Leeds Intelligencer (29/Jul/1777)

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This page is part of the Holmfirth Flood Project and its content is believed to be in the Public Domain.
The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.

On Wedneſday laſt, a moſt terrible inundation happened at Holmfirth, near Huddersfield, occaſioned, it is imagined, by what is termed by ſailors a water ſpout, but known in that part of the country by the more uſual appellation of the burſting of a cloud upon the adjoining hills : the torrent of water was ſo great, and the ſtorm of thunder and lightning which preceded it, ſo violent, that many people began to terrify themſelves with the thoughts of another univerſal deluge ; and it proved indeed, little ſhort, in reſpect to thoſe who were principally affected by it, for many of the houſes which flood not near any rivulet were preſently under water, and ſeveral, with all their furniture, cloathes, utenſils, workſhops, and ſtables, together with large quantities of wool, and other goods in trace, entirely ſwept away ; ſome of thoſe houſes which reſiſted the violence of the flood, had their furniture waſhed out, and hurried away by it ; large quantities of corn and graſs upon the ground, were utterly ſpoiled : and no leſs than ſeven mills and eight bridges, were driven down by the rapidity of the current : the water in a little rivulet in the neighbourhood, roſe ſeveral yards perpendicular in leſs than ten minutes : three men were carried away by it, to a conſiderable diſtance and unfortunately drown’d, one of whom has left a widow and nine children! Many horſes, &c. were drowned :— The ſcene in ſhort, was ſo amazingly ſhocking, as to exceed deſcription ; nor is it poſſible to form an adequate idea of the deplorable ſituation of thoſe poor unhappy creatures, many of whom are reduced to the utmoſt miſery and diſtreſs. It is impoſſible at preſent to aſcertain the damage ſuſtained, but it is ſuppoſed to amount at the leaſt to ten thouſand pounds.


On Wednesday last, a most terrible inundation happened at Holmfirth, near Huddersfield, occasioned, it is imagined, by what is termed by sailors a water spout, but known in that part of the country by the more usual appellation of the bursting of a cloud upon the adjoining hills : the torrent of water was so great, and the storm of thunder and lightning which preceded it, so violent, that many people began to terrify themselves with the thoughts of another universal deluge ; and it proved indeed, little short, in respect to those who were principally affected by it, for many of the houses which flood not near any rivulet were presently under water, and several, with all their furniture, clothes, utensils, workshops, and stables, together with large quantities of wool, and other goods in trace, entirely swept away ; some of those houses which resisted the violence of the flood, had their furniture washed out, and hurried away by it ; large quantities of corn and grass upon the ground, were utterly spoiled : and no less than seven mills and eight bridges, were driven down by the rapidity of the current : the water in a little rivulet in the neighbourhood, rose several yards perpendicular in less than ten minutes : three men were carried away by it, to a considerable distance and unfortunately drown’d, one of whom has left a widow and nine children! Many horses, &c. were drowned :— The scene in short, was so amazingly shocking, as to exceed description ; nor is it possible to form an adequate idea of the deplorable situation of those poor unhappy creatures, many of whom are reduced to the utmost misery and distress. It is impossible at present to ascertain the damage sustained, but it is supposed to amount at the least to ten thousand pounds.