button to main menu  Gents Mag 1748 p.152

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Gentleman's Magazine 1748 p.152

  northern rivers

Northern Rivers, Snow

Carlisle, Apr. 16.
THESE rivers, the Kirtle, Esk, Liddale, Tiviot and Line, have their rise, and a great part of their course among bleak and desolate mountains.
By the hot and dry weather in the last autumn, they were lower than ever known, and the earth was heated to an uncommon degree.
For this reason, although the snows in Feb. were heaped upon the mountains, by strong winds intensely cold, yet there was a ground thaw in the plains.
This constant drift of snow on the mountains, and intense cold of the air, consolidated the flakes in their descent, and a long succession of these congealed every standing pool, or mill dam in the channel to the bottom. - So that the intermediate channel became dry.
But soon after the ice had reach'd the bottom of these pools, the ground thaw began insensibly to waste it away, and thus the waters of the river gradually rose; tho' in Esk, which has but few pools no sensible increase of waters might ensue, as was the case.
But in Line, which, tho' less than Esk, has more pools, a deep channel, and slow course, it was otherwise; for although, by the cause above assigned, the few fords that it has were passed by persons on foot, dry shod; yet within a few hours, there was so great a swell, that they were dangerous to horsemen.
The different courses of the freezing air, and the situation of the mountains, with respect to the several rivers, were the cause why this circumstance did not happen all on the same day. And that several adjoyning rivers did not freeze must be attributed to their running through a more level, and, therefore, a warmer country; and for the same reason some parts of the Esk might have little ice, as it is not all surrounded by mountains.
Yours &c. A.B.
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