The Great Tyne Floods Of 1771 & 1815


By Paul Homewood


The history books are littered with examples of weather disasters, such as floods and storms. But unlike today, when there is wall to wall media coverage, few such events in the distant past have more than a passing reference.

One exception,though, is the great floods that hit Northumberland in 1771 and later in 1815. According to the Teeside Mercury, the disasters prompted William Garret, a Newcastle bookseller and occasional author, to write a book about it. His slim volume ‘An Account of the Great Floods in the Rivers Tyne, Tees, Wear, Eden &c in 1771 and 1815′ was published in Newcastle in 1818.

Garret himself acknowledges his debt to a certain John Adamson, who made a loan of many original documents relating to the earlier flood.

The following extracts give a good idea of how the floods affected the local population:

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