SOUTHCOTT, JOANNA (1750-1814), was born in the Methodists, but, becoming persuaded she possessed supernatural gifts, she wrote and dictated prophecies in rhyme, and announced herself as the woman spoken of in the Apocalypse (ch. xii.), affirming, when beyond the age of sixty, that she would be delivered of Shiloh on the 19th October 1814. For some days previous to this she was attended by her followers night and day, but Shiloh failed to appear, and it was given out that she was in a trance. She died of dropsy on the 29th of the same month. Her followers are said to have numbered over 100,000, and so late as 1860 they were not extinct.
Among her publications, which number over sixty, and are all equally incoherent in thought and grammar, may be mentioned Strange Effects of Faith, 1801-2 ; Free Exposition of the Bible, 1804 ; The Boole of Wonders, 1813-14 ; and Prophecies announcing the Birth of the Prince of Peace, 1814. A lady named Essam left large sums of money for printing and publishing the Sacred Writings of Joanna Southcott. The will was disputed by a niece on the ground that the writings wore blasphemous, but the Court of Chancery sustained it.
Sce Roberts, Observations on the Divine Mission of Joanna Southcott, 1807 ; Recce, Correct Statement of the Circumstances attending the Death of Joanna Southcott, 1815.