The Weather Diary of Sir John Wittewronge, May 1686
Audio footage of extracts from Sir John's diary
Read by Geoff Cordingley
To listen to the audio clip, click play on the bar below the image on the right.
The beginning of May this yeare there was more grass in my grounds than ever I remember: so soon in the year which was caused by the great & frequent showers of rain from the latter end of Aprill till the 17th of May.
But it was the unkindest year for all mannor of fruit that I ever knew: almost all apple & peare tree leaves were eaten up of catterpillars, as also the fruit or els blasted*. They eat also other leaves & almost all the rose budds,
There were this year no froggs, no wasps nor hornetts, no Akorns, beechmast, Ashkeyes
The 28th of May instant were my sheep shorn I doe not remember they were ever shorn on so cool a day.
The 29th I began to mow grass, in the little pithtele+ pt of the hopground orchard
The 30th eat a mess of my own pease to dinner & 3 hartichoaks to supper, which were the first of each wee had this year
1st A dry fornoon a very wett afternoon & cold W:NE&N
8 A dry, fair day & very cool W:SW&S
15 A close clowdy dry warm day very calm W:SW
22 Another clear warm day W:SW&W
29 An indifferent clear but very cold day W:WNW
* Blast: to produce a blight upon plants, to stop or impede their growth or cause them to wither by a cold, dry or pestilential wind; to wither under the influence of blight.
+ Pithtele: a pightle is a Hertfordshire word for a small field.