05 January, 2009


Temperatures are due to drop well below zero Centigrade in London tonight. Not cold enough to freeze the Thames, as in this painting of 1677, but still parky for these parts. We are used to being kept warm by the jets taking off overhead.

1677 was during the period of the so-called Little Ice Age, which brought very cold temperatures to Early Modern Europe. The Thames regularly froze over , and "frost fairs" were held on the ice.

During the Great Freeze of 1683-4 , the diarist John Evelyn wrote that 'Streetes of Boothes were set upon the Thames... all sorts of Trades and shops furnished, & full of Commodities..." (source: Museum of London).

More seriously, many communities in northern and eastern Europe were abandoned to the advancing ice. Something to think about whilst doing your Pieter Breughel the Elder jigsaw in front of a cosy fire....


Chris Founder www.Historydocumented.com said...

Loved your Blog.

Just wondered if you would check out my website and let me know what you think.
We interview Veterans for the Veterans History Project.


cardinal_wolsey said...

Thanks Chris. I liked your website..you are doing a good service for history. Interesting post on the Kassel mission.

Hels said...

Super image, Mr Wolsey. It looks more like Netherlands than London.

I have drawn a link to your painting but I need to know who painted it, when and where the work is now.

many thanks
in Victoria, burning into a cinder :(

cardinal_wolsey said...

It is 'The Frozen Thames' by Abraham Hondius, so there is your Dutch connection. In collection of The Museum of London but available on Wikipedia Commons.
Hope things have cooled down over there...I guess you could use some snow.
Thanks for reading, CW.

scott said...

This is a great blog!