Richard Whittington (c. 1354–1423) was a medieval merchant and a politician. He is also the real-life inspiration for the English folk tale Dick Whittington and His Cat. He was four times Lord Mayor of London, a Member of Parliament and a sheriff of London. In his lifetime he financed a number of public projects, such as drainage systems in poor areas of medieval London, and a hospital ward for unmarried mothers. He bequeathed his fortune to form the Charity of Sir Richard Whittington which, nearly 600 years later, continues to assist people in need. Despite knowing three of the five kings who reigned during his lifetime, there is no evidence that he was knighted.