100 days – Day 84: St Swithin’s Day
Born in the 9C in the Kingdom of Wessex, Swithin (spelling also recorded as ‘Swithun’) was the Bishop of Winchester (the City in which he had been educated).
He became chaplain to the King of Wessex, Egbert, and Egbert’s son, Ethelwulf (whom Swithin had tutored) made him Bishop of Winchester in 852 A.D..
Some 100 years after his death in 862, – on 15th July 971 – and for reasons not documented, Bishop Swithin’s remains were transferred from his humble grave just outside the west door of the Minister, to a shrine within the Cathedral itself.
On that same day there was a tremendous rainstorm that was to continue for a further 40 days and 40 nights. Legend has it that Bishop Swithin was so angry about the move from his final resting place that he caused the storm.
Folklore has it that if there is rain rain on 15th July, then we’re in for a following wet forty days thereafter….. this 40 day period ending on St. Bartholomew’s Day (24 August)
Saint Swithin’s feast day is the date of the removal of his remains, not that of his death.
copyright – Polly Hughes
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