The Great Storm of 1703 arrived from the southwest on 26 November (7 December in today’s calendar). In London, 2,000 chimney stacks collapsed. The New Forest lost 4,000 oaks. Ships were blown hundreds of miles off-course, and over 1,000 seamen died on the Goodwin Sands alone. News-bulletins of casualties and damage were sold all over England – a novelty at that time. The church declared that the storm was God’s vengeance for the sins of the nation. Daniel Defoe thought it was a divine punishment for poor performance against Catholic armies in the War of the Spanish Succession.