Ursula Southeil (c. 1488 - 1561) (possibly Ursula Sonthiel), better known as Mother Shipton, was an English soothsayer and prophetess who is said to have made dozens of unusually accurate predictions, including the Great Plague of London, the Spanish Armada, and the Great Fire of London.
It is now generally accepted that the figure of Mother Shipton was largely a myth, and that the majority of her prophecies were composed by others in retrospect, after her death. Although her prophecies were apparently recorded in a series of diaries, the first publication of her work did not appear until 1641, eighty years after her death. The most notable book of her prophecies, edited by Richard Head, was published in 1684.
Richard Head later admitted to having invented almost all Shipton's biographical details. He stated that she was born in Knaresborough, Yorkshire, in a cave now known as Mother Shipton's Cave, and was reputed to be hideously ugly - supposedly because she was fathered by the Devil. Head claimed that she married Toby Shipton, a local carpenter, near York in 1512 and is said to have told fortunes and made predictions throughout her life.
The following prophecies were found on scroll
And now a word, in uncouth rhyme Of what shall be in future time
Then upside down the world shall be And gold found at the root of tree All England's sons that plough the land Shall oft be seen with Book in hand The poor shall now great wisdom know Great houses stand in farflung vale All covered o'er with snow and hail
A carriage without horse will go Disaster fill the world with woe. In London, Primrose Hill shall be In centre hold a Bishop's See
Around the world men's thoughts will fly Quick as the twinkling of an eye. And water shall great wonders do How strange. And yet it shall come true.
Through towering hills proud men shall ride No horse or ass move by his side. Beneath the water, men shall walk Shall ride, shall sleep, shall even talk. And in the air men shall be seen In white and black and even green
A great man then, shall come and go For prophecy declares it so.
In water, iron, then shall float As easy as a wooden boat Gold shall be seen in stream and stone In land that is yet unknown.
And England shall admit a Jew You think this strange, but it is true The Jew that once ws held in scorn Shall of a Christian then be born.
A house of glass shall come to pass In England. But Alas, alas A war will follow with the work Where dwells the Pagan and the Turk
These states will lock in fiercest strife And seek to take each others life. When North shall thus divide the south And Eagle build in Lions mouth Then tax and blood and cruel war Shall come to every humble door.
Three times shall lovely sunny France Be led to play a bloody dance Before the people shall be free Three tyrant rulers shall she see.
Three rulers in succession be Each springs from different dynasty. Then when the fiercest strife is done England and France shall be as one.
The British olive shall next then twine In marriage with a german vine. Men walk beneath and over streams Fulfilled shall be their wondrous dreams.
For in those wondrous far off days The women shall adopt a craze To dress like men, and trousers wear And to cut off their locks of hair They'll ride astride with brazen brow As witches do on broomstick now.
And roaring monsters with man atop Does seem to eat the verdant crop And men shall fly as birds do now And give away the horse and plough.
There'll be a sign for all to see Be sure that it will certain be. Then love shall die and marriage cease And nations wane as babes decrease
And wives shall fondle cats and dogs And men live much the same as hogs.
In nineteen hundred and twenty six Build houses light of straw and sticks. For then shall mighty wars be planned And fire and sword shall sweep the land.
When pictures seem alive with movements free When boats like fishes swim beneath the sea, When men like birds shall scour the sky Then half the world, deep drenched in blood shall die.
For those who live the century through In fear and trembling this shall do. Flee to the mountains and the dens To bog and forest and wild fens.
For storms will rage and oceans roar When Gabriel stands on sea and shore And as he blows his wondrous horn Old worlds die and new be born.
A fiery dragon will cross the sky Six times before this earth shall die Mankind will tremble and frightened be for the sixth heralds in this prophecy.
For seven days and seven nights Man will watch this awesome sight. The tides will rise beyond their ken To bite away the shores and then The mountains will begin to roar And earthquakes split the plain to shore.
And flooding waters, rushing in Will flood the lands with such a din That mankind cowers in muddy fen And snarls about his fellow men.
He bares his teeth and fights and kills And secrets food in secret hills And ugly in his fear, he lies To kill marauders, thieves and spies.
Man flees in terror from the floods And kills, and rapes and lies in blood And spilling blood by mankinds hands Will stain and bitter many lands
And when the dragon's tail is gone, Man forgets, and smiles, and carries on To apply himself - too late, too late For mankind has earned deserved fate.
His masked smile - his false grandeur, Will serve the Gods their anger stir. And they will send the Dragon back To light the sky - his tail will crack Upon the earth and rend the earth And man shall flee, King, Lord, and serf.
But slowly they are routed out To seek diminishing water spout And men will die of thirst before The oceans rise to mount the shore.
And lands will crack and rend anew You think it strange. It will come true.
And in some far off distant land Some men - oh such a tiny band Will have to leave their solid mount And span the earth, those few to count, Who survives this (unreadable) and then Begin the human race again.
But not on land already there But on ocean beds, stark, dry and bare Not every soul on Earth will die As the Dragons tail goes sweeping by.
Not every land on earth will sink But these will wallow in stench and stink Of rotting bodies of beast and man Of vegetation crisped on land.
But the land that rises from the sea Will be dry and clean and soft and free Of mankinds dirt and therefore be The source of man's new dynasty.
And those that live will ever fear The dragons tail for many year But time erases memory You think it strange. But it will be.
And before the race is built anew A silver serpent comes to view And spew out men of like unknown To mingle with the earth now grown Cold from its heat and these men can Enlighten the minds of future man.
To intermingle and show them how To live and love and thus endow The children with the second sight. A natural thing so that they might Grow graceful, humble and when they do The Golden Age will start anew.
The dragon's tail is but a sign For mankind's fall and man's decline. And before this prophecy is done I shall be burned at the stake, at one My body singed and my soul set free You think I utter blasphemy You're wrong. These things have come to me This prophecy will come to be.
These following verses were on the outer wrapping of scroll
I know I go - I know I'm free I know that this will come to be. Secreted this - for this will be Found by later dynasty
A dairy maid, a bonny lass Shall kick this stone as she does pass And five generations she shall breed Before one male child does learn to read.
This is then held year by year Till an iron monster trembling fear eats parchment, words and quill and ink And mankind is given time to think.
And only when this comes to be Will mankind read this prophecy But one mans sweets anothers bane So I shall not have burned in vain.
The Following prophecies were kept in a separate jar
The signs will be there for all to read When man shall do most heinous deed Man will ruin kinder lives By taking them as to their wives.
And murder foul and brutal deed When man will only think of greed. And man shall walk as if asleep He does not look - he many not peep And iron men the tail shall do And iron cart and carriage too.
The kings shall false promise make And talk just for talkings sake And nations plan horrific war The like as never seen before And taxes rise and lively down And nations wear perpetual frown.
Yet greater sign there be to see As man nears latter century Three sleeping mountains gather breath And spew out mud, and ice and death. And earthquakes swallow town and town, In lands as yet to me unknown.
And christian one fights christian two And nations sigh, yet nothing do And yellow men great power gain From mighty bear with whom they've lain.
These mighty tyrants will fail to do They fail to split the world in two. But from their acts a danger bred An ague - leaving many dead. And physics find no remedy For this is worse than leprosy.
Oh many signs for all to see The truth of this true prophecy.
Museumofhoaxes.com - Mother Shipton
An interesting discussion on the Mother Shipton Prophecies. Were they really fact or fiction? Someone in the thread claims to be a direct descendant of the woman.
Mother Shipton's Cave
A careful and dramatic association of history, legend, drama and nature. Read about Mother Shipton and learn about the place where the legend took place, complete with photo gallery and information about the pertifying well.