[From ManxNoteBook vol i,1885]

Extracts from a pocket Book of Bishop Wilson


HE BOOK FROM WHICH THE FOLLOWING EXTRACTS ARE TAKEN CONTAINS NOTES ON A VARIETY OF SUBJECTS, SUCH AS CALCULATION OF TIME, PRICES OF THE PRECIOUS METALS, MATHEMATICS, ASTRONOMY, MEDICAL AND other Recipes, Remarkable Occurrences, &c. Under the heading "Remarkable Occurrences," we find the following:-" Aurora Borealis, March 30th, 1717, being the day before New (~ [moon], abt 10 at night streams of light, then flashing of light as if ye sky opened beginning from East, and going to West till past ii. T'was surprising enough."

It is worth notice that before the year 1716, no such phenomenon had been recorded in England for above 80 years.

" MARCH 19th, 1718.-57 minutes past 7 at night, a bright pillar of light appeared at S. or SSE., and gave a light as bright as day, and continued abt 15". The air warm and sulph."

" FEBRUARY 6th, 1720.-Abt 8 at night, a bright light spread itself from ye zenith round abt with streamers pointing downwards, those to ye East and West as far as the Horizon; ye fixed stars seen thro' y-; ye light as bright almost as a flame of fire so yt tho' there was no (~ [moon], yet I could read in a large print; ye wind N. but very calm, hard frost."

11 FEBRUARY 12th, 1720.-A quarter past 9 in ye evening streamers of light abt ye breadth of a rainbow f- E. to W. through ye zenith to both Horizons, immediately followed by abundance of ye like streamers in the N, arising fr a pale white semicircle or part of an Are, which always foregoes these rays of light. The girdle continued nearly 15', ye wind at S.E. but little of it, and hard frost."

" SEPTEMBER 11th, 1721.-Abt 9 at night ye most surprising flashes of light, and streamers yt ever I saw over the whole hemisphere, ye motions as quick as lightning, and ye Figures very odd and continued half-an-hour."

11 DECEMBER 19th, 1720.-A Spring tide much higher than ever heard of in the memory of man. It flowed abt Douglas Chappel, &c. "

, , AUGUST, 1722.-One of the wettest, coldest, stormy summers that ever was known in the memory of man. Uncommon land floods, Hay, Turf, and abundance of Corn very much spoiled. Harvest late."

11 NOVEMBER 2nd, 1722.-A great storm in which where lost the two Granstons, and eight more, and two boats."

"NOVEMBER 20th, 1722.-A tempest for six or eight hours. Most houses stripped."

" 1725.-The driest Spring yt ever was remembered, no rain fr January 25th till May. And the wettest summer, nothing but rain from May till Xmas, and after."

" FEBRUARY 21st.-Abt 7 in the evening (1725), a very bright globe of fire from S. to N."

" 1726.-Streamers of light having been seen for three or four nights, and flashings to the S., there followed within two or three days very stormy, rainy, tempestous weather for several days."

11 DECEMBER 5th, 1735.-A meteor as bright as day for a second. 5 minutes past 9 at night."

" SEPTEMBER 26th, 1730.-A surprising red sky to ye East, like that of red hot iron, wch after half-an-hour was followed by a bright white light sky in that place."

11 JUNE 7th, 1737.-A bright halo about the sun wch continued many hours before, and after noon. A cold season, and so has continued ever since Jan. 7th."

S. N. H.




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