On this very rainy St. Swithin's Day, here's another extract from Weatherland by Alexandra Harris:
"[...] there is no evidence that the historical Swithin, Bishop of Winchester in the 850s, had any interest in the weather at all. William of Malmesbury recorded in the twelfth century a story which would be retold for centuries. According to this story, Swithin asked on his deathbed to be buried outside the walls of his cathedral, where his body 'would be exposed to the tramp of feet as people passed by and to the rain pouring down'. the legend goes that when, a century later, his bones were taken into the cathedral itself and honoured as the relics of a saint, Swithin objected by sending a downpour. Alas there is little in the way of fact to support this. Swithin was actually given a prominent burial in front of the west door, and if it rained at the time of his reinterment none of those who described the ceremony thought it worth mentioning.
What matters more is that centuries of people believed the story, and one can see why. There could be few more fitting last wishes for an English hero than this request to lie out in the rain. There is the humility of it, and the sense of being in the midst of things, for life and rain can be synonymous and 'the rain it raineth every day' [...]"