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The recent severe winter in England has enabled statisticians to make comparisons with previous winters. Here are some of the "biggest frosts" recorded: — The Thames was frozen for fourteen weeks in 1063. The Baltic passable to foot travellers and horsemen for six weeks, 1323. In England in 1407 all the small birds perished. The ice bore riding upon from Lubeck to Prussia in 1426. Severe frost, when even the largest fowl of the air sought shelter" in the towns of Germany, in 1433. The river Thames frozen below the bridge to Graevsend from November 24th to February 10th, 1434. The Baltic frozen, and horse passengers crossed from Denmark to Sweden, and vine-yards destroyed, in 1460. In 1498 the winter was so severe in Flanders that the. wine distributed to the soldiers was cut with a hatchet. Carriages passed over the Thames from Lambeth to Westminster in 1515. The wine in Flanders was again frozen in solid lump's in 1544. Sledges drawn by oxen travelled on the sea from Rostock to Denmark in 1548. There were fires and diversions on the frozen Thames in 1607. The rivers of Europe, and even the Zuider Zee, were frozen, whilst a sheet of ice covered the Hellespont, in 1622. Charles X. , of Sweden, crossed the Little Belt over the ice from Holstein to Denmark, with his whole army, horse and foot, with trains of artillery and baggagejin 1658. In 1684 the forest trees, and even the oaks in England, were split by the frost. Most of the hollies were killed. The Thames was covered with ice eleven inches thick, and nearly all the birds perished. {j The wolves were driven by the cold into Vienna, where they attacked cattle, and even men, in 1691. Three months' frost, and heavy snow, from December, 1708, to March, 1709. A fair was held on the. Thames, and an ox roasted, in 1716. In. 1740 a frost lasted nine weeks. Coaches plied upon the Thames, and festivities and diversions, of all kinds were enjoyed upon the ice. There was severe frost .for 115 days ;.( twelve days longer than the frost of l|40)inl780. frosts are also recorded in 1789; 1795, 1796, and 1814. . The frost was so intense in parts of Norway in January, 1849, that quicksilver froze, and persons exposed to the atmosphere lost their breath. The frost in Russia in 18 12 surpassed in intenseness that of any winter in that country for many preceding years, and caused the destruction of the French Army in its -retreat from Moscow at the close of that memorable year. Napoleon commenced his retreat on the 9th of November, when the frost covered the ground and the men perished in battalions, and the horses fell by hundreds on the road. What with his loss in battle and the effects of this awful and calmitous frost, France lost in the campaign of that year 400,000 men.

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Bibliographic details

Grey River Argus, Grey River Argus, Volume XXXVII, Issue 9154, 8 June 1895

Word Count

RECORDS OF SEVERE FROSTS. Grey River Argus, Volume XXXVII, Issue 9154, 8 June 1895