Daniel Defoe recorded a curious tale current here in the 1720s:

They have a story in this city, that whenever a bishop of that diocese is to die, a heron comes and sits upon a pinnacle of the spire of the cathedral. This accordingly happened about 1709 when Dr John Williams was bishop. A Butcher standing at his shop door, in the South Street, saw it, and ran in for his gun, and being a good marksman shot the heron and killed it, at which his mother was very angry with him, and said he had killed the bishop, and the next day news came to the town that Dr Williams, the last bishop, was dead; this is affirmed by many people inhabitants of that place.

Somewhat similar is the belief that a cormorant perching on the church tower at BOSTON, Lincolnshire, is a death omen.



Haunted England : The Penguin Book of Ghosts – Written by Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson
Copyright © Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson 2005, 2008