“A true report of certaine wonderfull ouerflowings”: the great flood of 1607 in a contemporary pamphlet


Special Collections and Archives / Casgliadau Arbennig ac Archifau

With so much of the country finding itself suddenly underwater earlier this month, it is no surprise that I couldn’t resist having a closer look at a book called “Of floods in England – 1607” when I noticed it in the stacks.

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IMG_9878This little pamphlet, printed in London in 1607, commemorates the terrible events of 30 January the same year, when the Bristol Channel overflowed to truly devastating effect. Entire villages were reportedly swept away, hundreds of miles of farmland and whole herds of livestock were destroyed, and more than 2,000 lives were lost. Here in Cardiff, not much more than a fishing village in 1607, the wave reached up to four miles inland and washed away all before it, including the foundations of the parish church on St. Mary’s Street.

The author of the pamphlet paints a vivid picture of the chaos of that awful night: “Men that were…

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About bibliodeviant

This is the journal of Jonathan Kearns Rare Books & Curiosities, and all who sail in her. Information, updates, rantings, musings and pretty pictures related (loosely I would imagine) to the world of rare and antiquarian books will be brought to you by a number of different personalities, some of whom cohabit in the same person's head. We welcome queries, comments and contributions of virtually any description, and in return we will attempt to rein in our multitudinous personality disorders and deliver wonders and joys beyond compare. At least that's the plan. View all posts by bibliodeviant

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