Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stormy Weather in Mass Bay Colony

“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” Bob Dylan 

John Winthrop recorded in his journal 1643: There arose a sudden gust at N. W. so violent for half an hour as it blew down multitudes of trees. It lifted up their meeting house at Newbury, the people being in it. It darkened the air with dust, yet through God's great mercy it did no hurt, but only killed one Indian with the fall of a tree. It was straight between Linne {Lynn} and Hampton. From The history of New England from 1630 to 1649 (With notes by J. Savage)  By John Winthrop. He begun keeping a daily diary of atmospheric conditions while aboard the Arabella en route to the New World in 1630. If he was around today he could have made a prosperous career as a meteorologist. There was another recording of a storm in 1635 "The Great Storm of 1635." Essex Antiquarian" Vol. I, p. 63 Covered from Nova Scotia to at least Manhattan NY. Storm surge waves were 20 feet. Wind damaged crops and blew down trees in immense numbers. In The Old Families of Sailsbury and Amesbury by David W Hoyt we find John Bailey in the storm frenzy:


Here is an article from  Corner in Ancestors Coat-of-Arms of the Porters of America - Thomas Bayley, Founder of His Line Sunday, February 14, 1915   Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, MN) I had to break up the article into sections so it could be visible, thus the vary in sizes. Also note updates to family history may have recorded after article was written
 




John Tillotson was another: Emigrated from England to America in 1635 on the ship "James", leaving Southampton on Apr 5, 1635, under the supervision of Matthew Mitchell, brother of his mother, Mary. The ship carried "one hundred other honest people of Yorkshire", according to one Tillotson history. His father died when John was ten years old. The "James" left Bristol, England, for America on June 4, 1635, albeit the passengers had been aboard since May 24, and did not lose sight of the English coast until June 22, landing at Boston August 17 1635. The ship carried one hundred passengers, twenty-three crew, twenty-three cows and heifers, three suckling calves, and eight mares. All survived and indeed apparently well after such a lengthy voyage on such a small vessel, in spite of weathering a great storm, losing both anchor and tackle.  From Brobst Family Historical Registry.

On another note you have to wonder if the storm tempers permeated Master Tilloston as records Essex County Courtly Court Records show he had a fiery, strong temper, a "tempestuous nature kept him in trouble" (see Comfortably Fixed by Judith M Darby) so we can conclude he had a definite inner rage: 1648 fathered a child four months before his marriage to Dorcas Coleman. 1650: "John Tillotson, it is well knowne what he is, the town gave him 30s but this winter to make a bane." September 1650: Sued and found guilty of killing the mare of James Noyes, for which he was ordered to pay 27 pounds. John did not much like the decision; he was later presented in a public church meeting "for scandalous and reproachful speech cast upon the elders and authorities." April 1656: John Tillotson admonished for chaining his wife to the bedpost with a plow chain to keep her within doors. See also Tillotson of East Montpelier, Vermont: being an account of the ancestors and descendants of Olin Locke Tillotson (1854-1956) and Susie Dellah Davis (1861-1932) and their allied families. November 1657: "John Tilison sentenced to the house of correction. But he was released and bound to "good behaviour and to live with his wife and prvyde for her acording to his place as a husband ought to doe." 1659: John Tilison, upon complaint of Mr. Dummer, fined for false oath, and to pay fees of the Constable of Newbury. 
The Angel Gabriel and the Great Storm of 1635
Janice Brown New Hampshire: Visions of Dorothy and Toto–It’s Tornado Season
John Horrigan's historical lectures Audio on JohnWithrop 
Early American tornadoes, 1586-1870 by David McWilliams Ludlum

Photo from Descendants of Edward W Woodman Nancy Griffin Cunningham Contact cunningb@flash.net

2 comments:

  1. That storm of 1635 was the one that Anthony Thacher and his wife survived a shipwreck. They were washed up ashore on an island, while 21 others perished (including his 4 children). He was given the island off Rockport shortly after. Here's the saga in his own words: http://troutwind.tripod.com/shipwre.html

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  2. Thanks! Just got this from Gordon Harris http://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/remembering-great-colonial-hurricane-1635/

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