On February the Seventeenth 1797 John Hetherington was the first gentleman to be seen wearing a Top Hat, supposedly his invention, in a fashionable part of London, probably St James's.

This rather unspectacular sounding event turned out rather differently. Mr Hetherington caused a furore and riot ensued. Horses bolted, ladies fainted and rotten fruit was hurled. He was promptly arrested for 'occasioning a breach of the peace' and bound over to keep the peace in the sum of five hundred pounds, a fortune then and a considerable sum even now.

is named in his honour.