The World's Catastrophe

World's Catastrophe,
EUROPES many Mutations
untill, 1666.
The fate of Englands MONARCHY
untill its Subversion.
Government of the World under
God by the seven Planetary Angels; their
Names, Times of Government.
An exact Type of the
Seen in Cheshire and Shropshire, 3 April 1647.
Their Signification and Portent,
By William Lilly Student in ASTROLOGIE:
Who is, Amicus Patria, & veritas Amator.
To which is added, A Whip for Wharton.

London, Printed for John Partride and Humphrey Blunden, and are to be sold at the Cock in Ludget-street, and at the Castle in Cornhill, 1647.

PUBLISHED FOR John Partridge
PUBLISHED FOR Humphrey Blunden



Its true this Age is near to the very end of the Prophecy (and so we may fully expect a grand Revolution) and to that part thereof, which begins, Jupiter shall leave off his appointed course, &c. The Key follows: Monarchy & Kings are signified by the Sun: The Law & the Pen by Mercury: War by Mars: Commotions, cruelty, and bloodshed by Orion: Religion and Episcopacy by {Jupiter} Jupiter. Courtship, Treaties, Queens, Women, by Venus: Famine, sca city, and Mortality, by {Saturn}. The Commonaltie by the 12. Houses: Absence of the Planets predicts the want of Gentrie, and their hard fates: Twins signifies London: The Scales intimate Justice: and the Austrian family: The Ram intends France, and some parts of England: The Virgin portends the Norman Race of Kings in England, and a particular King besides: Scotland is deciphered by the Crab: Sagitary, means an English King.


[Page 36]

There shall be a lamentable desolation of the Kingdom, and the Barnfloores full of Corn shall be turned into unprofitable woods. The white Dragon shall arise the second time, and shall invite the daughter of Germany. Our little villages shall once more be replenished with a strange generation, and the red Dragon shall languish in the end of the Lake. Afterward shall the German Worm be crowned, and the Brazen Prince shall be humbled. A bound is set him, which he cannot pass: For, he shall remain 150. years in disquiet, but he shall be in subjection 300. years. Then shall the North wind rise against him, and shall snatch away the Flowers, which the west wind begot. Churches shall be beautified, yet shall not the sword depart. The German Worm shall hardly keep his den, because vengeance shall suddenly come upon him for his treacherie: at length, he shall flourish for a while, but the Decimation of the Normans shall offend him: for the people shall ru h in upon him, in wooden horses, and Iron coats, who shall be revenged of his naughtiness. He shall restore to the former inhabitants their possessions, and the destruction of the Aliens shall (then) appear: the branches of the White Lion shall be cut off from our Territories, and the remainder of his generation shall be tenth'd. They shall undergo the yoke of perpetuall servitude; and they shall wound their mother with mattocks, and ploughs. Two Dragons shall succeed, whereof one shall be choaked by the dart of envy, but the other shall return under the shadow of a Kingly name. The I yon of justice shall follow, at whose roaring the French owers, and the Island Dragons shall tremble. In his days shall gold be squeazed out of the Lilly and Nettle; and silver shal be extracted out of the hoofs of the lowing beasts. The spruce Fantasticks of the times shall put on changeable garments, and their outward habits shall bewray the vanity of their mindes. The greedy hounds shall be hamstring'd, the Beasts of the Forrest shall rest in quiet, humanity shall bewail the punishment: the coyn shall be cleft, and each half shall be made round. The ravenousness of the Kites shall be consumed, and the teeth of the Wolves shall be broken: the Lions whelps shall be turned into Seasithes, and his Eagle shall build her nest upon Mount M riana. Vendoria shall be dyed red with her mothers blood, and the house of Corim[...], shall slay fix brothers. The Isle shall be damp with her mighty tears, whereupon all men shall be provoked to all things. Wo unto thee Normandy, for on thee shall the brain of the Lion be wasted, and his Members being torn in pieces, shall be thrown out of his Native soil. They that succeed shall indeavour to remove the Crown, but the love of new Kings shall be extol'd. For his goodness he shall be abused by the wicked, untill he become a Father. Therefore being armed with the teeth of the Boar, he shall pass over the tops of the Mountains, and the shade of the helmet: the Highlanders of Scotland shall be displeased, [Page 37] and having assembled their Collaterals shall proc[...]m war. He shall put a bridle in the jaws of him, which shall be established in the (very) bosom of little Britany. The Eagle of the broken truce shall beautifie it, and shall rejoyce in his third building. The whelps of the roaring Lion shall awaken, and (the Forrests being forsaken) shall be hunted beneath the walls of the Cities, and shall commit great slaughter upon such as withstand them, and shall cut out the tongues of the Bulls: they shall load the necks of the roaring Lions with chains, and shall renew the ancient times. Afterward, the Regall unction shall pass from the first to the fourth, from the 4. to the 3. from the 3. to the second.

The sixt shall overthrow the wals of Ireland, and shall turn the forrests thereof into plain fields. He shall reduce divers kingdoms into one, and he shall be crowned with the head of a Lion. His beginning shall be in a restless, and wavering affection, but his end shall be blessed; for he shall repair the decayed Monasteries throughout the Country, and shall place Preachers in convenient places: He shall cloath two cities with two garments, and he shall bestow Virgins gifts upon Virgins, for which he shall me[...] the favour of God, and shall be numbred among the blessed.

A Woolflike beast shall come out of him penetrating all things, who shall indeavour the ruin of his own Nation, for by him the Normans shall lose both the Isles, and shall be bereaved of their Pristine dignity. From thenceforth shall the ancient Inhabitants return to their own Isle, for variance shall arise among the aliens. Likewise, a venerable old man, upon a white horse, shall divert the river of Periton, and with his white Scepter shall dispose of the Mill thereon standing. Cadwalader shall call home the inani, and shall receive the Highlanders into fellowship. Then shall there be great slaughter committed on the Forraigners, then shall the rivers stream with blood, then shall the mountains of little Britain burst out, and shall be crowned with the Diadem of Brute. Wales shall be filled with joy, and the Oaks of Cornwall shall wax green. The Isle shall be called by the Name of Brute, and the memory of the strangers shall be forgotten.

From Conanus shall come a warlike Boar, who shall exercise the sharpness of his teeth, within the French Forrests: for he shall hew down all the greater Oaks, but he shall give protection to the lesser. The Arabians, and Affricans shall quake for fear of him, for the violence of his motion shall threaten the further Spain. A Goat of the Venerean house shall succeed him, having golden horns, and a silver beard, who shall breath forth such a cloud from his Nostrils as that the surface of the whole Isle shal be obscured. There shal be peace in his days, and by the fruitfulness of the earth, all sorts of grain shal be multiplied.

Women by reason of their Lewdness shal be made Serpents, and every step they make shal be filled with pride. The tents of V us shal be renewed, neither shal the darts of Lust leave off to wound. The Rivers shal be turned into blood, and two Kings shal fight a duel for the Lyoness of Stafford. Every one shal wantonize, and civility (it self) shal not forbear to admit of contraries. All these things three ages shal see fulfilled, until the interred Kings within the City of London shal be discovered. Famine shal again infest, mort lity shal once more return, and the inhabitants shall lament the desolation of their Cities. A ear of commerce shall unexpectedly arise, who shall bring back his scattered droves, to their forsaken Pastures. His brest shall be food to the Hungry, and his tongue shall appease the thirsty: Rivers shall flow from his mouth, which shall refresh mens dried cheeks.

Afterward a Tree shall be procreated upon the Tower of London, which, having only three oughs, shall obscure the face of the whole Isle, with the breadth of its [Page 38] leaves. From hence the North winde (its enemy) shall suddenly arise, and by its cruell blast shall snatch away the third bough thereof. The other two shall supply the room thereof, untill (by the multitude of their leaves) one shall cover another. But afterward it shall obtain the room of two, and shall sustain Birds of Forraign Nations. It shall be accounted obnoxious to the Native Birds, for through the fear of its shadow, they shall lose their flying-young.

An unprofitable Asse shall succeed ready in punishing counterfeiters of gold, but slow in revenging the ravening of Wolves. In those daies, the Oaks throughout the Forrests shall burn, and Accorns shall grow upon the boughs of Lindens.

The Severn shall run through seven Gates, and the river Osca shall wax hot for the space of seven moneths. The Fishes therein shall die by the heat thereof, and of them shall Serpents be ingendred. The Baths of Bado shall frieze, and their wholsome waters shall become poysonous. London shall lament the slaughter of 20000. men, and the river of Thames shall be turned into blood. Monks shall be compelled to marriage, and the noise of them shall be heard in the Mountains of the Alps. Three Fountains shall burst out in the City of Winchester, whose little brookes shall divide the Isle into three parts; he that shall drink of one, shall prolong his life, neither shall he be afflicted with any sudden feebleness. He that shall drink of the other, shall perish with hunge, and a wanuess and horror shall possess his face. He that shall drink of the third, shall die a sudden death, neither shall his body be buried. But if his dead body shall be thrown upon the water, the ashes thereof shall be turned into water. Her upon a Damos ll shall come from the City of Can[...]us of the Forrest, to prepare a Medicine, whereby, as she shall understand all Arts, she shall dry up the obnoxius Fountains by the only vertue of her breath. Afterward, to refre h her self with the wholsome Liquor, she shall carry the Calidonian Forrest in her right hand, but in her left hand, the Bulwarks of the Walls of London. What way soever she shall pass, she shall leave sulphureous tracks behinde her, which shall smoak with a double flame. That smoak shall stir up the Ruche s, and shall destroy the Fithes of the Sea. She shall continue in lamentable sorrows, and shall fill the Isle with her hortible outry. A tagg of ten branches shall slay h r, four of which branches shall carry together the golden Diadems. But the other six shall be turned into the Horns of the wilde Oxen. which by a horrible noise shall shake the three Isles of Bri[...]nie. The Forrest of Daneum shall be stirred up and (with a gentle voice) shall call, Come Wales, and joyn Cornwall to thee, and say to the City of Winchester, The Earth [...]all a[...]ow thee up. Transfer the seat of thy Pastor, whither the Birds do flock and the other Members shall follow their head.

For the day draweth near, whereon the Inhabitants shall be destroyed for the sin of perjury. The whiteness of their Wooll, and the diversity of their Tincture hath offended. Wo be to that perjured Nation, by whose means a noble City shall be destroyed. The Birds shall rejoyce at so great an increase, and two shall be made one. And a Hedghogg (laden with fruit) shall rebuild it, to the smell whereof, Birds of divers Forrests shall fl ck. He shall adjoyn thereto a wonderfull great Palace, and shall strengthen the same with 600 Towers. In every of which a Senator shall be appointed, who shall give Laws unto the Subjects. Therefore shall London envy her, and shall increase her Walls th ice so much as formerly they were. The river Thames shall incompass her on every side, and the rumour of the works shall trans end the Alps. The Hedghog shall hide his fruits within her, and shall plot secretly (against her.)

In that day the stones shall speak, and the Sea that leads to France, shall be contracted into a narrow room. One man shall hear another from either shoar, and [Page 39] the whole Isle shall be enlarged: The wonders of the do[...] shall be revealed: France shall quake for feare. After these things a Hearn shall proceed from the forresh Callaterio , which shall fly about the Isle the space of two years; by her night clamour shee shall call the other birds, and all other birds shall associate her: they shall fall upon mens Tillage, and shall destroy all man er of grain. A famine shall pursue the people, and a dire mortality shall ensue the famine: but when so great mortality shall be ceased, a detestable fowl shall betake himself to the utmost bounds of Wales, and shall raise it up to a high mountain, and in the top thereof shee shall plant an Oak, and shall build her nest in the boughs thereof, three egges shall be layd in the nest, from which a Fox, a Wolfe, and a Beare shall come.

The Fox shall devo re his mother, and shall beare an Asses head. Therefore being become a Monster, he shall affright his brethten, and shall banish them into Normandy: but they shall excite the shorn Boar against the Fox, and being returned in a ship, they shall enceunter with the Fox; who, so soon at the combat shall begin, will fain himselfe dead, and shall move the Boar to pity him,: a while after he shall go to the dead Carkase, and whilst he shall stand over it, he shall breath upon the eyes, and face thereof: But he not forgetfull of (his former falshood) shall bite his right foot, and shall tear it quite from the body; and also at one leap shall snatch to him his right eare and his tayle, and shall hide himselfe in the holes of the mountains: therefore the deluded Boar shall require the Wolfe, and the Beare, to restere unto him his lost members who (as they shall begin they Quarrell) shall promise him two feet, and two ears, and a tayl and of them they shall compose the Boars members: so he shall be pacified, & expect the promised restauration. In the interim the Fox shall come from the mountaines, and shall change himself into a Wolf; and as if he were to have some discourse with the Boar, he shall go craftily to him, and shall wholly devour him.

Then shall he transforme himself into a Boar and (as if he wanted his members) he shall ake for his bret ren, and after that they shall be come, even them also shall he suddenly s[...]y and shall be crowned with the head of a Lion. In his dayes a serpeat shal be engendered, which shal ende[...]o[...] the destruction of all mortalls; he shall by his length environ London, and shall destroy all the passengers. A Bull of the [...]ou[...]ain shall assume the head of the Wolf, and shall cleanse his teeth in the shop of Sabtina: he shall gather to him the Highlanders and the Welch who shall drink the Thames dry. The Ass shall call a Goat with a long beard, and shall change his shape: therefore shall the Bull be displeased, and having called the Wolfe, the horned Bull shall make at them; and the more to manifest his cruelty, he shall devour their flesh and bones: but he shall be burnt in the top of Uria[...]. The [...]ber of the fire wherein he shall be burnt, shall be changed into Swans, which shill swimas well upon dry gound as on the water.

Fishes shall swallow Fishes, and men shall devour men: but old are comming on submarine lights shall be ingendered, and they shall devise submarine deceipts. They shall sink shipping, and they shall gather much money. The River Thames shall flow again, and the united [...]ters shall exceed the bounds of the Channell: it shall overflow the neighbouring townes, and shall overtune the opposite mountains. It shall incorporate with the fountain Galaber full of deceit and naughtiness; whence shall arise seditions, provoking the Ve[...]t a s to wars. The Oakes of the Forrests shall unite, and shall encounter with the stones of the G[...]visey. The Crows and the Kites shall devour the bodies of the slain. The C le, faill build her nest upon the walls of Gl[...]s[...]; and in her nest shall am Asse be e crated. The Serpent of Mal[...]i shall ed[...]ate him, and shall hatch more tre[...]eries. Having got the Crown he shall s[...] on high, and with a horrible noise [Page 40] shall affright the people of the countrey: in his d ies the mountaines of Pa[...] shall s[...]gger, and the Provinces shall be deprived of their Forrests: for a Wo me of a i ry breath shall suddenly come, who shall burne the trees with his sentout vapour. Seaven Lions shall come out of him, disgraced by the heads of Goats: they shall destroy women by the s inch of their nostrils, and shall make wives wantons. The Father shall not know his own Son, because their wives shall play the beasts, therefore shall a Gyant of wi kedness rush upon them, who by the sharpness of his eyes shall terrifie all. The Dragon of Worcester shall rise against him, and shall strive to rout him out, but an encounter being made, the Dragon shall overcome, and the ungodliness of the victor shall be repressed; for he shall subdue the Dragon, and having put off his garment, shall remain naked. The Dragon shall carry him alo[...], and with his tayle (erected) shall beat the naked Gyant. But the Gyant reassuming his vigour, shall break his jaws with a sword: at length the Dragon shall sold himself under his tayle, and (poysoned) shall die.

The Boar of olenesius shall succeed him, and by his terrible tyranny shall oppress the people. Gloucester shall cast out the Lion, who shall disquiet the Serpent with severall Wars. He shall ed him under his fe t, and shall affright him with his open jaws. At length the Lion shall contend with the Kingdom, and shall climb upon the backs of Noble men. The Bull shall rush into the strife, and shall smite the Lion with his right foot. He shall drive him throughout all the parts of the Kingdom, but he shall break his horns in the Wals of Exon. The Fox of Ka[...]du[...]lus shall be revenged of the Lion, and shall wholly devoure him with his teeth. For the Serpent of Lin[...]n shall surround him, and by a horrible hissing shall intimate his presence to many Dragons.

The Dragons shall gather together, and shall tear one another in pieces. The winged shall oppress those that want wings, and shall fasten their poysoned claws upon their Eyelids, the rest shall consent to combating, and shall one kill another. These being dead, a fifth shall succeed, and shall break the remainder by sundry devices; he shall crush the back of one in pieces, and (with his sword) shall separate his head from his body. Having put off his garment, he shall ascend another, and shall throw upon him the right & left side of his tayl. One that is naked shall keep him at a distance, when one that is cloathed shall not de err him. He shall torment the rest upon the back, and shall drive them to the uttermost part of the Kingdom.

A roaring Lion (and one to be feared for his outragious c u lty) shall suddenly come. He shall reduce fifteen Provinces into one, and he alone shall enjoy the people. A Gyant shall shine with a white colour, and shall germinate a wh te people. Pleasures shall make Princes feeble, and the Subjects shall become savage. A Lion (with his belly full of blood) shall arise among them, a sickle shall be given him in the corn, which (whilst he shall grieve in minde) shall be oppressed of him. A Carter of York shall quiet them, and (his master being thrust out) he shall ascend into the Cart which he drove, and shall threaten the East with a drawn sword, and he shall fill the Track of his Cart wheeles with blood. Afterwards a Fi[...] shall be procr ated in the [...]a, whi h being allured by the hissing of the Serpent shall copulate with him, betwixt whom three glistering Bu[...] shall be generated, who (having eat up their pastures) shall be turned into Trees.

The first shall carry a vi[...]rous whip, and shall turn his back of him that is born after him. The second brother shall endeavour to snatch the wh p from him, but he shall be rebuked by the youngest. They shall turn away their faces mut ally from one another, untill they shall poure forth a poysoned cup. A Prince of the Highlanders shall succeed him, whom (also) the Serpent shall seek to destroy. He shall apply himself to Tillage, so that the Countries shall be white with Corn. The Serpent shall indeavour [Page 41] to diffuse poyson, to hinder the growth of the grass and corn. The people shall waste by reason of a deadly famine, and the Wals of their Cities shall be made desolate. The City of Gloucester shall be given for a Medicine, which shall render sustenance to those that be under the lash, for she shall bear the ballance of the medicine and the Isle shall be renewed in a short space. After which, two shall sue for the Scepter, to whom the horned Dragon shall submit himself. Another shall come armed, and shall ride the flying Serpent; being naked he shall sit upon his back, and shall cast the right side of his Tayl upon him.

The neighbouring Nations shall be awakened by his clamour, and shall st t e other Nations Therefore shall the second be united to the Lion, but (dissenting betwixt themselves) they shall encounter one another; and (after mutuall wounds) they shall lie down together, but the fierceness of the Lion shall prevail. There shall one suddenly come with the Timbrell & Harp, and shall asswage the fierceness of the Lion, therefore shall the people of the Kingdom be pacified, and shall provoke the Lion to Justice. Being setled in his Throne, he shall think of Rewards; but his power shall extend into the Highlands. Therefore shall the Northern Provinces be sorrowfull, and shall open the doors of the Temples. The StandardbearerWoolfe shall raise Troopes, and shall environ Cornwall with his tayle. A Souldier (in a Cart) shall withstand him, who shall change that people into a Boar. Therefore the Boar shall waste the Provinces, but he shall be drowned in the deep of Severn. A man (in Wine) shall be as a Lion, and the lustre of his Gold shall dazle the eyes of the beholders: He shall gild his silver-wine-bowles,and shall trouble sundry Winepresses.

Men shall be drunk with Wine, and having laid aside the thought of heaven, shall be wedded to the Earth. The Stars shall with-hold their influence from them, and shall confound their wonted motion. The Heavens being thus averse, their Corn-fields shall be dryed up and the dew of heaven shall be denyed them. The roots and branches shall change their offices, and the novelty thereof shall be miraculous. The splendour of the Sun shall languish by the paleness of Mercury, & it shall be dreadfull to the beholders. Mercury of Arca ia shall change his shield, and he shall call Venus the Helmet of Mars; the Helmet of Mars shall cast a shadow, and the rage of Mercury shall exceed its limits. Hard-hearted Orion shall unsheath his Falchion. Phoebus of the Sea shall disturb the Clouds. Jupiter shall leave off his appointed course, and Venus shall forsake her Orb. The malice of Saturn shall be poured down grievously, and with his crooked Sythe shall he destroy mankinde. The 12. Houses of heaven shall bewail the absence of the Planets. The Twins shall leave off their accustomed Imbraces, and shall exchange Summer for Winter.

The Scales shall hang unavenly, untill the Ram support them with his crooked Hornes. The Scorpions tayl shall engender Lightening, and the Crab shall contend with the Sun. The Virgin shall ascend the back of the Archer, and shall ob[...]scate the pure and beautifull Flowers. The Orbe of the Moon shall trouble the Zodiack, and the Pleiades shall gu[...] out with tears. The Offices of Janus shall no more be restored, but (the Gate being shut) he shall lurk in the Creeks of A[...]ad[...]. In the twinckling of an eye shall the Seas arise, and the Ashes of the dead shall be renewed. The Winds shall contend with a terrible su[...]ation, and shall terminate their sound amongst the Stars.

This is a selection from the original text


beasts, cart, corn, destruction, dry, goats, waste

Source text

Title: The World's Catastrophe

Author: William Lilly

Publication date: 1647

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: Wing (2nd ed.) / L2252 Bibliographic name / number: Thomason / E.387[1] Physical description: [6], 71, [1] p. : Copy from: British Library Reel position: Thomason / 61:E.387[1]

Digital edition

Original author(s): William Lilly

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) tp, image no.2 (Its true this Age ... means an English King.), pp.36-41 (There shall be a lamentable desolation ... terminate their sound amongst the Stars.)


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