Two Weather Diaries from Northern England, 1779-1807

February 2019
2 black and white, 2 line illustrations
343 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Publications of the Surtees Society
ISBN: 9780854440771
Format: Hardback
Surtees Society
BISAC HIS037050, HIS037060

Two Weather Diaries from Northern England, 1779-1807

The Journals of John Chipchase and Elihu Robinson

Edited by Robert Tittler

Journals of the natural world reveal fascinating details of life at the time.
These two journals, kept by Quakers in north-east and north-west England respectively, record in careful detail weather and agricultural events of their time and regions. But they also observe all manner of other things and events.
The journal of John Chipchase, schoolmaster of Stockton-upon-Tees, recently came to light for the very first time in a Montreal university library. It has much to say about weather and crops, but also meteor showers and the aurora borealis, lightning strikes, fatal diseases, fishing and fishkills, the homing instincts of cats, the life cycle of snails, fierce gales and consequent shipwrecks, and both the causes and local reactions to the near-famine of 1795. Elihu Robinson's record of weather, crops and prices has only been known in manuscript form to a few specialists. Possessed of both a barometer and thermometer, his sometimes even daily observations are remarkably meticulous. As an active Quaker, he also offers a rich description of their life and organization in the Northwest.
Taken together, these journals suggest something of the intellectual and cultural bent of two publicly engaged men of their time, both of middling status and informal education, living far from the cosmopolitan world of London and the universities.

ROBERT TITTLER is Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Concordia University in Montreal, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Table of Contents

'An account of the weather at Stockton from 1779 kept by John Chipchase, including an account of remarkable seasons &c. by Robert Stock from 1675 to 1716'
'Elihu Robinson's notes on the weather, agriculture and events mainly relating to Eaglesfield, Cumberland, and the adjacent area, 1779-1807'
Appendix I: The Will of Elihu Robinson
Appendix II: Identification of Place-Names mentioned in the journals

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