William de Lindholme (Lindholme Willie)

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  1. Ian says:

    According to ‘The Folklore Of Lincolnshire by Mabel Peacock (December 1900).’ ‘Another more than natural being who once had great renown, and who still survives in story among some few of the “old standards” of the Isle of Axholme, was William of Lindholme. This William was a wizard giant, so far as can be judged, not wholly unlike the Irish Fann MacCuil but with a closer resemblance, perhaps, to Michael Scott and other warlocks of fame. He used to live at Lindholme, a small hill of gravel on the turf moor near Wroot. The first and most celebrated of his exploits was performed when he was a boy. His parents went to Wroot feast, leaving their son to keep the sparrows from the corn-land. The thought of this occupation enraged him so much, however, that he snatched up an enormous stone, and cast it at the house to which his, father and mother had gone; but as he threw too high, the missile fell on the further side of the building. After this feat he himself went to Wroot, and when taken to task for deserting his work, explained that he had fastened up the sparrows in the barn; where indeed they were found in the evening, all dead, except a few which had become white. The farmer on whose land the stone hurled by the boy had fallen, yoked six horses to it, but their united strength failed to move it, and they all died soon after. Before the shifting of the population, now going on throughout Lincolnshire, had filled the neighbourhood of Wroot with strangers knowing nothing of the old local traditions, it was considered unlucky to meddle with this or with other large stones in the district.’