Established in 1745 as The Old Jerusalem, a drinking house took the name of Dirty Dick's in 1814 and adopted his story along with it


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Established in 1745 as The Old Jerusalem, a drinking house took the name of Dirty Dick's in 1814 and adopted his story along with it.

The original of Dirty Dick was Nathaniel Bentley, a successful merchant with a hardware shop and warehouse in Leadenhall Street in the mid-eighteenth century.

After his bride-to-be died on their wedding day - so the legend goes - he never cleaned up again, never washed or changed his clothes. Bentley died in 1809, and the Bishopsgate Distillers appropriated this story of the notorious dirty hardware merchant, adorning their bar with dead cats and cobwebs to perpetuate the legend.


Attribution: Spitalfields Life

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1900 and 1950 mapping is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.