Jul 152013

Richard Hall was fascinated by extreme weather conditions and loved writing down tittle-tattle from around the country. I like the description of the storm which happened off Lerwick in 1797:



In case your eyesight isn’t up to deciphering the spidery scrawl:

“Letter from Lerwick, a town in Scotland, July 15, 1797.

A boat with six men from there, ling fishing,  was overtaken with a storm of lightning & thunder – the boat’s shrouds were burnt, the mast and part of the boat shivered to pieces – the men’s stockings were burnt within their boots, their underjackets and flanel shirts totally burnt, but their skins, boots and outside jackets not hurt. One of them had a watch in his pocket, which was melted and destroyed. All of them were providentially saved, but stunned & in a state of stupefaction for some time after they were taken ashore.”

Two days later a horrendous storm struck London: “Very early in the morning a tremendous storm of Lightning and Thunder and great rain. Was particularly dreadful in London. The Lightning & Thunder very awful – what a Mercy to be preserved! The Newspaper says ‘of the dreadful flashes of Lightning & the awful peals of Thunder that prevailed no adequate description can possibly be given’


  4 Responses to “July 15th 1797: a terrifying storm off Lerwick”


    … he wasn’t so enamoured of extreme weather when it happened to him, I recall he wasn’t best pleased when the chamber pot froze….
    That was quite an electrical storm though.


    I’m using Richard’s fascination with the weather and Jane Austen’s letters and the online weather data to try to compile a bit of a weather diary for the long Regency…


    […] the spidery scrawl: “Letter from Lerwick, a town in Scotland, July 15, 1797. A boat with six […] Read […]

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