Craig Kelly, an Australian Politician, shared this photo on Facebook in the context of global warming and climate change. The article contains dates of droughts and "excessive heat" during the approximate period 1152 to 1852.

Was this article published in The Hampshire Advertiser (on July 17, 1852 or at some other time)?

Photo from the Hampshire advertiser


2 Answers 2


I have no doubt that the article was genuinely published in The Hampshire Advertiser on the date specified. I haven't been able to find it, but the evidence is strong nonetheless.

It's important to note that newspapers tend to just reprint articles that other newspapers already published. They do this ridiculously often. (According to an article about American newspapers 1800-1860: “Most newspapers reprinted articles from other newspapers, and expected that their own articles would be reprinted elsewhere.”) In fact, that's why it says "Galignani's Messenger" at the bottom of your clipping; that's where The Hampshire Advertiser got it from. So here's a pastiche of the quote from different sources:

South Australian Register, Thu 18 Nov 1852:

The London Times, of July 29, quotes an article with the above heading from Galignani's Messenger. It is as follows:

Leicester Chronicle Saturday, July 17, 1852:

The excessive heat which prevails at present gives some interest to the following account of remarkably hot summers: "In 1132 the earth opened, and the rivers and springs disappeared, in Alsace.

Daily Dispatch, 5 August 1852:

The Rhine was dried up. In 1152 the heat was so great that eggs were cooked in the sand.

New Orleans Daily Crescent, September 13, 1852:

In 1160, at the a battle of Bela, a great number of soldiers died from the heat. In 1276 and 1277, in Prance, an absolute failure of the crops of grass and oats occurred.

Lewistown Gazette, September 17, 1852:

In 1303 and 1304, the Seine, the Loire, the Rhine, and the Danube, were passed over dry-footed. In 1303 and 1391, great numbers of animals fell dead, and the crops were scorched up.

The Planters' Banner, September 25, 1852:

In 1440 the heat was excessive. In 1538, '39, '40. '41, the rivers were almost entirely dried up. In 1556 there was a great drought all over Europe. In 1615 and 1616 the heat was overwhelming in France, Italy, and the Netherlands. In 1646 there were 58 consecutive days of excessive heat.

....and so on. There are several more newspapers I found that have the quote and I haven't gotten around to searching in some of the other newspaper databases I have access to.

  • @BarryHarrison I used Google to find the Newspaper.com ones (because I don’t have a subscription) and the others were found via Elephind and the Library of Congress’s newspaper database. If you click edit on this answer you’ll see the URLs to some of the searches I used.
    – Laurel
    May 12, 2019 at 5:40
  • @BarryHarrison What method?
    – Laurel
    May 12, 2019 at 5:56
  • @BarryHarrison With an article like this I just pick a short phrase or two and search for it. Sometimes the OCR is bad so I need to switch around the part I’m searching for. It’s not unusual at all to see a lot of newspapers literally copying stories like this.
    – Laurel
    May 12, 2019 at 6:03
  • The same story also appears on page 4 of the Wednesday, July 14, 1852 Times (of London) (available in Gale's The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2014.)
    – shoover
    Apr 13, 2020 at 6:00
  • While I realize this is an exact answer to the question that was asked, I feel it would be much better if it also included a rebuttal of the implied claim of "because there were droughts and heat in the past this means climate change isn't real". Aug 4, 2022 at 17:10

I just found the original article published in Galignani's Messenger in the Gallica's database.

It's in the 2nd column, just before "Latest Intelligence".

That article doesn't source a previous one, so I can think that's definitely the origin of this text !

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