Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' Dick Whittington
and his Cat.
Dick Whittington and his Cat is the title of an English folk tale surrounding the life of Richard Whittington who really existed once and lived from 13541423. Whittington was a wealthy merchant and became thrice Lord Mayor of London. According to the story he escaped his poor existence as a child and made his fortune thanks to the ratting abilities of the cat that he bought from an old woman one day. However, the real Whittington did not come from a poor family of common stock, and there is no compelling evidence supporting the stories about the cat, or even whether he owned one.

Another element considered essential to the legend is that Dick attempted to flee his service as a scullion one night, but was dissuaded by the tone of the church bells, which promised he would become mayor of London one day.

The story was adapted into a puppet play by Martin Powell in the early 18th century. Later, it has been performed as stage pantomimes and children's plays. It has also been retold as a children's story by a number of authors to this day.
 
A set of twelve square magic lantern slides measuring 8.2 x 8.2 cm, made by Theobald & Co. England.
1. The orphan, Dick Whittington, on his way to London City.
2. The gentleman of the house ordered her to take him to the kitchen.
3. She cuffed him about in a most unmerciful manner.
4. Dick offered her all the money he had if she would sell him the cat.
5. The room in which Dick slept was infested with rats.
6. The merchant could hardly restrain a smile when Dick walked in with his cat.
7. Dick went down to the wharf with Pussy, packed in a neat comfortable basket.
 
8. Sitting there in despondency and misery, he heard the bells of Bow Church ringing.
9. No sooner was the basket opened than Pussy sprang out upon the rats.
10. Heaps of gold were piled upon the table, and in strong iron boxes on the floor.
11. He asked his former kind master for his daughter's hand in marriage.
12. The king was so struck by his conduct that he knighted him Sir Richard Whittington.
The original readings that accompanied the slides above.
 
Dick Whittington and his Cat. A set of 18 magic lantern slides made by York and Son, England. The set consists of 19 slides minimum, 21 maximum. The slides 19-21 are listed as a 'panorama' and the set was counted as 24 slides for charging.
The first slide (#1) shows a portrait of the real Richard Whittington; the slides #4, #5, and #6 are dissolving views and show Dick on the stairs of Mr Fitzwarren's house; the slides #8, #9, #10, and #11 are also dissolving views and show Dick resting at Highgate Hill (see right picture). That's where he has a vision or dream. First his former master's daughter Alice appears, than the Cat and finally the Lord Mayor. From that moment he knew that he would become mayor of London one day.

This is the (almost) complete set:
Unfortunately this side is missing.
1. Portrait of Whittington. 2. The cat. 3. Country landscape.
4. Exterior of Mr Fitzwarren's house. 5. Exterior of Mr Fitzwarren's house -- Cook appears. 6. Exterior of Mr Fitzwarren's house -- Mr Fitzwarren appears.
7. Dick's bedroom. 8. Highgate Hill. 9. Highgate Hill - Vision of Alice.
10. Highgate Hill - Vision of the cat. 11. Highgate Hill - Vision of Lord Mayor. 12. Dick buying the cat.
Unfortunately this side is missing.
13. Interior of Mr Fitzwarren's house. 14. Ship at sea, with storm effect. 15. Savage banquet.
16. How puss behaved. 17. Mr Fitzwarren's counting house. 18. Marriage of Alice and Whittington.
19-21. Panorama -- Water Procession of the Lord Mayor.
 
These 5 British magic lantern slides measure 3.25 inches square.

They possibly belong to a larger set made by York and Son, England.
 
Set of eight slides depicting the story of Dick Whittington, made by the British manufacturer York and Son.

Trade mark of the manufacturer on a small triangular label in the right upper corner.

A label at the bottom shows the name and address of the retailer:

1. Dick left an orphan -- longing to go to London.   2. Dick found on a Doorstep by a Merchant.
3. Dick purchases a Cat for a Penny. 4. Dick on Highgate Hill hears Bow Bells. 5. Dick's Cat chases the Mice at the King's Dinner.
6. Dick receives the bags of gold for his Cat. 7. Dick's introduction to the King, who knighted him. 8. Dick Marries the Merchant's only Daughter.
 
These seven British magic lantern slides are mounted in a wooden frame that measures 7 by 4.4 inches (18 x 11 cm). They are probably a complete set made by an unknown manufacturer.
 
Dick Whittington.

A magnificent hand painted set of magic lantern slides made by Newton Opticians, Fleet St. London 'by Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Victoria'.
The eight images are divided over two wooden frames, dimensions approximately 35.5 x 9.5 cm.
   
Dick Whittington and his cat on a disc shaped magic lantern slide made by Ernst Plank (E.P.) containing 8 images.
Diameter c. 15 cm.

 

   
The story about Dick Whittington was also published in the Junior Lecturers Series that was produced by W. Butcher & Sons in London (1870-1906) under the trade name of Primus as part 612.
Click here for the complete series.


 
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