Environment and History
Environment and History 1(1995): 241-249
Minstrels (or waits) in the 15th century Port of Sandwich walked the streets at night and woke mariners with information about wind directions. The provision of this simple meteorological service may have been required to encourage merchant ships to use the harbour, which had become particularly tortuous as a result of silt accumulation in the River Stour. An increased frequency of east winds during the Little Ice Age would also have made the harbour difficult for sailing ships to leave.
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