Legends had abounded for centuries about the Lincoln imp, carved high on a column in Lincoln cathedral, but it was the entrepreneurial James Ward Usher in the 1880s who turned the wee beastie into a tidy profit, selling Lincoln imp tie-pins, cuff-links, spoons, brooches and beads. Usher also popularized the traditional legend of the imp, a tall tale in which a couple of imps are blown to Lincoln by a playful wind. They then proceed to hop around the cathedral, until one of them is turned to stone for trying to talk to the angels carved into the roof of the Angel Choir. His chum makes a hasty exit on the back of a witch, but the wind is still supposed to haunt the cathedral, awaiting its opportunity to be mischievous again.

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