Dick Whittington

(d. 1423) merchant and mayor of London

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(d. 1423),

English merchant and Lord Mayor of London; full name Sir Richard Whittington. Whittington was a mercer who became Lord Mayor three times (1397–8; 1406–7; 1419–20) and left legacies for rebuilding Newgate Prison and establishing a city library.

The legend of his early life as a poor orphan was first recorded in 1605. According to the popular story, he was a kitchen boy who was so badly treated that he was about to run away, when he heard the bells of London ringing as though saying, ‘Turn again Whittington, Lord Mayor of London.’

Subjects: British History.

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