In a woods near Lissington in Lincolnshire there lived a fierce, hairy and powerful Woodwose. He lived wild among wild things and when people came to the woods to hunt, he’d chase them away.
The people feared and hated him and so they came up with a plan to rid themselves of him once and for all. A delegation went to the knight Drake Tyrwhitt and offered him an estate of some 280 acres if only he would kill the Woodwose for them.
Tyrwhitt went to the woods. There he found the Woodwose lying asleep on the ground but as Tyrwhitt approached, pyewipes flocked about the Woodwose and made a great clamour to warn him of the danger.
Tyrwhitt quickly retreated. He hid among the trees and watched the Woodwose. He watched where he went, what he ate, where he drank. Then Tyrwhitt went home.
The next day Tyrwhitt returned on horseback, with a barrel of rum. He emptied it into the little pond where the Woodwose drank and then, once again, he hid among the trees and watched.
It was a warm day and soon enough the Woodwose came along and drank deeply from the pond. He lurched away, drunk as a lord from the rum, then collapsed and fell fast asleep.
Tyrwhitt spurred his horse and rode straight at the Woodwose, intending to slay him as he slept. But again the pyewipes flocked and clamoured and the Woodwose sprang to his feet and Tyrwhitt’s sword caught him only a glancing blow. Bloodied and enraged, the Woodwose chased the knight out of the woods and across fields for a mile before the rum and blood loss so weakened him that he fell to the ground.
Tyrwhitt turned his horse and charged the Woodwose again, running him through with his sword. The Woodwose bled so profusely that the field was stained red with his blood and thereafter the area was known as Stainfield.