Strange News After the Great Frost in Scotland in 1684

1065A Sun Dog Over East Lothian

After the Great Frost of 1683 to 1684 froze Scotland’s main rivers, Lord Fountainhall reported a series of strange events:

‘In March 1684, […] At the fame tyme, 3 suns are seen in the morning by many in the town of Dale, in England, and 3 rainbows like cressents and halfe moons, to the great wonder and astonishment of the beholders, none of them having ever seen the like before.’

Two suns had also been seen over Glasgow earlier in the year.

‘In Scotland in the south, it was reported, that graves ware found cut out of the wholle earth, of the usual breidth and deepnesse, and the wholle lump laid inteer befyde it, as if it had been cut out with a knife; this prodigy was called the ominous forerunner of some pestilence or great mortality.’

There were disastrous floods and some profiteering immediately after the Great Frost:

‘The storme being broken which had destroyed many bridges, milnes, and coall finks, up and doune the country, to a great value; many fisches ware casten furth upon the shoar and sands dead, by the rigidity of the winter, which certainly ware very unwholesome food, tho’ they ware sold amongst other fisches.’ (Fountainhall, Historical Observes, 120.)

For other ‘wonders’ of the 1680s, see here.

~ by drmarkjardine on March 10, 2013.

One Response to “Strange News After the Great Frost in Scotland in 1684”

  1. […] However, at the very end of the fourteenth largest average temperature anomaly decade of the last two-and-a-half millennia that a potentially significant sign of climate change appears in Scotland, when Inuit hunters were discovered in Orkney in 1682 and again in 1684. At the same time, the winter of 1682 was described as ‘rather like a spring for mildnes’, while the winter of 1683 to 1684 famously brought the Great Frost, which was followed by violent floods and strange portents. […]

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