The Prophecies of Mother Shipton

The Study of Prophecy ~ A Non-Linear Approach to a Non-Linear Subject

Since the study of prophecy is not a linear endeavor, but is one filled with quantum intuitive leaps, this section will be modeled much the same. The information presented here will likely evolve over time. Mother Shipton's Book

This page is under construction, and a great deal is yet to be added. At this time, some popular prophecies attributed to Mother Shipton only by sources originating in the late 20th or early 21st centuries will not be presented verbatim here since the age of their copyright is not clear due to not appearing in any earlier accessible sources. This will not, however, preclude discussion of the mystery and controversy surrounding the origins of such writings.

A Star Falls, Winds Rage & Fear Rules: The World-Ending 1881 Prophecy Examined Anew

The Infamous "Failed" and "Forged" Prophecy of 1881

No prophecy attributed to Mother Shipton has attracted more attention than the following:

"The world to an end shall come
In eighteen hundred and eighty one."

This prophecy has been the subject of much examination and controversy over the years, often used to discredit the authenticity of Mother Shipton's prophetic voice. It is also dismissed by the majority of people who study it as an admitted forgery by Charles Hindley, the British author who was the first person to write about this prophecy in 1862. There is no better place to begin our exploration than with this infamous prophecy.

Whether forgery or not, what we do know is that something very rare and unusual did indeed occur in Yorkshire in March 1881, the very month many in Yorkshire anticipated a dramatic event because of their faith in the alleged words of Mother Shipton. Exhaustive research suggests this is the first time many of the very real historic events we are about to explore have ever been associated with the Shipton prophecy of 1881.

After all, most people think "failed" or "forged" prophecies merit little attention, except to debunk the prophet in question. You will find no such casual dismissals here. What you will find is concrete evidence of several events in 1881 that could indeed be viewed as "the end of the world" by a remote observer, as well as a detailed exploration of the alleged forgery.

The Mother Shipton Meteorite

For the very first time, initally reported on the earlier version of this web site in August 2010, an interesting connection has been discovered to a very real historic, astronomical event, apparently never before associated with the Mother Shipton prophecy of 1881 until now. Yorkshire 1881 Meteorite (by Richard Crookes)What happened in March 1881 was a very rare occurrence, and it took place remarkably near the Yorkshire location Mother Shipton was thought to have lived.

A meteorite fell to the Earth on March 14, 1881 at 3:35 PM near Middlesbrough, Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Its rather dramatic entry into the atmosphere was said to be heard miles away from the actual landfall, with one report within about 30 miles of Knaresborough.

Did Mother Shipton or another visionary remote observer witness this event across time? Would the observer have known how to interpret the vision? Did Mother Shipton in the 16th century or even an alleged "forger" in 1862 somehow hear the "roaring" sound, "thunder-like report" and "detonations" which were reportedly heard far from the actual landfall? Or is the date and location of the unlikely meteorite simply a fascinating coincidence?

The meteorite was quickly found by railway workers near the place where it struck the Earth. The stone still resides in the Yorkshire Museum (only occasionally on display) and is a meteorite of note in many listings, extremely rare in the U.K. and even the world. It was even in the news early in 2010 due to its exceedingly unusual composition and the interest of Mars probe scientists seeking meteorites of similar composition on Mars.

While investigating the meteorite, something quite eerie and mysterious came to light, and how it is to be interpreted will be left to the imaginations of those reading. Some in the spiritual community would call this a "synchronicity", beyond coincidence.

As first reported on the web site in August 2010 (and before any other account of Mother Shipton's image appearing in stone), when viewed from a distance, the meteorite itself appears to contain an oddly familiar silhouette, reminiscent of a popular historical drawing of...none other than Mother Shipton herself. One can make out an eye, a nose and a markedly pointed chin, even perhaps a kerchiefed head. Given where this meteorite fell and when, ANY resemblance to Mother Shipton at all can be considered remarkable in itself. Of course, just like the famous Mother Shipton Moth or the Witchhead Nebula, it could be a "coincidence". Some people may not see it at all.

Eerie Mother Shipton Image in 1881 Yorkshire Meteorite

If you would like to examine the original meteorite photograph for yourself, it is located here, from an independent scientific source unrelated to the study of Mother Shipton. It is freely distributed under a Gnu Free Documentation License. As with Mother Shipton herself, there are many things to be perceived, each in the eye of the beholder.

Odd "coincidences" aside, what more might a meteorite have to do with the alleged words of Mother Shipton, beyond the obvious date of its arrival?

Interpreting Visionary Experiences ~ An Inexact Endeavor

Those who understand the nature of visionary experiences realize that interpretation by the "seer" is an inexact science. An observer from another time might see and even hear an event in a likely future without fully understanding what is being observed.

Often all an observer can do is interpret a vision based on a familiar context, not necessarily based on the actual context in the future (not even taking into consideration the oft-mentioned possibility of multiple futures or timelines).

It would not be at all unusual to assign an interpretation consistent with what is seen and heard in the vision itself, without having any additional context or explanation with which to understand the actual event observed.

Why might Mother Shipton or any other remote observer interpret an observation of a future meteorite falling near in Yorkshire as a portent of the end of the world? And what else was going on in 1881 that might have reinforced the conclusion?

Mother Shipton would have no doubt been well-versed in Biblical accounts of the end of the world. There is a high possibility Mother Shipton was unable to read, as was common in her time. It would have been dependent on her social class, which is something we do not know with certainty. But we can be certain she would have had knowledge of Biblical concepts from the clergy, whose job it was to share the teachings of the Church with the general population. If Mother Shipton or another Biblically informed observer "saw" and "heard" the thunderous 1881 daytime meteorite from a distant vantage point across time, its relation to verses from the Book of Revelation would have likely come to mind:

"And I will give him the morning star." ~ Revelation 2:28

"And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;" ~ Revelation 8:10

"And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." ~ Revelation 6:13

And it just so happens there was indeed an extremely "mighty wind" in 1881, not only in the United Kingdom, but in other parts of the world. Could a remote viewer from a another time "see" this convergence of events, so closely matching what the words of Revelation say?

The Mighty Winds of 1881

According to historical resources, 1881 was a year marked by a very violent storm in the United Kingdom, considered one of the worst storms in the history of the U.K.. What is known as the Eyemouth Disaster, including a deadly day recalled in one part of Scotland as Black Friday, was a great windstorm that struck the U.K. on October 14, 1881. The storm was not just restricted to Scotland. The entire region was impacted. One source Stormy Thames River in 1881 (by Richard Crookes)even suggests the name "Hurricane Euroclydon" was informally applied to the storm(referring to a tempest described in the Bible), "laying flat 30,000 trees" (much like the fig trees in Revelation).

Here is a report from a history of British tug boats, often used to rescue ships in distress in the area:

"In 1881 the Napoleon and other tugs went to the assistance of the sailing vessel Allanshaw, in distress in a hurricane force storm off the North Foreland. Unfortunately the Napoleon was overwhelmed and sank, with the loss of Captain William Houghton and his eight man crew."

Prints derived from news reports of the severe weather of 1881 depicting the raging Thames River are still sold in many online locations even today.

Across the ocean in America, one of the most deadly hurricanes on record struck South Carolina and Georgia in 1881, still ranked as the 9th deadliest natural disaster and the 6th worst hurricane ever to strike the U.S. 700 lives were lost, and there was significant damage to Charleston and Savannah. What is fascinating about this hurricane is that it was not the storm surge that was the killer, as is normally the case, but as this detailed Weather Underground report points out, it was the wind.

And as if that isn't enough, one of the greatest windstorms ever to strike the entire Earth (in our recorded history) occurred in 1881. Though it did not strike the U.K., its reverberations and significant loss of life were felt around the world.

The historically infamous Haiphong typhoon in September 1881 took 300,000 lives in Vietnam, a huge loss of life for that particular era or in ANY era. Although this was a region far from Mother Shipton's home, it is not at all inconceivable a remote viewer from another time might perceive this powerful storm. A science report by MSNBC even lists this storm as the #3 deadliest storm EVER in recorded history, certainly one that might be severe enough to qualify as the "mighty wind" described in the Book of Revelation.

So was there indeed "a mighty wind" in 1881? Anyone who says these storms were insignificant has not studied history. P erhaps someone else saw the storms too, from a vantage point far afield in time and in space.

Significant Earthquakes of 1881

The historic April 1881 Khios earthquake on an island near Turkey (aka Chios) killed almost 8000 people, with an estimated magnitude of 7.3. Another 7.9 earthquake impacting India was also significant that year and considered a precursor of the great Indonesian/Indian earthquake/tsunami of 2005.

The "Great Comet of 1881"

The unusual meteorite falling in Yorkshire was not the only significant astronomical event of 1881. There was also a significant comet, considered "forgotten", yet referred to in one journal as A Forgotten "Great Comet" of the Nineteeth Century and "The Great Comet of 1881".

This comet appeared in May 1881, primarily observed in the Southern Hemisphere, and had a significant impact on the developing field of astronomical observation. By June, this comet was reported as "very distinguishable to the naked eye" and it was said that "it is obviously approaching the earth...its tail will, as a consequence, become an imposing object in the course of a few days". The head of the comet was said to be "a very conspicuous object, and a portion of the tail was visible in twilight". The New York Times said at the time "Never was one more carefully observed or by better observers or instruments."

Since comets are often considered portents of significant, even world-ending events, one must wonder if yet another remote observer, one far across time, observed this comet as well.

Other Cataclysms of Historic Proportions in 1882 and 1883

Although technically these events did not occur in 1881, they are so very severe and Earth-shattering in nature, they are worth a brief mention. We often hold very human prophets to impeccably inhuman standards. This has usually Krakatoa 1883 Eruptionbeen derived from stringent Biblical requirements warning people to steer clear of "false prophets" mixing truth with falsehood.

However, the reality of the visionary experience is not so simple. Many would argue that even the prophecies recorded in the Bible are vague at best, so it is ironic such precision would be required of non-Biblical prophets. Even when we are not influenced by Biblical teachings, we set standards for visionaries astronomically high, often suggesting a true prophet will NEVER make a mistake. Why do we assume human imperfection and interpretation can't cloud a vision every bit as much as day-to-day life?

In the case of Mother Shipton, those who think the 1881 prophecy may indeed have been attributed to her often penalize her severely. The prophecy was even mocked in a cartoon appearing in Harper's Weekly in January 1882, filled with "I told you so" innuendos from skeptics. Apparently such skeptics were not paying attention to the news of the past 12 months, nor were they thoughtful enough to take a broader view of visions in general. But such is the case with many skeptics, whether in the past or in the present. Closed-minded skepticism has created many boxes over time, delaying (but not always stopping) the discoveries of the open-minded.

And so as if what has already been discussed regarding 1881 is not sufficient, we will mention just a few events occurring very near in time to 1881, as they are so very significant, they cannot be ignored.

The cataclysmic explosion of the volcano Krakatau (aka Krakatoa) took place in 1883, with explosions heard 2200 miles away, huge tsunamis and disastrous pyroclastic flows and ash clouds. Yes, let's remember this took place in 1883, NOT 1881, but given it was one of the worst disasters to strike in recorded history,its proximity to 1881 makes it worth pondering. It is highly possible a remote observer could indeed see and hear such a dramatic catastrophe, and in a future entry, we will discuss how other prophecies about volcanoes attributed to Mother Shipton may apply.

The Great Bombay Cyclone of June 1882 killed at least 100,000 people (other reports suggest 200,000) due to huge waves in Bombay, India.

And there was even ANOTHER COMET in 1882, one some consider "perhaps the brightest comet that has ever been seen", known as The Great Comet of 1882, which was bright enough to be seen in the daytime sky next to the sun, much like the "morning star" of the Book of Revelation.

Can States of Mind Travel Through Time?

Now that we have clearly established that 1881 and the early 1880's in general were indeed catastrophically eventful from many perspectives, filled with what could definitely be viewed as fulfillments of very specific prophecies in Revelation that would be known to Mother Shipton, let's consider the state of mind of people in 1881.

During 1881 near Yorkshire (and elsewhere), people were quite concerned about the alleged Mother Shipton world-ending prophecy. Various others did their best to debunk it, reinforcing the idea it was a forgery in any way they could. We will discuss the evidence regarding forgery in a moment.

The Prophetess Legacy Skyscape by Richard Crookes

Despite such attempts to calm a very worried populace, there are reports of people camping out in the countryside, expecting the end of the world. Although he too views the 1881 prophecy as a forgery and does not mention any of the unsual cataclysmic events of 1881, historian Arnold Kellett discusses at length the many ways people were intensely concerned about the prophecy that year, including one report from panic-stricken West Riding of Yorkshire that the world would end precisely on March 4, 1881 (eerily similar to the March 14 date of the meteorite).

Even in other parts of the world, people were talking about the prophecy, as is evidenced by the already-mentioned reference in the American publication Harper's Weekly.

One cannot help but wonder how many people in the U.K. were thinking about Mother Shipton's prophecy when they experienced the storms of that year. The March 1881 meteorite was observed by few and happened very quickly, so although its appearance may have been observed as significant across time by distant eyes, it did not have a disastrous impact for the people of the day.

But if one does consider the fears in the minds of many people in 1881, even the "panic" described by Dr. Kellett, would 1881 have been quiet from a remote viewer's perspective? Is it unreasonable to suggest a prophet may be able to tap into shared Consciousness across time? Many have come to realize that Consciousness knows no limits of time and space, something important to consider with regards to the perception of prophets and prophetesses.

If a remote viewer could see all the fear and fear-based actions running rampant around Yorkshire (and in other parts of the world) in 1881, indeed all the concern CAUSED by the prophecy itself in a fascinating circle of time, it is not at all unreasonable to suggest that this could be interpreted as the end of the world by eyes observing from the 16th century. Mother Shipton (or another observer) might have even "heard" people TALKING about the End of the World during the time frame in question. Visions know no boundaries. Even newspapers might be visible to one with keen remote perception.

But now we must confront the greatest question raised regarding the Prophecy of 1881: What if Mother Shipton never uttered these words at all?

Is Mother Shipton Actually Responsible for the Prophecy of 1881?

Anyone studying the Prophecy of 1881 knows that there is indeed substantial evidence suggesting it is likely a forgery. As with most prophecies attributed to Mother Shipton, it did not appear in writing right away. And that has always been a legitimate cause for concern regarding ALL the prophecies attributed to her.

This particular prophecy was first seen in the writings of Charles Hindley, who wrote the book Life, Prophecies and Death of the Famous Mother Shipton in 1862. Mr. Hindley claimed he found the material for his book in the British Museum, and some of it did indeed mirror earlier known accounts of Mother Shipton.

Several prophecies appeared in Charles Hindley's book that had not yet been seen in any earlier publication, including the world-ending prophecy of 1881. The other prophecies (though fascinating) will not be discussed at this time. What we are focused upon is the "end of the world" prophecy, which appears for the FIRST time in the work of Mr. Hindley, though at the time he claimed to have found it in the British Museum:

"The world to an end shall come
In eighteen hundred and eighty-one."

In April 1873, eleven years after Charles Hindley wrote his book on Mother Shipton (which sold extremely well and had been quoted widely over the years), the following appeared in the esteemed British journal Notes and Queries (p. 355) (referring to a letter in the Dec. 7, 1872 edition discussing the prophecies claimed to appear in Mr. Hindley's book):

"Mr. Charles Hindley, of Brighton, in a letter to us, has made a clean breast of having fabricated the Prophecy quoted at page 450 of our last volume, with some ten others included in his reprint of a chap-book version, published in 1862."

Charles Hindley by Richard Crookes

The "ten others" referred to above will be examined in another entry on this web site, but this brief note is specifically referring to the world-ending 1881 prophecy, which was already causing quite a stir due to Mother Shipton's notareity in predicting other past events.

For most people in later years studying the 1881 prophecy (given the world did indeed survive), the brief comment in Notes and Queries puts the matter to rest. They conclude it was an admitted forgery, and that's that. Yorkshire historian Dr. Arnold Kellett also shared this view and speculated that perhaps Mr. Hindley was enamored with the idea of the date 1881 being a palindrome, a date "regarded with awe by the superstitious". Another theory of Dr. Kellett's is that Mr. Hindley may have known about comets scheduled to appear in 1881, thus influencing his choice of the date.

However, comets aside, we cannot discount the mystery surrounding what actually did occur in 1881, highly consistent with the prophecy from a visionary point of view, something very few people have bothered to examine due to what is often considered an open and shut case of confessed forgery.

We also do not know the circumstances around the denial of Charles Hindley and why he chose to do so. We certainly can ponder other situations where information alarming the public has been suppressed and denied later, though that is indeed a highly speculative train of thought with regards to Mr. Hindley.

Even with his alleged confession, we cannot know with 100% certainty how the prophecies reported by Mr. Hindley originated. Some may choose to discount anything accurate in Mr. Hindley's words as a "lucky guess" or "coincidence". But we now know that 1881 was an extraordinary year, suggesting that someone, whether Mother Shipton, Mr. Hindley or some other mysterious source, may have experienced an intuitive visionary leap.

An Agenda to Calm the Masses

The push to calm the populace as 1881 dawned is very apparent in the book Mother Shipton Investigated written by William H. Harrison in 1881 (not to be confused with the U.S. President of the same name, which some references to this source misconstrue). Mother Shipton InvestigatedThis intensely critical study of Mother Shipton, often closely imitated by skeptics for more than a century afterwards (or even copied verbatim without attribution) does its best to suggest Mother Shipton may have never existed at all.

The specific logical discrepancies associated with the agenda of this book will be examined in much greater detail in the History section of this web site, as a much more complex analysis is required to do the topic justice. The book's greatest logical fallacy is assuming that just because a portion of a historical resource is obviously contrived, then the entire text must be assumed false.

Early accounts of Mother Shipton had agendas too, often intentionally emphasizing fantastic "witch-like" details in a time when making up stories about witches was commonplace. Later analysts often suggest that because such resources included obvious fallacies, then nothing in these resources can be trusted at all. There has also been a great deal of confusion regarding which prophecies could have been contrived after the fact, with virtually no one taking the time to explore the historical record at the level of detail required to make a solid determination.

Due to their haste to dismiss the case on Mother Shipton and the difficulty exploring a scant or misleading historical record, many quickly prefer to jump to the conclusion that this legendary woman never existed at all. As already mentioned in the History section, we have the award-winning historian Dr. Arnold Kellett to thank for finally doing the in-depth research required to set the record straight on a great many things pertaining not only to this woman's existence, but at least a few of her prophecies that appear to be validated.

For more background details on the research associated with this prophecy and to ask questions or comment, visit the blog entry Intuitive Discovery, the "End of the World" & the Remarkable Events of 1881.

Popular Prophecies

Can We Dare to Accept Prescient Ambiguity?

Now that the most infamous prophecy attributed to Mother Shipton has been covered, it's time for a list of the some of the most popular often heard in the present day due to their perceived relevance to modern times and other widely-known historical events, keeping in mind that "attributed" is the operative word here. There are some who have studied all prophecies attributed to Mother Shipton who will say every single one is a fraud, produced after the fact, never uttered by anyone named Mother Shipton at all, who is considered a figment of the collective imagination.

A more commonly held view among those just casually studying Mother Shipton is that all of the popular prophecies listed below originate with her. Even The History Channel has attributed some of these prophecies to Mother Shipton, without providing important contextual information regarding where they first appeared.

When we apply our own discernment and analysis regarding the prophecies applying to the present day, what we can do is ask if they predict realities that occurred after the prophecies first appeared in print, events and concepts that could not possibly have been stated after the fact. We have already seen the prophecy regarding 1881 is an excellent example of either a "lucky guess" or eerie foreknowledge. Can we accept the ambiguity of not knowing with certainty if these words originated with Mother Shipton, yet appreciate the mysterious prescience of the words themselves, no matter what the origination? Given what we will soon prove about Mother Shipton's accuracy regarding events closer to the time in which she lived, does this increase the possibility an accurate prophecy may actually have originated from her, not a forger?

It is also important to note before proceeding that the prophecies can often appear with slightly different wording and ordering in different sources. In some cases, the original sources are in the process of being obtained from the British Library for verification, so stay tuned for updates to this section regarding wording differences, as the intent is to confirm the wording appearing in the earliest known source in print.

This section will be enhanced and refined over time. Prophecy interpretation is an art that never stands still, as evolution is its very nature.

The Charles Hindley Prophecies - Take 1

Since we started with an exploration of the infamous 1881 prophecy, we will continue our examination of the rest of what British author Charles Hindley attributed to Mother Shipton in 1862. The prophecies in this section are frequently quoted because of what appears to be remarkable accuracy regarding modern times and other historical events. These alleged prophecies do not appear in early known documents regarding Mother Shipton, although Mr. Hindley claimed to have discovered them in the British Museum for the book he wrote in 1862.

Mr. Hindley's work and the allegations regarding forgery are discussed in the previous section. After studying the mysterious of the 1881 prophecy, the information in this section may come as disappointing, especially since many sources on Mother Shipton list these prophecies as hers without qualification. Given that book publication takes a while, it is also important to pay attention to what was occurring around the time period 1860-61 that might match the following "prophecies". Did any of these prophecies predict events that occurred after 1862? And even if they didn't, does that necessarily imply with 100% certainty that they were forged?

We will first examine the prophecies, referring to text surfaced by Dr. Arnold Kellett, but soon we shall see that this isn't the only version of the text that may have been published by Charles Hindley:

"Carriages without horses shall go,
And accidents fill the world with woe.

Dr. Arnold Kellett asserts that this prophecy was likely written by Mr. Hindley regarding railways and the many accidents that occurred before 1862. Follow-up research on this theory for this web site does provide highly supportive evidence of Dr. Kellett's conclusions. There were many train accidents leading in to 1862, but the most infamous to date at that time in Great Britain was the Clayton Tunnel rail crash, which killed 23 passengers and injured 176. This accident would indeed have been recent enough to "fill the world with woe" around the time Mr. Hindley was getting ready to go to press with his book.

"Around the world thoughts shall fly
In the twinkling of an eye."

Initially this reference may appear to depict the internet, but by 1862, the telegraph was actually used to convey "thoughts", not just brief communications or news briefs. This account from 1860 describes a business meeting held in 1860 by telegraph, akin to a modern teleconference. Even so, the potential relation to today's internet is worthy of mentioning.

"The world upside down shall be,
And gold found at the root of a tree.

Gold rushes in America and Australia pre-dated this prophecy (beginning in 1848 and 1851 respectively), so that could very plausibly explain the reference to gold. As for the world being upside down, that is an interesting reference, as some in the modern-day prophecy community might speculate it refers to a pole shift. Dr. Kellett mentions this could also be a reference to a Biblical prophecy, as stated in Isaiah 24:1: "Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof."

"Water shall yet more wonders do,
How strange, yet shall be true."

The first steamboats appeared in the late 1700's, so water had definitely been doing "wonders" for a while by 1862. Hydroelectric power, similar to what is in the modern world, didn't appear until 1882, but just as the "more" in this statement implies, water power had been used in many ways since ancient times already.

"Under water men shall walk
Shall ride, shall sleep, shall talk

This can only be a reference to submarines. Early submarines did exist in 1862 when this text first appeared in print. However, if one studies the history of submarines, it seems the early models were not big enough for much walking, talking or sleeping. Even so, given that submarines did exist, it is certainly plausible that such advancements would have been predicted by Hindley's day. Jules Verne published his very famous speculative novel on submarines 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in 1869.

"In the air men shall be seen
In white, in black, and in green"

The first manned hot air balloon was launched in 1783, well before 1862 when this text first appeared in print. Hot-air balloons were common by 1862. The colors could have referred to the balloons themselves (something that is being researched) or what the men were wearing.

"Iron in the water shall float
As easy as a wooden boat"

Boats were already being made of iron by 1862, so if written then, it would not have predicted anything unknown at the time. This reference also relates to the earlier mention of water doing wonders, as the SS Great Britain, the first steamship with an iron hull, appeared in 1843.

"A house of glass shall come to pass
In England, but alas
War will follow with the work
In the land of Pagan and Turk."

Dr. Arnold Kellett makes a convincing case that the "house of glass" likely refers to the Crystal Palace constructed in London for the 1851 Great Exhibition. The Crimean War "in the land of the Pagan and Turk" did indeed occur soon after the construction of the Crystal Palace, beginning in 1853. This seems to be a more plausible interpretation than relating this prophecy to anything in the 20th or 21st centuries (e.g., glass skyscrapers or modern wars), as some have speculated.

"An Ape shall appear in a Leap Year,
That shall put all woman kind in fear,
And Adam's make shall be disputed."

Charles Darwin published his work in 1859, causing quite a stir in the Leap Year of 1860, right around the time Charles Hindley would have been finalizing the details for his book.

"Over a wild and stormy sea
Shall a noble sail,
Who to find will not fail,
A new and fair countree,
From whence he shall bring
A herb and a root
That all men shall suit."

This of course refers to the discovery of the New World. Dr. Kellett links this reference to nobleman Sir Walter Raleigh bringing tobacco and potatoes ("a herb and a root") from America.

"The world to an end shall come
In eighteen hundred and eighty one."

Now we come full circle to the first Charles Hindley prophecy and the oddest, given its eerie prescience. And what does it say about the other prophecies? It can be justified logically that all of these prophecies are likely forged, but one cannot completely rule out the possibility that they were accurate instead. For this reason, much more research will be conducted into Charles Hindley's background and the reasons why he would forge these prophecies (particularly one about the end of the world) and later allegedly admit that they were forged. The profit motive is of course what is most often given, and Mr. Hindley was openly criticized for his alleged forgery.

But could the alarm and growing panic caused by the 1881 prophecy have instigated anyone to seek to suppress its source? Dr. Kellett indicates that the British Museum was inundated with requests to locate source material. Is there a concrete record of Mr. Hindley's admission to forging the prophecies beyond a report of it in a journal? Can we find the letter he wrote and verify it is in his handwriting? What more can we discover about his research at the British Museum? It's easy to jump to hasty conclusions, even if those conclusions appear to be an open and shut case, but it is also important not to rule anything out in the investigation.

The Charles Hindley Prophecies - Take 2

Next there is the matter that the Charles Hindley prophecies appear with different wording in different sources. The original manuscript is not readily available, but it is in the process of being obtained from the British Library. The quoted prophecies above are as verified by historian Arnold Kellett's references (given significant merit since they originate from a historian), but a different version is given in a letter appearing in the Dec. 7, 1872 edition of "Notes and Queries" (p. 451) (which subsequently is said to have led to Charles Hindley retracting the prophecies as forgeries via letter to the journal the following year (Notes and Queries, April 26, 1873 (p. 355)). The alternative wording (which we know appeared no later than 1872, as can be verified in "Notes and Queries") is fascinating to study since it seems to contain at least one additional reference to a possible post-1862 (and post-1872) event than the version quoted by Dr. Kellett. It could be that the letter originally written to the Journal misquoted the prophecies, but then why did the Journal not state that when it claimed they were forged? Here is that forgery claim repeated:

"Mr. Charles Hindley, of Brighton, in a letter to us, has made a clean breast of having fabricated the Prophecy quoted at page 450 of our last volume, with some ten others included in his reprint of a chap-book version, published in 1862."

Another interesting thing to note about the forgery claim is that it is ambiguous. Is it only referring to one prophecy? Or is it referring to all the prophecies? And which version of the prophecies?

What follows is a detailed analysis of differences between prophecies noted by Dr. Kellett as originating from Mr. Hindley and those quoted in the letter written to "Notes and Queries"

The following prophecies are the same verbatim, with no wording differences:

"Carriages without horses shall go,
And accidents fill the world with woe."

"The world upside down shall be,
And gold be found at the root of a tree."

"Under water men shall walk,
Shall ride, shall sleep, shall talk."

The world to an end shall come
In eighteen hundred and eighty-one."

The following prophecies have slightly different wording:

"Around the earth thoughts shall fly
In the twinkling of an eye."

The word "earth" is used in "Notes and Queries" instead of "world" (as referenced by Dr. Kellett).

"In the air men shall be seen,
In white, in black, in green;"

The word "and" is omitted in "Notes and Queries" before "in green".

"Iron in the water shall float,
As easily as a wooden boat.

The word "easily" is used in "Notes and Queries" instead of "easy".

Even more fascinating, "Notes and Queries" lists prophecies not mentioned by Dr. Kellett, yet later attributed to publication by Charles Hindley (in the account of the letter allegedly received by Mr. Hindley). There are also prophecies mentioned by Dr. Kellett, yet not shown in "Notes and Queries". The letter from Charles Hindley quoted in the 1873 edition of "Notes and Queries" makes no mention that he was misquoted in 1872, whether he claims his original text was forged or not - in fact, the letter suggests that he was quoted accurately. To get to the bottom of this, the only remedy is to obtain a copy of Charles Hindley's original work from the British Library (in progress). Discrepancies may cast more doubt on what really did occur with regards to the report of Charles Hindley's admitted forgery in 1873.

Here are prophecies with significant discrepancies.

"Through hills men shall ride,
And no horse be at his side."

This appears only in "Notes and Queries" and is not discussed by Dr. Kellett. Like the other prophecy referring to carriages (appearing in both Kellett's analysis and "Notes and Queries", this phrase could be depicting trains, already in use during the mid-1800's. One might speculate it could also refer to automobiles.

"Gold shall be found and shown
In a land that's not now known."

This prophecy is not mentioned by Dr. Kellett, and it seems to be a further mention of the prophecy occurring in both sources related to gold being found "at the root of a tree". Also interesting is the fact that the entire 7-line section related to "a noble" bringing "herb" and "root" from "a new and fair countree" does not appear at all in the 1872 edition of "Notes and Queries", nor is this discrepancy referenced in 1873.


"Fire and water shall wonders do,
England shall at last admit a foe,"

The first line of this prophecy is somewhat similar to what is referenced by Dr. Kellett ("Water shall yet more wonders do, How strange, yet shall be true."). But note the addition of "fire", as that is an even more direct reference to steampower, which has already been shown to be available at the time this text first appeared.

The second line is, however, more interesting, as it begs the question regarding which "foe" shall be admitted to England. This line does not appear at all in Dr. Kellett's analysis of the Hindley prophecies. If one studies the history of England, the 1800's was not a time when invasions had occurred recently or were thought to be imminent. In 1877, Henry Montague Hozier wrote in his book The Invasions of England "We in England have been so long unaccustomed to any threat of an invasion, or to the idea that our country might ever be made a theatre of war, that we have begun to regard such a possibility as chimerical." Could this be an example of a prophecy pointing to the future? The bombing of England during, World War II, for example? And where exactly did it originate? The investigation is actively ongoing...

Finally, Dr. Kellett mentions two more prophecies that do not appear in "Notes and Queries, most notably the 4-line prophecy related to "a house of glass", as well as a Turkish war, and the prophecy regarding an Ape appearing and causing distress (likely referring to the work of Charles Darwin).

The Charles Hindley Prophecies - Take 3

And as if this isn't confusing enough with regards to what Charles Hindley actually did publish in his original work (which was copied more than once and probably modified), there is yet another version purported to be from the original work of Mr. Hindley appearing in the 1882 edition of "Harper's New Monthly Magazine" (p. 102).

The most notable additions in the Harper's version is substituting the word "Jew" for "foe" in one of the prophecies appearing in "Notes and Queries", as the second line of a rhyming couplet including the "fire and water" prediction also in "Notes and Queries:

"Fire and water shall more wonders do
England shall at last admit a Jew"

This reference was presumed by Harper's to be related to Benjamin Disraeli, the first and only British Prime Minister born into a Jewish family. What is interesting is that although Disraeli was already active in British politics by 1862, when this prophecy was alleged to first appear in print, Disraeli did not become Prime Minister until 1868.

A minor difference appearing in Harper's is related to the prophecy regarding gold being found:

"Gold shall be found, and found
In a land that's not now known."

Like the "Notes and Queries" version, this prophecy is not specifically mentioned by Dr. Kellett. The Harper's version substitutes "found" for "shown", changing the meaning to indicate that gold was discovered in more than one location. Harper's assumes it is a reference to the California Gold Rush.

More significantly, Harper's also reports that the following prophecy was first published by Charles Hindley:

"And state and state in fierce strife
Will seek each other's life.
But when the North shall divide the South,
An eagle shall build in the lion's mouth."

Harper's claims this is a reference concocted by Mr. Hindley regarding the Civil War in the United States. But it is fascinating that it is not referenced either by "Notes and Queries" or Dr. Kellett. The Civil War began in April, 1861, just in time for Mr. Hindley to include it if he was concocting prophecies.

These textual discrepancies already show just how difficult it is to obtain a consistent, accurate representation of even a small set of words attributed to Mother Shipton in the 1800's! Obtaining the original Hindley documents from the British Library is surprisingly circuitous, as they are not as readily available (or inexpensive) as others...And if these prophecies were all admitted forgeries, then why did Mr. Hindley's son (who was thought to be in good standing with his father) re-publish the alleged forgeries in 1877 AFTER the supposed forgery admission? This is yet another book which is challenging to obtain...stay tuned for more on this mystery...

To be continued... is part of the The Prophetess Legacy ~ Feminine Voices of the Divine research project created by Susan Larison Danz.

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