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This Day in History

World History

Thursday, January 13, 1205. :   The "Great Frost" begins in England.

     Hundreds of years ago, the British climate was much colder than it is now. It was so cold that, for many Winters, the Thames River in London froze over completely.

The winter of 1204-05 was exceptionally cold. 13 January 1205 (some sources quote 14 January) marked the beginning of the coldest known season in England, and "the Great Frost". It was the first recorded instance when the Thames river froze over completely, and drinks solidified into ice. Ale and wine, being ice, were sold by weight rather than by capacity. The frost continued for over two months, until 22 March, and during that time the ground could not be tilled. Employment hit farmers' workers, and there was a severe food shortage which, in turn, drove up the price of wheat and vegetables.

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