This account was written for a conference in 1978 at the University of Ghent, Belgium, to which representatives from all the countries with low-lying coasts around the southern North Sea were invited. It was published in the book of the conference, as pp. 251-90, in Transgressies en occupatiegeschiedenis in de kustgebieden van Nederland en Belgie (Transgressions of the sea and the history of settlement in the coastal areas of Holland and Belgium, A. Verhulst and M. K. E. Gottschalk (eds) , Ghent, 1980, Belgisch Centrum voor Landelijke Geschiedenis, Nr. 66. (The last part of the original paper, giving weather-map examples of storms which produced floods on different coasts around the North Sea, has been omitted here, since examples will be found in Chapters 7 and 8.) The various papers in the volume are printed in Dutch, German, English or French and cover the history of the coasts and coastal settlements of England and Germany, as well as the Low Countries, over the last several thousand years, with particular attention to the centuries since Roman times.