Prophets come from the most humble of beginnings and most often in history their gifts do not seem to bring wealth or even a good life. Ignominy was almost certain in most cases and even downright horrible deaths but very few are as strange as the life of Robert Nixon of Over Village in Cheshire.
Considered to be the village idiot by most, he often met with scorn from his fellow citizens in the area of Bridge House Farm where he and his parents eked out a meager existence as farmers. Today this area, which is northeast of Beeston and Cholmondeley Castles, is part of the town of Winsford on the western edge close to the River Weaver. The Norman Earl of Chester kept a summer palace at Darnhall and used it as a hunting lodge because of the deer and wild boars which were brought to the forest there. King Edward founded Vale Royal Abbey and in 1277 actually laid the foundation stones along with his Queen, Eleanor, the daughter of Ferdinand III. This brought prosperity to the area which had been formerly unknown to the town and parish and remained so until the dissolution of the abbeys brought on by Henry the Eighth’s decree in the 17th century.
Much of what you will read about Robert Nixon on the internet is either confused or erroneous. You’ll read that it has not been determined what century he lived in and I suppose that’s because of the nature of prophecy itself and its detractors. His most famous and ironclad prophecy about the battle at Bosworth Field, however, could only place his birth somewhere around 1458-1470. He did not receive any type of formal education which was to his demise.
On the day of the battle in 1485, King Richard along with his constituents were locked in fierce combat with the Earl of Richmond’s army many miles away in Leicestershire. At the same moment Robert Nixon was manning a plow behind an old horse on the fields close to their home. Suddenly, in the middle of his work, he stopped and his head dropped as though he were listening to someone speak and then just as suddenly began to hop and jerk around, waving his arms, and stumbling and yelling. His fellow workers were used to odd behavior from him but never quite this bad so his overseer was sent to him to find out what his problem was and possibly get him back to work. When the man reached him he was practically foaming at the mouth and he stopped short not sure what to do with him in his state of excitement.
Robert’s words have been recorded as though he were at the battle and shouting directions as if announcing a prize fight.
” There Richard !…. there!….now!”
“Up, Henry! Up with all arms ! Over the ditch, Henry… over the ditch and the battle is won !”
Robert stood there after he calmed down like he was in a trance or transfixed on looking at a film or movie. (Remember, no such thing existed at the time!) He smiled finally, taking notice of the overseer and proclaimed to him, “The battle is over…Henry has won.” Then he went back to his plowing as though he had said nothing.
The overseer took off over the fields, most likely many miles away, to report to the Lords of Cholmondeley because of Robert’s reputation as a seer. Previous to this he had predicted a fire in a neighboring village and a death in the Cholmondeley family. He had told of a storm two weeks before its occurrence and he had also predicted the Battle of Bosworth field before this incident. Other predictions involved the abbots of Vale Royal Abbey some of them way into the future. Some predictions included the Great Fire of London in 1666, the accession of the four Hanoverian Kings and others which haven’t occurred even yet.
Two days after Henry VII took the throne, messengers were sent to Robert’s village and they were baffled as to the reason why everyone already knew that he had won the battle at Bosworth. Needless to say, word soon got back to the new King of England that Robert had predicted and actually seen the battle and he sent for him. Robert’s reaction was as bizarre as the day that he excitedly reported his victory. He took off from home and went from house to house trying to find someone who would listen to him and hide him. He had harbored an omen of his own demise and told everyone that if he was taken to the King that he would starve to death in his palace. He was, of course, laughed at scornfully and turned away as if he were only crazy.
The influence of the King was great and he soon had paid off his parents to turn Robert over to him with assurances that he only wanted to consult him. The night he was delivered over to the messenger who was sent to take him away he stood up at the family table and announced, “The Kings man is coming soon. I must go but I will never return.”
When he was taken to the King it became obvious to everybody in the court that Robert was not exactly a bright fellow, only gifted by God with an ability of prophecy. Henry’s first question posed to him was the location of a ring that the King had lost. Robert’s reply only impressed the King himself.
“The ring is not lost, Sire, for he who hides can also find !”
This satisfied Henry VII enough that he ordered a scribe to be kept at his side day and night to record anything that came out of his mouth. As the reports came in daily they were studied but many of them were so far into the future that much of what he said simply had no meaning or immediate bearing and he was, for the most part, marginalized. Ancient records show that he spoke of an invasion of Britain by soldiers with ice on their helmets and in his own words, “The bear that has been tied to the stake shall shake off his chains and cause much debate and strife.” Much of this was mostly likely so obscure that it was discrediting to him and he was by his own admission an extremely modest fellow. He was not used to be taken seriously.
The new monarch ignored the request from Robert that he not be left behind when he went on a hunting trip and the results were disastrous, to say the least. Instead of special care being taken of his fears he was left in charge of a deputy who locked Robert in a room and left on a trip himself, forgetting to leave information about where he was locked up or arrangements made for any other caretaker to be left in charge. Upon the King’s return, a search was made immediately and Nixon was finally found in a dungeon, dead of starvation, just as he had predicted.
All Rights Reserved by
Evelyn M. Wallace 8/8/2010
Predicting lots of affection for all,
The Castle Lady
-From the dawn of time we came, moving silently down through the centuries,
living many secret lives. Struggling to reach the time begat
when the few who remain go back to the last.
No one has ever run before you.
– on Draco-Cornish mp3 ca 55:24