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numbers, of first-rate nocoriety, executed the skaters were in circles, squares, and some of the most difficult movements of oblongs. Next to the carriage ride on the the art, to universal admiration. A lady north side, many astonishing evolutions and two officers, who performed a reel were performed by the skaters. Skipping with a precision scarcely conceivable, re. on skates, and the Turk-cap backwards ceived applause so bristerous as to terrify were among the most conspicuous. The the fair cause of the general expression, ice, injured by a partial thaw in some and occasion her to forego the pleasure she places, was much cut up, yet elegantly received from the amusement.
dressed females dashed between the hilcidents occurred: a skating lady dislo- locks of snow, with great bravery. cated the patella or kneepan, and five gentlemen and a lady were submerged in At this time the appearance of the the frosty fluid, but with no other injury river Thames was most remarkable. Vast than from the natural effect of so cold an
pieces of floating ice, laden generally with embrace
heaps of snow, were slowly carried up
and down by the tide, or collected where On the 20th, in consequence of the the projecting banks or the bridges regreat accumulation of snow in London, it sisted the flow. These accumulations became necessary to relieve the roofs of sometimes formed a chain of glaciers, the houses by throwing off the load col- which, uniting at one moment, were al lected upon them. By this means the another cracking and bounding against carriage-ways in the middle of the streets each other in a singular and awful manner were rendered scarcely paseable; and the with loud noise. Sometimes these ice streams constantly flowing from the open islands rose one over another, covered plugs, added to the general mass of ice. with angiy foam, and were violently im
Many coach proprietors, on the northern pelled by the winds and waves through and western roads, discontinued to run the arches of the bridges, with trementheir coaches. In places where the roads dous crashes. Near the bridges, the were low, the snow had drifted above car
floating pieces collected about mid-water, riage height. On Finchley-common, by or while the tide was less forcible, and the fall of one night, it lay to a depth ranged themselves on each other; the of sixteen feet, and the road was impass- stream formed them into order by its able even to oxen. On Bagshot-heath furce as it passed, till the narrowness of and about Esher and Cobham the road the channel increased the power of the was completely choked up. Except the food, when a sudden disruption taking Kent and Essex roads, no others were
place, the masses burst away, and floated passable beyond a few miles from London.
off. The river was frozen over for the The coaches of the western road remained
space of a week, and a complete Frost stationary at different parts. The Windsor
Fair held upon it, as will be mentioned coach was worked through the snow at presently. Colnbrook, which was there sixteen feet deep, by employing about fifty labourers.
Since the establishment of mail-coaches At Maidenhead-lane, the snow was still deeper; and between Twyford and Read
correspondence had not been so inter
Internal ing it assumed a mountainous appear- rupted as on this occasion. Accounts say that, on parts of till the roads could be in some degree
communication was completely at a stand Bagshot-heath, description would fail to
cleared. The entire face of the country convey an adequate idea of its situation. The Newcastle coach went off the road
was one uniform sheet of snow; no trace
of road was discoverable. into a pit upwards of eight feet deep, but without mischief to either man or horse.
The Post-office exerted itself to have The middle North-road was impassable the mails
, and the government interfered
the roads cleared for the conveyance of at Highgate-hill.
by issuing instructions to every parish in On the 22d of January, and for some
the kingdom to employ labourers in re
opening the ways. time afterwards, the ice on the Serpentine in Hyde-park bore a singular appearance, from mountains of snow which In the midland counties, particularly sweepers had collected together in dif- on the borders of Northamptonshire and ferent situations. The spaces allotted for Warwickshire, the spow lay to a height
altogether unprecedented. At Dunchurch, not pass over. Almost all labour withe a small village on the road to Birming- out doors was at a stand. nam, through Coventry, and for a few At Gloucester, Jan. 17. The severity miles round that place, in all directions, of the frost had not been exceeded by the drifts exceeded twenty-four feet, and any that preceded it. The Severn was no tracks of carriages or travellers could frozen over, and people went to Tewkesde discovered, except on the great road, bury market across the ice on horseback. for many days,
The cold was intense. The thermometer, The Cambridge mail coach coming exposed in a north-eastern aspect, stood to London, sunk into a hollow of at thirteen degrees, nine below the freezthe road, and remained with the snow ing point. On the eastern coast, it stood drifting over it, from one o'clock to nine as low as nine and ten; a degree of cold in the morning, when it was dragged out unusual in this county. by fourteen waggon horses. The pas. Bristol, Jan. 18. The frost continued sengers, who were in the coach the whole in this city with the like severity. The of the time, were nearly frozen to death. Floating Harbour from Cumberland basin
to the Feeder, at the bottom of Avon
street, was one continued sheet of ice; On the 26th, the wind veered to the and for the first time in the memory of south-west, and a thaw was speedily dis- man, the skater made his appearance cernible. The great fall of the Thames under Bristol-bridge. The Severn was at London-bridge for some days presented frozen over at various points, so as to bear a scene both novel and interesting. At the weight of passengers. the ebbing of the tide, huge fragments of At Whitehaven, Jan. 18, the frost had ice were precipitated down the stream increased in severity. All the ponds and with great violence, accompanied by a streams were frozen; and there was doise, equal to the report of a small piece scarcely a pump in the town that gave of artillery. On the return of the tide, out water. The market was very thinly they were forced back; but the obstacles attended; it having been found in many opposed to their passage through the parts impossible to travel until the snow arches were so great, as to threaten a total stoppage to the navigation of the At Dublin, Jan. 14, the snow lay in a river. The thaw continued, and these quantity ur paralleled for half a century. appearances gradually ceased.
In the course of one day and night, it On the 27th, 28th, and 29th, the roads descended so inconceivably thick and and streets were nearly impassable from rapid, as to block up all the roads, and floods, and the accumulation of snow. preclude the possibility of the mail coaches On Snoday the 30th a sharp frost set in, being able to proceed, and it was even and continued till the following Saturday found impracticable to send the mails on evening, the 5th of February.
horseback. Thus all intercourse with the
interior was cut off, and it was not until The Falmouth mail coach started from the 18th, when an intense frost suddenly thence for Exeter, after having proceeded commenced, that the communication was a few miles was overturned, without ma- opened, and several mail bags arrived terial injury to the passengers. With the from the country on horseback. assistance of an additional pair of horses The snow in many of the narrow streets it reached the first stage; after which all of Dublin, after the footways had been in endeavours to proceed were found per- some measure cleared, was more than six fectly useless, and the letters were sent to feat. It was nearly impossible for any Bodmin by the guard on horseback. The carriage to force a passage, and few ven. Falmouth and Plymouth coach and its tured on the hazardous attenpt. Accibassengers were obliged to remain at St. dents, both distressing and fatal, occurred Austell.
In several streets and lanes the poorer At Plymouth, the snow was nearly four inhabitants were literally blocked up in feet high in several of the streets. their houses, and in the attempt to go
At Liverpool, on the 17th of January, abroad, experienced every kind of misery, Fahrenheit's thermometer, in the Athe. The number of deaths from cold and næum, stood at fifteen degrees; seven distress were greater than at any other below the freezing point. From the ice period, unless at the time of the plague. accumulated in the Mersey, boats could There were eighty funerals on the Sunday
before this date. The coffin-makers in gardens on the east side, frora the cross Cook-street could with difficulty com- to the bridge, and invaded the houses plete their numerous orders: and not a behind by the doors and windows, exfew poor people lay dead in their wretched tinguishing the fires in a moment, lifting rooms for several days, from the impos- and tumbling the furniture, and gushing sibility of procuring assistance to convey out at the front doors with incredible them to the Hospital-fields, and the great rapidity. Its principal inroad was by difficulty and danger of attempting to the end of a bridge. Here, while the open the ground, which was very uneven, houses stood as a bank on either side, it and where the snow remained in some came crashing and roaring up the street parts, twenty feet deep.
in full career, casting forth, within a few From Canterbury, January 25, the yards of the cross, floats of ice like millcommunication with the metropolis was stones. The houses on the west side not open from Monday until Saturday were in the same situation with those on preceding this date, when the snow was the east. At one place the water was cut through by the military at Chatham- running on the house-eaves, at another hill, and near Gravesend; and the stages it was near the door-head, and midway proceeded with their passengers. The up the street, it stood three feet and a mail of the Thursday night arrived at half above the door. Had it advanced Canterbury late on Friday evening, the five minutes longer in this direction, the bags having been conveyed part of the whole village must have been inundated. distance
men's shoulders. The bags of Friday and Saturday night arrived
During this frost a great number of together on Sunday morning about ten
the fish called golden maids, were picked o'clock. Dalrymple , North Britain, January prices. They floated ashore quite blind,
up on Brighton beach and sold at good 29.-Wednesday, the 26th, was an epoch having been reduced to that state by the ever to be remembered by the inhabitants
snow. of this village. The thaw of that and the preceding day had opened the Doon, formerly “ bound like a rock," to a con- Annexed are a few of the casualties siderable distance above this; and the consequent on this great frost. A womar melting of the snow on the adjacent hills was found frozen to death on the High. swelled the river beyond its usual height, gate-road. She proved to have been a and burst up vast fragments of ice and charwoman, returning from Highgate, congealed snow. It forced them forward where she had been at work, to Pancras. with irresistible iinpetuosity, bending A poor woman named Wood, while trees like willows, carrying down Skel- crossing Blackheath from Leigh to the ton-bridge, and sweeping all before it. village of Charlton, accompanied by her The overwhelming torrent in its awful two children, was benighted, and missed progress accumulated a prodigious mass her way. After various efforts to extriof the frozen element, which, as if in cate herself, she fell into a hole, and was wanton frolic, it heaved out into the fields nearly buried in the snow. From this, on both sides, covering acres of ground however, she contrived to escape, and many feet deep. Alternately loading again proceeded; but at length, being and discharging in this manner, it came completely exhausted, and her children to a door or two in the village, as if to benumbed with cold, she sat down on apprize the inhabitants of its powers. the trunk of a tree, where, wrapping her The river having deserted its wonted children in her cloak, she endeavoured by channel, endeavoured to make its grand loud cries to attract the attention of some entry by several courses successively in passengers. Her shrieks at length were Saint Valley, and finding no one of them heard by a waggoner, who humanely sufficient for its reception, took them waded through the snow to her assistance, altogether, and overrunning the whole and taking her children, who seenied in holm at once, appeared here in terrific a torpid state, in his arms, he conducted grandeur, between seven and eight o'clock her to a public-house; one of the infants in the evening, when the moon retreated was frozen to death, and the other was behind a cloud, and the gloom of night recovered with extreme difficulty. added to the horrors of the tremendous As some workmen were clearing away scepe. Like a sea, it overflowed all the the snow which was twelve feet deep, at
Kipton, on the border of Northampton- mass as to render it immovable by the
There was found lying in the road ing to the city side of the river, anseading from Longford to Upham, frozen nouncing a safe footway over, which to death, a Mr. Apthorne, à grazier, at attracted immense crowds, and in a short Coltsworth. He had left Hounslow at time thousands perambulated the rugged dusk on Monday evening, after having plain, where a variety of amusements drank rather freely, and proposed to go were provided. Among the more curious that night to Marlow.
of these was the ceremony of roasting a On his return from Wakefield market, small sheep, or rather toasting or burning Mr. Husband, of Holroyd Hall, was it over a coal fire, placed in a large iron frozen to death, within little more than pan. For a view of this extraordinary a hundred yards of the house of his spectacle, sixpence was demanded, and nephew, with whom he resided.
willingly paid. The delicate meat, wh Mr. Chapman, organist, and master of done, was sold at a shilling a slice, and the central school at Andover, Hants, termed “ Lapland mutton.' There were was frozen to death near Wallop, in that a great number of booths ornamented county.
with streamers, flags, and signs, and A young man named Monk, while within them there was a plentiful store driving a stage-coach near Ryegate, was of favourite luxuries with most of the thrown off the box on a lump of frozen multitude, gin, beer, and gingerbread. snow, and killed on the spot.
The thoroughfare opposite Three Crane
Stairs was complete and well frequented. The thermometer during this intense It was strewed with ashes, and afforded frost was as low as 7o and 8° of Fahren- a very safe, although a very rough path. heit, in the neighbourhood of London. Near Blackfriars Bridge, however, the There are instances of its having been way was not equally severe; a plumber, lower in many seasons, but so long a named Davis, having imprudentiy vencontinuance of very cold weather was tured to cross with some lead in his never experienced in this climate within hands, sank between two masses of ice, the memory of man.
and rose no more. Two young women
nearly shared a similar fate; they were Frost Fair-1814. rescued from their perilous situation by
the prompt efforts of two watermen. On Sunday, the 30th of January, the Maný a fair nymph indeed was emimmense masses of ice that floated from braced in the icy arms of old Father the upper parts of the river, in conse- Thames ;-three young quakeresses had quence of the thaw on the two preceding a sort of semi-bathing, near London days, blocked up the Thames between Bridge, and when landed on terra-firma, Blackfriars and London Bridges ; and made the best of their way through the afforded every probability of its being Borough, amidst the shouts of an adfrozen over in a day or two. Some ad- miring populace. From the entire obventurous persons even now walked on struction the tide did not appear 10 ebb different parts, and
on the next day, for some days more than one half the Monday the 31st, the expectation was usual mark. realized. During the whole of the after- On Wednesday, Feb. 2, the sports were noon, hundreds of people were assembled repeated, and the Thames presented a on Blackfriars and London Bridges, to complete “ Frost Fair." The grand see people cross and recross the Thames “ mall" or walk now extended from Blackon the ice. At ane time seventy per- friars Bridge to London Bridge; this was sons were counted walking from Queen- named the “ City-road," and was lined hithe to the opposite shore. The frost on each side by persons of all descriptions, of Sunday night so united the vast Eight or ten printing presses were erected
and numerous pieces commemorative of Friday, Feb. 4.
Each day brought a the "great frost” were printed on the fresh accession of “ pedlars to sell their ice. Some of these frosty typographers wares;” and the greatest rubbisn of all displayed considerable taste in their spe- sorts was raked up and sold at double and cimens. At one of the presses, an orange- treble the original cost. Books and toys, coloured standard was hoisted, with the labelled “ bought on the Thames,” were watch-word “ Orange Boven,” in large in profusion. The watermen profited characters. This was in allusion to the exceedingly, for each person paid a toll of recent restoration of the stadtholder to twopence or threepence before he was the government of Holland, which had admitted to “ Frost Fair;" some douceur been for several years under the dominion was expected on the return, Some of of the French. From this press the fol- them were said to have taken six pounds lowing papers were issued.
each in the course of a day. “ FROST FAIR.
This afternoon, about five o'clock, three " Amidst the arts which on the Thames ap- persons, an old man and two lads, were pear,
on a piece of ice above London-bridge, To tell the wonders of this icy year,
which suddenly detached itself from the Printing claims prior place, which at one main body, and was carried by the tide view
through one of the arches. They laid Erects a monument of Tuat and You." themselves down for safety, and the Another :
boatmen at Billingsgate, put off to their
assistance, and rescued them from their “ You that walk here, and do design to tell Your children's children what this year be able to walk, but the other two were car
impending danger. One of them was fell, Come, buy this print, and it will then be seen
ried, in a state of insensibility, to a publicThat such a year as this has seldom been.” house, where they received every atten
tion their situation required. Another of these stainers of paper addressed the spectators in the following at night, and the effect by moonlight was
Many persons were on the ice till late terms “ Friends, now is your time to
singularly novel and beautiful. The bosupport the freedom of the press. Can
som of the Thames seemed to rival the the press have greater liberty! here you frozen climes of the north. find it working in the middle of the
Saturday, Feb. 5. This morning augured Thames; and if you encourage us by unfavourably for the continuance of buying our impressions, we will keep it
“ Frost Fair." The wind had veered going in the true spirit of liberty during to the south, and there was a light fall of the frost.” One of the articles printed and sold contained the following lines :
snow. The visitors, however, were not
to be deterred by trifles. Thousands " Behold, the river Thames is frozen o'er,
again ventured, and there was still much Which lately ships of mighty burden bore ; life and bustle on the frozen element; the Now different arts and pastimes here you see, footpath in the centre of the river was But printing claims the superiority.” hard and secure, and among the pedes.
The Lord's prayer and several other trians were four donkies; they trotted a pieces were issued from these icy printing nimble pace, and produced considerable offices, and bought with the greatest merriment. At every glance, there was a avidity.
novelty of some kind or other. Gaming On Thursday, Feb. 3, the number of was carried on in all its branches. Many adventurers increased. Swings, book- of the itinerant admirers of the profits stalls, dancing in a barge, suutling-booths, gained by E O Tables, Rouge et Noir, playing at skittles, and almost every ap- Te-totum, wheel of fortune, the garter, pendage of a fair on land, appeared now on &c. were industrious in their avocations, the Thames. Thousands Hocked to this and some of their customers left the lures singular spectacle of sports and pastimes. without a penny to pay the passage over The ice scemed to be a solid rock, and a plank to the shore. Skittles was played presented a truly picturesque appearance. by several parties, and the drinking tents The view of St. Paul's and of the city were filled by females and their compawith the white foreground had a very sin- nions, dancing reels to the sound of fidgular effect;-in many parts, mountains dles, while others sat round large fires, of ice upheaved resembled ihe rude in- drinking rum, grog, and other spirits
. serior of a stone quarry,
Tea, coffee, and eatables, were provided