According to The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England by Robert Charles Hope (1893). ‘The village of Osmotherley is seven miles from Northallerton in the Cleveland hillside. Tradition has it that Osmund, King of Northumbria, and his wife, had an only son Oswy, heir to his kingdom. The “wise ” being consulted at his birth, foretold the child would on a certain day be drowned. The mother in every way endeavoured to stave off the catastrophe, and as the time for the fatal event neared, she fled with the boy to the top of Osnaberg, or Roseberry Topping, as it is now called, safe as she surmised from any watery depths. Here she awaited the passing away of the fatal day. Having fallen asleep through fatigue, the young prince wandered away from her, and came across a small well. Seeing his face reflected in the water, he endeavoured to grasp it, fell in, and was drowned. The mother on awaking traced his footsteps to the spot, where she found the dead body of her child. The body was buried in the churchyard close by; the mother died shortly after, and was buried beside him. The heads of both are said to be still seen at the east end of the church.A similar account is that some years ago there lived in a secluded part of Yorkshire a lady, who had an only son named Os or Oscar. Strolling out one day with her child, they met a party of gipsies, who were anxious to tell her the child’s fortune. After being much importuned, she assented to their request. To the mother’s astonishment and grief they prognosticated that the child would be drowned. In order to avert so dreadful a calamity the infatuated mother purchased some land, and built a house on the summit of a high hill, where she lived with her son a long time in peace and seclusion. Happening one fine summer’s day, in the course of a perambulation, to have fatigued themselves/ they sat down on the grass to rest, and soon fell asleep. While enjoying this repose, a spring rose up from the ground, which caused such an inundation as to overwhelm them, and side by side they found a watery grave. After this had occurred, the people in the neighbourhood named it Os-by-his-mother-lay, which has since been corrupted into Osmotherley.