Ship-Money is the name of a tax imposed at different periods in England for the naval defence of the country, and laid generally upon seaports and maritime counties, certain privileges being granted in return. We meet with it as early as 1007, to provide defence against Norse rovers, and in the time of Elizabeth it was resorted to as a means of providing a fleet against the Spanish Armada; but the question of ship-money came to the front in politics in the reign of Charles I. He in 1634, by exercise of his prerogative, imposed this tax upon London and other seaport towns, giving the authorities leave to raise it by assessment. He met the objections to paying it with obstinacy, and extended it to the whole kingdom. In 1637 John Hampden, by refusing to pay, brought the question to a legal trial in the Court of Exchequer. A majority of eight out of the twelve judges decided in favour of the Crown, and Hampden was condemned; but one of the first measures of the long Parliament, in 1640, was to declare the exercise of prerogative illegal.
Shipton, MOTHER, the legendary prophetess, has been identified with URSULA SOUTHIEL, who was born at Knaresborough, in Yorkshire, in 1488; she married Tony Shipton, a builder, and lived upwards of 70 years. In reality, however, most of the tales concerning her are derived from the Life and Death of Mother Shipton (1677), by Richard Head. The oldest collection of her prophecies now in existence was published in 1641.