Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Snow and Ice in 1814

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
William Collins, British Frost Scene, 1827
Loretta reports:

January 1814 brought serious winter weather to England.  Accounts occupy several pages in the Chronicle section of the 1814 Annual Register, continuing into February.  You can follow the story starting here.


Illustration: William Collins, British Frost Scene, 1827, courtesy Yale Center for British Art.

Please click on illustrations to enlarge.


Pearl* said...

Can you imagine those conditions with no insulation, no heating save peat fires, no microfiber, no polar fleece....? Makes me think of scratchy wool sweaters.

Sarah Waldock said...

As I recall, February saw the last ice fair ever on the Thames. This was a period of intense cold, which continued until 1817, largely because of a number of Icelandic volcanoes from the 1780's and culminating with Mt Tambora in the Philippines which blew in 1815 and caused catastrophic weather conditions worldwide, with failed crops and famine; and because most people dared not wash as they'd never get warm again, and huddled together for warmth, the biggest outbreak of Gaol Fever, aka Typhus, caused by body lice. Not just scratchy wool but all those lice...eww. This is one of those times when if you were lucky you lived in one of the despised and old fashioned medieval houses with wattle and daub walls and thatched roofs - with their own natural insulation!

Fizz said...

These weather conditions are categorized by Geophysicists & Climatologists as the "Little Ice Age" and it occurred from about 1350 to 1850. If you would like to know more about this period, there are several great books, but I think it’s a good idea to start at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_ice_age

Dana said...

I love how they note the dead guy still had money in his pocket (obviously because it was so cold even the thieves weren't out).

Anonymous said...

I think also to note that he had the means to put up at a hotel if he had so chosen.

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