Lady Eleanor Davies was born in 1590. She was the daughter of George Touchet, eleventh Baron Audley. George served as governor of Utrecht in the Netherlands. He held the office of Governor of Kells, County Meath in 1599. Audley had two hundred horsemen under his command at Kells. He was commander of the eight companies against the Irish rebels in 1599. He fought in the Battle of Kinsale on 24 December 1601, where he was wounded. He was created 1st Baron Audley of Orier, co. Armagh and 1st Earl of Castlehaven, co. Cork in 1616. Audley became the biggest English undertaker in the plantation of Tyrone. Eleanor Touchet probably spent much of her early childhood at the family home in Dorset before moving to Ulster with her family.
In 1609 Eleanor married Sir John Davies, Attorney General for Ireland. Ten years later Eleanor, Sir John and their family moved to London. In 1625 Eleanor took a thirteen year old Scottish deaf and dumb boy into her protection. He fascinated London society with his fortune-telling abilities. When his talents failed he ran away to sea. Eleanor woke one night and swore she heard a voice saying that it was nineteen and a half years to the day of judgement. She believed that the prophet Daniel spoke to her. She published her first pamphlet entitled ‘A Warning to the Dragon and All his Angels.’ Lady Eleanor interpreted the contemporary history of Britain in the light of biblical prophecy and her expectation of the Second Coming. She accurately predicting the death of hated favourite Buckingham.
Her husband burned her prophecies. Eleanor responded by saying that Sir John would die within three years. About a year later she began to weep at the dinner table and Sir John asked her what made her weep, and she replied, “These are your funeral tears.” Sir John dismissed the prediction. Within a few days he suffered a stroke and died.
Eleanor re-married. Her prophecies became renowned and she was even consulted on the possibility of the queen’s pregnancy. Her new husband, Sir Archibald Douglas, destroyed her papers and his wife said he would be judged by God. Sir Archibald went mad. Eleanor defended her brother who was charged with certain crimes and was executed. She published some prophecies which attacked the king and Archbishop Laud and as a result was imprisoned for a year.
She created disturbances in Lichfield Cathedral and as a result was sent to Bethlem Hospital (Bedlam). She was then moved to the Tower. Imprisoned for debt Eleanor continued to publish prophecies. Some of her writings dwelled on the importance of the Virgin Mary but most are very difficult to read. She opposed Charles I and supported Oliver Cromwell. She died in 1652.