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Dick Whittington

Dick Whittington is a character in British pantomime, based on the real-life Richard Whittington. There are several versions of the traditional story, which tells how Dick, a boy from a poor family, sets out for London to make his fortune, accompanied by his cat. At first he meets with little success, and is tempted to return home. However, on his way out of the city, he hears the bells of London ringing, and believes they are sending him a message. A traditional rhyme is associated with this episode, as follows:

''Turn again, Whittington,
Thou worthy citizen,
Lord Mayor of London''

On returning to London, Dick embarks on a series of adventures. In one version of the tale, he travels abroad on a ship, and wins many friends as a result of the rat-catching activities of his cat. Eventually he does become prosperous, and is made Lord Mayor of London.