« AnteriorContinuar »
when looking toward Chesterfield, snow; which now melts, and the wind the sky appeared to be open for about is changed to the northeast. the length of a mile, the colour pale • These circumstances seem to fared, and continued so while he a- vour the fuppofition of earthquakes wakened his fellow servant, who was being caused by electricity; but it is asleep in the waggon, to fhew him only from a colleâion of numerous (as he described it) the strangest flash facts, that any rational theory.can be of lightning that ever was seen. From formed on the subject.' his delcription, the range of it was
In his second letter; dated Dec. 21, from east to west ; and so low in the Mr. Bennet says; • I have been at horizon that, had he not been upon · Derby, and made inquiry about the high ground, he could not have seen ball of fire said to have been seen there,
but could obtain no account of any From Wirksworth, in the same thing more than that feveral perfons, county, (Derbyshire) two letters re- who happened to be out, perceived a fpecting the earthquake were received flah of light, which they described from the rev. Abraham Bennet, F.R.S. as being like an opening of the sky. of which here follow extracts. The I had written to Mr. Charterton to first letter is dated November 19. make every inquiry he could, but he
• About twenty minutes paft eleven heard nothing more than this, beside o'clock last night, the shock of an what was observed by others. I wrote earthquake was perceived in this alfo to Mr. Watson, of Bakewell, town, and, as I have been informed, who says he had been in bed about a at Derby, Alhover, Bakewell, Win- quarter of an hour, when he was alitoa fter, and other neighbouring villages, nithed by a hushing rumbling noife, I happened to be in bed at the time, and was immediatey shook in bed, by and was awakened by a noise, which a lifting up, of firft his head, and then I firit supposed to be like the roaring his feet, three times in about three of a chimney on fire, then thought it seconds; his bed standing fouth and was a carriage in the street, and thould north, he thought it came from the not have luspected an earthquake ; south. At an inn there the servants but this morning I was told that many were frightened by the glasses shaking perlons had been much alarmed, said upon a table; fome gentlemen, in they heard a noise resembling the another room, felt nothing of it. One falling of a chimney, and went out to -person at Bakewell observed a flash of examine whether, that was the case. light, like' lightning ; and Mr. BuxA person just arrived from Derby, ton's house, (at Bakewell) which fays, that a ball of fire was seen to stands upon a limestone rock, was pass over the town, at the time the hook till his bell rung. noise was heard. Many said their • The Rev. Mr. Peach, of Edenfor, beds shook, and that they felt fome- was shook in bed, and heard a noise thing like an electrical shock At in his room, like the collision of two Derby fome bricks.were thrown down stones. from chimnies. · The noise was also • At Chesterfield fome chimnies described as resembling the drawing fell.' of a table over a floor, with a louder The county of Nottingham, howexplofion at the laft.
ever, appears to have been that in . The wind had blown violently which the earthquake was most lefrom the southwest all day, but be- verely felt. From that county two came calm in the evening, and the very circumstantial accounts of it have fky cleared. At the time the earth- been received ; one of them from the quake happened it was remarked that Rev. Edward Gregory, in a letter the air became very cold ; and this dated Langar, December 12, as fole morning the ground was covered with lows:
• I was, on the 18th of November, was gone down too low to cast any at Wollaton, (the feat of lord Mid- considerable degree of light on the dleton) about three miles to the west clouds near the western horizon, much of Nottingham, where I felt the shock less could he illuminate any cloud fo of the earthquake. A violent gale of low in the southeast as this was with wind, which blew from the southwest
, so brighi a light. The moon, indeed, raged with uncommon fury all the was near the western extremity of this morning, and brought on heavy rain cloud; but its light, even had it been about noon ; the storm still continuing a full moon, (whereas it yet wanted with unabated violence. About three more than twenty four hours of being o'clock the wind changed to north- in the first quarter) was far too weak west, and the tempest presently sub- to cast on the margin of the cloud fo fided.
The clouds now separated, intense a light, and that to fo great an and formed themselves, on the northern extent along it. For these reasons, I quarters of the horizon, into those was fully perfuaded that this luminous very large white mountainous clouds appearance was occafioned by electric which, in the summer months, gene- light, with which I concluded the cloud rally precede a thunder storm. About to be highly charged. We went down sanfet these clouds were very much ftairs to dine, and returned again to disperfed ; the air became clear, felt this room about eight o'clock, to pass fharp and elastic, and every appear- the evening; I then looked again at ance of a frost came on in the northern the sky; every extraordinary appearparts of the sky. When the company ance had now vanilhed, the night assembled in the south drawing-room, was dark and gloomy, the air quite previous to dinner, my attention was
calm and mild. At between twenty much struck with the aspect of the sky and twenty-five minutes after eleven in the south and southeast quarter ; in o'clock, we were all extremely furthis direction, a cloud, very black prised and alarmed at a sudden blast, and lowering, extended itself over (so 'I should term it, rather than exthis part of the hemisphere. The plofion, because it had not that sharp, margin of the cloud, which was nearly compressed elastic tone I annex to the parallel to the horizon, was fringed, idea of an explosion) which burst out to the extent of at least forty degrees, instantaneously, fomewhat below the from the south toward the eait, and zepith, to the west ; and, as I conto the breadth of perhaps a degree, jectured from the direction in which and a half, with a very bright white the found was heard, seemed to rush light, which had very much the ap- through the air toward the east with pearance of white fatin. This light great velocity, and to meet with conwas shaded, to its whole extent, as it liderable resistance to its motion ; for were with a veil of a deep muddy it made a whizzing noise as it passed purple colour. The white light, seen over us. At the instant the blaft burst below this gloomy purple haze, and out, it was accompanied with a very farther contraited by the very dark loud, deep-toned, hollow, sullen furface of fo extensive and lowering a sound, not altogether unlike a deep cloud, formed a very striking appear- groan. We were all amazed at this ance; fo much so as to induce me to hideous noise; some thought the wincall lord Middleton, and others of the dow of the great room (that in the company, to the window, to look at centre tower over the hall) had fallen it, and to remark to them, that the in: every one of us thought some bad very angry and troubled aspect of the accident must have happened to fome sky led me to apprehend we should part of the building. While we were have more of the tempelt in the course all forming our various conjectures, of the night. I will here remark that I, who sat close to the wall, (a north it was now near five o'clock; the sun wall) leaning with my arm and shoul
der on the furbase, felt myself shoved any particular appearance; the air from it, and my chair fhaken under was quite calm, and mild. When I me, with a very quick tremulous mo- got up in the morning, I was surtion. All the company (eight or ten) prised to see the country covered with felt the fame sensation from the shock; Inow ; the trees in the park were which was fo forcible, that some loaded with it ; I believe no morning thought I had fallen from my chair in the last winter could have presented on the floor, and had occasioned the more appearance of extreme fevere concullion they felt ; when they saw weather. My man slept at Nottingthis was not the case, they then ima- ham ; at the house where he was, the gined the servants in the dining room earthquake was so violent as to cause below us, in removing the tables, had the chamber bells to ring. I inquired thrown down one of them. When I of two soldiers belonging to the barfelt the wall shake, I had no doubt it racks, situate on the high ground in was an earthquake, and I told the the park near that town, what was felt company so; but that it was now over, of the earthquake there. They told and we were all safe, and had no rea me the shocks were very strong, so fon to be farther alarmed. I had much so as to alarm them greatly, fcarcely uttered these words, when and to shake the plates off the shelves. we were shaken again. This second I farther inquired whether any
blaze shock was more undulatory than the of light, or ball of fire, was seen when first; at this time I was standing, and they first heard the blast, or during felt myself lifted up a little, as the the shocks of the earthquake. They fhock passed along. We were all now said, that no light was seen at either under great apprehensions, left other of these periods, nor did the centinel and more violent shocks might fucceed on guard perceive any singular apthose we had already felt ; but after a pearance whatever. few minutes had elapsed, without our • Here, in the vale of Belvoir, most perceiving any thing more, our alarm people were in bed, and were awakenfubfided. Such of the company as ed by the shocks, which they describe hád withdrawn returned to us, to in- to me, as raising up the bed, and then quire what could be the cause of the shaking it; so that at first they thought strange noise, and the shocks which fomebody had hid themselves under fucceeded it; not being yet aware the bed, and was playing tricks to that it was an earthquake. I have frighten thiem; but, when they heard already, mentioned the time the blast the doors rattle violently, the plates was heard ; the first shock of the earth- on the shelves move, glass, china, &c. quake came on, as near as I can jar together, they were aware that the guess, about a minute after it ; and cause of all this was an earthquake. the second shock succeeded the first at Very few were awakened by the blast, the interval of twenty seconds, I and none I have conversed with füw went down to the fleward's room, and any meteor, or other appearance of fervants' hall, to inquire what was felt light. The shock was so strong at of the earthquake, and whether they Colston Basset (two miles from Lanfaw
any light at the time they heard gar) as to shake a small dog off the the blast. They said they saw no light bed on which it slept. Bricks, such whatever, but that the shock cauled as were most likely ready to fall by the glasses to dance upon the table, the first gutt of wind, were shaken off in such a manner that they imagined the chimnies. Soine small part of the somebody was drumming under the bank of the canal near Redmile was table with their knees. I then went thrown back again into the canal; into the garden, to look at the sky'; which is supposed to have been done it continued much as it was at eight by the earthquake, the bank having o'clock, dark and gloomy, without been in an uninjured state the pre
ceding evening. Concerning the di- it so far connected with the cause of section of the ihocks, people here, do the earthquake, as to have been the not accord; this is not to be wonder- refult of a sudden and extraordinary ed at, as most of them were awaken- change in the atmosphere, brought ed out of their sleep, and could not about by fome electric agency ; and collect their thoughts together foon that it was a collateral effect of the enough to ascertain this circumstance, caule (be that cauf: what it may) In general, -those who were awake, which occafioned the earthquake. previous to the shocks, seem confident • I have been, fince the earthquake, they came from the r.ortheaft, but on the eaftern side of Derbyshire ; it many think they came from the south. was felt there very smartly. I remark The firit fiock felt to me so tremulous that most places in high situations that I could not form any judgment were shaken with more violence than concerning its direction; my chair than those in filat countries ; for inwas fhaken with a kind of vertiginous ftance, in Derby thirc; at the bare motion. The second shock seemed racks near Nottingham ; and in the to come from the north, perhaps a villages which, in ihe fouth direction, few points to the west of it.
bound this vale.' When I heard the blast burst out, The other account from Notting: and rush on, with a whizzing noise, hamshire is given by Dr. Storer, in through the air, I immediately con- the following letter, dated Not:ingcluded that some , electric meteor ham, March 12, 1796. (which, I supposed, tcok fire at that « On the 18th of November last, at : time) was the cause which produced eleven o'clock at night, a very smart that alarming dismal found which we shock of an earthquake was felt in this heard ; and that the concuffion in the town and neighbourhood. It was : atmosphere, being communicated to preceded by a ncise, which appeared the earth, had snaken it with such to me like that of dancing in the room forcible agitations as to cause the over that in which I fit, accompanied fhocks of the earthquake. The clouds by a clattering of the furniture ; and on the preceding evening, being to beginning, as seemed to me, at the all appearance very highly charged northeast, and passing to the south-; with electric fire, confirmed me in west corner of the room. To others. this opinion ; yet, as far as I can af- the reverse of this appeared to be the : certain, and I have diligently in- direction; but all who attended to the i quired of various persons who were circumitance of direction, attribute to out, and in situations where they had it a southe ly and northerly course;' a considerable extent of view, no me- and every person, whether within or. teor, nor light whatever, was seen out of doors, referred the noise ta: hereabout at any time that night. something above their own fituation.
Those. in bed (as I have already re. I think the noise continued abani. lated) felt themselves lifted up, and three seconds, and was instantly suc- : fhaken. From this circumstance, one ceeded by the Thock; which was fo! is led to imagine the cause of the considerable and alarming as to give earthquake to have been within the me the idea of an carthquake, from earth; yet, all the circumstances con- the moment of its commencement,' fidered, I incline to think fome violent and to make me imagine that I saw, concussion in the air occafioned it. The as well as felt, an elevation of the blaft (whatever was the cause of it) hearth, on which my feet gelted as I was undoubtedly in the air. The very fat; but which was not found to be heavy fall of snow during the night displaced, in respect to furrounding: Seems a fingular circumstance; it might objects. That the walls of the room be accidental, yet I feel à bias to think suffered a considerable concullion 14%
evident, from the vibration of the
I have seen few people here who window shutters, pi&tures, and every were in the streets, or without doors, other pendulous object in the room. at the momeut the earthquake happen.
• I had guessed the duration of the ed, and of these no one perceived any shock itself to be four seconds; but a light in the heavens; but it is report, friend of miie (who had experienced ed that a light was seen by the palsimilar hocks in Caro ina) aisured me sengers in some of the coaches ; and that, after the firit impulse, he had a very inteliigent gentleman of Derby time to look at his watch, and co told me that, being in the free, he count four seconds before its termina- perceived, at the infant of the contion : in his opinion, the duration of cuffion, a remakable corufcation, prothe shock could not be less than five ceeding from the southweft quarter of: seconds and a half. Such was the the heavens, (which he could not then violence of it, that (though no mate. fee) and producing a gleam similar rial damage happened to the build- to a distant flash of lightning, but of .ings) most people in this to:vn and longer continuance. Others, at Derneighbourhood, who were alleep, by, saw the same thing through their were awaked ; and
many so suddenly windows. and completely as to be conscious of • In every direction, to the distance having experienced an earthquake. of twenty-five miles at least from this
• Notbing connected with this ob- place, the shock was felt with equal ject has surprised me so much as the force ; beyond that diffance, my in extreme disparity of the sensations formation is too inaccurate to be stated communicated by the shock to differ- here. ent people, in the same room, and in • The state of the atmosphere that all respects fimilarly circumstances. accompanied this phænomenon is Every person equally heard the noise, scarcely leis remakable than the earthand had their attention awakened by quake itself. In the night of the 17th it; yet some felt the shock in an alarm- it had blown with some violence from ing degree, while others, at the dif- the southwest; in the morning the tance of a few yards, perceived no- gale increased, and at eleven o'clock thing but the noise, and the rattling blew a tempeft, accompanied with very of the furniture ; a few feit fome. dark dense clouds, and with a greater thing like an electrical Mock, and no-. degree of warmth, or rather fultri
ness, than I ever recollect to have fet Though there are many mill- in November, when there was no sunponds, canal seservoirs, and cther con-' shine. About mid-day there fell a fiderable pieces of water, in this coun heavy rain, for an hour; after which ty, which would have been liable to the wind abated, the clouds dispersed, untoward accidents from any material and at six o'clock it was a serene calm agitation or elevation of their fur- evening. At the moment of the faces; I do not find that any such earthquake it was perfectly still, and thing was observed.
continued so at one o'clock in the • As it is unusual for workmen to morning, with the same degree of be in the coal mines at that hour of warmth that had prevailed in the day. the night, I have heard of but one in- At eight o'clock the following morn, ftance where that was the case. In ing it froze intensely, and the
ground one of the mines there were a man was covered with snow, and á boy; the former felt nothing ; It being very generally agreed to the boy, who was nearer the shaft, refer the most formidable earthquakes perceived a rumbling, which he sup- to fubterraneous caufes, it may be posed to be at the top of the shalt, thought' unphilosophical to search for but felt no shock,
causes of a different order from those