ning to his people of England.
WHEREIN IS RELATED
his most VVonderfull, and
Miraculous workes, by the late
overflowing of the Waters, in the Countryes
of SOMMERSET and GLOVCESTER,
the Counties of MVNMOTH,
THEN, and CARDIGAN, with
divers other places in South-wales.
WHEREIN IS DESCRIBED
the great losses, and Wonderfull
damages, that happened thereby: by the drow-
ning of many Townes and Villages, to
the vtter vndooing of many thou-
sandes of People.
At London printed for W.Barley and Io. Bayly, and
are to be solde in Gratious street. 1607.
Gods Warning to his people of England.|
MANY are the dombe warnings of Distruction, which the Almighty God hath lately scourged this our Kingdome with; And many more are the threatning Tokens, of his heavy wrath extended toward us:
All which in bleeding hearts, may inforce us to put on the true garment of Repentance, and like unto the Niniuits, unfainedly solicite the sweet mercies of our most loving god:
Therefore let us now call to remembrance the late grievous and most lamentable Plague of Pestilence, wherein the wrath of God tooke from us so many thousandes of our friendes, kindred and acquaintance :
let us also call to remembrance the most wicked and pretended malice, of the late Papisticall Conspiracie of Traytors, that with powder practiced the subversion of this beautiful kingdome:
And lastly let us fix our eyes upon theise late swellings of the outragious Waters, which of late now hapned in divers partes of the Realme, together with the overflowing of the Seas in divers and sundry places thereof:
whole fruitful valleys, being now everwhelmed and drowned with these most unfortunate and unseasonable salt waters, doe fore-shew great Barrennes, and Famin to ensue after it. (unlesse the Almightie God of his great infinit mercy and goodnesse doe prevent it.)
But now oh England, be not overcome with thine owne folly: Be not blinded with the overmuch securitie of thy selfe, neyther sinke thou thy selfe in thine owne sinne: for since the generall dissolution of the whole world by Water,
in the time of Noy, never the like Inundation of watry punishment then hapned now here related to the griefe of all Christian hearers, as by this sequell it shall heare appeare.
Upon Tuesday being the 20. of Ianuary last past, 1607 in divers places as well in the Westerne partes of England, as also in divers other places of this Realme: there hapned such an overflowing of Waters, such a violent swelling of the Seas, and such forcible breaches made into the firme-Land: namely into the bosomes of these countries following. That is to say, in the Counties of Glocester, Sommerset, together with the Countries of Munmoth, Glamorgan, Carmarthen, and divers and sundry other places of South-wales:the like never in the memory of man, hath ever bin seene or heard of: The suddayne terror whereof strooke such an amazed feare into the hearts of all the inhabitants of those partes, that every one prepared himselfe ready to entertayne the last Period of his lives Destruction: Deeming it altogether to be a second deluge: or an universal, punishment by Water.
For upon the Tuesday being the 20 of Ianuary last, as aforesaid, about nine of the clocke in the morning, the Sunne being most fayrely and brightly spred, many of the Inhabitantes of those Countreys before mentioned, prepared themselves to their affayres, some to one busines, some to an other: euery man according to his calling. As the Plowmen setting forth their Cattle to their labours, the Shepheardes feeding of their flockes, the farmers over-seeing of their grounds and looking to their catle feeding therein, and to every one imploid in his busines, as occasion required. Then they might see & perceive a far of as it were in the Element, huge and mighty Hilles of water, tumbling one over another, in such sort as if the greatest mountaines in the world, has over-whelmed the lowe Valeys or Earthy grounds. Sometimes it so dazled the eyes of many of the Spectators, that they immagined it had bin some fogge or miste, comming with great swiftnes towards them: and with such a smoke, as if Mountaynes were all on fire: and to the view of some, it seemed as if Myliyons of thousandes of Arrowes had bin shot forth at one time, which came in such swiftnes, as it was verily thought, that the fowles of the ayre could scarcely fly so fast, such was the threatning furyes thereof.
But as soone as the people of those Countries perceived that it was the violence of the Waters of the raging Seas and that they began to excede the compasse of their accustomed boundes, and making so furiously towardes them. happy were they that could make the best, and most sped away, many of them, leaving all their goods and substance, to the merciles Waters, being glad to escape away with life themselves: But so violent and swift were the outragious waves, that pursued one an other, with such vehemencie, and the Waters multiplying so much in so short a time, that in lesse then five houres space, most part of those countreys (and especially the places which lay lowe,) were all overflowen, and many hundreds of people both men women, and children were then quite devoured, by these outragious waters, such was the furie of the waves, of the Seas, the one of them dryving the other forwardes with such force and swiftnes, that it is almost incredible for any to beleeve the same, except such as tasted of the smart thereof, and such as behelde the same with their eyes: Nay more, the Farmers, Husbandmen, and Shepheards, might behold their goodly flockes of Sheepe, swimming upon the Waters dead, which could by no meanes be recovered.
Many Gentlemen, Yeomen and others, had great losses of cattle, as Oxen, Kine, Bullockes, Horses, Colts, Sheepe, Swine, Nay not so much as their poultry about their houses, but all were overwhelmed and drownd, by these merciles Waters: Many men that were rich in the morning when they rose out of their beds, were made poore before noone the same day : such are the Judgements of the Almightie God, who is the geuer of all good thinges, who can and will dispose of them agaiyne at all times, according to his good will and pleasure, whensoeuer it shall seeme best unto him. Many others likewise, had their habitations or dwelling houses all carryed away in a short time, and had not a place left them, so much as to shrowde themselves in.
Moreover, many that had great store of Corne and Grayne, in their Barnes and Garners in the morning had not within five hours space afterwards, so much as one Grayne to make them bread withall : Neither had they so much left as a lock of Hay or Straw to feede their catell which were left: Such was the great misery they susteyned by the fury of this watry Element, from which like, good Lord I beseech him of his infinite mercy and goodnes to deliver us all.
The names of some of the Townes and Villages which suffered great harmes and losses hereby were these. (Viz.)
Bristoll and Aust, this Aust is a village or town some 8 miles distant from Bristoll upon the Seaverne side where all people are ferryed over, that come out of Wales, into those partes of Gloucester and Sommersett-shire.
All the countries along on both the sides of the River of Seauerne, from Gloucester to Bristoll, which is about some 20 miles was all overflowne, in some places 6 miles over, in some places more, in some lesse.
Moreover, all or the most parte, of the Bridges, betweene Gloucester and Bristoll, were all forcibly carted away with the Waters: besides many goodly buildings thereabouts much defaced, and many of them carryed quite away: besides many other great losses of all kinde of Corne and Grayne, and cattle that were then lost.
At Aust, many passengers that are ferryed over there now, are faine to be guided by guides, all along the Causies, where the water still remayneth for the space of 3 or 4 myles, or else they wilbe ingreat daunger of Drowning, the Water lyeth as yet so deepe there.
Many dead Carkasses, both there, and in many other places, of the country, are dayly found floating upon the Waters, and as yet cannot be knowne who they are, or what number of persons are drowned, by reason of the same Waters, which as yet in many places remaine very deepe: so great was the spoyle that thiese mercilesse Elementes there wrought and made.
In Bristoll was much harme done, by the overflowing of the Waters, but not so much as in other places, many Cellars and Ware-houses, where great store of Marchandise was in, (as Wine, Salt, hops, Spices, and such like Ware) were all spoyled. And the people of the Towne were inforced to be carried in Boates, by and downe the said Cittie about their busines in the Fayre time there.
Upon the other side of the River of Seauerne, towardes a Towne called Chepstow, upon the lower groundes, was much harme done, by the vyolence of the Water.
There was in Chepstow a woman drown'd in her bed: and also a Gyrle, by the like misfortune.
Also, all along the same coastes, up to Gold-clift, Matherne, Calicot-Moores, Redrift, Newport, Cardiffe, Cowbridge, Swansey, Laugherne, Llanstephan, and divers other places, of Glamorgan-shire, Munmoth-shire, Carmarthen-shire, and Cardigan-shire: many great harmes were there done, and the waters raged so furiously and with such great vehemencie, that it is supposed that in those partes, there cannot be so few persons drowned as 500: both Men, Women, and Children, besides the losse of aboundance of all kinds of Corne and Graine: together with their Hay, and other provision which they had made for their Cattle.
Moreover, there were in the places afore mentioned, many thousands of Cattle, which were feeding in the Lowe Valeys, drownd and overwhelmed with the violence of the furious waters: as Oxen Kine, young beastes, horses, sheepe, Swine, and such like, the numbers deemed infinit: yea and not so much as Turkies, Hens, Geese, Duckes, and other Poultry about their houses could once escape away, the Waves of the Sea so overwhelmed them.
And that which is more strange: There are not now found onely floating upon the Waters still remaining, the dead Carkasses of many men women and children: but also an aboundance of all kinde of wilde Beasts, as foxes, Hares, Connies, Rats, Moules and such like: some of them swimming one upon anothers Backe, thinking to have saved themslves thereby, but all was in vaine, such was the force of the Waters that over-pressed them.
In a place in Munmoth shire, there was a maide went to milke her kine in the morning, but before she had fully ended her busines, the vehemencie of the Waters increased, and so suddenly environed her about, that she could not escape thence, but was enforced to make shift up to the top of an high Banke to save her selfe, which she did with much adoe, where she was constrained to abide all that day and night, untill 8 of the clocke in the next morning, in great distresse, what with the coldnes of the ayre and waters: and what with other Accidents that there hapned unto her, from such great perills and daungers, which were likely there to ensue unto her.
But there placing her selfe for saveguard of her life as afoesaid, having none other refuge to fly unto: the Waters in such violent sort had so pursued her, that there was but a small distance of ground left uncovered with Waters, for her to abide upon: There she remayned most pittyfully lamenting the great daunger of life that she was then in, expecting every minute of an houre, to be overwhelmed with those mercylesse Waters: But the Almighty God, who is the Creator of all good things, when he thought meete, sent his holy Angell to commaund the Waters to cease their fury: and to returne into their accustomed bounds again, wherby according to his most blessed will and pleasure she was then preserved.
In the mean space, during the continuance of her abode there, divers of her friends practised all the means they could to recover her, but could not, the Waters were of such deepenes about her, and Boates they had none, in all those partes to succour her, such was their want in this distresse, that many perished through the want thereof.
There was a Gentleman of worth, dwelling neere unto the place where she was, who caused a goodly Gelding to be sadled, and set a man uupon the backe of him, thinking to have fetcht her away, but such were the deepenes of the waters, that he durst not adventure the same, but retyred.
At last some of her friends, devised a devise, and tyed two broad Troughes the one to the other, (such as in those countreys they use to salt Bacon in) and put therin two lustie strong men, who with long Powles (stirring these treughes) (as if they had bin boates) made great shift to come to her, so by this meanes, through Gods good helpe she was then saved.
But now (gentle Reader) marke what befell, at this time, of the strangenes of other creatures: whom the Waters had violently oppressed: for the two men which tooke upon them to fetch away the maide from the top of the Banke, can truely witnes the same as well as her selfe to be true, for they beheld the same with their Eyes.
The Hill or Banke where the maide abode all that space, was all covered over, with wilde beastes and vermin, that came thither to seeke for succour) that she had much adoe to save her selfe, from taking of hurt by them: and much a-doe she had to keepe them from creeping upon her and about her, she was not so much in daunger of the Water on the one side: as she was troubled with the Vermin on the other side.
The beastes and Vermin that were there were these. (Viz)
Dogs Cats, Moules, Foxes, Hares, Conyes, yea and not so much, as Mice and Kats: but were there in abundance and, that which is more straunge: The one of them never once offred to annoy the other: although they were deadly enemies by Nature the one to an other: Yet in this daunger of life, they not once offred to expresse their naturall envie: But in a gentle sort, they freely injoyed the libertie of life, which in mine opinion, was a most wonderfull worke in Nature.
But now let us leave this matter touching this Maide, besides the other accidentes before rehearsed and let us returne againe to these watry miseries: The counties of Glamorgan, Carmarthen, and Cardigan, and many other places in South-wales, have likewise borne the heavy burden, of Gods wrath herein: And many were the lives of them that were lost through this watery destruction.
Many there were which fled into the tops of high trees, and there were inforced to abide some three daies, some more, and some lesse, without any victuals at all, there suffring much colde besides many other calamities, and some of them in such sort, that through overmuch hunger and cold, some of them fell down againe out of the Trees, and so were like to perish for want of succour. Othersome, safe in the tops of high Trees as aforesaid, beholding their wives, children and servants, swimming (remediles of all succour) in the Waters.
Other some sitting in the tops of Trees might behold their houses overflowne with the waters: some their houses caryed quite away: and no signe or token left there of them.
Many of them might see, as they stood upon the tops of high Hilles, their cattle perish, and could not tell how to succour them, and their Barnes with all their store of Corne and Graine quite consumed, which was no small griefe unto them.
Many people and Cattle in divers places of these Countreys, might have beene in time, if that the countreys had been any thing like furnished with bootes, or other provision fit for such a sudden Accident, as this was, which as God himselfe knoweth, was little expected of them to have fallen so suddenly upon them.
But seeing the countreys were so unfurnished with Boates, much harme was done, to the utter undooing of many thousandes.
Some fled into the tops of churches and Steeples, to save themselves, from whence they might beholde, themselves deprived aswell of all their substance, as also of al their joys, which they had before received in their wives and children, beware. whole Reckes of Pease, Beanes, Oates and other graine were seene a far of, to float upon the Water too and fro, in the Countreys as if they had bin ships upon the Seas.
The foundations of many Churches and houses, were in a manner decayed, and some caryed quite away, as in Cardiffe, in the county of Glamorgan there was a great part of the Church next the Water side eaten downe, with the Water, many houses and Gardens there, which were neere the water side, were all overflowen, and much harme done.
Divers other Churches lie hidden in the Waters, and some of them the tops are to be seene: and other some, nothing at all to be seene, but the very tops of the Steeples, and some of them nothing at all, neyther steeple nor nothing else. Also many schooles of young schollers, in many places of those counteys, stood in great perplexitie, some of them adventuring home to their parents were drowned by the way: Other some staying behinde in in Churches, did climbe up to the tops of Steeples, where they were very neere starved to death for want of foode and fire: many by the help of boards and plankes of Wood, swam to dry land and so were preserved from untimely Death, Many had Boates brought them, some 10 miles, some 15, some 20, where there was never seene any Boates before.
Thus god suffred many of them to escape his yrefull wrath, in hope of their amendment of life: Some men that were riding on the high wayes were overtaken with these mercilesse Waters, and were drowned.
And againe many have bin most strangely preserved
As for example, there was in the Countie of Glamorgan, a man both blind and did ride and one which had not bin able to stand upon his legs in then yeares before, he had his poore cottage broken downe by the force of the Waters, and himselfe, Bed and all caryed into the open fields, where being readie to sinke, and at the point to seeke a resitng place, two fathoms deepe under the Waters: his hand by chance catcht holde of the Rafter of an house swimming by the fiercenesse of the Windes, then blowing Easternely he was driven safely to the land, and so escaped.
Also in another place, there was a man Child of the age, of 5 or 6 yeares, which was kept swimming for the space of two houres, above the Waters, by reason that his long Coates lay spread upon the tops of the waters, and being at last, at the vey poynt to sinke: there came by chaunce by, (floating upon the tops of the Waters,) a fat Weather that was dead, very full of Wooll: The poore distressed Child perceiving this good meanes of recoverie, caught fast hold on the Wethers Wool, and likewise with the winde he was driven to dry land, and so saved.
There was also in the County of Carmarthen, a yaung Woman, who had foure small Children, and not one of the able to helpe it selfe: And the Mother then seeing the furyes of the Waters to be so violent to ceaze upon her threatning the Destruction of her selfe and her small Children,(and as a Womans wit is ever ready in extreamities) The tooke along Trough, wherein placed her selfe, and her foure Children: And so putting themselves to the mercies of the Waters, they were all by that meanes driven to the dry land, and by Godes good providence thereby they were all saved.
Many more there were that through the handyworkes of God were preserved from this violent death o. Drowning, some on the backes of dead Cattle some uppon Woodden plankes: some by clyming Trees: some by remaining in the tops of high Steeples and Churches, other some by making of speed away with swift horses, and some by the meanes of Boates, sent out by their friendes to succour them: but there were not so many strangely saved, but their were as many in number as strangely drowned.
The lowe Marshes and fenny groundes, neere Barstable in the Countie of Deuon were overflowne, so farre out, and in such outragious sort, that the cuntrey all along to Bridge-water was greatly distressed thereby, and much hurt there done it is a most pitifull sight to beholde what numbers of fat Oxen, were there Drowned: what flockes of Sheepe, what heades of kine, have their bin lost, and Drowned in in these outragious Waters: there is little now remaining there, to be seene, but huge Waters like to the maine Ocean: The tops of Churches and Steeples like to the tops of Rockes in the Sea. Great Reekes of fodder for Cattle, are floating like Ships upon the Waters, and dead Beastes swimming thereon: Now past feeding on the same, through the rigour of this Element of Water: The tops of Trees, a man may beholde remaining above the Waters, Upon whose braunches, multitudes of all kinde of Turkies, Hens, and other such like Poultry were faine to fly up into the Trees to save their lives, where many of them perished to death for want of reliefe, not being able to fly to dry land for succour, by reason of their weaknes.
This mercylesse Water breaking into the Bosome of the firme Land, hath proved a fearfull punishment, as well to all other living Creatures: as also to all Mankinde: Which if it had not binne for the mercyfull promise of God, as the last dissolution of the World by Water, by the signe of the Rainbowe, which is still shewed us: we might have verily beleeved, this time had bin the very houre of Christ his comming: From which Element of Water, extended towardes us in this fearefull manner, good Lord deliver us all Amen.