A vintage fold-out novelty postcard featuring Mother Shipton and her place of birth Knaresborough. (Postcard dated 1955)
From Wikipedia: Ursula Southeil (c. 1488–1561) (also variously spelt as Ursula Southill, Ursula Soothtell or Ursula Sontheil), better known as Mother Shipton, is said to have been an English soothsayer and prophetess. The first publication of her prophecies, which did not appear until 1641, eighty years after her reported death, contained a number of mainly regional predictions, but only two prophetic verses – neither of which foretold the End of the World, despite widespread assumptions to that effect.
One of the most notable editions of her prophecies was published in 1684. It states that she was born in Knaresborough, Yorkshire, in a cave now known as Mother Shipton’s Cave which, along with the Petrifying Well and associated parkland, is operated as a visitor attraction. She was reputed to be hideously ugly. The book also claims that she married Toby Shipton, a local carpenter, near York in 1512 and told fortunes and made predictions throughout her life.
It is recorded in the diaries of Samuel Pepys that whilst surveying the damage to London caused by the Great Fire in the company of the Royal Family they were heard to discuss Mother Shipton’s prophecy of the event.