Famous Aldgate characters and Whites gentlemen’s club
Whites gentlemen’s club is situated in East London’s Aldgate which has seen many characters throughout the centuries. Two of Aldgates most celebrated residents are boxer “Daniel Mendoza” and Poet “Geoffrey Chaucer”.
Daniel Mendoza was born in East London’s Aldgate. According to the Ring Boxing Record Book, Aldgate favourite Mendoza was undefeated in 27 straight fights prior to 1788. Bare-knuckle fights ended when an opponent was knocked out or unable to continue (Technical knockout) or by foul or a draw. Dates and exact locations are unknown, except that all fights were in England. Mendoza defeated the following opponents: Harry the Coal heaver, Tom Wilson, John Horn, Harry Davis, John Lloyd, Thomas Monk, John Hand, Bill Move, John Williams, Richard Dennis, George Cannon, Al Fuller, Tom Spencer, William Taylor, John Braintree, William Byrant, John Matthews, Tom Tyne, George Hoast, George MacKenzie, John Hall, William Cannon, George Barry, George Smith, William Nelson, Sam Martin (11 January 1787 won in 10 rounds), and William Warr (1787 won in 23 rounds). Before Mendoza, boxers generally stood still and merely swapped punches. Mendoza’s style consisted of more than simply battering opponents; his “scientific style” included much defensive movement. He developed an entirely new style of boxing, incorporating defensive strategies, such as what he called “side-stepping”, moving around, ducking, blocking, and, all in all, avoiding punches. At the time, this was revolutionary, and Mendoza was able to overcome much heavier opponents as a result of this new style. Though he stood only 5 feet 7 inches (170 cm) and weighed only 160 pounds (73 kg), Mendoza was England’s sixteenth Heavyweight Champion from 1792 to 1795, and is the first middleweight to ever win the Heavyweight Championship of the World. In 1789 he opened his own boxing academy and published one of the earliest books on boxing titled “The Art of Boxing” which was a modern “scientific” approach that every subsequent boxer learned from.
In our opinion Aldgates most Famous resident is poet Geoffrey Chaucer (1343 – 25 October 1400), known as the Father of English literature and widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. He was the first poet to be buried in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey.
While he achieved fame during his lifetime as an author, philosopher, and astronomer, composing a scientific treatise on the astrolabe for his ten-year-old son Lewis, Chaucer also maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat. Among his many works are The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Legend of Good Women and Troilus and Criseyde. He is best known today for The Canterbury Tales.
Chaucer’s work was crucial in legitimising the literary use of the Middle English vernacular at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were French and Latin. While records concerning the lives of his contemporary friends, William Langland and the Pearl Poet, are practically non-existent, since Chaucer was a public servant, his official life is very well documented, with nearly five hundred written items testifying to his career. The first of the “Chaucer Life Records” appears in 1357, in the household accounts of Elizabeth de Burgh, the Countess of Ulster, when he became the noblewoman’s page through his father’s connections, a common medieval form of apprenticeship for boys into knighthood or prestige appointments. The countess was married to Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the second surviving son of the king, Edward III, and the position brought the teenage Chaucer into the close court circle, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. He also worked as a courtier, a diplomat, and a civil servant, as well as working for the king from 1389 to 1391 as Clerk of the King’s Works.
Obviously two completely different characters were sure ‘Mendoza’ and ‘Chaucer’ would have frequented our magnificent club and whether you refer to Whites gentleman’s club London as Londons best strip club, Londons best lap dancing club or Londons best Gentlemen’s club, we are the very best!