1607 / 1608
Picture from an excellent web site that has some informative historical articles.
“Cold doings in London, is a slender tract printed in 1608, no doubt to cash in on the novelty of the frozen river. The cover illustration, left, shows Londoners amusing themselves on the frozen river near London Bridge …
The Thames began to put on his Freeze-coate about a week before Christmas, and hath kept it on till now, this latter end of January…
Both men, women, and children walked over, and up and downe in such companies, that I verily believe, and I dare almost sweare it, that one half (if not three parts) of the people in the Citie, have been seene going on the Thames. …
The rivers shows not now (neither shows it yet) like a river, but like a field where archers shoot, while others play at football….It is an alley to walk upon without dread, albeit under it be the most assured danger. The Gentlewoman that trembles to passe over a bridge in the field, doth here walk boldly: the Citizens wife that lookes pale when she sits in a boate for fear of drowning, thinks that here shee treads as safe now as in her parlour. Of all ages, of all sexes, of all professions this is the common path: it is the roadway between London and Westminster, and between Southwark and London.”
Above: Illustration from The Great frost. Cold doings in London…Printed for H. Gosson, London, 1608. Harvard University Library.
Have a look at this link. EXCELLENT reading
“This site attempts to collect together in one place the most notable events in our ‘weather history’ across the British Isles”http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/1600_1649.htm
so thought l would share
Here is an extract from this awesome web site
An example of the information that is recorded at this site
The ‘Great Winter’**: apparently, trees died due to the severity (and length) of the frost; ships were stranded by ice several miles out into the North Sea –
this latter a major concern as much commerce was done in these days via coastal shipping. In December, a “deep” frost until mid-month, then a thaw until just before Christmas, then from ~21st December(OSP) intense freeze for much of the time until at least mid-January. Ice formed on the Thames in London, sufficient to bear all sorts of sports, perambulations and even cooking! The frost lasted overall for some two months. (much of the foregoing from Ian Currie). The severe weather lasted in parts of England until about 20th February(OSP), though with variations in depth of cold. For example, in records from Kendal (Westmorland / Cumbria) ‘hard frost’ is noted from November 3rd, 1607 to March 6th, 1608(OSP).
The Firth of Forth is noted as being ‘frozen’ during January 1608 & the River Exe (south of Exeter) also experienced major ice formation by the latter-third of January – at this latter location, damage was caused to a local weir.
(** lots of winters will be found in the literature known as “The Great Winter”: treat this title with some caution, however, in a series developed by C.Easton, in CHMW / Lamb, this ranks near the top of the most severe winters of the last 1000 yr.)
[ This may have been the first occasion of the use of the term ‘Frost Fair’ ]
(Winter) Severe winter; Thames frozen
(Winter) Great frost; Thames frozen.