A little chicken flew up unto her

These fragments come from a 1607 pamphlet entitled Lamentable newes out of Monmouthshire in Wales.

In the month of Januarie last past upon a Tuesday, the Sea being very tempestuously moved by the windes, over-flowed his ordinary Bankes, and did drowne 26 Parishes adjoyning on the Coast side, in the foresaide Countrey of Monmouth-shire, the particulars whereof doe follow: all spoyled by the greevous and lamentable furie of the waters.

Now all kinde of Cattle being for twentie foure miles in length, and foure in breadth, were drowned, and the Sea hath beaten down a great multitude of houses, scattering and dispersing the poore substance of innumerable persons. So that the damage done in the foresaid places, both in cattel and other goodes, is supposed to amount unto the value of above an hundred thousand pounds.

The foresaid waters having gotten over their wonted limittes, are affirmed to have runne at their first entrance with a swiftnesse so incredible, as that no Gray-hounde coulde have escaped by running before them.  Further, among other matters, these things are related as certaine truths.  As that a certaine man and a woman having taken a tree for their succour, and espying nothing but death before their eyes: at last among other things which were carried along in the streame, perceyved a certaine Tubbe, of great largenesse to come neerer and neerer unto them, untill it rested uppon that Tree wherein they were. Committing themselves, they were carryed safe, untill they were cast uppe uppon the drie shoare.

A maide childe, not passing the age of foure yeares, it is reported, that the mother thereof, perceiving the waters to breake so fast into her house, and not being able to escape with it, set her upon a beame in the house, to save her from being drowned.  And the waters rushing in a pace, a little Chicken as it seemeth, flew up unto her, (it being found in the bosome of the childe, when helpe came to take her downe) and by the heate thereof, as it is thought, preserved the childes life in the middest of so colde a tempest.

An other little childe is affirmed to have been cast upon land in a Cradle, in which was nothing but a Catte, the which was discerned as it came floating to the shore, to leape still from one side of the Cradle unto the other, as if she had bene appointed steeresman to preserve the small boat from the waves furie.

Moreover one Mistresse Van, a gentlewoman of good sorte, whose living was an hundred pound and better by the yeare, is avouched, before she could get uppe into the higher roomes of her house, having marked the approach of the waters, to have been surprised by them and destroyed, howsoever, her house being distant above foure miles in breadth from the sea.

Besides these thinges in Monmouth-shiere, alreadie specified: One Mistresse Mattheus of Landaffe in Glamorgin Shiere, dwelling some foure miles in breadth from the Sea, is said to haue lost foure hundreth English Ewes.  Much corn is likewise there destroyed in that Countrey, many houses ruinated, and many other kindes of Cattell perished. The number of men that are drowned, are as yet not knowne to exeeede above twentie hundred.  A multitude more then had perished for want of foode, and extremitie of colde, had not the right Honourable the Lord Herbert, sonne and heire to the Carle of Worcester, and sir Waltar Mountague, Knight, brother vnto the Recorder of London, who dwell neare unto the foresaid places, sent out boates,  to relieve the distressed.  The Lord Herbert himselfe going unto such houses as he could, that were in extremitie, to minister vnto them provision of meate and other necessaries. And these are the things touching these foresaid places, which haue been deliuered as truthes unto us, of undoubted veritie.  And there we leave them.

The Lorde of his mercie grant, that we may learne in time to be wise unto our owne health and salvation, least that these water-flouds in particular, proove but forerunners unto some scarefull calamities, more generall.

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