The 1636 Surat Earthquake

President Methwold’s Diary, August 29. Whilst I sat writing, Chout our broker and our Persian scribe being both near to me, the floor of the chamber under me and the wall against which I leaned contrived to move so long as to give me occasion to seek what might be the cause; but finding none visible, I demaunded of those with me what they felt; which were not yet recovered from their woonder; who answered that they felt the like motion; and so did divers others that sat so near as to answer the said question, and so many more in the house and town besides as to confirm that it was the first earthquake that ever I was sensible of. It contrived whilst a man might deliberatly tell sixty, with a gentle equal motion, and therefore I hear of no hurt that happened by it. [Spelling and Grammar cleaned up by LO]

It is fun being an historian. How many people alive now know there was a weak Earthquake in Surat, India, in 1636? How many have read a first hand account of it? Probably only a few hundred and now you are one of them.

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