Swithins Day

Swithin's Day The following is said to be the origin of the old adage "If it rains on St. Swithin's Day, there will be rain more or less for forty succeeding days." In the year 865 St. Swithin, bishop of Winchester to which rank he was raised by king Ethelwolf the Dane was canonized by the then pope. He was singular for his desire to be buried in the open church-yard, and not in the chancel of the minster, as was usual with other bishops, which request was complied with; but the monks, on his being canonized, taking it into their heads that it was disgraceful for the saint to lie in the open church-yard, resolved to remove his body into the choir, which was to have been done with solemn procession on July 15. It rained, however, so violently on that day, and for forty days succeeding, as had hardly ever been known, which made them set aside their design as heretical and blasphemous; and instead they erected a chapel over his grave, at which many miracles are said to have been wrought. The value to be placed upon the popular notion that if it rain on July 15 it will do so for forty succeeding days may be learned from the following facts from the Greenwich observations for twenty years. It appears that St. Swithin's Day was wet in 1841, and there were 23 rainy days up to Aug. 24, 1845, 26 rainy days; 1851, 13 rainy days; 1853, 18 rainy days; 1854, 16 rainy days; and in 1856, 14 rainy days. In 1842 and following years St. Swithin's Day was dry and the result was, in 1842, 12 rainy days; 1843, 12 rainy days; 1844, 20 rainy days. 1846, 21 rainy days; 1847, 1.7 rainy days; 1848, 31 rainy days; 1849, 20 rainy days; 1850, 17 rainy days; 1852,19 rainy days; 1855, 18 rainy days; 1857, 14 rainy days; 1858, 14 rainy days; 1859, 13 rainy days; and in 1860, 29 rainy days. These figures show the superstition to be founded on a fallacy, as the average of twenty years proves rain to have fallen upon the largest number of days when St. Swithin's day was dry.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.