*History taken from http://meteorshowersonline.com/perseids.html
The earliest record of Perseid activity comes from the Chinese annals, where it is said that in 36 AD "more than 100 meteors flew thither in the morning." Numerous references appear in Chinese, Japanese and Korean records throughout the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th centuries, but only sporadic references are found between the 12th and 19th centuries, inclusive. Nevertheless, August has long had a reputation for an abundance of meteors. The Perseids have been referred to as the "tears of St. Lawrence", since meteors seemed to be in abundance during the festival of that saint in Italy on August 10th; however, credit for the discovery of the shower's annual appearance is given to Adolphe Quételet (Brussels, Belgium), who, in 1835, reported that there was a shower occurring in August that emanated from the constellation Perseus.
The first observer to provide an hourly count for this shower was E. Heis (Münster), who found a maximum rate of 160 meteors per hour in 1839. Observations by Heis and other observers around the world continued almost annually thereafter, with maximum rates typically falling between 37 and 88 per hour through 1858. Interestingly, the rates jumped to between 78 and 102 in 1861, according to estimates by four different observers, and, in 1863, three observers reported rates of 109 to 215 per hour. Although rates were still somewhat high in 1864, generally "normal" rates persisted throughout the remainder of the 19th-century.