From midnight until dawn a 'perfect hurricane' raged across the south of England such that in the grey and feeble first light "nobody could believe the hundredth part they saw".
And with good reason for many buildings were in ruins, their roofs missing or they had collapsed completely. Streets were deep in fallen masonry, tiles and chimney stacks. Many thousands of trees lay strewn about as if felled and trampled by a crazed giant, church steeples lay prostate on the ground and over 400 windmills were shattered.
A series of gales had swept Britain from the 19th November [Old Style Calendar]. Defoe himself, almost lost his life in a London street when a chimney plummeted to the ground close to him. The climax came on the night of the 26-27th November , probably as a result of a rapidly deepening secondary low moving north east from South Wales to the Humber in the circulation of a parent depression north of Scotland.