Whittington, Michael - The Whittington Story. First Published 1988 by the Author at Coates, Cirencester.
ISBN 0 951351 0 1
Subtitled 'From the Three Counties to The City' this well-researched booklet tells the real story behind the myth.
Chapters are on 1: Early Days; 2: Robert; 3: Richard's Origins; 4: The Myth; 5: Richard in London; 6: Richard as Banker; 7: Richard's Benefactions; 8: Guy the Great; 9: The Family Spreads; 10: Last Days at Pauntley; 11: In the Forest of Dean; 12: The Hanswell Branch; 13: A Missing Link; 14: In the North of England; 15: Back to the City. Added 3 Aug 2005.
Dick Whittington, local boy made good, (at least) thrice Lord Mayor of London, was born at Pauntley about 1357, the third son of William Whittington, Lord of Pauntley. In 1352 William had married Joan, the daughter of William Mansell, Sheriff of Gloucestershire, and widow of Sir Thomas (de) Berkeley, of Coberley, but whilst Richard was still a child, his father William was outlawed (allegedly) for marrying Joan without a licence. This was at a time when widows needed permission to re-marry, especially if they were wealthy, and 'selling' them had become a lucrative business. He died, still an outlaw in 1358/9 (one source says 1362), and when his widow died, the estate she'd inherited went to their second son Robert.
In spite of being born the son of a Lord, Dick was, therefore the poor boy of legend, and literally the "local boy makes good". In London, he'd enrolled as an apprentice in the Mercer's Company, and married the daughter of his master, Alice Fitzwarren. Her father was Lord Ivo FitzWarin, for whom there is what is described as one of the finest monumental brasses in England in the parish church at Wantage, Berkshire.
"Lord Ivo (alias Hugh), as well as being a landed lord and a soldier who served with the Duke of Gloucester at the Siege of Nantes, was a rich merchant with premises in Leadenhall Street in London. It was here that he took in the poor orphaned Dick who went on to marry his daughter, Alice, and become three times Mayor of the City." [Ref: The History of Wantage, Berkshire, a page created by David Ford (to my knowledge) no longer available online]