posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 12:04 PM
October 13, 1736 London was once again targeted for the "beginning of the end," this time by William Whiston. The Thames filled with waiting
boatloads of citizens, but it didn't even rain. Another setback.
1757 Mystic/theologian/spiritist and supreme egocentric Emmanuel Swedenborg, ever willing to be a center of attention for one reason or another,
decided after one of his frequent consultations with angels that 1757 was the terminating date of the world. To his chagrin, he was not taken too
seriously by anyone, including the angels.
April 5, 1761 When religious fanatic and soldier William Bell noticed that exactly twenty-eight days had elapsed between a February 8 and a March 8
earthquake in 1761, he naturally concluded that the entire world would crumble in another twenty-eight days, that is, on April 5th. Most suggested
that the date should have been four days earlier, in tune with the probability, but many credulous Londoners believed him and snapped up every
available boat, taking to the Thames or scurrying out of town as if those actions would save them. History records nothing more of Bell after April 6,
when he was tossed into London's madhouse, Bedlam, by a disappointed public.
1774 English sect leader Joanna Southcott (1750-1814) had the notion that she was pregnant with the New Messiah, whom she proposed to name Shiloh.
History records that her pregnancy "came to nothing," nor did the world end as she had prophesied. She left behind a box of mystical notes that were
to be opened only after her death with twenty-four bishops present. Perhaps because of a failure to interest that many ecclesiastics of high rank to
attend the occasion, the box was not opened and vanished somewhere. She was succeeded by several minor would-be prophets, all of whom tried other
End-of-the-World predictions, with the same result. One successor, John Turner, we will meet up ahead.
1801 Astrologer Pierre Turrel (see 1537) chose this date, along with three others, for The End. His first two had already failed by this time. Again,
1814 Astrologer Pierre Turrel (remember him?) chose this last date for The End. His three others had already failed, and, again no luck! As author
Charles Mackay wryly noted, "the world wagged as merrily as before."
October 14, 1820 Prophet John Turner was leader of the Southcottian movement in Bradford, England. The specialty of this sect was End-of-the-World
prophecies, the first one having been made by the founder of the group, Joanna Southcott, whom we have already met back in 1774. His failed prediction
turned his congregation against him, and John Wroe (see 1977, up ahead) took over the movement.
April 3, 1843 (And also July 7, 1843, March 21 and October 22, 1844) William Miller, founder of the Millerite church, spent fifteen years in careful
study of the scriptures and determined that the world would conclude sometime in 1843. He announced this discovery of what he called "the midnight
cry" in 1831. When there was a spectacular meteor shower in 1833, it seemed to his followers that his prediction was close to being fulfilled, and
they celebrated their imminent demise. Then, as each date he named failed to produce Armageddon, Miller moved it up a bit. The faithful continued to
gather by the thousands on hilltops all over America each time one of the new dates would dawn. Finally, on October 22, 1844, the last day that Miller
had calculated for The End, the Millerites relaxed their vigils. Five years later, Miller died, still revered and not at all concerned at his failed
The movement eventually changed its name and broke up into a number of modern-day churches, among them the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which today
has over three million members.
1874 A date calculated by Charles Taze Russell of the Jehovah's Witnesses (which see) for The End.