Swithun (or Swithin) was bishop of Winchester when he died in 862AD. He had a reputation for works of charity and for the founding of churches; and also is recorded as having the gift of healing. He was buried in the graveyard of Winchester Cathedral in a spot where “the sweet rain from heaven might wet his grave”.
According to folklore:
“St Swithin’s Day,
if it does rain full forty days,
it will remain St Swithin’s Day,
if it be fair For forty days, t’will rain no more”
Given it’s Mrs P’s 40th tommorrow and we have a huge marquee in the garden, and it’s forecast thuderstorms for Saturday I’m trusting in St Swithun – though the evidence is that there’s not a lot of evidence to back up his reputation:
Numerous studies have been carried out on past weather observations and none of them have proved the legend true. In fact, since the start of records in 1861, there have neither been 40 dry or 40 wet days following the corresponding weather on St Swithin’s Day.