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Hempe

(1 syl.). When hempe is spun England is done. Lord Bacon says he heard the prophecy when he was a child, and he interpreted it thus: Hempe is composed of the initial letters of H enry, E dward, M ary, P hilip, and E lizabeth. At the close of the last reign “England was done,” for the sovereign no longer styled himself “King of England,” but “King of Great Britain and Ireland.” (See Notarica.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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