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in great ribbed flakes. Near Turriff, on the
16th, the cold reached twenty-eight degrees
below freezing point. All communication
between Huntingdon and Buntingford ceased about
this time, the snow near Godmanchester being
ordinarily ten feet deep. The mails to
Scotland ceased for several days, to the general
inconvenience and alarm. At last, one Sunday,
a mail, entirely filled and piled with letters,
appeared, dragged by ten horses. The road from
Puckeridge to Accrington was cleared by a
snow plough of the Earl of Hardwicke's. A
paper of this date says:

"Nothing can exceed the exertions of the
Post Office in having the roads cleared in all
directions, for the conveyance of the mails to
and from the capital. Numerous gangs of
labourers have been employed on all the great
roads to remove the depths of snow, so that a
general communication with the capital may
be hourly looked for, if there be no further
fall. Several accounts have reached us of
melancholy accidents that have occurred on
account of the severity of the weather. It is
apprehended that the loss to farmers of their live
stock will be severely felt. A gentleman of
Chard has lost above a hundred sheep. Men
are employed night and day in digging those
animals out of the accumulated heaps under
which they are buried."

One day during this cruel weather, a
dismounted dragoon on duty on the North Terrace,
at Windsor, heard the cries of a person in
distress in the fields beyond Eton. On being
relieved, he and a comrade went in search
of the man, and by dint of making a sort
of movable bridge of their cloaks and some
hurdles they eventually found a man and his
horse who had been sunk in a roadside drift for

A newspaper paragraph of about the end of
January is eloquent as to the distress of London.
It states that in Lambeth, in two days,
one thousand two hundred and sixty-five poor
families, comprising four thousand one hundred
and seventy-six persons, had been relieved. The
period was full of contrasts. While the Earl
of Eglington was giving merry curling matches
near his castle, Yorkshire mail-coach guards
were plunging into the snow with all the
dogged courage with which soldiers mount a
breach; while London dandies were driving
sledges, poor Scotch packmen and Highland
shepherds were perishing in the treacherous

Lord Sidmouth, getting alarmed at the snow
deluge, issued instructions, on the 28th, to the
lord mayor, and the lord-lieutenants of counties,
to call local meetings of magistrates and
employ men to clear the roads. But the great
doubt was, whether the circular would ever reach
the counties.

Towards the end of this month, the accounts
from Dublin grew even more alarming. The
stoppage of the food supplies had caused all but
a famine. When a man has only potatoes to
eat, he has not the stamina wherewith to fast
long. Men, women, children, and horses, were
frequently seen to drop dead in the streets. The
deaths had increased to eighty a day, and diseases
began to break out.

On the 27th, a poor charwoman was found
frozen to death in the Highgate road; on the
same day, the son of a Westminster tradesman,
named Williams, getting on the ice near the
shore at Millbank, was carried down the river
on a piece that broke off. Many persons saw
him and heard him cry for aid; but they could
give no help, and he fell off and sank nearly
opposite the Penitentiary.

January 29th brought a sudden change; winter,
momentarily weary of its tyranny, relaxed its
grasp. There came a heavy fall of snow, which
suddenly turned to heavy rain, and was the
signal for universal floods and inundations. The
York and Boston mails were for several hours
soaking in Caxton waters, near Huntingdon.
Edmonton wash was out, and the road impassable.
Seizing its chance, out launched the
Exeter coach that had been detained in London
several days, and got safely through.

The Frogmore houses were inundated, and at
Eton the people removed the furniture from
their lower rooms. Then all at once came a
stormy south-west wind, and a severe frost
slipped its white manacles again upon the
rivers. The great roads sheeted with ice became
even more impassable than when filled up with
several feet of snow. The outcry at the state
of the London streets increased in loudness and
violence. The local authorities, of course,
utterly broke down, as they usually do in all
exceptional emergencies. In some places the snow
lay in huge frozen hillocks that upset carts;
one even upset a mail-coach at the top of the
Haymarket, and a gig was overturned by
another in Cheapside. It was said that the
scavengers would not remove the snow until it
was rendered saleable by being impregnated
with mud and dung.

The papers of this period are full of curious
facts relating to the great frost; not merely
natural phenomenon, but incidents showing how
much the routine of social events was being
disturbed. Persons who had to pay money into
Chancery pleaded for a respite owing to their
money-letters being delayed by the non-arrival
of the mails. Another day it is reported that
Mr. Bellamy had given the poor of St.
Margaret's several chaldrons of coals from the
cel-ars of the House of Commons, to be replaced
in the summer when coals would be at the
cheapest. The same day we are told that a
quantity of " golden maids," a peculiar sort, of
fish, had been picked up on Brighton beach
and sold at high prices. These fish were blinded
by the snow (how, we are not called upon to
explain): they are always found in great
numbers after heavy falls of snow. Wild swans
from Norway had been seen at Boston.
Cumberland postmen were reported to have been
lost in the drift. Sheep at Stock, in Essex,
were found alive " and ua good spirits " after a
twelve days' burial in the snow. Deer were