“The Mirk Mounday”?: The Total Solar Eclipse of 1652 #History #Scotland


They happen very rarely in Scotland, but in 1652, the path of a total solar eclipse across the Earth’s surface passed directly over Ireland and Scotland …

The Reverend Law of Easter Kilpatrick near Dumbarton recalled:

‘In February 1652, there was a great ecclipse of the sun about 9 hours in the forenoon on a Monday; the earth was much darkened, the lyke, as thought by astrologers, was not since the darkness at our Lord’s passion. The country-people teeling loused their plews, and thought it had been the latter day [i.e., the Apocalypse]: Some of the Starrs were seen, it fell so dark; the birds clapt to the ground.*

[In the editor’s notes: * The day of this eclipse is still denominated by the common people of Scotland “the Mirk Mounday.”’ (Law, Memorialls, 6.)

There are clear errors in Law’s recalled account (he finished writing in 1684). According to NASA’s total eclipse database, the Scottish eclipse was on THURSDAY 8 April, 1652. The eclipse reached maximum in Scotland at just after 10.30 GMT/UT in the morning.

We will not see a total eclipse in our lives from Scotland.

For other wonders of late seventeenth-century Scotland, see here.

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


~ by drmarkjardine on January 14, 2017.

One Response to ““The Mirk Mounday”?: The Total Solar Eclipse of 1652 #History #Scotland”

  1. […] followed [the Mirk Mounday Total Eclipse] a great heat that summer, and in July of that yeir was Glasgow brunt, the whole Salt-Mercat, and a […]

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