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On this day in 1397, Dick Whittington became Lord Mayor of London

By Time Out London contributor

Richard Whittington was elected Lord Mayor for the first time on October 13 1397. During his three appointments as Lord Mayor, he bought back bits of London that had been confiscated by Richard II, rebuilt the Guildhall, built a ward for unmarried mothers at St Thomas’s Hospital and created a public toilet seating 128 people that was cleansed by the River Thames at high tide, called ‘Whittington’s Longhouse’.

When he died, he left his considerable fortune to various charitable causes, creating a legendary status that saw him become a beloved fictional hero of pantomimes and stories. There is no record of his ever having owned a pet; however, a mummified cat was found in the tower of the church in which he is buried.

From ‘London Map of Days’ by Mychael Barratt.

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