Fox in the Snow (and Other Strange Portents), February, 1682

Nor Loch Edinburgh 1690

Lord Fountainhall records tales of terror in Edinburgh in 1682…

‘In Februar[y] 1682, a servant woman in Edinburgh, about ii at night, throwing over a tub of foull water from a window 4 stories hy, followed the fame, and fell over the window into the street, and broke her skull, and expired some few howers after with lamentable sobs. O Lord! grant we may be ready whensoever thou shalt call, tho’ at midnight.

The 11 of Februar[y] 1682. Sundry peeple being on the North Loch of Edinburgh, the ice broke, and they fell in, 3 wheirof ware drouned; on[e] a wryter, Mr. David Fergusson, the other 2 ware fleschers; ther bodies ware not found till the nixt day. We have a proverb, that ‘The fox will not set his foot on the ice after Candlemaffe,’ especially in the heat of the sun, as this was, at 2 a cloak; and at any tyme the fox is so sagacious as to lay his ear to the ice, to see if it be frozen to the bottom, or if he hear the murmuring and current of the water.— See [David] [L]Loyd’s Fair Warnings to a Careles[s] World, page 146, wher ther is a pretty story of the Persians terror in flying over the river Strymon when frozen, tho they ware before hectoring, and rufling against a Deity.

This same 11 of Februar[y], ther was, about ii at night, a great ecclipse of the moon, it being near the plenilunium: about 19 digits (points) of it was obscured, and the night being otherways clear, I saw it verie distinctly.’ (Lauder, Historical Observes, 59-60.)

For other ‘wonders’ observed in Scotland see here.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to this post on Facebook or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

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~ by drmarkjardine on September 3, 2014.

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