Worthies

(The Nine). (See Nine.)

The Nine Worthies of London.
(1) Sir William Walworth, fishmonger, who stabbed Wat Tyler, the rebel. Sir William was twice Lord Mayor. (1374, 1380.)

(2) Sir Henry Pritchard, who (in 1356) feasted Edward III., with 5,000 followers; Edward the Black Prince; John, King of Austria; the King of Cyprus; and David, King of Scotland.

(3) Sir William Sevenoke, who fought with the Dauphin of France, built twenty almshouses and a free school. (1418.)

(4) Sir Thomas White, merchant tailor, son of a poor clothier. In 1553 he kept the citizens loyal to Queen Mary during Wyatt's rebellion. Sir John White founded St. John's College, Oxford, on the spot where “two elms grew from one root.”

(5) Sir John Bonham, entrusted with a valuable cargo for the Danish market, and made commander of the army raised to stop the progress of the great Solyman.

(6) Christopher Croker. Famous at the siege of Bordeaux, and companion of the Black Prince when he helped Don Pedro to the throne of Castile.

(7) Sir John Hawkwood. One of the Black Prince's knights, and immortalised in Italian history as Giovanni Acuti Cavaliero.

(8) Sir Hugh Caverley. Famous for ridding Poland of a monstrous bear.

(9) Sir Henry Maleverer, generally called Henry of Cornhill, who lived in the reign of Henry IV. He was a crusader, and became the guardian of “Jacob's well.”

The chronicle of these worthies is told in a mixture of prose and verse by Richard Johnson, author of The Seven Champions of Christendom. (1592.)

Among these nine worthies we miss the names of Whittington, Gresham, and Sir John Lawrence (Lord Mayor in 1664), second to none.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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