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The very first top hat was worn by John Hetherington, a London haberdasher. He was fined £50 the first time he wore his new creation, for causing a disturbance


London haberdasher John Hetherington nearly caused a riot when he wore the first tophat into the Strand on Jan. 15, 1797: An excited throng gathered about the owner and the crowd soon increased to such a dangerous extent that the authorities had to interfere. The next morning the daring haberdasher was brought before the Lord Mayor charged with ‘walking down a public highway wearing upon his head a tall structure having a shining lustre calculated to alarm

When the first top hat was worn by the haberdasher John Hetherington in 1797, it caused a near riot. According to a newspaper account, “passersby panicked at the sight. Several women fainted, children screamed, dogs yelped, and an errand boy’s arm was broken when he was trampled by the mob.” So Hetherington was taken to court for wearing “a tall structure having a shining luster calculated to frighten timid people.”


BATTLEFIELDS OF EUROPE - 2013. Travel to the Battlefields of France and Belgium with John Hetherington to visit famous WW1 and WW2 sites. This tour is designed for anyone who would like to know more about the sacrifices made by our brave soldiers of the two world wars. Tour Dates: July 15-26, 2013. See the brochure for complete details. Contact: John Hetherington at: 705-497-3992 Email: or Or call: Verstraete Travel: 1.800.565.9267


April 2015. Thank you for sharing your wonderful safari snaps with us, John Hetherington!