Day 10 - MOTHER SHIPTON
There's perhaps one story that's famous more than any other. That's the story of Ursula Shipton.
When there are so many myths built around a person, what does it say about that person? For Ursula Southeil, better known as Mother Shipton, perhaps the added mystery — however fictitious — is a testament to her enduring reputation.
Mother Shipton was a feared and highly regarded English prophetess of the 16th century. Born to a mother, who was also suspected to be a witch, Mother Shipton was described as hideously ugly and disfigured — so much so, that the locals called her "Hag Face" and believed her father to be the Devil.
Despite her unfortunate appearance, she was said to have been England's greatest clairvoyant and was often compared to her male contemporary Nostradamus. According to legend, she had predicted the Spanish Armada, the Great Plague of London, the Great Fire of London, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, and some even speculate, the Internet: "around the world thoughts shall fly in the twinkling of an eye."
Thankfully for her sake, Mother Shipton did not die by the sword like so many accused witches before and after her. Instead she died a normal death and is said to have been buried on unholy ground on the outer edges of York around 1561.
She's kind of my favorite story.