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Saint Swithun

Swithun, a bishop of Winchester who died in 862, was famed for his great modesty. He left instructions that he was to be buried outside Winchester cathedral "in a place made vile both by the feet of passers-by and by the raindrops falling from the eaves." According to legend, some 100 years later the local monks made plans to shift his bones to a more exalted spot but, on the day of the move, July 15, 971, it began to rain and did not let up until their plan was abandoned 40 days later.

[Thus the common refrain: "Saint Swithun's day

[July 15th] if thou dost rain, for 40 days it will remain; Saint Swithun's day if thou be fair, for 40 days 'twill rain nae mair... Aaarrr."]

[Among the miracles attributed to Swithun: As well as curing lepers and the lame in his diocese, he is said to have restored a basket of shattered eggs which were a poor widow's only marketable goods.]

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