A CUMBRIAN VIEW, continued

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Continuing the presentation of items from the "Cumberland Pacquet" newspaper, illustrating the effects of the tempestuous weather on communities and shipping in Cumbria, at the beginning of 1796. Most items are quoted verbatim, with spelling unmodernised [editorial comments bold, in square brackets]; note that it was customary, when referring to ships, to insert the master or captain's surname immediately after the ship's name.
This way to map and index of places outside Whitehaven

CP 5 Jan 1796: The Experiment, Collins, of Maryport, a new vessel upon her first voyage, is on shore near Braystones.
The Ruby, Crosthwaite, has returned to Workington, five weeks after having sailed on a voyage to Ireland, and without being able to accomplish it.- The oldest seamen scarcely remember so severe and boisterous a season as the present. [continues]
The Mary Ann, Lees, is on shore a little to the northward of Harrington harbour. [more]
Since our last, we have had frequent gales of wind and a great fall of rain. The storm on Wednesday night is thought to have been as severe as has been felt during the present winter; and it was succeeded by one of the most dark and dismal days that has been experienced since the beginning of November.
Since our last, nothing has sailed, owing to the very tempestuous weather.- One vessel of the former list (the Adventure, Bradshaw) has returned.
[Also reports of gales hampering the progress of Admiral Christian's fleet off the Scillies]

CP 12 Jan 1796: [No weather news]

CP 19 Jan 1796: The Ceres, Collins, from Lancaster, for the West Indies, is put into Pile of Foudrey, by contrary winds
Such a continuance of bad weather has not been remembered: for weeks past, there have not been twenty-four hours undisturbed by either wind or rain: and often severe storms from both. The difficulties, as well as dangers, experienced by the shipping, exceed those of former winters in a considerable degree: and their effects, even where the greatest misfortune is escaped, must be (and we are well assured they are) severely felt amongst numbers.

On Saturday last, we had one of the most dreadful storms of wind and rain that ever was known in this part. It continued the whole day and night, rose to a height never experienced since the year 1771; being not less than twenty-two feet at the end of the Old Quay; and the waves, from the great violence of the wind, were tossed with incredible fury all over the works of the harbour, and seemed to threaten them with entire demolition.- it appeared for some time impossible for any battlements to resist the force of the sea. The damage sustained was, however, comparatively small. A breach was made in the parapet of the New Quay, near the Fort. The military-guard, stationed at the fort, were driven off, the sea making a passage over the platform, several of the heavy cannon upon which were forced back upon their carriages. Several pieces of timber, many of them of a large size, were swept away from the building yards on the oposite side, though strongly secured; and some of them from places which had never been molested by the sea in the memory of the oldest persons living.

Plan of Whitehaven, 1790
One vessel broke from her moorings, but by the exertions of the seamen, was secured without receiving much damage.
The water overflowed the market-place and streets near the Quay. Several chimnies were blown down or damaged, and slates were scattered about almost every part of the town; the roofs of many houses having suffered by the united violence of the wind and rain, of the last of which there was a continued fall for several hours.
The Ellis, Reynolds, outward bound from Liverpool to Jamaica, got in here on Sunday morning, having been driven from her anchors in Ramsey Bay, about one o'clock on the preceding afternoon.
On Sunday the weather was more moderate, and it continued fair throughout the day; but another dreadful tempest came on at night; a vessel which had come to an anchor off this harbour, and was boarded by a boat from hence, which put into her several stout seamen to assist the crew, was put on shore a little to the northward of Harrington-Harbour, and is gone to pieces; happily all the people were saved.- She belonged to New York, and is said to have come from Plymouth, in ballast, bound to Ostend. We have not had opportunity to learn the particulars. [continues]
The tempestuous night of Sunday was succeeded by as stormy a morning: between four and six o'clock, there was a great deal of thunder and lightening: by haf-past ten, the tide had again risen to an enormous height, covering all parts adjacent to the quays, and the market-place.- About that time, a vessel, (apparently a stranger) which had been lying-to, in the expectation of getting into this harbour, was forced past it to the northward.
In addition to these particulars, we have now only time to say that the tide of yesterday morning was higher han the former, more awful than any phenomenon of the kind that has occurred for a century past, and, we fear, more destructive.- That great damage has been done is certain; but of its extent no perfect account can yet be given.- The bulwark has suffered considerably, the New Quay is said to be entirely destroyed, and the parapet wall between the sea and Mr Rumney's house at the foot of Duke-street is washed down: the family was taken out of the windows into boats.- Boats plied in the market-place, to take the inhabitants out of several of the houses.- That part was inundated for four hours, and at one time the water flowed 60 yards up King-street,- where no person living ever saw it before.- During all this time, the gusts of wind were tremendous, and with little intermission, from the SSW.- Two or three vessels passed the harbour to the northward.- The consternation was general, and the scene, altogether, horrible and alarming beyond description.
When the tide ebbed, several large pieces of timber were left in the market-place, and within the end of Roper-street. Many persons, in those parts of the town, have sustained considerable damage.- Other particulars must be deferred until our next.