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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No. 1846, Sunday, August 21, 1831.


On Wednesday afternoon, between four and five o'clock, there was a very violent storm of thunder and rain in the metropolis, the effects of which were particularly felt in the vicinity of Westminster Abbey. A pinnacle, on the western side of the Abbey, was struck and knocked down by the electric fluid. In Barton-street the house of Mrs. Shotter had the roof broken off. The wood-work on one side of the shop-window was scathed, as if efforts had been made to force open the shutters with red-hot crowbars; and on the other side of the shop-window the like result appears, with the addition of having torn away a good deal of plaster and brick-work. The electric fluid hence seems to have passed down the area of the next house, and in such volume as to make its inhabitant (a Mrs. Griffiths) run out, exclaiming that her kitchen must be on fire, as it was filled with flame.

Between five and six o'clock on Wednesday afternoon, as a coach, traveling on the Western road, was passing Hyde-park-corner, one of the horses was struck by a flash of lightning, and instantly fell dead. In the adjoining counties of Kent and Surrey the storm was equally severe as in the metropolis. On the Maidstone Road a flash of lightning struck a tree, which it withered in an instant, and killed eighteen sheep who were taking refuge underneath it.