The supernova that occurred in this year formed the Crab Nebula and the event was recorded by astronomers in China. The explosion was so great that the supernova would have been visible during the daytime. Due to the huge distances involved, the explosion would have happened thousands of years earlier but the light from the event only reached Earth in 1054.
In January Venice was hit by severe floods. Shortly afterwards a fire broke out destroying several districts of the city. Several months later another more deadly fire started. As many of the buildings were constructed of wood the fire spread out of control. The disasters led to future buildings being constructed of stone and brick.
An eye-witness account (William of Malmesbury) tells of an earthquake affecting many parts of England. (Symeon of Durham's Historia Regum, by John of Hexham.) This is interesting as it occurred just after an eclipse. See year 1185 when another eclipse and earthquake occurred.
From the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey came the report saying 'In the tenth year of Henry II, about the first hour there appeared in the sky three circles and two suns; and a dragon of immense size was seen in St. Osyth (Osey Island, co. Essex), sailing the air so close to the earth that divers houses were burnt by the heat.' Is this a report of an airburst meteor? An airburst meteor is a meteor that explodes in the air before it reaches the ground and doesn't create an impact crator. A more recent example of an airburst meteor occurred in Russia at a place called Tunguska. This event, known and the great Siberian explosion, happened in 1908 and resulted in the felling of millions of trees.
A large earthquake hit the eastern Mediterranean along the fault line that runs along that region. A huge amount of damage was done causing a major loss of life. The earthquake was so powerful that the massive castle Krak des Chevaliers was damaged and needed repairing.
Earth tremors damaged the Cathedral at Lincoln beyond repair. The earthquake must have been very powerful as it was said that it was felt throughout the country. Only the West front survived in good shape and rest of the building had to be demolished.
There was an eclipse of the Sun on this day over the north of Europe. Interestingly, there was an earthquake that damaged Lincoln Cathedral in 1185. Did the earthquake happen before or after the eclipse? Are the two events related?
From the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey came the report saying 'A London fog occurred while the Bishop of London was officiating in St. Paul's there came on suddenly such a thickness of the clouds and darkness of the sun, accompanied by thunder and lightening and a most foul stench, that the people departed, leaving only the bishop there with one attendant.'
From the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey came the report of the siting of a comet which was said to return every three hundred years. Rising from the east with more brightness than had ever been seen by a living person.
Kipchak Mongols besieging a Genoese trading centre on the Crimean coast catapulted their own dead into the city. The cause of death was a mysterious disease. The Genoese escaped by sea taking the 'Black Death' with them. They landed at Messina in Sicily. Bubonic plague, which the Black Death was, was spread by the rat flea. The name Black Death came from the colour of the swelling in the groin, armpit or neck. The person suffering went into a coma and dies soon after. In Europe an estimated 25 million people died. The plague reached Britain in 1348 and again in 1360 and the population may have been reduced by a half.
The steady progress of the Plague westard could not be stopped. The French king left the city for the relative safety of teh countryside.But several of the royal family died including the King's niece Queen Jeanne of Navarre who had tended to the sick and had caught the illness herself.
From the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey came the report saying 'during Lent, six days before Easter Sunday, there occurred an earthquake throughout the whole of England so great that the monks of Melsa were thrown so violently from their stalls that they all lay prostrate on the ground.'
An earthquake occurred somewhere in the Straits of Dover and was felt in southern England and in the Low Countries across the North Sea. The event happened during a meeting to condem the works of John Wycliffe.
An outburst of plague occurred sometime between 1405 and 1407 and the pestilence was so great that, according to the St. Albans chronicler, in London thirty thousand men and women were reported to have died in a short space. Henry IV is thought to have left London to wait for the plague to die out.
Columbus had a book written by a German astronomer that predicted eclipses and he was able to use this information to trick the native Jamaicans. Columbus informed the leaders of the natives that God was not happy because they had stopped supplying the Spaniards with food and to prove this God would turn the moon blood red. This happens when the moon goes behind the Earth. When this event took place the natives were so afraid that they began supplying all the food that the Spaniards needed.