The weather of 1906 saw snowfall on Boxing Day that was seven inches thick and was so extreme that it caused the town clock to stop. In 1921 the summer weather was so hot that on 10th July a farmer in Braintree was ruined by a fire that started in a haystack and spread to destroy all of his buildings. On July 5th 1999, Sible Hedingham, near Braintree, recorded the heaviest single daily rainfall on weather records for Essex, measured at 122mm.
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The area around Braintree has been settled for about 4000 years. Braintree itself, however, was granted its town charter in 1190 by Prince John during the reign of Richard I. In 1665 Braintree was decimated by the Black Death. Records show that 856 of its 2300 residents died of the plague. Braintree became known as a mill town as a result of the influx of Flemish immigrants in the 17th Century. At first wool and then silk were worked in the town and, in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II wore silk robes for her coronation that were woven in Braintree.
Braintree's most famous son was the great naturalist John Ray (1627-1705) to whom a statue was erected at the sight of the town museum. In more recent times the dance music group The Prodigy were formed in the town by Liam Howlett. Louie Spence, the dance teacher from Pineapple studios, was born and raised in the Braintree.