battle of Oakley

1683 Frost Fair

Battle of Oakley

Life of Alfred by Asser Part 1 849-887 Page 1. In the year of our Lord's incarnation 851, which was the third after the birth of king Alfred, Ceorl Earl Devon, fought with the men of Devon against the pagans at a place called Wembury; and the Christians gained the victory; and that same year the pagans first wintered in the island called Isle of Sheppey, which means the Sheep-isle, and is situated in the River Thames between Essex and Kent, but is nearer to Kent than to Essex; it has in it a fine monastery.
The 851 also a great army of the pagans came with three hundred and fifty ships to the mouth of the River Thames, and sacked Canterbury, which is the city of the Cantuarians, and also the city of London, which lies on the north bank of the River Thames, on the confines of Essex and Middlesex; but yet that city belongs in truth to Essex; and they put to flight Beornwulf King Mercia -852, with all the army, which he had led out to oppose them.
After these things, the aforesaid pagan host went into Surrey, which is a district situated on the south bank of the River Thames, and to the west of Kent. And Aethelwulf King Wessex -858, and his son Aethelbald King Wessex -860, with all their army, fought a long time against them at a place called Oakley, i.e. the Oak-plain, and there, after a lengthened Battle of Oakley, which was fought with much bravery on both sides, the greater part of the pagan multitude was destroyed and cut to pieces, so that we never heard of their being so defeated, either before or since, in any country, in one day; and the Christians gained an honourable victory, and were triumphant over their graves.
In the same 851 Aethelstan King Kent, son of Aethelwulf King Wessex -858, and Earl Ealhere slew a large army of pagans in Kent, at a place called Sandwich, and took nine ships of their fleet; the others escaped by flight.

Chronica Majora: Heavy falls of rain. 10 Feb 1236. About the same time, for two months and more, namely, in January, February, and part of March, such deluges of rain fell as had never been seen before in the memory of any one. About the feast of 10 Feb 1236, when the moon was new, the sea became so swollen by the river torrents which fell into it, that all the rivers, especially those which fell into the sea, rendered the fords impasSable, overflowing their banks, hiding the bridges from sight, carrying away mills and dams, and overwhelming the cultivated lands, crops, meadows, and marshes. Amongst other unusual occurrences, the River Thames overflowed its usual bounds, and entered the Westminster Palace, where it spread and covered the whole area, so that small boats could float there, and people went to their apartments on horseback. The water also forcing its way into the cellars could with difficulty be drained off. The signs of this storm which preceded it, then gave proofs of their threats; for on the day of 11 Dec 1235, thunder was heard, and on the Friday next after the conception of 08 Dec 1235, a spurious sun was seen by the side of the true sun.

John Evelyn's Diary 1683 Feb. 02 Feb 1683. I made my court at St James's Palace, when I saw the sea charts of Captain Greenvile Collins 1643-1694 (40), which that industrious man now brought to show the James II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1633-1701 (49), having taken all the coasting from the mouth of the River Thames, as far as Wales, and exactly measuring every creek, island, rock, soundings, harbors, sands, and tides, intending next spring to proceed till he had finished the whole island, and that measured by chains and other instruments: a most exact and useful undertaking. He affirmed, that of all the maps put out since, there are none extant so true as those of Joseph Norden, who gave us the first in Queen Elizabeth's time; all since him are erroneous.

Around 1665 Peter Lely 1618-1680 (46). Portrait of James II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1633-1701 (31) and Anne Hyde Queen Consort England 1637-1671 (27).

Before 04 Jan 1674 Peter Lely 1618-1680. Portrait of James II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1633-1701 wearing his Garter Robes.

Around 1672 Henri Gascar 1635-1701 (37). Portrait of James II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1633-1701 (38).

Frost Fair

In Dec 1683 the River Thames froze for a period of six weeks during which a great Frost Fair took place on the frozen surface.
The printer Croom sold souvenir cards written with the customer's name, the date, and the fact that the card was printed on the Thames; he was making five pounds a day (ten times a labourer's weekly wage). Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 (53) bought one. .

John Evelyn's Diary 1687 May. 12 May 1687. To London. Robert Spencer 2nd Earl Sunderland 1641-1702 (45) being Lord President and Secretary of State, was made Knight of the Garter and Prime favorite. This day there was such a storm of wind as had seldom happened, being a sort of hurricane. It kept the flood out of the River Thames, so that people went on foot over several places above bridge. Also an earthquake in several places in England about the time of the storm.

John Evelyn's Diary 1689 Jan. 07 Jan 1689. A long frost and deep snow; the River Thames almost frozen over.

John Evelyn's Diary 1689 Jul. 11 Jul 1689. I dined at Henry Hyde 2nd Earl Clarendon -1709, it being his lady's wedding day, when about three in the afternoon there was an unusual and Great Storm of thunder, rain, and wind; many boats on the River Thames were overwhelmed, and such was the impetuosity of the wind as to carry up the waves in pillars and spouts most dreadful to behold, rooting up trees and ruining some houses. The Anne Digby Countess Sunderland 1646-1715 (43) afterward told me that it extended as far as Althorp House, Daventry at the very time, which is seventy miles from London. It did no harm at Deptford, but at Greenwich it did much mischief.

Before 1666 Peter Lely 1618-1680. Portrait of Anne Digby Countess Sunderland 1646-1715. One of the Windsor Beauties.

John Ashton, Edmund Elliot, Richard Graham 1691. On 12 Jan 1691, the 2d day of this Sessions, my Richard Graham 1st Viscount Preston 1648-1695 (41), John Ashton Jacobite -1691 and Edmund Elliot, were all Arrained for High Treason, my Richard Graham 1st Viscount Preston 1648-1695 (41) was Tryed on 13 Jan 1691 by the name of Sir Richard Graham , John Ashton Jacobite -1691 on 15 Jan 1691. The Indictments against them consisted of Two Parts, the First of which set forth, That they had a Treasonable Design carrying on to Depose the King and Queen, and to Subvert and Alter the Government of the Kingdom of England, and to raise War and Rebellion in the same; which said Traiterous and Wicked Designs and Purposes to bring to pass, they did, on the 29 Dec 1690 last, Meet and Conspire together, with several other Traitors not yet discovered, and did Compose several Treasonable Letters, Notes and Memorandums in writing, which set forth the most effectual way and means how they might Dethrone and Depose our Most Gracious Sovereign Lord and Lady the William III King England, Scotland and Ireland 1650-1702 (40) and Mary Stewart II Queen England, Scotland and Ireland 1662-1694 (28), and further describing therein how the Affairs of this Kingdom stood, and of what Strength and Force our Shipping was; as also the Fortifications of several Sea-Port-Towns within this Kingdom. The Second Part was their adhering to the Kings's Enemies: And to that end, that they might Acquaint Lewis the French King of the same, they did hire a Boat and Embarque themselves in order to Transport themselves and Pacquet of Treasonable Letters into France , agreeing to pay for their said Passages the Sum of One hundred Pound; and, in order to their Treasonable Voyage, they had made their Passage as far as below Gravesend, but were then Taken by Captain Billop, who Cruised abroad to search for them.
After this the Evidence for the William III King England, Scotland and Ireland 1650-1702 (40) being called, gave an Account particularly from Step to Step, how cunningly and subtilly they managed this horrid Conspiracy, by hiring the Smack called the Thomas and Elizabeth, to convey them secretly into France; in order to which they took Water in a Skuller at Surrey-Stairs, and went on Board the aforesaid Vessel, which lay in the River Thames over against the Tower of London: From thence they set Sail down the River, till coming within the View of the George Frigate, lying in Long-reach, they desired the Master of the Smack to hide them under the Quarter-Hatches; which was done, they having some Fear of being discovered: There they remained till past that Danger, and then came up; but when they were within Sight of Gravesend they hid again, and a little below it Captain Billop came aboard them, under Pretence of Pressing the Masters two Men, who were assistants to him; but indeed his Design and real Intention was to find out those Traytors, which, upon Search, he found lying along under the Hatches; and after their being haled up he search'd them, and found a Pacquet of Treasonable Papers in Mr. Ashton's Bosom: which he with the Prisoners carried before my Lord Nottingham; who examined the Papers, and after being examined by the Cabinet Council they were committed to the Tower. The Evidence was very full and plain against them both, much to the same effect and purport: The Letters being also Read against them in Court, were adjudged to be of no less Import than High-Treason. Upon the whole they had nothing material to offer in their Defence; so after a very long hearing, they were both found Guilty of High Treason. Edmond Elliot was ordered to remain till further order.

Around 1680 Willem Wissing 1656-1687 (24). Portrait of William III King England, Scotland and Ireland 1650-1702 (29) wearing his Garter Collar.

Around 1676 Peter Lely 1618-1680 (57). Portrait of Mary Stewart II Queen England, Scotland and Ireland 1662-1694 (13).

Around 1686 Willem Wissing 1656-1687 (30). Portrait of Mary Stewart II Queen England, Scotland and Ireland 1662-1694 (23).

Around 1747. Canaletto Painter 1697-1768. Westminster Bridge, with the Lord Mayor's Procession on the River Thames.

Around 1747. Canaletto Painter 1697-1768. Westminster Bridge, with the Lord Mayor's Procession on the River Thames.

Around 1747. Canaletto Painter 1697-1768. View across the River Thames to Westminster Abbey and Westminster Hall.

Around 1747. Canaletto Painter 1697-1768. View across the River Thames to Westminster Abbey and Westminster Hall.

Around 1752. Canaletto Painter 1697-1768. Royal Hospital, Greenwich from the North Bank of the River Thames.

Around 1752. Canaletto Painter 1697-1768. Royal Hospital, Greenwich from the North Bank of the River Thames.

Around 1754. Canaletto Painter 1697-1768. View across the River Thames to Eton College with the new Eton College Chapel, Eton College visible in white stone and the original Tudor buildings in red brick.

Around 1754. Canaletto Painter 1697-1768. View across the River Thames to Eton College with the new Eton College Chapel, Eton College visible in white stone and the original Tudor buildings in red brick.

River Kennet