Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A sudden and terrible raine

The infamous Manchester weather has been a preoccupation for local residents for well over three hundred and fifty years, according to the earliest surviving history of the town.

Richard Hollingworth's Mancuniensis, or an History of the Towne of Manchester, contains several references to the region's tendency to rain heavily and repeatedly on both the just and the unjust. In July 1648, for example, 'there was a sudden & terrible raine on the Lords day wch in twoo houres space filled the sellers in the market place hanging ditch & three channels ran downe the stretes like great rivers'. Perhaps next time an unexpected downpour catches us without an umbrella we should bite our tongues and be thankful for modern drainage.

The manuscript of Mancuniensis has recently been digitised in its entirety and is now available to view online as a pdf. Other manuscripts and printed works are due to follow, thanks to a generous grant from the Manchester Statistical Society.

This week's 101 Treasures post takes a closer look at Hollingworth's manuscript. Click here to find out more.