Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/610

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Waterlow
Waterlow
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by Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema (1892) is in possession of the family. Both are in oil colour.

[The Builder, leading article and obit. notice, 26 Aug. 1905; Builders' Journal, 30 Aug. 1905; Building News, 25 Aug. 1905; private information from Mr. Paul Waterhouse, supplemented by personal recollections.]


WATERLOW, Sir SYDNEY HEDLEY, first baronet (1822–1906), lord mayor of London and philanthropist, born in Crown Street, Finsbury, on 1 Nov. 1822, was fourth of the five sons of James Waterlow (b. 19 April 1790, d. 11 July 1876) of Huntington Lodge, Peckham Road, Surrey, by his wife Mary, daughter of William Crakell. The family was of French Walloon descent, and the father, who was a member of the Stationers' Company and a common councilman for Cornhill ward, started in 1811 a small stationer's business in Birchin Lane, where in 1836 he was joined by his eldest son, Alfred James, and between 1840 and 1844 by other sons.

Brought up by his grandmother at Mile End till the age of seven, Sydney went first to a dame's school in Worship Street, then to a boarding school at Brighton, and lastly to St. Saviour's grammar school in Southwark, living at that time with his father in Gloucester Terrace, Hoxton. His father was a member of the unitarian congregation at South Place chapel, Finsbury, under the ministry of William Johnson Fox [q. v.], whose teaching greatly influenced young Waterlow. In Nov. 1836 he was apprenticed through the Stationers' Company to his uncle, Thomas Harrison, the government printer, with whom he lived at Pimlico and afterwards at Sloane Square, His diligence procured him in the fourth year of his apprenticeship the sole charge of the foreign office printing, with full responsibility for its secrecy. On the expiration of his indentures in Nov. 1843 he went to Paris, and was employed during the winter in printing for the publisher Galignani a catalogue of his library.

In Easter 1844 he joined his brothers Alfred, Walter, and Albert in adding a printing branch to the stationery business in Birchin Lane, the modest capital of 120l. being furnished by their father. They began by printing the 'Bankers' Magazine,' of which the first number appeared in April. Success at once followed, largely through the great share which the firm secured in railway printing and stationery. Additional premises were taken at 49 Parliament Street (1846), London Wall (1851), Carpenters' Hall (1854), Great Winchester Street (1866), Castle Street, Finsbury (1872), Little Chart Mills, Ashford, Kent (1875), and Paris in 1883 [London Directories). The firm was converted into a limited company in February 1876, under the style of Waterlow and Sons, Limited, and in February 1877 the company sold the Birchin Lane portion of their business to Waterlow Brothers and Layton. From this date until 1895, when he retired, Sydney was managing director of the company. The company was reconstructed in 1879, and again in 1897; its present capital is 1,350,000l.

Waterlow joined the city corporation in 1857, when he was elected a common councilman for the ward of Broad Street, and on 3 April 1862 received a special vote of thanks from the corporation for devising and establishing a system of over-house telegraphs for the City police stations (Minutes of the Common Council, 3 April 1862). He was elected alderman of Langbourn ward on 30 Jan. 1863, and served the office of sheriff in 1866-7. The year was notable for a banquet given to the Viceroy of Egypt at the Mansion House and the costly reception of the Sultan Abdul Aziz by the corporation at Guildhall. Waterlow and his brother sheriff were knighted on 3 Aug. 1867. On Michaelmas Day 1872 he was elected lord mayor. Among the more important events of his mayoralty were the establishment of the Hospital Sunday Fund (21 Nov.); the opening to the public of the newly built Guildhall Library (10 March 1873); and the entertainment of the Shah of Persia at Guildhall (20 June). On 29 July 1873 he was made a baronet. He was for ten years (from 29 May 1873) governor of the Irish Society, was treasurer of St. Bartholomew's Hospital from 1874 to 20 June 1892, and was chairman of the United Westminster Schools from 1873 to 1893. He resigned his alderman's gown on 18 Sept. 1883.

Waterlow had long been known in the metropolis for his practical philanthropy. He long laboured to secure for the poor of London [decent housing and pure water. In 1862 he built at his own expense in Mark Street, Finsbury, a block of working-class dwellings, with accommodation for eighty families; these tenements, though built for comfort and let at moderate rents, produced a good return for the outlay. In 1863 he originated the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company, Limited, of which he