Geoff the Mason, a mason, died 1298 for stealing vestments, surplices, books & other ornaments from the church of St Leonard of Leicester
— Medieval Death Bot (@DeathMedieval) April 24, 2016
Geoff never wanted to be a mason. “Stone is boring”, he moaned to his mum. “I don’t wanna be a mason. I wanna be a pirate, or ahighwayman, or a priest – somebody with fancy togs”. But mother mason was a firm believer in family tradition. “It was good enough for gramps, and it’s good enough for your dad, so it’ll be good enough for you, young man. Besides which, we’ve got the name now – I can’t be doing with you getting a different job. I mean, whoever heard of somebody called Mason who wasn’t a mason?”
Geoff gave up. It was never any good arguing with his mum. She just talked louder and louder till you gave in because your head was thumping. Better just get on with it.
Time passed, and Geoff went on masoning away. Though he never came to love it, he took pride in his work and became known as the person to go to if you wanted that special bit of stonework to wow your family and friends. So when the bishop of Leicester looked at the church of St Leonard and decided it needed a brand new fancy font, Geoff was the natural person to ask.
Geoff set up his tools and stone in the graveyard and started chipping away. Soon he’d made a fine font decorated with eagles, and frogs and even a little baby Jesus.
The bishop hated it. “Frogs”, he shouted. “I hate bloody frogs. I’m not paying for that monstrosity. P*** off.” “But what about my money?” Geoff asked. “That stone cost a pretty penny and I’ve been working on it for weeks”. “Tough luck”, said the bishop. “Not paying, can’t make me.”
Geoff went home and told his mum. “We’ll see about that”, she said. “If he won’t pay fair and square there’s ways and means of getting what’s due to us.”
So that’s how Geoff ended up coming out of the church with his arms full of vestments, surplices, books and other ornaments just as the thunderstorm started. The lightning came down the church steeple and latched onto the ornamental goblet Geoff was holding. Bam! Geoff was dead as a Dodo.
“That’s what happens to those who go against the will of the Lord”, chuckled the bishop.