Dick Whittington

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This is a famous nursery story about a historic figure, Dick Whittington. Thanks to
the affectionate care of Mr Fitzwarren Dick Whittington, an orphan has the chance
to stop sleeping rough in the streets as one of the homeless. By selling his cat in a
foreign land plagued by rats (where cats were unknown) he grows rich. Eventually
he becomes Sir Richard Whittington, a historical figure who was Mayor of London
in 1397, 1406 and 1409 during the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV. During the
14th and 15th centuries the upper classes referred to buying and selling for profi t
as ‘achat’, which ordinary people may have understood as ‘a cat’.

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