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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Short story of Austen's time

I've posted a short I used when writing with dice, but this one occurred to me and I felt the need to get it onto paper.  In a way my characters here are more Austenesque than those inspired by Heyer, being at the lower socio-economic end of the nominal gentry.  And very nominal they are... Mr Theophilus Inchpenny is based on my grandfather, and he's dead and can't sue.  This is only the first draft, and I may rewrite it entirely but I thought in the meantime I'd share. 



Across the Street

Miss Emily Inchpenny sighed in exasperation as her stocking snagged on the rough wood of the cheap, deal stool on which she perched.  Already they were more darn than stocking, but Uncle Theophilus would make such a fuss if she asked for some money for some more.
She sighed, and bent to her work again, writing steadily in a neat, round hand.  And then, covertly, she peeked out of the window, to see if she could see Him in the building across the street.
The building across the street belonged to Loveday Shipping, and it was plainly a prosperous building.  Why, only recently Mr. Loveday had installed the new gas lighting!  And even before that, they had burned enough candles to light the ball of a debutante of one of the upper ten thousand!  Not, mused Emily, that she had any real idea what that might be like, but it sounded good, and the office had always blazed with light, not like the thin, inadequate light cast by the evil-smelling tallow dips here.
He was there.
He was a handsome young man, seeming well built, and dressed most dashingly, with coats so tight that he must have a valet to help him on and off with them.  One could see him so easily in the bright light across the way.  He surely could not be a mere shipping clerk! 
However, even the shipping clerks from Loveday Shipping dressed better than anyone she had ever seen here, where her uncle’s chief clerk resided in a shabby frock coat of times gone by, with the resigned inevitability of a plant grown so long in a pot that it has taken on the shape of the pot. 
Emily missed plants.  She was able to go to the park on Sundays, but the little breath of green was enough to almost make it worse.  She blinked hard on an unbidden tear and returned to her writing.

“Papa, have you any idea who that beautiful young lady is?  The one who sits writing in the window, with the most extraordinary clothes?” asked Lawrence Loveday.  He had finished the accounting for the day and had taken his figures to his father to be looked over.
“What, the girl in Pinchpenny and Eke, you mean?  Inchpenny and Peake, I should say,” said his father.
Lawrence laughed.
“A good name for them,” said he.  “Yes, she.  Or do I mean her?”
“I don’t know why I sent you to a good school if you don’t know one from t’other; and it’s no good asking me, all my education came from being a chandler’s boy until I was able to lay information about a plot to engage in barratry I overheard.”
“I know, Papa, up to no good, and creeping about the inn with intent to startle your master and his inamorata with fireworks.  You were a hell-born babe.”
“Yes, wasn’t I? but Lloyds were generous with their reward, and it saved the lives of the poor devils of sailors who would have been murdered when the cheating captain scuttled the ship after passing off the cargo to another, to gain both cargo and insurance money.   And I think you mean she.”
“More than likely,” said Lawrence.  “Which being so, do you know who she is, or not, Papa?”
“She is the niece of old Inchpenny,” said Mr. Loveday.  “As I understand it, her father was a parson, the elder son going in for law, and the younger for the church, and having been orphaned she lives with her uncle who has turned off his junior clerk to save money, since she writes a fair enough hand to work for him for nothing.”
“Nothing?”  Lawrence was shocked.
“Not a penny. And you wonder why she wears odd clothes.  I suspect she has had to resort to raiding the attic for any garment not in rags, regardless of its age. Either that or her parents were so unworldly that they failed to notice that the nineteenth century had dawned and passed its first decade,” he added dryly.
“And I thought myself hard done by on the wage you make me live on!” said his son.
Mr. Loveday frowned. 
“You manage to dress up well enough like a dandy,” he said.
“Give you my word, sir, if you saw a dandy, you’d eat your words,” said Lawrence.  “I purchase my own fabrics at the wharf and have a man make them up for me.  It costs a fraction of what a coat like this would set me back if I bought it from a fashionable tailor who bought his own fabric.”
Mr. Loveday managed a half-approving grunt.
“Literally cutting your coat to suit your pocket,” he said.  “You look well enough.  And you’ll not regret learning economies when I make you my partner on your birthday.”

“Uncle, it is unseemly that I should be seen in public with holes in my stockings and a gown almost in rags, almost showing that my underwear is indecent,” said Emily.
“Ingratitude!  Base ingratitude!  Have I not given you a home out of the goodness of my heart?” demanded Theophilus Inchpenny.
“No, you gave me a home because I threatened to write to the newspapers to draw the attention of your clients to my plight had you turned me out of doors penniless,” said Emily.
“Yes, and it is nothing short of blackmail!” cried Inchpenny.
“Which, having attempted it once successfully emboldens me to consider the same ploy,” said Emily. “In that I shall take myself to the park and beg on Sundays, explaining that I am not paid a wage for the hard work that I do, and thus must beg for my clothing.  The rags I am wearing, which also need washing as I have nothing to change into, will bear me out on that.”
“Good G-d!  how did you come by such a brazen idea?” Inchpenny was horrified.
“By having a child press a penny into my hand as I walked home yesterday, and saying ‘please, beggar-lady, buy something to eat,” said Emily.  “Bless the child, I could not refuse such a generous spirit.”
“And you did not give the penny to me?  You thieving wench!” cried Inchpenny.
“It was given to me, sir, not to you.  And I did buy myself something to eat, since I knew that by the time I had delivered all the letters you had sent me to deliver I should be late for dinner, and you would tell me, as you indeed did, that I must go hungry for being slow,” said Emily, with asperity.  “And how my poor father must turn over in his grave to have his daughter trudging the street looking like a beggar.”
“It prevents you from the unwelcome attentions of any who might take you for something else,” said Inchpenny, then beamed in satisfaction.  “It is for your own protection.”
“That is the most specious argument I have ever heard,” said Emily.  “And if I had a couple of decent, modest gowns, then I should not be mistaken for such an unfortunate woman in any case.  You have my ultimatum; fifteen shillings for a couple of new gowns and Saturday afternoon off to purchase them, or I shall spend Sunday telling the people of Hyde Park how I am treated.  I have a good voice.  Perhaps I shall write a song about it, and sing it to a popular tune.”
Theophilus Inchpenny went purple.
“I will lock you in your room!” he declared.
“Then I shall leave the office on Monday and do it then,” said Emily.  “You will not keep me incarcerated forever; you need me to do all the junior clerk’s work since you turned off poor Mr. Jukes.”
“Infamous!  You will beggar me!” cried Inchpenny.
“Unlikely.  I’ve seen your accounts, and you could afford to show off your only female relative in gowns that cost pounds, not shillings,” said Emily, bitterly.
Muttering, Inchpenny dug into his pockets.
“Fifteen shillings.  Not a penny more,” he declared.
“Even a tweenfloors maid has her clothing provided and five pounds a year,” said Emily.  “And had you paid me half what you paid Jukes, I should have been able to be a pretty advertisement to the firm.  But I thank you, though you have had more work out of me than one hundred times that amount.”
“Just get out of my sight, and get on with your copying!” shouted Mr. Inchpenny.
Emily got out of his sight adroitly, breathing very hard and trying not to be sick.  It was one thing to know that she needed to stand up to the miser, and quite another thing to do it.  She whispered a prayer of thanks for the strength given to her to do it.
And if she had a decent gown or two, depending on what she might find second hand, she might then covertly write for positions as a governess.
She sighed.  It would take her away from Him, if she managed to gain such a position, but then, He was only a dream; did not even know that she existed.

Lawrence watched Her slip out of her seat, and sighed.  Poor girl!  There had to be something one could do; her every movement showed that she was ladylike in all particulars, and yet so miserable.
“Papa, can’t we employ her as a clerk?” he asked.
His father raised a quizzical eyebrow.
“And where would the poor girl live?” he asked.  “We have a bachelor house, since your dear mother died.  And would she not think it odd to be offered a job that is never done by women?”
Lawrence sighed.  “I see her so bowed down and … and crushed,” he said.  “Pinchpenny will work her to death, and before that he will make her old before her time.”
“There is nothing you can do that a respectable girl would countenance for one minute,” said Mr. Loveday. 
Lawrence, who was only half listening to him, gasped as he saw Emily return.
“Why, Papa!  She has almost a spring to her step!  Do you think she has told him that he might go to Hades?”
“I doubt it,” said Mr. Loveday, dryly.  “But as I shall not get any sense out of you otherwise, you may leave work early and loiter to see if you might fall into conversation with her.”
Lawrence’s face fell.
“I doubt she even knows I exist and will think me some lewd fellow to thus approach her,” he said.
“You will not know if you do not ask,” said Mr. Loveday, who had noticed Miss Inchpenny’s glances no less languishing than his son’s.  It was a respectable match, and moreover if it survived the imaginations of two young people separated by a street that might as well have been an ocean, then it would cock a snoot at old Inchpenny.
Mr. Loveday had no hesitation in cocking a snoot at Theophilus Inchpenny whom he had loathed since his days as a chandler’s clerk, when the junior partner of Inchpenny and Peake, when Peake was still alive, had treated him with scorn.


“Miss Inchpenny!  May I have the pleasure of escorting you?”  Lawrence lifted his high-crowned beaver to her. That was the single most expensive item of his apparel; it was no good skimping and getting a cheap beaver made of rabbit fur.  They fell out of shape in the rain.
“You have the advantage of me, sir,” said Emily, blushing violently. Why never in her wildest dreams had she thought He might speak to her.
“Lawrence Loveday, at your service,” said Laurence, with a bow.  “We ought to be introduced by a third party, of course, but I can’t see your uncle doing that.”
“Not without charging for it, anyway,” said Emily. “Oh dear, that was not proper of me.”
“Oh, I’ve heard stories about your uncle from my father,” said Lawrence, cheerfully.  “He’s a man who’d skin a flea for its hide and tallow.”
Emily giggled.  She was already quite drunk with her success, and the laugh escaped.
“What a pretty giggle you have, not like some of the silly titters some girls give,” said Lawrence.  “Miss Inchpenny!  You will think me dreadfully rude, but there is something personal I wish to ask you!”
“Why I am such a dowd?” said Emily, wearily.
“Lud, no, the man couldn’t stretch the hide of a flea round you to give you a decent pelisse, and only one would bite him for he hid his blood in a vault,” said Lawrence.
Emily laughed right out at that.
“Mr. Loveday,  I wish I could say that was a calumny on my uncle!” she said.
“But you can’t.  So I know why you’re dressed like a … forgot what I was going to say.”
“Beggar?  I know.  A little boy gave me a penny yesterday, and it gave me an idea.”
“I say, Miss Inchpenny, I know some beggars make good money, but it ain’t a job for a nicely brought up young lady,” said Lawrence.  “All I was going to ask you was how it was you suddenly came back to your stool looking buoyant earlier.”
“You … you noticed me?” Emily’s eyes widened.
“I’ve been watching you for weeks and trying to pick up courage to talk to you,” said Lawrence.  “And I thought I might scare you.  But today you have an air of … of steel,” he said.
“Well, it does not redound to my credit,” said Emily, “but I must have more than one gown and preferably one or two that are not threadbare.”
“And other essentials too, I wager,” said Lawrence.  “I don’t know the details, never having had any sisters, but, well, men have more than top things.”
“And so do women,” said Emily, blushing again.  “I would not, I think, really beg, but I threatened my uncle that I would, and tell everyone why I was.  So I have a whole fifteen shillings!”
“Mean old skinflint!” said Lawrence.  “That won’t go far.”
“I was planning to purchase second hand garments,” said Emily.  “I’m not a ship owner’s offspring.”
“Oh, I’m on a salary until my birthday next month, when I’ll be a partner,” said Lawrence.  “I have second hand garments too, but only the ones you can’t see.  I know a tailor and I buy fabric off the wharf.”
“How very enterprising you are,” said Emily, admiringly.  “I had thought that a man so handsome could not possibly be clever as well! Oh dear, I am not accustomed to conversation with strangers, I did not mean to be rude,” and she covered her mouth with her hand.
“Oh, I don’t take offence at being told I’m clever and handsome,” said Lawrence, “Especially by a beautiful woman!”
“Oh, I pray you, do not mock me,” said Emily.
“I’m not.  The costume may not do anything for you, but your lovely titian hair and wonderful profile have brightened my days.  And I almost feel I know you, watching your conscientious work, your studied patience, your frustration and anger in your shoulders.  But you will think me a terrible Paul Pry to have watched you; and I hope you will forgive it.”
Emily blushed.
“Oh, Mr. Loveday, I have watched you, too, and seen how you work diligently, and how you have bent over another man’s work and shown him how to do something, and so patiently!” she said. 
“Well then!  We did not need an introduction for we already know each other!” said Lawrence.  “Oh Miss Inchpenny!  I hope it would not offend you, but would you like to leave your uncle’s employ?”
“It can scarcely be called employ, since he doesn’t pay me.  I hoped to find some other situation,” said Emily. 
“Well, Papa said we could not offer you a home, so it would not be right to ask if you would be the new clerk we need, since Mama died some years ago, but I have a plan!  I have my shirts made by a girl who takes in sewing, and her sister has just got married, and she wanted to share her apartment with another girl; would that suit you?”
“Mr. Loveday, you are going very fast,” said Emily.  “You overwhelm me!”
“Well, you don’t have to decide right away,” said Lawrence.
Emily came to a stop.
“Yes I do,” she said.  “And if you’ll take me to her right now, and she likes me, I will stay with her, if the offer of a job is genuine.  I am as good a clerk as any man, and I would like a job for pay.  And I may as well do the same job and get something for it, so long as it will cover my rent and my food.”
“Oh a junior clerk starts at forty pounds a year,” said Lawrence.
“Oh my,” said Emily, for whom that was untold riches.


“Share with a gentry-mort?  She’ll look down on me,” said Betty Hardcastle.
“I assure you, Miss Hardcastle, I’ll do nothing of the sort,” said Emily.  “I’m sure we can come to an amicable arrangement about living together.  And if you don’t like me, perhaps I can stay until I find somewhere else.”
“Well that won’t take long,” said Betty, casting a look at Lawrence.  “Well, dearie, if you don’t mind that I’m as common as muck, we’ll deal extremely well together.  I ain’t a trollop, so there won’t be no unwelcome callers, and there’s a poker by the door to discourage any that think otherwise.”
“I like the way you think,” said Emily.

Theophilus Inchpenny was furious that his niece did not come home; and then worried that something had happened to her, and that someone would manage to blame him when anything that happened to her would be her own stupid fault.
Emily had delivered the letters she was supposed to deliver, which was one thing at least, or rather he received enough replies to suppose she must have done.  She had probably spent that hard earned fifteen shillings on stupid clothes and got herself used and thrown in the river.
After the weekend, Inchpenny glanced out of the window and was almost apoplectic to see a well-known red head seated on a stool in Loveday Shipping’s office.   He hurled out of his own office to demand an explanation of her, and was brought up short by Lawrence himself.
“You have my niece in there!  Disporting herself in an unladylike fashion doing a man’s job!” he howled.
“Oh, funny that it wasn’t unladylike when you had her doing the same for you but without pay,” said Lawrence.  “She’s rather good; fluent in French and Italian, a great boon to the firm.  Papa had no hesitation in raising her wages to seventy pounds a year, with promise of a raise in three months.”
Inchpenny’s eyes started out of his head.
“He’s paying her seventy pounds a year?  A girl?”
“A linguist,” said Lawrence.
“I want to talk to her!” howled Inchpenny.  “She need to know what’s due to her own flesh and blood.”
“Funny, I didn’t think you understood what is due to flesh and blood,” said Lawrence.  “Ah, Miss Inchpenny.”
“I saw Uncle Theophilus, so I came out,” said Emily. 
“Ah!  Regretting it, I see, my girl!  I don’t know where you are living, but I wager you miss a real home!”
“I do miss a real home,” said Emily, and went on as he smirked, “But the last one I knew was with my parents.  You have a house in which you live, with poorly-cooked food from the cheapest of cuts, badly served.  I am able to afford a servant, who knows how to shop and cook.  As you might have, if only you paid proper wages and did not employ the cheapest slattern you could find.”
“Oh, I see! You have set up house living in sin – what would your poor father say?  Well let me tell you, when this fancy man of yours tires of you, he will discard you…..Hey!”
Inchpenny managed no more as Lawrence took him by the shoulders, rotated him, and frogmarched him out.

“Oh Lawrence, I mean, Mr. Loveday, you are quite splendid!” said Emily, when he returned.
“By Jupiter, Miss Inchpenny, I’d fight any dragon for you,” said Lawrence.
Emily blushed.
“Oh, Mr. Loveday!” she managed.


Theophilus Inchpenny was not invited to the wedding several months later.  Betty however was, and was delighted to know that she was to be the modiste to the wife of the ‘and son’ of what was now Loveday and Son, Shipping.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Weather zones in the UK

I've had a number of questions on my post about weather, and I thought it might be helpful to post a map of the climate zones of the UK.  I have used the plant hardiness zones, since I fondly hope that this will be the most easily understood way of explaining the approximate zoning.  I have also included the simplistic but reasonably accurate map we drew in our geography books more years ago than I care to recall, giving generalisations about the four sections into which the British Isles can be divided.
Hardiness zones, for those people who have not come across them, are used by gardeners/farmers to know what plants will survive over winter in each zone.  In short, don't plant Dahlias in the Highlands of Scotland and expect them to live, bring Begonias and Pelargoniums in everywhere except south of Truro, and plant Fuchsia Magellanica anywhere you like, because it survives down to about zone 4. 

First, the hardiness zones:


And next the regions:

The dryness of East Anglia is proverbial, as the rainfall is approximately the same as that found in North Africa. 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Weather in Austen's time in detail: 1800-1805

I am rather ambitiously trying to compile as detailed a weather report for the 'Long Regency', and perhaps earlier, encompassing at least 1790 - 1820.  I have a lot of data from newspapers, diaries and letters which is currently in long hand in an exercise book, which I am slowly transcribing.  This is the first tranche, which I hope might be of some use. 
Kathryn Kane's excellent article about the eruption of Mount Tambora HERE also mentions an eruption of 1809 which made the mini ice age worse, but as you will see from the data below, even before that the weather was at times pretty extreme at times! 




1800
An overall dry summer from March - September
Jan
Mild at beginning of month, then severe frost and heavy rains with thunder to end of month.
Feb
Mostly dry.
Mar
Dry winds throughout month. W and SW winds prevailing.
Beef up from 6d/lb to 8d; veal from 7d/lb to 8d; Mutton from 5d/lb to 6d
Apr
Mild, some gentle seasonal rain, but heavy rain at end of month.  W and SW winds prevailing
May
Sunday 4th May violent thunder storms at Windsor, Liverpool, Hull, Northampton, Kettering, Warwick, Lincolnshire etc. Floods after the storm as far S. as London. 
May not as warm as sometimes but generally dry after the storm.
W and SW winds prevailing.
Jun
Rain off and on for first ten days of month
Wednesday 4th, rain all morning in London and pouring from 9am -1pm on the Review in Hyde Park; but George III rode throughout it.
Dry and fine after the 10th.
Jul
Dry; hot and windy.  Harvest able to commence by the close of the month.  Drought.
Aug
First half of month hot and sultry
Tuesday 19th, uncommonly hot but with clouds coming in from NW followed by storm of hail, greatest in Norfolk and across to Baldock.  There was a powerful storm in London, and damage to buildings from lightning.  Storms were experienced from Dorset to East Anglia, some flash floods.  4 men died at Lyme.  The harvest in East Anglia was saved, but not all of it further south.
Sept
A dry beginning to the month, then showery.
Oct
Mild
Nov
The first weeks of the month very adverse.
Saturday 8th heavy rains Exeter and Bath; a chaise was washed away near Exeter.
Sunday 9th November dreadful storm of wind in the morning, Stevenage.  The Chartist meeting on Kennington Common was dispersed as much by heavy rain as by the horse volunteers…
Largely temperate for most of rest of month
Frost at the end of November.
Dec
Mild for most of month.
Snow fell Saturday 29th which slowed down the Mails.  6’ deep in some places.

1801
Jan
Mild, very little frost, wet
Feb
Mild but damp, a few frosty nights.
Tuesday 17th inclement weather
Mar
Strong winds, and frequent rain.
Falmouth: Tuesday 17th,  wind S, blowing strongly.
Plymouth:
Wednesday 18th, wind SW moderate
Thursday 19th, wind WSW and blowing hard [Falmouth wind NW]
Friday 20th wind SW hurricane with rain until 2pm, hail in the evening
Saturday 21sr wind SW hurricane
Sunday 22nd wind SW, blowing hard [Falmouth, wind W, squally]
Monday 23rd wind SW, moderate
Tuesday 24th, wind W, moderate
Apr
Prevailing winds W and SW. Dry and cold in North, especially cold on Sunday 12th.
Wet in West of England, with W and SW gales.
May
First week in May, charming weather, but no dust.  Mild, warm rains and sunny weather, excellent for the crops.  Prevailing winds W and SW.
Jun
Largely dry and warm.  Early thunderstorms, at Southwell a woman and child were killed by lightning.
Tuesday 30th, Ball lightning in Hoxton.  Full moon, wind WNW, showers.
Jul
Wednesday 1st, thunderstorm, lightning strikes near Bath, woman killed in her own home by ball lightning down the chimney.
In general there were heavy and frequent showers in the early and mid part of the month.
Wind and weather shipping report:
Wed. 1st Plymouth SW, rain: Falmouth NW, fair
Thur. 2nd Plymouth WSW, rain: Falmouth s, heavy rain
Fri. 3rd Plymouth SW, rain; Falmouth NW showers
Sat. 4th Plymouth SW, rain: Falmouth NW fine, later heavy rain
Sun. 5th  Plymouth SW, fair: Falmouth variable, fresh
Mon. 6th Plymouth SE, rain: Falmouth  S, strong, rain
Tues. 7th Plymouth SW cloudy
Showery rain in this month filled the ears of corn in the south, but  in the north and east there was hail and rain that was less welcome.
Wednesday 22nd thunderstorm Suffolk
Thursday 23rd Various thunderstorm, Portsmouth, Richmond, Berkshire [where 2 are killed]. Heavy storm of hail in Reading, also in Elmsett in Suffolk, corn [wheat] beaten down.
Aug
Early rain, including some heavy showers clearing around Thursday 6th, wind veering to ENE.
Saturday 2nd, near Stratford, violent thunderstorm and rain, killed 2 men and a cow.  The Royal Cornish Gazette ran an article on how to preserve life from lightning strikes.
Fine and warm for rest of month, though cold at night with mists.
Wed. 26th Plymouth variable, sultry: Falmouth, variable, fine
Thur. 27th Plymouth SSE, sultry: Falmouth E
Fri. 28th Plymouth SSW, sultry: Falmouth E
Sat. 29th Plymouth ESE sultry: Falmouth N
Sun. 30th Plymouth SW fair until evening, then storm, rain and lightning and hail until 7am next morning: Falmouth SW fine, then heavy rain.
Mon 31st Plymouth SW showery: Falmouth, N fresh breeze

Sept
Tuesday 1st, Plymouth, westerly wind, fair weather.
Sunday 6th Wellington/Salop thunderstorm and rain lasting 2 hours; dreadful lighting at Coalbrookdale
14th September Thunderstorm, lightning and rain for 2 hours Gloucester.
Generally a lot of rain in the north, but hard, drying winds
Oct
A month of mainly fine weather.
Tues.6th Falmouth N, fair
Wed, 7th Plymouth SW rain: Falmouth SE
Thur. 8th Plymouth SW, rain: Falmouth SW
Fri. 9th Plymouth SE, hard rain, incessant rain: Falmouth SW, heavy rain
Friday 9th near Salisbury, in a circle about 3 miles across, clear skies darkened, scattered clouds gathered then ‘exploded’ as a whirlwind arose causing damage to property.  Lightning and thunder lasted 20 minutes, then heavy rain with hail, some stones 3” across. 
Sat. 10th Plymouth SE, cloudy, heavy rain.
Saturday 10th London, fine and warm day until evening when a thunderstorm started, lightning for an hour before any rain, very violent, lasted until 3am Sunday 11th.
Sun. 11th Plymouth SE, fair; Falmouth S
Mon. 12th Plymouth variable; Falmouth, variable
Tues. 13th Plymouth, SW, fair, wheat down to 18/6d from 27/6d a fortnight previously.
Tuesday 20th [full moon 21st] Lunar rainbow observed at Edinburgh on the Western horizon; a full bow for half an hour.
Thursday 22nd very inclement weather.
Nov
Tuesday 3rd heavy seas in the channel and storms
Wednesday 25th tempestuous weather, much damage at Margate, destroying Hubbard’s bathing room, Tennant’s shop and Hughes’s hot baths, and broke down portions of the parade in front of Mitchener’s Hotel.
Friday 27th tempestuous weather all around coasts at night, storm NNE to NE, hail and rain.  Ships sunk and driven inshore.
Saturday 28th Shrewsbury, mail delayed by deep snow in parts of Worcestershire and Goucestershire, the coach having often to quit the roads and travel over fields.  Near Marlborough, drifts were several feet deep.
Rain at end of month
Dec
Intense frost throughout month

1802
A dry year especially in London and the South
Jan
Intense frost but dry throughout the month, but in the south west of the country cold wet weather at beginning of the month, killing newborn lambs.
Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st hurricanes across the land.  In Manchester several houses blown down and 4 people crushed to death. Several vessels on the Mersey foundered as well as houses blown down in Liverpool.  Ships sunk at anchor, much loss of life.  A servant girl near Doncaster killed by a falling chimney.
This great gale extended in a lessened form to the 28th of the month off and on, becoming severe again on the 28th.
Feb
 Frost at beginning of month, rain in later part
Mar
Prevailing winds W and SW; on the whole fine weather.
Apr
Prevailing winds W and SW, fine and warm weather, late showers
May
Changeable temperature in the onset of the month with cold and severely frosty nights.  Very little rain throughout, and most of month cold.  Prevailing winds W and SW.
Jun
Light showers at first but general drought.  Cool weather. ? low 50s F
Jul
Drought ends with cold rain throughout the month, cold weather and high winds.  Rain continuous and heavy in later part of month. 
Tuesday 20th Thunderstorms in Scotland, much rain in Aberdeen
Aug
Remarkably fine and dry, bountiful harvest
Wednesday 25th Newcastle, thunderstorm with heavy wind and hail.
Sept
Fine and very dry on the whole.
Wednesday 8th, sudden storm of wind and rain, then thunder and lightning for about an hour, fairly widespread.
Oct
Fine and mild, dry at beginning of month, late mild rain.
Friday 8th Brighton, storm from SW
Wednesday 13th Swansea, a fine day for a balloon ascension
Nov
Mild for time of year, some gentle rain
Dec
Mild temperatures for time of year throughout

1803 On the whole a dry year but seldom 10 days at a stretch without rain.  However it was dry enough for many springs to dry up, to be replenished after October.
Jan
Severe weather following the warmth of the previous month; severe frosts.
Saturday 8th [day after full moon] about midnight a hurricane from ESE, rain and sleet, Newcastle bears the brunt.
Feb
Milder weather, frosts largely dissipate after the early part of the month.
Mar
Early frosts, then finer weather.  In Midlands, the early frosts were severe.  Prevailing winds W and SW.
Apr
Generally dry weather.  In Yorkshire and the north frosty nights between 18th and 20th, then several days stormy and tempestuous.
Sunday 24th wind and light showers on the Sunday promenade in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, with a ‘blush of sunshine’.  Then sudden storms and a torrent of rain scattered the promenaders to Piccadilly to avoid the storm, doubtless with many a blush at suddenly transparent muslin.  Prevailing winds W and SW.
May
Cold northerly winds at the beginning of the month, but warm gentle rains towards the close, by which time prevailing winds W and SW
Jun
Frequent but not torrential rains, but insufficient to relieve drought especially in Scotland [the wrong type of rain, no doubt, as our modern water board would put it.]  Some burning hot days but cold nights.
Monday 6th violent thunderstorm which did damage across the country.
Jul
Fine and warm
[Saturday 9th July fire broke out in tower of Westminster Abbey; roof fell in before fire was under control but no damage to monuments. ]
Aug
Continuous heat and sunshine.  Rain in North, uninterrupted fine weather in Midlands.  Too dry for some crops to survive.
Sept
Unusually fine weather, with late, fine rains
Oct
Largely fine, rain at beginning of month, but still something of a drought
[Friday 2nd Astley’s Amphitheatre burned down as well as some houses behind it; Mrs Wood, mother of Mrs Astley, lost her life.]
Nov
Wet, especially near start of month, but heavy rains throughout month.
Sunday 13th a most beautiful vivid meteor seen in London and other parts of the country about 8pm.  Some reported a noise like thunder accompanying it.
Tuesday 22nd South Coast, rain, hail, thunder and lightning, W and WSW winds; storms across South.  At Bromswell the storm was preceded by an explosion in the air, followed by a ‘heavy noise’ for a few seconds, striking those observing it temporarily blind from the flash, and a strong sulphurous smell, followed by torrents of rain.
Dec
Snow and frost at beginning of month, then thaw and much rain.
Tempestuous weather in the last week of the month especially along the Sussex coast especially Sunday 25th and Monday 26th.  Average temperatures 40.4 ° Fahrenheit in London, and temperature on 24th was 2° higher than on June 24th 1802!

1804
Dry summer continuing well into September with pleasant weather
Jan
Much rain throughout the month, but mild temperatures.  Tempest of wind and rain towards the end of the month.
Thursday 19th tremendous gale and storm from SW  Gloucester and other parts of the county; struck in Plymouth on Friday 20th.  Gales along the coast for several days. Damage done to the shipping at Falmouth on the 25th; reckoned a worse storm than the one the previous month.
Feb
Dry; frosts and thaws
Mar
Largely fine in South with late sharp strong winds and frosty.  Weather in North more severe. Prevailing winds W and SW
Apr
Strong frosty winds to open the month, and cold  rains prevailing to near the end of the month.  Prevailing winds W and SW.
Monday 30th Brighton, 2 hours before daybreak a tremendous thunderstorm with hail and rain, thunder and sheet lightning, so loud that many supposed the French had landed and the noise was artillery flashes and reports.
May
Very fine weather.  Prevailing winds W and SW
Friday 4th Cheshire and Somerset  storm of rain described as tropical in its intensity.  Part of Berchen cliff fell.
Monday 7th Lewes tempest and heavy rains commencing after midnight and finishing between 6am and 7am.
Tuesday 8th foggy at sea; Manchester, violent storm; tornado at Bolton and ball of lightning.
Jun
Dry and warm.
Sunday 24th June, Brighton, it was sultry all day; the Steyne had a military parade, and shortly after it was over, around 8pm, a storm with rain and hail until 11pm.  At 10-30 ball lightning came down a chimney but no-one was harmed. It passed out through the window and exploded in a sulphurous reek.  The houses were shaken by thunder.   In Woolwich, the same storm’s lightning set light to the rigging of a sheer hulk.  It struck again and blinded two sailors.  The storm was experienced as far north as Bucks.  In London a woman was killed by lightning in Grosvenor Square.

Jul
Dry and warm in South, heavy rains in North.
Wednesday 11th thunderstorm about 3pm of great severity in the region of Glasgow; a girl killed by lightning. Ball lightning and rain.
Sunday 15th violent storm in Norfolk, Suffolk and eastern Essex, ricks set on fire, and two men, a dog and a cow struck dead by lightning, others singed or burned by it.
Tuesday 31st storm on coast of France.
Aug
Wednesday 1st heavy gales in the West;  ship driven from mooring
Thursday 2nd thunderstorms in Ireland
 Friday 3rd tempests in East; Thunderstorms Western England and ball lightning at Brailsford.  Vivid lightning Shropshire, and rain heavy enough to damage crops.  2” rain in Hampshire.
Fine dry weather with some rain, but moderate, and mostly in North for rest of month.
Sept
Fine weather, still dry on the whole
Friday 14th, Plymouth SSW, cloudy
Saturday 15th Plymouth, sultry until noon then storm of thunder and lightning, lasting about an hour.
Sunday 16th Plymouth, SW, fair.
Monday 17th Plymouth, SW, fair and sultry.  St Lambert’s day celebrated
Tuesday 18th, Plymouth ESE, cloudy and sultry
Before Tuesday 18th: [reported on that date as ‘lately’] Small tornado out of sultry weather at Whitby. [probably the 15th?]
Oct
Rain, but mild
Friday 26th Plymouth SSE, fair
Saturday 27th Plymouth SSW hurricane force, blowing up overnight and continuing into the day:  Falmouth, wind S.  Bristol also has hurricane.
Sunday 28th Plymouth SW blow hard and rain: Falmouth wind S
Monday 29th Plymouth SW, rain: Falmouth SE
Tuesday 30th Plymouth SW, cloudy: Falmouth S
Wednesday 31st Plymouth, SW: Falmouth SW
Wednesday 31st Cornwall, storm of thunder and lightning and sudden gusts of wind.  Hereford  dreadful storm of thunder and lightning in the evening, and at around 10pm a tornado that levelled 130 apple and pear trees in a swathe 200 yards in length and 40 yards in breadth. Those to either side were uninjured.  Wind SE and NW changing momentarily.  10 or 12 oaks destroyed in wood at end of the orchards. Before and after tornado, night very dark and calm. Heavy rain fell at intervals and frequent flashes of lightning.
Nov
Rain for much of month.
Thursday 1st Falmouth SW
Friday 2nd Falmouth, N
The astronomer La Lande calculated that more rain had fallen in the last 9 months than had fallen in the preceding 27 months.
Sunday 4th, Glasgow heavy wind and swell in harbour such that a ship parted its cables and blew away.
Sunday 18th conjunction of Venus and Saturn.   Gales in the Channel.
Dec
Some rain and mild in first half of month.  Dry frosty weather towards close of month.  Average temperature 37° F in London. Heavy snow in middle of month in Scotland, which delayed the London mails on the 20th.

1805
Wet summer in London
Jan
Sharp frosts through most of month and continuous rain in the East
Sunday 6th and Monday 7th heavy rain around Chester.   In the south east there were also severe storms and heavy rain and strong wind, and during the Sunday night rain, snow and frost in turn.
Monday 21st The Serpentine being frozen, hundreds of skaters repaired there, but decided it was unsafe.  About 3 pm some score decided to test it, and they skated for a while without mishap encouraging others.  About 50 were on the ice when it gave way simultaneously in 2 places.  4 men fell through, one in attempting to rescue another, and all but 1 were saved using ladders.
Feb
Mild
Mar
Cold, dry weather  through much of month; winds as much from E and NE as from W and SW
Apr
Fine, some light seasonal rains at start of month, sharp frosty night at end of month, generally dry.
8th Apr fine bright warm day.
May
Sharp cold winds from NE; cold, especially at night, often frost in the mornings, wet weather.  Wind veered W at end of month.  As many winds during month from E and NE as from W and SW.
Jun
Seasonal rains; heavy showers in Home Counties.  North Easterly winds over much of month caused damage to exposed fruit trees.
Friday 14th Plymouth wind NNW, cold rain:
Saturday 15th Plymouth wind NNW, cold. Falmouth, wind  N
Sunday 16th Plymouth wind variable, some light showers, cold evening: Falmouth wind W
.
Monday 17th Plymouth wind W, cloudy and cold in the evening: Falmouth wind W
Monday 17th Whitehaven, a torrent of rain
Tuesday 18th Plymouth wind NW, cloudy and cold. Falmouth, wind NNW. Storm in the Yarmouth Roads [shipping lanes near Isle of Wight].
Wednesday 19th Plymouth wind NNW: Falmouth, wind N
Thursday 20th Falmouth wind N
Friday 21st Falmouth wind variable
Friday 28th London about noon, tremendous storm or rain, hail, lightning and thunder, lasting 20 minutes.  Many windows were broken and the streets deluged rising so high in Clement’s Lane, some 2-3’ deep, that a stall was carried away.  The hailstones were the size of marbles. Kingston-upon-Thames, a dreadful storm with torrents of hail and rain. Rain ran off hills, and lightning caused much damage. Floods in low lying areas.
Jul
Fine weather, after cold winds and dull weather at start of month,  Average temperature 61.5° F
Monday 22nd Manchester, violent thunderstorm.
Tuesday 23rd Leeds thunderstorm, and what appeared to be two sheets of fire descended on the roof of a factory, but no harm was done.  In Craven a small boy was struck dead by lightning, and fires were started by the lightning in various places.  Cheshire in general suffered storms, also Staffordshire.
Monday 22nd to Thursday 25th Carlisle and other parts of Cumbria much rain fell, rendering the streets almost impassable.  Thunder and lightning off and on.
This summer reckoned to have experienced more thunder than in living memory.
Aug
Fine weather on the whole
Rain and thunderstorms in middle of month improved the hops.
Saturday 10th, full moon such as to cause very high spring tides, and for the next three days
Sept
Fine on the whole
Saturday 21st Margate, a torrent of rain about noon, spoiling the public breakfast for the fashionable at Dandelion. It brightened for them however by 3pm.
Oct
Started fine and dry, but wet at end
Friday 25th hurricane followed by gusty weather Devon.
Tuesday 29th,  weather deteriorates generally
Nov
Relatively mild and moist
Dec
Severe weather to open, with snow; generally cold wet weather.  Lowest temperature  Tuesday 17th, 20° F, wind SW [Polar maritime returning if anyone cares].  Average temperature 38.3° F