Go Back Report # 1221



On Fri, Jan 7, 2011, at 3:19 p.m., Fabio Picasso wrote:


Table-Talk, Constable's Miscellany of Original and Selected Publications in the Various Departments of Literature, Science, & the Arts, (Selections from the Ana: Containing extracts from the different collections of Ana, French, English, Italian, and German. With bibliographical notices) Constable & Co., Edinburgh, Vol. X, 1827, pp. 280-281 [The following text is actually on pp. 281-282.]


[The following text is the latter part of case dated ??-??-0939.]




    A similar phenomenon is said to have occurred in our own island [Britain/England] at a much later age. “In the year 1694, the country about Harlech in Merionethshire, was annoyed about eight months by a fiery exhalation, that was seen only in the night, and consisted of a livid vapour, which rose from the sea, or seemed to come from Carnarvonshire, across a bay of the sea eight or nine miles broad on the west side. It spread from this bay over the land, and set fire to all the barns, stacks of hay and corn on its way. It also infected the air, and blasted the grass and herbage in such a manner that a great mortality of cattle, sheep, and horses ensued. It proceeded constantly to and from the same place, in stormy as well as in calm nights; but more frequently in the winter than in the following summer. It never fired anything but in the night, and the flames, which were weak and of a bluish colour, did no injury to human creatures; for the inhabitants did frequently rush into the middle of them, unhurt, to save their hay and corn. This vapour was at length extinguished by ringing bells, firing guns, blowing horns, and otherwise putting the air into motion whenever it was seen to approach the shore."—Entick's present State of the British Empire.

    A man of science as well as of philosophic mind, would employ himself well in examining those accounts of prodigies in the early annalists and chroniclers, which of late years have been indiscriminately regarded as only worthy of contempt. The most superficial age of intellectual history is that which commenced with Mr. Locke's philosophy, and I fear cannot yet be said to have terminated with the French Revolution.


Reference for the above text is: E-mail to Chris Aubeck and forwarded to me (CF), dated January 07, 2011.

Original reference: Given at the beginning of this case.




Europe – United Kingdom, Wales, Gwynedd. See note below regarding the body of water.

Harlech            Latitude 52-52-00 N, Longitude 004-06-00 W (D-M-S)

Merionethshire   Latitude 52-50-00 N, Longitude 003-50-00 W [administrative division]

Carnarvonshire   Latitude 53-05-00 N, Longitude 004-00-00 W [1st order admin. div.; Caernarvon, Carnavon, Caernafon]

Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/


Body of water is either Tremadoc Bay, which Harlech faces, or Caernarfon Bay, which faces Caernarfon.


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