Events in the 1600s

This Foldout presents some events which took occurred in the 1600s

  • 1603 One-third of the population of York died of the plague.

    In London, 1000 people per day were dying in June, and 3000 people per day were dying in September

  • 1605 An outbreak of the plague in Twickenham, Middlesex

    The first railway in Britain was a pit-head track built by Sir Francis Willoughby at Wollaton, Nottinghamshire

  • 1614 Heywood recorded a great snow in which Anthony Maude and Michael Leroyd perished

  • 1615 Local floods

  • 1625 There were outbreaks of the plague in the year of the coronation of Charles I

  • June 1626 The plague killed 41,000 people in London

  • Friday, 5th June 1628 The south-east pinnacle and the tower of Halifax Parish Church were struck by lightning. Several stones were dislodged and damaged the battlements and the south porch as they fell

  • May 1631 There was an outbreak of the plague. It may have arrived in wool brought from an infected district. The disease first struck in Erringden and spread to Heptonstall [where nearly 40 houses were affected and 107 people died between May and September], Mixenden and Ovenden [where 55 people died].

    The Heptonstall church records show a record number of deaths – including that of Rev William Smith and Rev Leonard Burton – but no marriages. The village was so deserted that the streets grassed over.

    See George Halstead and Abraham Widdop

  • Thursday, 4th January 1643 2 Parliamentary soldiers were hanged on a gallows made near Halifax Gibbet, for deserting to the Royalist forces at Heptonstall. They were taken by Sir Francis Mackworth's company, and executed the same night

  • Saturday, 30th June 1643 10,000 Royalists defeated 3,500 Parliamentarians at the Battle of Adwalton Moor

  • October 1645 Probably a consequence of the dirty, overcrowded and badly-drained conditions in Halifax, there were many deaths from the plague in the parish of Halifax. The situation was aggravated by the presence of large numbers of Scottish soldiers in the district. Between August 1645 and 30th January 1646, the total deaths in Halifax amounted to 561.

    A chain was stretched across the road at Sowerby Bridge and 2 sentry houses were built to guard against the spread of infection. This kept Sowerby free of the disease.

    See Trooper Lane and John Waite

  • September 1649 The Sowerby constable records that precautions were taken to prevent the spread of the plague in the town

  • 1655 A wet summer. The harvest was gathered in the middle of September

  • Saturday, 3rd September 1658 On the night of the death of Oliver Cromwell, an awful storm wrecked property and uprooted trees across the country

  • 1665 The Great Plague. Probably because of its scattered rural communities – Halifax district did not suffer quite so badly during the Great Plague of the 17th century as did the rest of Britain

  • 1667 Parliament passed a Turnpike Act, allowing entrepreneurs to build roads, and charge travellers for passage, in order to defray costs. This was initially only used in three counties to see if it worked.

    See Enclosures

  • January 1673 Sowerby Bridge was described as being

    shattred and decayed

    by local floods

  • Friday, 11th September 1673 Hartshead Parish Register records

    September: the eleaventh day of this month was that great flod which brake downe soe many briggs

  • December 1675 There was an influenza epidemic – the Jolly Rant – in Halifax

    There was an epidemic of distemper in Halifax, Leeds, York, Hull and other places. The violent coughing – a symptom of the disease – interrupted church services and

    it was almost impossible to hear distinctly an entire sentence of a sermon

  • 1676 There was an influenza epidemic throughout Britain

  • Tuesday, 4th August 1679 Heywood records that

    Upon Monday August 4th 1679, was an anniversary feast at Ealand to be called Ealand-tide ... it fell abundance of rain and was such a flood that no people would come

  • Thursday, 4th February 1680 Heywood writes that

    at Henry Ramsden's coal pit near Elland, a boy of about 12 or 12 years of age, [son] of a Scotchwoman near Halifax, fell 40 yards into the coal pit, both his legs broken, arms, collar etc, yet still alive March 1; he fell 40 yards but coal pit was 80, it was a wonder

  • Wednesday, 12th October 1680 Heywood writes that

    [this day], a woman in Halifax called [?] had her leg cut off by a Dr, it began with cutting a corn betwixt her toes

  • Saturday, 19th November 1680 Heywood writes that

    Jeremiah ? of Sowerby, a mason working in a stone delph near Ewood was crusht to death by a fall of stone, his wife fell into travel at hearing of it, he was killed Friday Nov 19, 1680, buryed at Sowerby on Sabbath following

  • 1681 Halifax suffered in a national smallpox epidemic

  • April 1681 Heywood writes that

    An old woman in Southowram dying, a young maid to whom she was aunt living with her, a good while after could not find in her heart to go into the room where her aunt dyed, a neighbour after some weeks coming in, sent her into that parlour, shut her there, the wench gave a shriek and shortly after dyed, April 1681

  • 1684 This was one of the coldest winters. The diarist John Evelyn took a coach to Lambeth along the frozen River Thames

  • Saturday, 8th September 1693 A severe shock of an earthquake was felt in England

    © Malcolm Bull 2021
    Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 11821

    Page Ref: C813-1600

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