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The Lords of England afterwards
Did send for him again,
In Ireland did remain :
Who, by the vile and great Abuse
Which thro' his Deeds did spring, Deposed was; and then the Duke
Was truly crowned King.
To the Tune of, Dainty come thou to me.
There is something so fabulous, or, at least,
that has such a Romantick Appearance in the History of Whittington, that I shall not chufe to relate it; but refer my credulous Readers to common Tradition, or to the Penny Histories. Certain it is, that there was such a Man; a Citizen of London, by Trade a Mercer; and one who has left Publick Edifices,and Charitable Worksenow behind him, to transmit his Name to Posterity. Amongst others, he founded a House of Prayer; with an Allowance for
a Mafter, Fellows, Choristers, Clerks, &c. and an Alms-House for Thirteen poor Men, called Whittington College. He entirely rebuilt the loathsome Prison, which then was standing at the West Gate of the City, and call'd it Newgate. He built the better Half of St. Bartholomew's Hofpital, in West Smithfield; and the fine Library in Grey-Fryars, now called Christ's Hospital: As also great Part of the East End of Guildhall
, with a Chapel, and a Library; in which the Records of the City might be kept. He was chosen Sheriff, in the Seventeenth Year of the Reign of King Richard the Second, and of the Christian Æra 1393; William Stondon, by Trade a Grocer, being then Mayor of London. After which he was knighted; and in the One and Twentieth Year of the fame Reign, he was chosen Mayor. Which Honour was again conferr'd on him in the Eighth Year of King Henry the Fourth, and the Seventh of King Henry the Fifth. 'Tis said of him, That he advanc'd a very considerable Sum of Money, towards carrying on the War in France, under this last Monarch. He marry'd Alice, the Daughter of Hugh and Molde Fitzwarren: at whose House, Traditions fay, Whittington liūd a Servant, when he got his immense Riches by venturing his Cat in one of his Master's
Ships. However, if we may give Credit to his own Will, he was a Knight's Son; and more obliged to an English King, and Prince, than to any African Monarch, for his Riches. For when he founded Whittington College, and left a Maintenance for so many People, as above related; they were, as Stow records it, (for this Maintenance) bound to pray for the good Estate of Richard Whittington, and Alice his Wife, their Founders; and for Sir William Whittington, and Dame Joan his Wife; and for Hugh Fitzwarren, and Dame Molde his Wife; the Fathers and Mothers of the said Richard Whittington, and Alice his Wife; For King Richard the Second, and Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Glocester, Special Lords and Promoters of the said Richard Whittington, &c.
Ere must I tell the Praise
Of worthy Whittington,
Thrice Lord-Mayor of London :
But of poor Parentage
Born was he as we hear, And in his tender Age
Bred up in Lancashire.
Poorly to London then
Came up this simple Lad; Where, with a Merchant-Man,
Soon he a Dwelling had;
And in a kitchen plac'd,
A Scullion for to be; Where a long Time he pass'd
In Labour drudgingly.
His daily Service was
Turning at the Fire ; And to scour Pots of Brass,
For a poor Scullion's Hire :
Meat and Drink all his Pay,
Of Coin he had no Store; Therefore to run away,
In secret Thought he bore.
So, from the Merchant-Man,
Whittington secretly Towards his Country ran,
To purchase Liberty.
But as he went along,
In a fair Summer's Morn, London's Bells sweetly rung
Whittington's back Return;
Evermore founding so,
Turn again, Whittington; For thou, in Time, shalt grow
Lord-Mayor of London.