Great Storm

Great Storm is in Meteorological Events.

John of Worcester. 1052. The alliance being renewed, and peace established, they promised right law to all the people, and banished all the Normans, who had introduced unjust laws and given unrighteous judgements, and in many things had influenced the king (age 49) to the disadvantage of his English subjects. A few of them only were allowed to stay in England, namely, Robert the deacon, and his son-in-law Richard Fitz-Scrope [Note. Possibly Richard Fitzscrope 1st Baron Burford (age 37)], Alfred, the king's horse-thane, Anfrid, surnamed Cock's-foot, with some others who had been the king's greatest favourites, and had remained faithful to him and the commonwealth. But Robert, archbishop of Canterbury, William, bishop of London, and Ulf, bishop of Lincoln, with their Normans, had some difficulty in making their escape and getting beyond sea. William, however, was, for his worth, soon afterwards recalled and reinstated in his bishopric. Osbern, surnamed Pentecost, and his companion Hugh, surrendered their castles; and, being allowed by earl Leofric to pass through his territories in their way to Scotland, received a welcome from Macbeth (age 47), king of the Scots. The same year there was such a violent wind in the night of the feast of St. Thomas the apostle [the 21st December], that it threw down many churches and houses, and shattered or tore up by the roots trees without number.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1053. About this time was the great wind, on the mass-night of St. Thomas; which did much harm everywhere. And all the midwinter also was much wind. It was this year resolved to slay Rees, the Welsh king's brother, because he did harm; and they brought his head to Gloucester on the eve of Twelfth-day. In this same year, before Allhallowmas, died Wulfsy, Bishop of Lichfield; and Godwin, Abbot of Winchcomb; and Aylward, Abbot of Glastonbury; all within one month. And Leofwine, Abbot of Coventry, took to the bishopric at Lichfield; Bishop Aldred to the abbacy at Winchcomb; and Aylnoth took to the abbacy at Glastonbury. The same year died Elfric, brother of Odda (age 60), at Deerhurst, Gloucestershire; and his body resteth at Pershore [Map].

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1121. And in the night of the eve of "Natalis Domini" was a very violent wind over all this land, and that was in many things evidently seen.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 22 Mar 1122 And thereafter, the Tuesday after Palm-Sunday, was a very violent wind on the eleventh day before the calends of April; after which came many tokens far and wide in England, and many spectres were both seen and heard.

Florence of Worcester Continuation. 11 May 1141. A violent thunder-storm. About this time a terrible occurrence took place in the diocese of Worcester, which we think is worthy relating. On Wednesday before the octave of our Lord's Ascension [11th May], about the ninth hour of the day, at a village called Walesburn, distant one mile from Hampton, the country seat of the bishop of Worcester1, there arose a violent whirlwind, accompanied by a frightful darkness reaching from earth to heaven, which striking the house of a priest named Leofrid levelled it to the ground and shattered it to pieces, with all the out-buildings; it also tore off the roof of the church, and carried it across the river Avon. Nearly fifty houses of the villagers were thrown down and ruined in the same way. Hailstones also fell as large as a pigeon's egg, which striking a woman caused her death. At this spectacle all present were filled with terror and dismay.

Note 1. Hampton-Lucy, near Stratford-upon-Avon.

Chronica Majora. 11 Nov 1236. On the day after the feast of St. Martin, and within the octaves of that feast, great inundations of the sea suddenly broke forth by night, and a fierce storm of wind arose, which caiLsed inundations of the rivers as well as of the sea, and in places, especially on the coast, drove the ships from their ports, tearing them from their anchors, drowned great numbers of people, destroyed flocks of sheep, and herds of cattle, tore up trees by the roots, overthrew houses, and ravaged the coast. The sea rose for two days and the intermediate night, a circumstance before unheard of, and did not ebb and flow in its usual way, being impeded (as was said) by the violence of the opposing winds. The dead bodies of those drowned were seen lying unburied in caves formed by the sea, near the coast, and at Wisbeach [Map] and the neighbouring villages, and along the seacoast, an endless number of human beings perished: in one town, and that not a populous one, about a hundred bodies were consigned to the tomb in one day. In the night of Christmas eve, also, a very fierce storm of wind raged, attended by thunder and a deluge of rain, and shook towers and other buildings, and the confusion of the elements rendered the roads and seas impassable. And thus in that year about the equinoctial season, the storm twice repeated ravaged England with irreparable damage. The Lord indeed seemed, owing to the sins of the people, to have sent this flood as a scourge to the earth, and to fulfil the threat contained in the Gospel "There shall be upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring."

St Marcellus' Flood

Around 16 Jan 1362 St Marcellus' Flood was an intense extratropical cyclone, coinciding with a new moon, which swept across the British Isles, the Netherlands, northern Germany, and Denmark causing at least 25,000 deaths. In England the town of Dunwich, Suffolk was destroyed.

Diary of Isabella Twysden 1645. 11 Mar 1645. the 11 of march there was the terriblest wind, that had ben knowne sence ever the like, it did a great dele of hirt.

Pepy's Diary. 18 Feb 1662. Having agreed with Sir Wm. Pen (age 40) and my wife to meet them at the Opera, and finding by my walking in the streets, which were every where full of brick-battes and tyles flung down by the extraordinary wind the last night (such as hath not been in memory before, unless at the death of the late Protector), that it was dangerous to go out of doors; and hearing how several persons had been killed to-day by the fall of things in the streets, and that the pageant in Fleetstreet is most of it blown down, and hath broke down part of several houses, among others Dick Brigden's; and that one Lady Sanderson, a person of quality in Covent Garden [Map], was killed by the fall of the house, in her bed, last night; I sent my boy home to forbid them to go forth. But he bringing me word that they are gone, I went thither and there saw "The Law against Lovers", a good play and well performed, especially the little girl's (whom I never saw act before) dancing and singing; and were it not for her, the loss of Roxalana (age 19) would spoil the house.

Pepy's Diary. 16 Aug 1664. Wakened about two o'clock this morning with the noise of thunder, which lasted for an houre, with such continued lightnings, not flashes, but flames, that all the sky and ayre was light; and that for a great while, not a minute's space between new flames all the time; such a thing as I never did see, nor could have believed had ever been in nature. And being put into a great sweat with it, could not sleep till all was over. And that accompanied with such a storm of rain as I never heard in my life. I expected to find my house in the morning overflowed with the rain breaking in, and that much hurt must needs have been done in the city with this lightning; but I find not one drop of rain in my house, nor any newes of hurt done. But it seems it has been here and all up and down the countrie hereabouts the like tempest, Sir W. Batten (age 63) saying much of the greatness thereof at Epsum.

Evelyn's Diary. 11 Jul 1689. I dined at Lord Clarendon's, it being his lady's wedding day, when about three in the afternoon there was an unusual and violent storm of thunder, rain, and wind; many boats on the 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.

Evelyn's Diary. 11 Jan 1690. This night there was a most extraordinary storm of wind, accompanied with snow and sharp weather; it did great harm in many places, blowing down houses, trees, etc., killing many people. It began about two in the morning, and lasted till five, being a kind of hurricane, which mariners observe have begun of late years to come northward. This winter has been hitherto extremely wet, warm, and windy.

Evelyn's Diary. 13 Sep 1691. A great storm at sea; we lost the "Coronation" and "Harwich" above 600 men perishing.