Robert Nixon (prophet)
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Robert Nixon was a legendary prophet of Cheshire. Many accounts about him appear to be in conflict with each other.
At least one account has Robert Nixon being born in c. 1467. In this account, he is the son of John Nixon during the time of Edward IV, who leased a farm in the parish of Over from Vale Royal Abbey. Another account of Nixon states that he was born during the reign of James I (1603–25) and that he was for some time in the service of Thomas Cholmondeley, master of Vale Royal after 1625.
There are also two claimed homes for Robert Nixon: one says he was an illiterate boy who was born in Bark House on a hill between Over and Whitegate. Alternatively, another source claims Robert Nixon lived at Bridge House near the Forest of Delamere.
He is the claimed source of various prophecies circulating in the early 18th Century and published in leaflet form.
Some of his prophecies relate to Vale Royal Abbey.
- to an abbot of Vale Royal Abbey "When you the harrow come on high, Soon a raven’s nest will be"
- The last Abbot was named John Hareware
- Sir Thomas Holcroft acquired the buildings of Vale Royal Abbey and some of the estates
- The crest of Sir Thomas was a raven
- "Between a rick and two trees, a famous battle shall be"
- The Battle of St Albans, 1461 took place between Elstree, Edwinstree and Rickmansworth. However, this was probably before Robert Nixon was born and therefore could hardly be a prophecy.
- "The weary eagle shall to an island in the sun retire, where leaves and herbs grow fresh and green. There shall he meet a lady fair"
- Napoleon was sent to St. Helena in 1815
- The island has plentiful rare flora
- Helen of Troy was indeed a "lady fair"
- "All sorts will have chimneys in their mouths"
- foretold the result of the Battle of Bosworth Field.
- "When an eagle shall sit on top of the house, then an heir shall be born to the Cholmondeley family"
- "When a raven shall build in a stone lion's mouth, On a church top beside the grey forest: Then shall a King of England be drove from his crown".
Summoned to the court of King Richard III, he refused saying he would be "clemmed death", that is, starved to death. The King ordered him to be kept in the kitchen but, because he was always picking at food he was locked in the cupboard. The cook was called away and he starved to death.
A man for all seasons?
Many of the prophecies relate to the family living at Vale Royal Abbey mansion at the time of the 1714 and 1745 Jacobite rebellions. It seems the prophecies of Robert Nixon were invented or modified to suit the political situation at the time.
- It's All Over by Brian Curzon, 2006.
- Nixon the Cheshire Prophet by HC Harper, Torsdag Publications, 1978. ISBN 0-906266-02-5: Contains the complete prophecies.
- Nixon's Prophecies in their historical setting by Jacqueline Simpson in Folklore, 1974, p.201-207
- Religion and the Death of Magic by Keith Thomas, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971
- The original predictions oe [sic] Robert Nixon, commonly called the Cheshire prophet; in doggrel verse: published from an authentic manuscript, ... Together with Nixon's Cheshire prophecy at large; ... with historical and political remarks; ... Also, some particulars of his life; by John Oldmixon, Esq. and others. CW Leadbetter in Chester, 1798?