The Great Land Flood of 1712 #History #Scotland


In late September, 1712, extremely heavy rains brought the worst flooding in living memory between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Reverend Robert Wodrow wrote about them in his Analecta:

‘The 24 of this moneth, the Commission sate [in Edinburgh]. I had occasion partly to observe, and partly to hear of the greatest landflood that has been for ane age in Scotland, or in the memory of man at least. Ther was scarce any travailing from the West to Edinburgh. Instead of nine or ten miles, I had upwards of twenty, and that with the greatest hazard, to ride. I sau the greatest destruction of victuall that I belive ever has been in the memory of man. Many thousands of bolls I sau flotting and cast out in Cramond or Kirkliston watter [i.e., the River Almond]; and the like I hear of Forth and Clyde.

The farther west, the rain has been the greater, because it came from the south-west. The state of Glasgou was very strange. The water came up to the well in the Saltmerkat; a boat sailed throu the Brigate, and brought out some persons. Other particulars, ride the Edinburgh Courant. Many bridges wer carryed doun, and the bridge of Glasgou in great hazard; it being, as they say, cracked in one place, and the watter at the tope of the highest boues. Many persons and beasts are lost.’ (Wodrow, Analecta, II, 90.)

The week before, the Galloping Fever had struck Glasgow and Wodrow hanged his dog.

~ by drmarkjardine on September 24, 2018.

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