Friday, 5 November 2010

Turn again, Whittington

Yes, the pantomime season will start shortly, and it’s interesting to consider this blue plaque on a house at 20 College Hill, in the City of London.

Wikipedia tells us:

Sir Richard Whittington (c. 1354–1423) was a medieval merchant and politician, and the real-life inspiration for the pantomime character Dick Whittington. Sir Richard Whittington was four times Lord Mayor of London, a member of parliament and a sheriff of London. In his lifetime he financed a number of public projects, such as drainage systems in poor areas of medieval London, and a hospital ward for unmarried mothers. He bequeathed his fortune to form the Charity of Sir Richard Whittington, which nearly 600 years later, continues to assist people in need.

The Whittington Hospital at Archway in north London, where my lovely granddaughter was born, is named after Richard Whittington. Its logo incorporates his legendary cat.

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