The Mysterious Predictions of Mother Shipton
Ursula Southeil or Mother Shipton as she is better known was said to have been a soothsayer and prophetess who lived in Knaresborough in the 1400’s. The Mother Shipton cave in Knaresborough is so named because apparently she was born in the cave.
She was linked with many Prophecies and strange events that occurred in the 15th Century. She was even said to have predicted events that lead to the great fire of London. She also predicted the end of the world and said that it would happen in 1801 but of course it never did. However, she was right about some things…
· One of her most famous predictions was when news came of Cardinal Wolsey and that he was due to move to York. Mother Shipton foretold that he would never reach the city. She was right as when he reached Cawood, 8 miles from York he received urgent summonsed from the king and on his journey to London was taken ill and died.
· Before his death, the Cardinal sent three lords to her in disguise among them was Lord Thomas Cromwell. The men asked her for their fortune and she said “your heads will hang on castle walls” It was said this was in reference to the later Beheading of Cromwell and the two other lords for treason.
She also predicted much further into the future with such famous quotes as…
· “In water, iron shall float as easy as a wooden boat”
· “gold shall be seen in stream and stone, in a land that is yet unknown”
· “Women to dress as men and trousers wear, and cut off all their locks of hair.
This is of course in reference to modern boats, the gold rush in America and the modernisation of women’s fashion.
You can explore Mother Shipton’s cave and discover more of her mysteries’ and visit the Petrifying well to make a wish. Mother Shipton’s cave is one of the only remaining remnants of The Royal Forest of Knaresborough.