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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
29th January 1996 6,138th performance of Cats is held in London, surpassing record of Broadway's longest-running musical, A Chorus Line
29th January 1944 285 German bombers attack London
29th January 1850 Born today: Ebenezer Howard, London, pioneer of garden cities
29th January 1798 Born today: Henry Neele, London, poet
29th January 1728 John Gays' Beggar's Opera, premieres in London [NS=Feb 9]
Dick Whittington lived here.
This is where Lord Mayor Dick Whittington lived
Location: College Street
Description: London's most famous Lord Mayor Dick Whittington lived, in a house which stood on this site in 1423.
Dick Whittington was far from the character portrayed in the well known pantomime story. He became a wealthy merchant dealing in silks and velvets after enrolling at the Mercers' Company as an apprentice sometime after his fathers death in 1358. By the time he was 40 he had made a substantial fortune and this was recognised in 1393 when he was elected Lord Mayor for the first time and was re-elected on 3 further occasions in later life.
As the richest merchant in London he became an important banker to three successive English Kings. He also laid out large sums of his own money on public buildings such as a refuge for unmarried mothers' at St Thomas's hospital and a 128 seat public lavatory that was flushed by the Thames. You can also see a new church St Michael Paternoster which was built with Whittington's money and stands next to the site of his house in College Hill. The original medieval church where Dick and his wife were buried was destroyed in the great fire. With all his good work it was no wonder he became a legend.