About the Tydes. 32

About the Tydes.

where by reason of excessive Rains that had fallen, all St. Georges Fields in Southwark, as also the Palace Yard, even Westminster Hall, were overflown.

Secondly, Inundations of the Thames may be caused by boisterous Northwest Winds, which generally cause very great Tides, not only in the Thames at the Mouth thereof, but on the Coast of Holland, Flanders, Picardy, and the Shores of England opposite to them. And this is, because that Wind doth with equal Force blow in the Tide of Flood at both Ends of this Island, both Westwards and Northwards.

The Cause thereof.

Thirdly, There is another Cause of great Tydes and Inundations in the Thames, which is not commonly taken notice of, and that is, the Moon's being in the Perigeon, or in that Part of her Orb nearest to the Earth; for if (as aforesaid) the Moon's coming nearer the Earth at her Full and Change makes her Spring Tides; and her withdrawing farther from the Earth at her Quarters makes the Neap Tides, it must doubtless follow, that if to the Proximiority which the Moon hath to the Earth, by moving in her Eclipsis, there be added that Proximiority which she hath in her Eccentrick (or opposite Angles) she should operate so much the more extraordinarily upon the Sea, and make the higher Spring Tydes at such Full and Change. And on the contrary, that when she is estranged from us by a double Elongation of the Quarter in her Elipsis, and of her Auge in her Eccentrick, she should operate so much the more weakly there ordinarily, and to that Quarter make a slack Neap Tyde.

Another Cause.

Of the strange shifting of the Tydes sometimes in the River of Thames.


In the Thames, at some times there hapeneth strange shifting of the Tydes, which is reckoned for a Prodigy, because it hapeneth but seldom, and yet it is by some known to proceed from a natural Cause, as well as other common Effects; now for the finding out the Cause I will speak of several of these Shiftings that have happened as taken notice off by our Historians.

The Cause of the shifting of the Tydes.

1. On the 12th of October, 1411, the Thames flowed thrice in one Day.

2. On the 17th of September, 1550, the Thames Flowed and Ebbed three times in nine Hours beflow the Bridge.

3. On the 26th of January, 1564, at Night there were two Tides in two Hours at London-bridge; and likewise, next Day there were two in the Morning, and two at Night. And on Sunday the 28th of the said Month, two Tides in the Morning, and at Night but one, as it used to be, and so continued.

4. On the 6th of November, 1574 , in the Morning there happened two great Tydes, the first in Course, and the other within an Hour after, which overflowed the Marshes at Lambeth, and many Vaults and Sellers adjoining.

5. On the 19th of February, 1608, it should have been dead low Water at the Bridge, but instead thereof it was high Water, and presently it Ebbed almost half an Hour to a Foot Depth, and then suddenly it flowed almost two Foot higher than it did before, and then Ebbed again, until it came near to its right Course, so that the next Flood began (in a manner) as it should do. All this happened, saith the Chronology, before Twelve a Clock at Noon, the Weather being indifferent Calm.

6. On the 6th of February, 1609, there was a strange shifting of the Tydes, but our Author gives not the Time.

7. On the 3d of January, 1622, in the Morning, the Thames shifted four Tydes in five Hours, viz. two Floods, and two Ebbs, and then kept its right Course.

8. On the 2d of February, 1653, the Thames Ebbed and Flowed thrice in six Hours; and the little shifting of the Tydes was observed in the Maritime Places in Kent at the same time.

9. On the 3d of October, the Thames Ebbed and Flowed twice in three Hours.

10. On All-saints Day, 1660, betwixt Ten a Clock at Night, and Five the next Morning, there was an unusual shifting of the Tydes; Ebbing and Flowing three times in that Space. But if we examine these Shiftings, we shall find that in all of them the Tydes were very slack, and in a manner at the very neapness; and that in all of them (except two, viz. in 1574, and in 1656 (the Moon was in Apogæo, about three or four Days before the Shifting, to make them (if possible) more slack and neap. By the Examples in 1654, and 1660, I can't but think, that the Cause of the shifting of the Tydes, is only the overbearing of their Course, when at the slack by a Northwest Wind, which is the most powerful Adversary they can have upon our Coast; for if a slow Ebb be encountered full in the Teeth, what can follow but a Return of the Tyde again? And if the Northwest Wind either abates its Fierceness, or shifts into some other Quarter, as the Southwest or Northeast for some short time, and then either return to its former Place, or resume its former Force, and does thus once, twice, or thrice (which is usual at Sea, though at Land its Wandrings are not sensible) we shall easily believe (seeing so plain a Reason for it) that there will be a playing of the Tyde to and fro, and several Floods and Ebbs succeeding one another in a few Hours. And it may be, this shifting of the Tydes is the more notable in the Thames, because of its gentle Ebb to the Seaward, which is the more easily turned, whereas a swift Current in a River would prevail over these Irregularities.

Furthermore, in the Example of 1660, it happened upon a Northwesterly Wind, sometimes blowing pretty fresh, and the Tydes were then at the neapest. Indeed in this Shifting the Moon was not in Apogæo, but almost in the very Place of her Perigæum. Which makes me think the Apogæosis is not altogether so necessary, but that the Neapness of the Tydes and the Wind were able to do it themselves, (assisted I mean with a private Cause,) so the alternate Inentions, and Remissions of the Wind be but proportionably greater, to supply the Want of the Apogæosis.]



A Survey of the River of Thames, as far as it lyes under the Care and Inspection of the Lord Maior . And what Care hath been taken of it by the City .

HAVING thus far proceeded in the Description of this famous River, even from her Head and Original, till her being embraced by the Sea; I thought good to go on a litter further

The Extent of Thames under the Jurisdiction of the Lord Maior, and City.

A. M.