E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
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 Henry, Edward, Mary, Philip, and Elizabeth. 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.)