It was a tough year in England. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: This year, after Christmas, on a Monday night, at the first sleep, was the heaven on the northern hemisphere all as if it were burning fire; so that all who saw it were so dismayed as they never were before. That was on the third day before the ides of January. This same year was so great a murrain [infectious disease] of cattle as never was before in the memory of man over all England. That was in neat cattle [horned oxen] and in swine; so that in a town where there were ten ploughs going, or twelve, there was not left one: and the man that had two hundred or three hundred swine, had not one left. Afterwards perished the hen fowls; then shortened the fleshmeat, and the cheese, and the butter. May God better it when it shall be his will.