East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

The Wold Newton Event, December 13th 1795

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Today is the 220th anniversary of the Wold Newton Event.
Around 3 o’clock, on the 13th of December 1795, a meteorite fell near Wold Cottage, not far from the village of Wold Newton, Yorkshire.

On this Spot, Dec 13th, 1795
fell from the Atmosphere
In Breadth 28 inches
In Length 30 inches
Whose Weight was 56 Pounds
In Memory of it
was erected by

The site of the impact was owned by Major Edward Topham, who had a monument erected to signal the spot, and organized exhibitions of the rock in London.


The Wold Newton meteorite (an L6 ordinary chondrite) is currently on display in the Natural History Museum.

But there’s a second part to the story, of course.

philip jose farmerAccording to the researches of noted author Philip José Farmer, at the moment of the impact, two coaches were passing by, so that the passengers and coachmen were irradiated by the uncanny energy emanating from the meteorite.

The list of the eighteen people involved in the event is as follows…

Coach Passengers (14)
• John Clayton, 3rd Duke of Greystoke, and his wife, Alicia Rutherford
Sir Percy Blakeney, and his (second) wife, Alice Clarke Raffles
Fitzwilliam Darcy, and his wife, Elizabeth Bennet
• George Edward Rutherford (the 11th Baron Tennington), and his wife, Elizabeth Cavendish
• Honoré Delagardie, and his wife, Philippa Drummond
• Dr. Siger Holmes, and his wife, Violet Clarke
• Sir Hugh Drummond and his wife, Lady Georgia Dewhurst

Coachmen (4)
• Louis Lupin
• Albert Lecoq
• Albert Blake
• 1 unnamed by Farmer

The consequences of the event are well known to lovers of classic adventure and pulp, and will not further described here.
Interested parties are referred to the new Wold Newton Family website, that has been launched today.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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