How could one take it further? What about the rest of Scotland? How did people respond to the crisis and how enduring was the impact?
Further work on the locality (particularly using the extensive Buccleuch estate papers in National Records of Scotland) was the first step. Two 'diaries' of the time provide some comment on the appalling weather. And kirk session and presbytery minutes, which survive from the Borders to Orkney, show meetings disrupted, complaints of 'storm', of extreme cold and of the increasing distress of the poor.
Together, the sources show that the crisis was national, particularly with severe snow and cold in early 1674. But the Borders suffered more than other areas because local specialisation in sheep farming made them uniquely susceptible to just these conditions. It took almost a decade for the area to recover.
The findings have now been published as John G. Harrison, 2020. ‘The Drifty Days’: A Climate Crisis of 1673-4,, Scottish Local History, Issue 107, p. 11-16. The paper was chosen as joint winner of the Birlinn Prize for the best paper in Scottish Local History in 2020. Download this publication as a PDF here.