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daily difference of the sun's declination is exactly the same, not only in India, but likewise in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
I have no authentic account of hurricanes on the Malabar coast; but I recollect to have heard of one which happened in the month of May, 1762, off Goa, and of a second near Anjengo, which took place, I believe, about the middle of April, 1779. One of the company's cruisers was at that time lying at an anchor in the road; it attempted, too late, to put to sea, but was never afterwards
From these accounts it seems very clear, that hurricanes never happen at the breaking up of the monsoons, nor precisely at their commencement, but rather some time after the change, and that they are local and of short duration. But this description of them is not confined to the Malabar coast, nor to that of Coromandel, they rage with equal if not superior violence in the southern he. misphere, particularly about the latitude of 20 degrees S. near the French islands, where many ships have been in great danger of pe rishing from their effects, amongst the rest the Ilchester Indiaman, in the year 1757. But the most accurate and authentic account, which I have received of hurricanes in these latitudes, was that of the hurricane which the Britannia Indiaman encountered in the year 1770. On the 10th of March, about midnight, the wind sud. denly burst upon the ship from the S.E. and blew with considerable force, but shifted all round the compass in the course of a few hours. Between five and six in the morning a sudden gust carried away their topmasts and gib.boom, when lying to under a ba lanced mizen; and nearly about the same instant the jolly-boat, hanging over the side by the mizen chains, was suddenly whirled up into the mizen shrouds, whence it fell into the sea, and was dashed in pieces. The wind having blown nearly with equal strength from opposite quarters, prevented the sea from rising, so that at the end of ten hours, when it subsided, the sea bore but very little appear. ance of having been violently agitated.
The following day, the rigging being repaired, they proceeded a few leagues to the westward, and met a French vessel that had not felt the hurricane; they were likewise overtaken by another ship which had followed the same track as the Britannia without suf. fering the least inconvenience from it. These circumstances prove
positively, that in an east and west direction, this hurricane had not extended above 30 leagues, and likewise that the ship was nearly in its centre.
Thus then it appears that these tempests or hurricanes are tornadoes, or local whirlwinds, and are felt with at least equal violence on the sea-coast, and at some little distance out at sea. But there is a material difference in the situation of the sun when they appear at different places. On the coast of Coromandel, for example, they seldom happen, particularly to the northward, except when the sun is in the opposite hemisphere. On the Malabar coast they rage with most violence during the monsoon, whilst the sun is almost vertical. Near the island of Mauritius they are felt in January, February, and March, which may be deemed their summer months. And in the West Indies, according to Mr. Ed. wards's History of Jamaica, the hurricane season begins in August and ends in October.
3. Hurricane in Huntingdonshire, Sept. 8, 1741.
By Mr. S. Fuller, of Trin. Col. Camb.
This was the most violent hurricane of wind in these parts, that ever was known since the memory of man. Cambridge was not in the midst of the hurricane, so that it has escaped very well. Mr. F. happened to be at Bluntsham in Huntingdonshire, about ten miles north-west of Cambridge. They were there in the midst of the hurricane. The morning, till half an hour after eleven, was still, with very hard showers of rain. At half after eleven it began to clear up in the south, with a brisk air, so that they expected a fine afternoon. The south-west cleared up too, and the sun shining warm drew them out into the garden. They had not been out above ten minutes, before the storm was seen coming from the south-west: it seemed not to be thirty yards high from the ground, bringing along with it a mist, rolling along with such incredible swiftness, that it ran about a mile and a half in half a minute. It began exactly at twelve o'clock, and lasted about thirteen minutes, eight minutes in full violence: it presently uncovered the house, and some of the tiles, falling down to windward, were blown in at the sashes, and against the wainscot on the other side of the room; the broken glass was blown all over the room; the chimneys all
escaped; but the statues on the top of the house, and the ballu. strades from one end to the other, were all blown down. The stabling was all blown down, except two little stalls. All the barns in the parish, except those that were full of corn quite up to the top, were blown flat on the ground, to the number of about sixty. The dwelling houses escaped best; there were not above twelve blown down, out of near one hundred. If the storm had lasted five minutes longer, almost every house in the town must have been down; for they were all, in a manner, rocked quite off from their underpinnings. The people all left their houses, and carried their children out to the windward side, and laid them down on the ground, and laid themselves down by them; and by that means all escaped, except one poor miller, who went into his mill to secure it against the storm, which was blown over, and he was crushed to death between the stones and one of the large beams. All the mills in the country are blown down. Hay-stacks and corn-stacks are some quite blown away, some into the next corner of the field. The poor pigeons that were caught in it, were blown down on the ground, and dashed to pieces. Wherever it met with any boarded houses, it seemed to exert more than ordinary violence on them, and scattered their wrecks above a quarter of a mile to the northeast in a line: Mr. F. followed one of these wrecks; and about 150 yards from the building, he found a piece of a rafter, many feet long, and about six inches by four, stuck upright two feet deep in the ground; and at the distance of 400 paces from the same build. ing, was an inch board, nine inches broad, fourteen feet long: these boards were carried up into the air; and some were carried over a pond above thirty yards; and a row of pales, as much as two men could lift, were carried two rods from their places, and set upright against an apple-tree, Pales, in general, were all blown down, some posts broke off short by the ground, others torn up by the stumps. The whole air was full of straw: gravel-stones, as large as the top of the little finger, were blown off the ground in at the wir. dows; and the very grass was blown quite flat on the ground. After the storm was over, he went out into the town, and such a miser. able sight he never saw the havoc above described; the women and children crying, the farmers all dejected; some blessing God for the narrowness of their escape, others wondering how so much mischief could be done with one blast of wind, which hardly lasted
long enough for people to get out of their houses. Two people, that were out in it all the time, said, that they heard it coming about half a minute before they saw it; and that it made a noise resem. bling thunder, more continued, and continually increasing. A man came from St. Ives, who says, the spire of the steeple, one of the finest in England, was blown down, as was the spire of Hemming. ford, the towns having received as much damage as Bluntsham. There was neither thunder nor lightning with it, as there was at Cambridge, where it lasted above half an hour, and consequently was not so violent. Some few booths in Sturbridge-fair were blown down. The course of the storm was from Huntingdon to St. Ives, Erith, between Wisbeach and Downham to Lynn, and so on to Suetsham. Very few trees escaped: the barns that stood the storm, had all their roofs more damaged to the leeward side than to the windward. The storm was succeeded by a profound calm, which lasted about an hour; after which the wind continued pretty high till ten o'clock at night.
[Phil. Trans. 1741.
4. Tempest at Wigton in Cumberland.
By Mr. T. Thomlinson.
On the 6th of October, 1756, at night, happened a most violent hurricane, such as has not been known in these parts in any one's memory. It lasted four hours at least, from about eleven till three. The damage it has done is very deplorable. The corn has suffered prodigiously. Stacks of hay and corn have been entirely swept away: houses unroofed, and in several places driven down by its fury trees without number torn up by the roots; others snapt off by the middles, and their fragments scattered over the adjoining fields. Some were twisted almost round, or split down to the very ground; and, in short, left in such a shattered, mangled condition, as scarcely any description can give an adequate idea of. The change in the face of the country was very surprising in one single night: for, to complete the dismally-desolate scene, the several tribes of vegetables (in all their verdure the day before), as if blasted with æthereal fire, hung down their drooping heads. Every herb, every plant, every flower, had its leaves withered, shrivelled up, and turned black. The leaves on the trees, especially on the
weather side, fared in the same manner. The evergreens alone seem to have escaped. The grass also, in a few days time, recovered itself in a great measure.
Mr. T. agreed at first with the generality of people in their opi nion, that lightning had done all this mischief: but on recollecting that there had not been much seen any where, in many places none at all, but that the effect was general, as far as ever the wind had reached; he began to think that some other cause might probably be assigned. Accordingly, he examined the dew or rain, which had fallen on the grass, windows, &c. in hopes of being enabled, by its taste, to form some better judgment of the sulphureous or nitrous particles, or of whatever other quality they were, with which the air was so strongly impregnated that night, as to produce such strange effects. Nor was he deceived in his expectations: for on tasting it, he found it as brackish as any sea. water. The several vegetables also which he tasted were all salt, more or less, and continued so for five or six days after; the saline particles not being then washed off, from the corn and windows in particular; the latter of which, when the moisture on the outside was exhaled next day, sparkled and appeared exceedingly brilliant in the sunshine. The saltness he conceived had done the principal damage; for common salt dissolved in water, he found on experiment on some fresh vegetables, when sprinkled two or three times, on them, has the very same effect, except that it does not turn them quite so black; but particles of a sulphureous or other quality, may have been mixed with it. That this salt water had been brought from the seat, every body will allow; but the manner how ‡, is not so easy to conceive §.
[Phil. Trans. 1757.
In an adjoining bleach-yard, a piece of cloth, which had been left out all night, was turned yellow; and was not without some difficulty washed out again. Some also, which was spread out the next day, contracted the same colour.-Orig.
+ The wind was westerly, and consequently would sweep the Irish sea.Orig.
No rain, or however very little, during the hurricane.-Orig.
Our readers will find various instances of such descent of saline particles in the preceding chapter xxxix, section v, where they will also perceive that the present writer must be mistaken in ascribing any part of the mischief to the salt.-EDITOR,