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Miss Rose A Hewlett

Doctor of Philosophy Student, Member Student

Rose Hewlett

Miss Rose A Hewlett

Doctor of Philosophy Student, Member Student

Member of

Postgraduate research supervised by

Research interests

On 20 January 1606/7 an exceptional tidal flood caused widespread damage and loss of life around the low-lying coastal land of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary. News pamphlets produced in London in the aftermath of the flood reported that between 500 and 2,000 people drowned, the loss of livestock was incalculable, and property and commodities were ruined. Most of the flood's current historiography relies on those cheap newsprint accounts written by an industry which existed to sell stories.


I am researching the response and recovery aspects of this event using manuscripts created at local level. These documents shed new light on the extent of the inundation and also reveal how the people of the Gloucestershire, Gwent and Somerset Levels rebuilt their lives and livelihoods. My in-depth study of the more widely-known contemporary literature (including the news pamphlets) has uncovered several of the informants and provided a greater understanding of the context in which some of their observations were made.


The cause of the tidal inundation has been debated by scientists without a thorough examination of contemporary manuscript sources. My thesis challenges their findings and argues that scientists researching historic floods should collaborate with historians in order to understand the extent of available documentary evidence, and to ensure that such records are interpreted rigorously.


I am currently compiling The DITCHionary, a glossary of archaic and contemporary terms connected with land drainage and flood defence on the Gloucestershire, Gwent and Somerset Levels. Please contact me if you are interested in this project.

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Postal address:
United Kingdom