Durham Flood – Transcripts

The Durham County Flood Relief Committee was set up in the aftermath of the disastrous flooding of the Tyne and other northern rivers in November 1771. The Wear was one of the rivers worst affected, with Framwellgate Bridge collapsing.  Newcastle Antiquaries’ website has digitised images and transcripts of a volume of documents from the parallel committee in Northumberland. Follow this link for the information collected there about the flood.

In County Durham’s case, we do not have the working papers, but we do have the final report of the Committee, giving details of what money was collected, who took decisions, and how and to whom it was distributed. While lacking human interest stories, it does provide a good example, in summary of how, in the years before insurance was available, the results of a natural disaster such as the 1771 flood were dealt with through charitable appeals and distribution.

The contents of the volume are listed below, with links to the first page of each document, and to those dealing with specific places;

  1. List of donors and donations, (3 pages)
  2. Report of Committee meeting 27 February 1772, and relief payments to Durham City parishes; St Nicholas, St Oswald with Elvett borough, Crook Hall, Abbey Mill House, St Giles, St Mary Le Bow (5 pages + a summary page)
  3. Relief payments to other parishes in County Durham; Chester-le-StreetHoughton-le-Spring, Sunderland, Barnard Castle, Darlington, Hurworth and Dinsdale, Denton, St Andrew Auckland, Wolsingham, Ryton, Whickham, and Gateshead.  (15 pages in all)
  4.  Benefactions, (this appears to mean donations made direct to the parishes themselves, rather than to the relief committee); Washington, Pansher and Durham parishes, Houghton, Darlington, Hurworth, Dinsdale, Ryton, Sunderland, Gateshead and additional payments in Durham (3 pages)
  5. Total losses allowed or certified in County Durham parishes
  6. Proceedings of Committee 3 March 1772
  7. Report of Committee meeting 24 March 1772
  8. Statement of position after committee meeting 9 February 1773. Confusingly, this page seems to be headed 24 March 1772, but it clearly refers to decisions taken in the following year. The ‘heading’ in fact appears to be a note of the starting point for the summary statement
  9. Report of Committee Meeting 9 February 1773, and further relief payments; Chester-le-Street including Lambton, Harraton, Chatershaugh, and ChesterWolsingham, Brancepeth and Bishop Auckland, Houghton, St Margaret, St Oswald and Stanhope. 4 pages plus a summary statement of total payments by parish. (Note, the document is dated 9 February ‘instant’, but the context shows it must be 1773)
  10. Report of final committee meeting 27 February 1773, with list of further payments and final resolution (2 pages)

See below for the direct links to the transcripts of the volume, which comprises 22 double-pages and the cover of the volume that they are bound into.

These are all the transcriptions that have been uploaded from the FLOOD volume. Read down then across: