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Folklore Friday - Thomas the Rhymer

Folklore Friday - Thomas the Rhymer
By Sophie 1 month ago 860 Views No comments


Thomas the Rhymer was a Scottish Laird who had the mysterious gift of prophecy. Born as Sir Thomas de Ercildoun in the 13th century, he became better known as Thomas the Rhymer when his gift of prophecy became more well known. More interestingly his gift was liked to his poetic ability.

The story goes that Sir Thomas was one day carried off by the Queen of Elfland. No one knows what happened while he was away, but when he returned, he had gained the gift of prophecy, as well as an inability to tell a lie. This earned him a second nick name of 'True Thomas'.

Not much else is known about Thomas's life, but he is said to have prophesied some pretty interesting things, including the death of Alexander III of Scotland.


The following are some descriptions and paraphrases of Thomas's prophecies, which were discovered by various Scottish historians.

"On the morrow, afore noon, shall blow the greatest wind that ever was heard before in Scotland."

This prophecy is thought to have been a prediction of the death of Alexander III in 1286. Thomas's prediction was given to the Earl of Dunbar, but thinking the prophecy had to do with changes in the weather, when none came he went back to Thomas to tell him he was wrong. Thomas simply replied that the hour had not yet come. Soon following this conversation, news of the king's death came.


"Who shal rule the ile of Bretaine / From the North to the South sey?"

"A French wife shal beare the Son, / Shall rule all Bretaine to the sey, that of the Bruces blood shall come / As neere as the nint degree."

In this prophecy, Thomas predicts a Scottish rule over all of Britain. This prophecy was by far his most famous.