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1864: Global warming?

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Admiral's Bridge, Sharpthorne 2005

The rains have set in at last, after the longest drought that very respectable character, the oldest inhabitant says he ever remembers.

The drought has certainly been a most extraordinary one in this locality, particularly, as the thunder storms that have occasionally passed over during the summer have invariably missed us, and with the exception of now and then a dust-laying showers we have had no rain of consequence until row, since March.

Many old persons assert that it has been a greater drought than that of 1826, or even 1818, and that the streams and springs were lower lately than they ever knew them before, although in the latter year we are told that hundreds of acres of oats and barley were sown that had no rain until they were cut in August, but there had been previously a wet and growing spring, and the crop turned out well, but short in straw.

In 1818 we are told that reaping commenced in the middle of July, and that the rains commenced in that year and in 1826 at the beginning of September; while this year we are six weeks behind either date in particular In Oxfordshire drought seems to have been equally oppressive, and at Henley-on-Thames a mark on a rock in the river made in 1818, showing the lowest state of water in that summer has not been discovered since, until about a fortnight or three weeks since.

Sussex Advertiser 29 October 1864

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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