On 26th November 1703, Britain was hit by the weather that brought one of the worst storms. This storm is said to have inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe. During the storm, a large fleet of warships under the command of Admiral Shovell was anchored at Harwich following a long campaign in the Mediterranean. The fleet was forced to raise anchor and ride out the storm, letting it blow them where it would. Many of the ships were blown as far as Holland and Sweden, and the death toll in Britain, following one of the worst weather events on record, was estimated at 8000 on land and sea. Following the 1953 tidal surge, another terrible weather event, rowing boats were the only way to navigate the High Street in Harwich.