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Full text of "The life of Sir Sydney H. Waterlow, bart., London apprentice, Lord mayor, captain of industry, and philanthropist:"

THE LIFE OF SIR SYDNEY H. WATERLOW 




N" -ED-WARD ARNOLD. 19OS 



THE LIFE OF 
SIR SYDNEY H. WATERLOW 

BART. 

LONDON APPRENTICE, LORD MAYOR, 
CAPTAIN OF INDUSTRY, AND PHILANTHROPIST 



BY 

GEORGE SMALLEY 



WITH A PORTRAIT 



LONDON 
EDWARD ARNOLD 

1909 

[All rights reserved] 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. INTRODUCTORY- 1 

II. BIRTH ANCESTRY EARLY DAYS 5 

III. THE LONDON APPRENTICE 16 

IV. WATERLOW AND SONS - - 28 
V. ENTRANCE INTO PUBLIC LIFE - 39 

VI. ALDERMAN AND SHERIFF PARIS AND AN EASTERN 

JOURNEY 43 

VII. INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS - 56 

VIII. PARLIAMENT AND POLITICS - 87 

IX. LORD MAYOR - - 99 

X. THE IRISH SOCIETY 143 

XI. ROYAL COMMISSIONS - 158 

xii. ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S 169 

XIII. HOSPITAL SUNDAY FUND - 191 

XIV. JOURNEYS TO AMERICA AND ROUND THE GLOBE 201 

XV. TECHNICAL SCHOOLS AND TRAINING - 211 

XVI. THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS - 228 

XVII. WATERLOW PARK 242 

XVIII. AN APPRECIATION DEATH 251 

INDEX - - - 269 



4!8404 



THE LIFE OF 
SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW, BART. 



CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY 

IT was the wish of Sir Sydney Waterlow that his life 
should be entitled " The Life of a London Apprentice." 
Vain was it to tell him that such a title gave but one 
among many indications of his claim to the remem- 
brance of his own generation or to the attention of 
those to come. The beginnings of his life meant so 
much to him that he desired they should mean not less 
to the readers of his biography. So, if the publishers, 
who hold strong views on the subject of title, permit, 
Sir Sydney will have his way. 

All his life long he had been so used to having his 
own way that it would be disloyal to deny it to him 
after death. I do not think he took pedantic views, 
but he clearly thought that, if his life had any lesson 
for others, it was as the life of a self-made man. The 
germ of all the rest lay in his apprenticeship. He is 
not the first man who has travelled the long, straight, 
narrow path which leads sometimes, from a seven years' 

1 



SV.SNEY WATERLOW 



servitude in the learning of a trade, to the Lord 
Mayoralty of London yes, and to things far higher 
than that. But the interest of such a career depends 
neither on the beginning of it nor on the end. It 
depends on what happened in between on the char- 
acter which circumstances developed, on the whole 
course of the life he led, and on the results he achieved. 
And on all these grounds the life of Sydney Waterlow 
is something more than a lesson. It is a romance 
the sort of romance still possible in the nineteenth 
century. The story will appeal, I hope, just as much 
to the student of human nature as to the man of 
business, just as much to the lover of adventure as to 
the philanthropist. It will be my task to set forth the 
facts of Sydney Waterlow's life. I shall do it ill 
indeed if they do not convey to the reader this one 
impression beyond and above all others : that he was 
a man. I do not say a man upon whose like we ne'er 
shall look again, but a man who so lived his life that 
the lives of multitudes were the happier and the easier 
for his. He was one who had the strength of a man 
and some of his weaknesses ; whose courage never failed 
him ; whose ability was equal to every demand made 
upon it ; who did his work in his own way, and not 
according to the prescription of others ; who bent to 
no storm that ever beat about his head. His conduct 
of his life may or may not have been upon a theory. 
I doubt whether he ever in terms laid down a theory 
according to which his acts, or thoughts the parents of 
acts, were to be governed. He came a little before 
the modern habit of introspection had become, as it 



INTRODUCTORY 3 

now is, prevailing and morbid. But he judged other 
men by their conduct, and therefore probably himself. 
Conduct was to him, as to Mr. Burke, the only 
language that rarely lies. 

One anecdote of him I will tell out of its place. 
Somewhere about 1890 the Prince of Wales (now the 
King) lunched with Sir Sydney and Lady Waterlow 
at their villa in Cannes. Sir Sydney's respect for 
royalty, which was genuine, did not extend to all the 
forms which hedge a King. A King was to him a 
King, but not a divinity ; and as for the ceremonies of 
Court life, they were not to him a ritual. So it hap- 
pened that he said something which seemed to the 
bystanders a little deficient in that deference the 
Prince was used to. One of them expressed a regret 
to the Prince, who turned to Lady Waterlow and 
said : 

" Lady Waterlow, I know what your husband has 
done to promote the happiness of the English people 
and the prosperity of the kingdom over which I may 
one day rule. Few men have done more for the poor 
of London, and none have asked or expected less in 
recognition of their services. His services have been 
such that I don't care what he says or omits to say to 
me. You may be sure I shall never take offence." 

A speech equally honourable, I venture to think, to 
him who made it and to him of whom it was made. 
The ruggedness of Sir Sydney's nature is seen, but 
that was not what the Prince saw or not what he 
thought essential. I like to present him to readers 
who have yet to make his acquaintance with this 

12 



4 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

introduction or this testimony from his King a King 
with a rare judgment of men and acquaintance with 
men. We shall see that in the course of his charitable 
endeavours Sir Sydney on many occasions had the 
countenance of the then Prince of Wales, and some- 
times a public and princely acknowledgment of his 
services. I do not mean to press it unduly, but I may 
say that the Prince's unequalled experience in such 
matters is a guarantee that when he spoke in these 
terms of Sir Sydney he spoke according to knowledge. 



CHAPTER II 

BIRTH ANCESTRY EARLY DAYS 

SYDNEY HEDLEY WATERLOW was born November 1, 
1822, at his father's house in Crown Street, Finsbury. 
His father was James Waterlow ; the maiden name of 
his mother, Mary Crakell. The Waterlows are of 
Walloon descent, and the first authentic mention 
of them is to be found in the marriage registers of a 
society of Protestant refugees at Canterbury in 1633. 
They were French Walloons, or French by kin, and 
worshipped in the French tongue a tough race, good 
to spring from, were there only Sydney Waterlow and 
his father to prove it. 

The name was, and is, sometimes spelled Waterlo, 
occurring often in that form on the registers of Valen- 
ciennes and Lille. But it is not till 1701 that we 
came upon an undoubted ancestor of Sydney Samuel 
Waterlow, of whose father, Josiah, nothing seems to 
be known, nor, beyond him, so much as a name. 
Samuel was Sydney's grandfather. His son, James 
Waterlow, clearly had some of the qualities which dis- 
tinguished Sydney, and between their early lives there 
was a certain likeness, though I judge more in external 
facts than in vital traits of character. James, too, was 

5 



6 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

an apprentice hard-working, persevering, upright, but 
altogether lacking in those large views and in that 
boldness, both of conception and act, which were to 
make Sydney rich and famous. 

But since in these biological days we are not allowed 
to consider any man's life without considering also his 
ancestors' lives, the simple facts are, perhaps, enough to 
supply one more instance of heredity. The father's 
industrious life was one of moderate success, but the 
industry which was the foundation of all was there. 
Of the mother it does not seem possible to learn much 
except through her son. She comes down to us by 
tradition as a tall, beautiful woman with dark hair 
and large black eyes an estimable woman, devoted 
to her husband, to her children, to the duties of 
her household, including the apprentices, who, as 
the custom then was, were boarded and lodged for 
seven years with the master to whom they were 
indentured. Yet she must have been, if we may 
believe all that modern science tells us, a chief factor 
in the intellectual and individual life of her son. We 
assume that. We cannot do much more ; nor is it often 
that, in the case of strong men, we can do much more, 
or trace the specific connection between the organic 
characteristics of mother and son. 

It was the father, James, who laid the foundation 
of the great business which has made the firm of 
Waterlow and Sons known all over the world. But 
whether from affection or justice, or why may we 
not suppose that ? because he had divined in Sydney 
an exceptional capacity, he took Sydney into partner- 



BIRTH ANCESTRY EARLY DAYS 7 

ship with three other sons two elder, one younger 
and from that time on the business prospered. And 
there we part company from the father, who 
presently, content with his share of the profits, left 
the management of the business to the sons. 

The beginnings of Sydney's life may be given, 
happily, in Sydney's own words : 

" I was born before I was expected, and was alto- 
gether such a tiny, miserable piece of humanity that 
my father said he could have put me into a quart-pot 
and laid his hand on the top of it without any diffi- 
culty. There were no clothes ready for me ; nobody 
thought I should live, and I was kept in a blanket for 
a fortnight. But by degrees my father and mother 
began to think that, if there was not much in the flesh, 
there was a good deal in the spirit, and that perhaps 
they might save me. So they made me some clothes, 
but I was so sick and ailing that, when I was about 
two months old, my mother sent me to my grandmother 
Waterlow at Mile End, where I lived till I was six 
years old. 

" At that time Mile End was a pleasant country 
road, bright and sunny. I can recollect spending 
many an hour sitting on the doorstep, under a rustic 
wooden porch, watching the hay-carts going to the 
Whitechapel market ; and the four-horse coaches 
which ran to London, passing to or from the north 
and east of London. I was still, however, a small 
weakling, for my aunt Mary, who lived with her 
mother, often told me that she used to take me out of 
bed in the morning, turn me over in her left hand, and 



8 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

with her right pump water on my weak little back in 
order to strengthen the spine." 

Such was the early bodily condition of the man 
whose constitution was in after-life of iron. But in 
childhood and boyhood his life was a life of suffering, 
of dreary and cruel experiences. Twice he escaped 
death narrowly : once being swept into the canal hard 
by, and fished out by the bargemen ; once straying 
late into a sugar refinery, " full of immense coppers of 
boiling sugar," and being shut in there ; but, aware of 
the risk in stumbling about among these caldrons, 
judiciously sat down and screamed till the workmen 
rescued him. He was then a child four years old. 

Then came his first school a dame-school in 
Worship Street, kept by two maiden ladies named 
Bone. There he was taught his letters and the 
meaning of school discipline. It was Miss Bone's 
habit to rope together rebellious pupils, and leave 
them standing bound for hours. This she varied with 
more familiar methods of punishment. Two years 
later, seven years old, he was sent to a boarding-school 
at Brighton. The master had been a retail grocer who 
had gone bankrupt, and so into the school business. 
He was ignorant and harsh. During his two years with 
this pedagogue Sydney suffered much and learned 
nothing. At nine he was taken away and sent to 
St. Saviour's Grammar-School, Southwark, at the 
foot of old London Bridge, three miles from his father's 
new home in Gloucester Terrace, Hoxton. He break- 
fasted at six, and must be in school at eight, doing 
the three miles rather painfully on foot. There were 



BIRTH ANCESTRY EARLY DAYS 9 

few cabs, no omnibuses, and of course no railways. 
Says Sydney : 

"I distinctly remember seeing the first omnibus 
that ever started in London. It was built by a man 
named Shillibeer, who carried on a large business as 
undertaker. It was painted bright blue, and ran from 
Paddington to the Bank, and a shilling fare was 
charged in competition with the eighteen-penny fare 
of the stage-coach. It is difficult in these days to 
imagine London without omnibuses, but I am not sure 
whether, when people walked more, they were not 
more healthy." 

The Master of St. Saviour's was the Rev. Lancelot 
Sharpe, a Canon of St. Paul's and " a splendid classical 
scholar." Arriving fifteen minutes after the hour one 
stormy winter morning, Sydney was asked why he 
was late, and, on explaining that he had stood in a 
doorway to escape the worst of the storm, was promptly 
knocked down by the Rev. Lancelot Sharpe, who 
remarked : " There ! the next time it rains tie hay- 
bands round your legs and come through it." 

" But as a young boy/' adds Sydney, ever prone to 
a philosophical detachment of mind, " I am afraid I 
was rather obstinate, wilful, and difficult of control, 
with a keen sense of any injustice " traits which 
never left him, if for "obstinate" we say "firm." 

In the fragments of autobiography Sydney left 
behind him are anecdotes to illustrate these and other 
characteristics ; but more serious business is before us, 
and I pass on. But since he became, among many 
other things, a railway director, and was much con- 



10 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

cerned with railways, I detach a passage in which one 
railway is dealt with : 

" Crown Street, Finsbury, where I was born, was 
then a very busy thoroughfare, forming, as an addition 
to Barbican and Chiswell Street, the main thorough- 
fare from the west to the east part of London. But 
when the London and North -Western Railway came 
into the City, they obtained powers to block up the 
street, stopping all the carriage and foot passenger 
traffic, and very materially injuring the value of the 
property. It is difficult to understand how Parliament 
could have been induced to sanction such a serious act 
of injustice, perhaps one of the worst that has ever 
been perpetrated in London." 

St. Saviour's was a " classical " school, and the 
Rev. Lancelot Sharpe's notions touching the use of 
the rod were also classical. Deeming Sydney's progress 
slow, his master flogged him till his back was covered 
with blood, and other pupils fared worse than he. 
Says Sydney : 

"The curriculum of St. Saviour's School was most 
incomplete. Beyond writing and arithmetic, and Latin, 
Greek, and Hebrew, no subjects of any kind were 
taught. The boys had no opportunity of learning 
anything about English grammar, composition, history, 
geography. This was a severe loss to me, and one 
whose effects were felt all through life ; for during the 
whole of my apprenticeship I never had any time 
whatever for reading or study, and it was not until 
after I was twenty-one years of age that I was able 
to devote any time to these things, and even then 



BIRTH ANCESTRY EARLY DAYS 11 

only a few hours could be taken occasionally, as all 
my efforts were devoted to the establishment and 
development of my business." 

Escaping, with his usual toughness of luck, the 
worst effects of a blow from a pump-handle on the 
frontal bone of the eye, which nearly destroyed his 
sight and left a permanent mark, Sydney embarked, 
while still at St. Saviour's, on a new adventure, and 
paints a picture of a scene which has vanished for 
ever from human view : 

"Whenever we boys could raise a shilling amongst 
us, our great delight was to hire a wherry at Bankside 
and to row on the river, shooting one of the narrow 
arches of old London Bridge. At that time this was 
a dangerous feat, for the arches were so narrow, and 
caused such an obstruction to the ebb and flow of the 
tide, that there was a fall of 2 or 3 feet on every 
arch, excepting the two large arches in the middle of 
the river. This old bridge, with its picturesque 
quaintness, still remains a vivid picture in my 
memory, as I used to cross it twice a day during 
the first two or three years of my London school life. 
Those who never saw it would scarcely realize that the 
roadway of the bridge was no higher than the road 
was at Lower Thames Street, which now passes under 
the land arch of the present London Bridge." 

He thus summarizes his school life : 

" Soon after I was eleven years old I commenced 
learning Greek, and I had to begin Hebrew before I 
was thirteen. During the whole four and a half years 
that I attended St. Saviour's School nearly all my 



12 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

time was devoted to the three dead languages Latin, 
Greek, and Hebrew. Sometimes I wished that they 
were not only dead, but decently buried, beyond all 
hope of resurrection." 

His real complaint, however, was not that he was 
taught these " dead " languages, but that they were 
not well taught, and that nothing else was taught. 
He had far too strong an intelligence to take a narrow 
view of education, or to disparage any teaching which 
tended to make the mind a useful instrument, and he 
was quite content when Sainte-Beuve's dictum was 
quoted to him : " I do not ask that a man shall know 
Latin. All I ask is that he shall have known it." 

One more passage from Sir Sydney's pen will show 
him as he was clear-sighted ; a little melancholy in 
retrospect, but free from bitterness, and ever capable 
of striking a balance between the debit and credit sides 
of the account : 

" Most men are able to look back upon their school 
days as a period of pleasure and happiness, full of 
recollections of holidays spent in the enjoyment of 
games and sports of all kinds ; but my school days were 
an unhappy exception to this rule. My life, from the 
time I first went to an infant-school to the period 
when I began my apprenticeship, was hard and cheer- 
less. The customary holidays, and even the half- 
holidays, of school life were spent in assisting in my 
father's business; and with the exception of some mid- 
summer holidays which I once enjoyed at Gravesend 
then regarded as a seaside resort I am able to recall 
but few pleasant or happy periods in my early life. 



BIRTH ANCESTRY EARLY DAYS 13 

" It is, of course, difficult to say whether this rough 
early training was not a better preparation for the 
strenuous labours of my seven years' apprenticeship, 
and the subsequent struggles on my own account, than 
a careless, easy-going experience in these youthful 
days would have been. It no doubt had the effect of 
rendering my character more stern and critical than it' 
would otherwise have been. At the same time, this 
early contact with all those who had to depend upon 
their own exertions for their daily bread doubtless 
increased and developed my sympathy and interest in 
the working classes." 

One other educational influence remains to be 
mentioned. Sydney's father was a Unitarian, and 
had a family pew at South Place Chapel, Finsbury, in 
which father and family sat with regularity each 
Sunday. The Rev. W. J. Fox was at that time 
minister to the South Place congregation, and from 
Sydney's attendance in the family pew spring his 
earliest impressions of Mr. Fox. These he put on 
paper many years after, supplementing them by later 
reflections. 

" Mr. Fox was a man much in advance of his time. 
His broad, liberal, and unsectarian views on religious 
subjects, and the logical and very earnest tenor of 
his sermon, always made a deep impression on his 
hearers. His lectures to the working classes, although 
delivered more than forty years ago, are perhaps more 
applicable to the present state of things than to that 
which prevailed when they were delivered. He was 
an ardent and hard-working member, and one of the 



14 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

greatest orators, of the Anti- Corn-Law League, closely 
associated with Cobden, Bright, John Stuart Mill, and 
other celebrated men engaged in the national struggle 
for cheap bread. It was justly said of him at the 
time, by those best qualified to judge, that he had 
made platform speaking one of the fine arts. 

" When he was returned to Parliament as member for 
Oldham, all who heard him speak in the House of 
Commons were deeply impressed with the clearness of 
his delivery and the singular beauty of his style ; but 
he was perhaps never at his best at St. Stephen's. 

" A complete copy of Mr. Fox's works is still 
regarded by me as one of the most valuable portions of 
my library. I never think of him without feeling 
that I owe more to him, perhaps, than to any other 
man outside of my own family." 

If we bear in mind the nature of Sydney's obliga- 
tions to the Rev. Lancelot Sharpe, and to his Brighton 
master, we need not wonder at his tribute to Mr. Fox, 
who has for far other reasons left behind him a 
memory which endures. To have come in contact 
with a personality like his was a piece of good fortune 
in which any boy might rejoice. At home, I judge, 
the chief influences which bore upon Sydney were 
those of hard work. His father's life till long after 
this was a life of toil, not always too well rewarded ; 
his circumstances so narrow that even Sydney's few 
holidays were, as he has told us, turned into working 
hours. He speaks of his father with respect ; there is 
no complaint, but neither does Sydney's memory seem 
to have been filled with those happy pictures of 



BIRTH ANCESTRY EARLY DAYS 15 

home life which a boy cherishes, if there be any 
to cherish. 

Here, at any rate, ends what is technically called 
his education. At fourteen he said good-bye to 
St. Saviour's School and to the Rev. Lancelot Sharpe, 
perhaps without much reluctance. So far as learning 
went, he was ill-equipped for the struggle before him. 
But his character had been forming amid the severities 
of early experience, and what he had seen of his 
father's slow struggle toward independence had planted 
in the boy's breast, consciously or unconsciously, the 
determination to succeed. With that firm purpose he 
now faced the realities of life. 



CHAPTER III 

THE LONDON APPRENTICE 

SYDNEY WATERLOW set such store by his apprentice- 
ship that the story of it may well be told fully. 
Whether he valued more the experience he gained in 
those seven years, or took more pride in the contrast 
between the apprentice and the creator of the vast 
business of Waterlow and Sons, or between apprentice 
and Lord Mayor, may be a question, but of his own 
interest in this period there can be no question, nor of 
its survival to the end. 

Another Whittington ? Well, yes ; but to mention 
Whittington's name is enough, for there is nothing to 
show that Waterlow himself was spurred on by the 
example of his predecessor. He was not of the stuff 
that needs vitalizing. He had known that he was to 
thrive, if at all, by himself, by the toil of his own 
hands. Yet there was a moment when he dreamed of 
being a doctor ; a reminiscence which connects itself 
easily with his long service later as treasurer to St. Bar- 
tholomew's Hospital and with his splendid efforts for 
the Sunday Hospital Fund. His father would have 
humoured the boy had he been able, first to pay the 
premium required of a medical student, and then to 

16 



THE LONDON APPRENTICE 17 

keep him till practice came. As that could not be, the 
decision which was to settle once for all young Sydney's 
place in the world was taken. Not medicine, but 
printing, not the healing of the body, but (perhaps) to 
supply means for the enlightening of the mind, was to 
be his portion in the world ; and the examples for his 
imitation, not Hippocrates or Jenner, but Gutenberg 
and Franklin ; the latter in a double sense, as both 
printer and philosopher, for of Franklin's shrewd 
homeliness of wit and common-sense Waterlow had 
ever a share. 

On the first Tuesday in November, 1836, the boy 
was bound apprentice at Stationers' Hall to his uncle, 
Mr. Thomas Harrison, for seven years. Mr. Harrison 
was a master-printer in general business, and private 
printer to the Government Press at the Foreign Office. 
He lived in Coleshill Street, Pimlico, moving later to 
Westbourne Terrace, Sloane Square. It was then the 
custom that apprentices should live with their masters, 
and Sydney accordingly quitted his father's house and 
went to his uncle's. Mr. Harrison and his wife were 
kind to him throughout the seven years, treating him 
as one of their own family. Sydney always looked 
back upon his apprenticeship as one of happiness, long 
and laborious as were the hours of work. But work 
was the last thing of which he ever complained, 
and was perhaps the one thing without which no 
period of his life could ever have been happy. 

What he had first to learn was to set type, and 
whatever else belongs to the business of a compositor. 
He worked at this for two years in the building where 

2 



18 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

his master carried on the business of general printer, in 
Orchard Street, leading from James Street to Strutton 
Ground and the Broadway, one of the worst streets in 
the old part of Westminster. It stood on the corner 
of the Almonry, a quadrangle which was nothing more 
or less than a den of thieves and ruffians and beggars, 
a small Cour de Miracles, a place too dangerous even 
to pass through, and still more dangerous as the 
breeding-place of fevers and maladies worse than 
fevers. So Waterlow found it, for within a twelve- 
month he was attacked by black typhus, or the 
plague, a pestilential thing which may kill you in a 
day. Sydney fought it for three months, and came 
forth alive. The household fled, one old w r oman 
servant excepted, who nursed him through it. There- 
after he lived for twenty years free from illness of 
every kind, high as he tried his constitution by hard 
work and long late hours. We shall see in after- 
years how firm was the material of which it was 
made. 

Early in this printing service he had to thank 
St. Saviour's for one thing the little Hebrew it had 
taught him. There came to Mr. Harrison to be printed 
a History of British India, full of quotations in Hebrew, 
Arabic, Coptic, Syriac, and other Oriental tongues. 
With some help from Mr. Morris, Secretary to the 
Royal Asiatic Society, Sydney managed to set up, 
not only the Hebrew, but all the other passages in 
languages of the East. The Rev. Lancelot Sharpe 
may have a degree of credit for that. Typhus or no 
typhus, Sydney learned the art and mystery of type- 



THE LONDON APPRENTICE 19 

setting quickly and well. He toiled at it unremittingly 
for fifty out of each fifty-two weeks ; then came a 
respite. He writes : 

" I was allowed a fortnight's holiday once a year, in 
the autumn. I remember that, when the time for the 
second annual holiday arrived, I told my master there 
was a certain irony in taking a holiday when I had no 
money, and I reminded him that I had worked a good 
many extra hours during the previous eighteen months. 
But he seemed deaf, or did not want to understand 
that I would like some holiday allowance. When he 
had left the room, I appealed to my mistress, who was 
a very kind-hearted woman. She said she would see 
what could be done, and the next day my master gave 
me 3, to my great delight. This was the first money 
I ever earned, but I had acquired such a mastery of 
my trade by that time as to be able to do work that 
could be measured and paid for as piecework. On 
returning from my holidays, my master said I must not 
rely upon a precedent having been established for my 
next holiday, and that I must earn money for myself. 
I acquiesced in his proposal, and took the opportunity 
of requesting him to put me upon piecework, and he 
consented to do so if we could agree upon the terms. 
It was at length arranged that for two years I was to 
earn eighteen shillings a week for him, and to have for 
myself a third of anything I could earn beyond that 
sum. For the ensuing three years I was to earn 
twenty-two shillings a week for him, and to have half 
of all I earned beyond that. This arrangement not 
only stimulated me to work as hard as I could during 

22 



20 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

regular hours, but eagerly to secure all the overwork I 
could possibly obtain." 

I once asked Sir Sydney if he did not think his 
master drove rather a hard bargain. 

"You forget," he answered, "that he was legally 
entitled under my indentures to all my earnings for all 
the seven years. I had no claim to a single shilling. 
No doubt he saw it was for his advantage to spur me 
on to extra work, and the proportion of the proceeds 
he took was not, from his point of view, excessive. 
The agreement was at any rate, if not the foundation 
of my fortune, a stepping-stone to success." 

He phrased it at another time in writing : 

" I can say without the slightest hesitation that my 
first start in life, and possibly a great deal of any 
success I may have achieved afterward, was entirely 
owing to piecework and overtime. But what would 
the trades-unions say to this ?" 

What Sydney himself said on that blazing question 
will be seen by-and-by. 

Waterlow's skill as a printer and his master's confi- 
dence in him are both shown by his assignment to 
bake charge of the Foreign Office printing. He was 
then eighteen years old, and had been four years an 
apprentice. A few months later the whole manage- 
ment of it was left to him, still without a penny of 
pay except under his agreement with his master. He 
had to receive orders, engage extra hands when 
needed, see to the execution of the orders, make out 
the weekly pay-sheets, and pay the men. A good 
business training, no doubt ; and that was more than 



THE LONDON APPRENTICE 21 

money. He used to say dryly that he got money out 
of it too, since, having authority and being a better 
workman than the men under him, he felt it his duty 
to undertake himself the pieces of work requiring most 
skill, and these happened also to pay better ; and so 
his weekly wages increased. 

Then it was that he began to save, opening aD 
account at the St. Martin's Lane Savings Bank. 
When his freedom came, he found himself with 30 
to his credit, which meant to him opportunity and the 
beginning of independence. He had made that is, 
counting the whole seven years of his apprenticeship 
pretty nearly 4 5s. lOd. a year. From sixteen 
onward he had cost his father nothing, except for 
clothes. Pocket-money, holiday expenses, and all other 
expenses except the board and lodging provided by 
his master he had himself paid. " No 30," said Sir 
Sydney more than once, " nor many times 30, ever 
gave me so much pleasure as these savings, nor were 
of so much use/' 

Sydney had stories to tell of this period, and recol- 
lections of the Foreign Office people with whom he 
came in contact Mr. Hammond for one, who for 
twenty years was Permanent Under-Secretary. From 
Mr. Hammond he received kindnesses and a great 
many orders. " He was always most considerate," 
and the friendly relations between them lasted to the 
end of Lord Hammond's life, in 1890. There was 
Mr. Mellish also, a senior clerk of whom it is recorded 
that, though violent in temper, he was never unjust 
not a common form of eulogy. All the heads of 



22 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

departments treated the master-apprentice consider- 
ately, all apparently having discovered that the young 
printer was a printer of a rather unsual kind or I 
will say a young man of a rather unusual kind. Of 
Mr. Cunningham, the first of the senior clerks, Sydney 
has this to say : 

"He was a tall, heavy man with a wooden leg a 
great advantage to us printers, as we could always 
hear him as he stumped along the passage leading to 
our rooms. One day he had sent work back for altera- 
tions, and, not receiving it as soon as he expected, he 
came into the printing-offices and expostulated with 
me. I was in the act of correcting the type as fast as 
I could, and tried to explain the difficulties we had to 
contend with. My hair was very long, and fell over 
my eyes. He exclaimed : ' Hold your tongue, sir, and 
get your hair cut/ He seemed to fancy that the 
length of my hair interfered with the rapidity and 
efficiency of the work." 

To this young foreman were entrusted Government 
secrets, and upon him fell the double responsibility of 
seeing that the secrets were kept, and that the official 
printing, which came at all times and at no time, was 
executed to the moment. 

" The work at the Foreign Office was very fitful. On 
some days we had scarcely anything to do ; then came 
a sudden rush to get private documents printed for a 
Cabinet meeting, the pressure upon the small number 
of hands often compelling me to work all night, and 
sometimes on Sundays. I remember one Saturday, in 
the middle of summer, we had had no work for one or 



THE LONDON APPRENTICE 23 

two days, so at twelve o'clock we made up a party for 
a row on the river, taking a four-oared boat from 
Searle's boat-house at Westminster Bridge. I rowed 
an oar in the bows to Kew and back, reaching the 
Foreign Office again about 5 p.m., when I found, to my 
horror, that I had been sent for several times. Some 
important work had to be done for a Cabinet meeting 
at three o'clock on Sunday. 

" In those days Sunday was the favourite day for 
Cabinet meetings. Our number of hands was small, 
and, being Saturday afternoon, it was difficult to get 
any assistance ; so, after our vigorous exercise on the 
river, we had to work all night in fact, we did not 
get finished till midday on Sunday. 

" Documents of a most confidential character were 
constantly placed in my hands to be printed. Before 
the passing of the Bank Charter Act of 1844 private 
banks throughout England and Wales had the privilege 
of issuing notes to an unlimited amount, provided that 
the public in the locality were willing to accept them. 
As a natural consequence, a run upon the banks was 
not an infrequent occurrence, and these runs often led 
to riots, with serious disturbance to the public peace 
and loss to those who held the notes. In 1843 Sir 
Robert Peel's Government came to the conclusion that 
fresh legislation was imperatively necessary, and there- 
fore called for a return from each of the banks issuing 
notes, which was to be supplied in the form of an 
ordinary debtor and creditor balance-sheet, showing 
the amount of notes in circulation, and the assets and 
liabilities of each bank issuing them. These balance- 



24 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

sheets and the statements accompanying them the 
Government undertook to keep strictly private and 
confidential. Having charge of these documents 
during the time they were being printed, I had to use 
the greatest care to see that none of the information 
contained in them leaked out, and that no copy of 
them was surreptitiously conveyed out of the office. 
The passing of the Bank Charter Act in the following 
year remedied the existing evil, as from that time none 
of the banks were permitted to issue a larger amount 
of notes than that which was in circulation at the date 
when the Bill received the royal assent. Since that 
period the circulation of notes issued by private banks 
has been, from a variety of causes, considerably reduced, 
and Bank of England notes substituted." 

In this position of responsibility and trust Sydney 
remained till the expiration of his indentures in 1843. 
It is quite evident that he had during these seven 
years learned much beside printing. Administrative 
and executive duties had been thrown upon him. He 
had had to do with men and with accounts. He was 
a wheel in the great machine of Government. He 
found himself in touch with at least one of those per- 
manent officials who are said to govern this country- 
men some of whom Mr. Gladstone had in mind when 
he said, with a pithiness rare in him, " Administration 
is more than legislation." If discretion and loyalty 
were inborn in Sydney, he had, before he was twenty- 
one, a continuing opportunity of seeing how much they 
were worth in business and not less to the humble 
apprentice than by-and-by to the head of a great 



THE LONDON APPRENTICE 25 

business house. The education at St. Saviour's may 
have been worth little to him. The education in 
Orchard Street and in the printing-rooms of the 
Foreign Office was invaluable. There he must have 
learnt the lessons of thrift, of patience, of control the 
control of himself and of others ; of that thoroughness 
which was, or which became, an instinct ; that secret 
of doing things at once, of doing them as well as he 
knew how, of doing them once for all, which was his 
rule for ever after. I do not say he learnt energy. It 
was born in him. He was one of the men in whom 
there was a natural force which no adversity or 
obscurity could long have repressed. We shall see in 
a moment that his judgment, or perhaps his impulse, 
was sometimes at fault. He tried vain experiments, 
as most men do. He formed a scheme of life which 
was not to be realized. First one and then another 
experiment came to nought. But he never compro- 
mised his future, and when the summons came which 
was to prove a summons to fortune, and in the end to 
a career of almost unexampled usefulness in at least 
two directions, the man was ready. 

In a sense, these experiments were a part of 
Sydney's apprenticeship of his apprenticeship to life 
if not to his uncle and I will relate them here 
in order to leave a free course for what is to follow. 

The apprentice would have liked, it seems, to stay 
on with his master upon recovery of his freedom, but 
Mr. Harrison had no employment to offer him. As 
the last fortnight of his indentures coincided with his 
last holiday, Sydney was allowed to depart at the 



26 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

beginning of that fortnight, and toward the end of 
October, 1843, went home on a visit before leaving 
England. For he had made up his mind to go abroad. 
That was the use to which he wished to put his 30 
of savings. He wanted to learn French and German, 
and hoped to find work in Paris as a compositor. He 
had in Paris one friend, or acquaintance, clerk in a 
large drapery house. He hired a fireless room in the 
house where this clerk lodged, in the Rue Ste. Nicaise, 
opposite the Palais Royal, at 30 francs a month. 
Then he sought for work as compositor, and found 
none. At the end of a fortnight, no printer's work 
coming his way, he was about to accept a place in a 
linen-draper's shop at the corner of the Rue Castiglione, 
at a franc a day and board. Said Sydney grimly : 
" The living wage doctrine had not then been heard 
of." But Providence a sort of Providence inter- 
vened in the person of M. Galignani, publisher, book- 
seller, and newspaper- owner, who invited Sydney to 
print a catalogue of his library at 20 francs a 
week the usual printer's wages in Paris at that time. 
I hope it was not also usual to expect a compositor to 
set type all winter in a room with a tiled floor and no 
fire. But this was Sydney's lot. His sufferings were 
of a kind he never forgot, but he did the work, and 
presently his father, hearing that he was following his 
trade, sent him 10. So he pulled through till the 
spring of 1844, when the catalogue was finished. 

Meantime he had gone to live with a French 
Professor in the Avenue Chateaubriand, high up in 
the Champs Elysees quarter ; who, having an English 



THE LONDON APPRENTICE 27 

lady to wife, had agreed to board and lodge Sydney 
and teach him French and German for a small weekly 
payment ; amount of it forgotten. Thence he meant 
to go to Frankfort or to Leipzig, a great book-publish- 
ing centre where he thought there must always be 
work for a good compositor. The French Professor 
and his English wife were kindly people, and quite 
ready to help their lodger. But the period of experi- 
ments was over, and the journey to Leipzig was never 
begun. While making ready for his adventure in 
Germany, Sydney received from his brother Alfred the 
letter which was to take him back to England, and 
open to him the career for which he was probably best 
fitted. The letter contained the offer of partnership 
with his father and three brothers referred to above in 
speaking of the father. It reached him at a moment 
when the future, if not black I doubt if any future 
ever seemed black to Sydney Waterlow was un- 
certain. He does not seem to have anticipated a 
business association in any shape with his father, 
whose affairs, indeed, never grew great until this 
partnership. Of the brothers little has been said. The 
business was a good business as far as it went, but had 
not till then been thought capable of such a develop- 
ment as would justify dividing it among five partners. 
But these conjectures need not be pressed. The 
essential fact is the assent of the father to the new 
arrangement, and the proposal to Sydney. With the 
acceptance of that proposal and his return to England 
he began a new existence. 



CHAPTER IV 

WATERLOW AND SONS 

BUT on returning to England, Waterlow found that 
the proposed partnership was a thing of the future, 
depending on the creation of a new business in connec- 
tion with the old. The father's business was mainly, 
if not wholly, that of law stationer, general stationer, 
and account-book manufacturer. The new scheme was 
not of Sydney's conceiving. It had been talked over 
between his father and his brothers. It was Alfred 
who wrote to him. It was Alfred and Walter, both 
formerly apprentices to their father, who had already 
pressed upon James Waterlow their views for the 
enlargement of his affairs. As the father, said Alfred 
in his letter to Sydney, had still a large family 
dependent on him, he could afford to allow his sons a 
share in the profits only if the business and profits 
could be increased. And they agreed that this could 
best be done by grafting a printing concern on the 
existing stationery concern. 

Hence, apart from family affection, the appeal to 
Sydney, the only brother who was a practical printer. 
What Alfred in behalf of his father offered him was, to 
set up a small printing-office to be carried on with the 

28 



WATERLOW AND SONS 29 

stationery. He was to be paid the sum of 3 a week 
at the start, to be augmented if things went well. 

It was not magnificent, but it was more than three 
times as much as he had been earning by the composi- 
tion of M. Galignani's catalogue, in that fireless tiled 
room in the Place Ste. Anne in the bitter winter of 
1843-44. I do not doubt, though Sydney does not 
say so, or never did to me, that it woke in him that 
imaginative quality with which, though many of them 
scoff at it, nearly all successful men are endowed. He 
saw the door opening. A printer, he knew that 
printing had a commercial future before it greater 
than the past. A man of affairs, he understood his 
opportunity. It was not the salary of sixty shillings 
a week which tempted him. It was " the potentiality 
of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice." And 
since he has himself said that the hardships of his early 
life had opened his heart to the distresses of the hard- 
working poor, it is permissible to suppose that he had 
already brooded upon that benevolent use of the 
wealth still to be won for which in after-years he was 
to be renowned. 

In Easter week, 1844, Sydney, then in his twenty- 
second year, came back to England and put his hand 
to this new venture. It was a venture for which the 
first outlay amounted to the modest sum of 120, 
enough to stock a small printing-office with type, two 
second-hand iron presses, and a small wooden Caxton 
press. With a man and boy to help, he began printing 
in March with the Banker s Magazine, of which the 
first number appeared in April, edited by Mr. J. S. 



30 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Dalton, a clerk in the Provincial Bank of Ireland, in 
Broad Street. The profits were divided between 
editor and printers in a fixed proportion. 

The proposed partnership soon followed, Mr. James 
Waterlow being satisfied that the lithographic and 
general printing returns, in addition to the stationery 
and account- book profits, would warrant this step. 
The four sons, Alfred, Walter, Sydney, and Albert, 
were taken in. The partnership deed provided that 
the father was to do only such work as he might 
choose, while the sons were to give the whole of their 
time to the business, and to be jointly and severally 
liable for the whole capital. The father was to receive 
a fixed annual sum as a first charge on the profits, 
this sum to be not less than his average annual profits 
for the three years before the partnership. The sons 
were to divide equally what remained. None of the 
partners was to hold shares in any bank or other 
joint- stock enterprise in which there was a liability on 
the shares. 

The formation of this partnership in 1844 coincided 
with the wonderful development of the railway system 
in Great Britain. Messrs. Waterlow and Sons early 
acquired a good share of the large printing and 
stationery business of the railways. When it began, 
their establishment numbered, all told, less than 
twenty men paid a weekly wage. There was a rapid 
and steady increase. The firm took a lease from the 
Carpenters' Company of the buildings in London Wall, 
in front of their ancient hall, of which, so cautious was 
the father, three floors were at first let. They soon 



WATERLOW AND SONS 31 

found themselves obliged to take the whole building 
back into their own hands, and later, in June, 1852, 
they rented the Carpenters' Hall itself. It may be 
characteristic of the period, or perhaps only of Messrs. 
Waterlow's quickness to avail themselves of a new 
method of advertising, that, with a view to increasing 
their business still further, they gave a ball ; and this 
device did in fact answer its purpose. 

Instead of following step by step the history of the 
house of Waterlow and Sons, which would require a 
volume to itself, I will give the essential facts and 
figures as they stood when the company of Waterlow 
and Sons, Limited, into which the old firm had been 
converted in 1876, was wound up voluntarily, and its 
property sold to the present company. The 120 
invested in the printing-office had multiplied. The 
old company had paid for the whole property 
275,000. This company was reconstructed twice, in 
1879 and again in 1897, and its present capital is 
1,350,000. The first report of the company after 
the last reconstruction, after making provision for all 
bad or doubtful debts, and for depreciation and re- 
placement of machinery and plant, set down the net 
profits of the year at 115,688 16s. 6d. Dividends 
were declared of 3j per cent, on the preference shares, 
6 per cent, on the preferred ordinary shares, and 
9 per cent, on the deferred ordinary shares, and were 
duly paid. This amazing prosperity continues, and 
the present reserve is 330,000. It is not necessary 
to come down to later years, Sir Sydney Waterlow's 
active connection with the management of the business 



32 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

having ended about that time. His eldest son, Philip 
(now Sir Philip Waterlow), who had been chairman of 
the company since 1876, was joined by Mr. John Bass 
as managing director, he having been a director of 
the company since its formation. Sir Philip inherited 
something more than his father's name. He inherited 
that rare capacity for business which for some forty 
years had won for Sir Sydney a high place in the 
great commercial companionship that has made London 
the foremost city of the world. 

The fifteen or twenty weekly-wage earners in the 
employment of Waterlow and Sons in 1844 had grown 
in 1898 to over 4,000. The company have ten estab- 
lishments in the City of London, one in Westminster, 
and one at Dunstable. They still keep premises in 
London Wall, where is the retail department for 
general stationery, account -books, envelopes, and 
stamps. The registered offices of the company are at 
26 and 27, Great Winchester Street. There also are 
the counting-house, shipping departments, general 
offices for the receipt of orders and correspondence, 
general warehouses, the law- form and agency depart- 
ment, bank-note and commercial engraving, copper- 
plate printing, law and surveyors' lithography, engross- 
ment of deeds, and editorial departments. In the 
Finsbury stationery works, the most important of 
the series, are carried on commercial and general 
printing, machine ruling, account-book making, lithog- 
raphy, engineering, security-plate printing, the illu- 
mination of testimonials, and other matters. In other 
factories cardboard-making, railway-ticket printing, 



WATERLOW AND SONS 33 

and account-book binding, are done, as well as the 
printing and binding under the contract between 
Waterlows and His Majesty's Government. There also 
are the warehouses for packing and " baling " of export 
goods, and the carpenters' and cabinet-makers' shops 
in which ticket- issue cases and copying-press stands 
are made. In the Paul Street works envelope-making, 
die-sinking, medal-striking, and seal-engraving, are 
executed. These works contain special departments 
for carbonic and oiled papers and multiple- copy ing 
apparatus. The Law and Parliament stationery 
departments are at 49 and 50, Parliament Street, 
Westminster, with account-books and envelopes at 
retail ; Parliamentary and lithographic printing-rooms 
for the production of plans, sections, books of refer- 
ence, and all forms necessary for Parliamentary 
deposits and other purposes. 

Waterlow and Sons are contractors for supplying 
stationery a word which includes many things to 
the Great Western, Great Northern, South- Western, 
and Brighton Railways, and others of less note. They 
contract also with Indian and Egyptian railways, and 
for some of the great steamship companies. They deal 
with many large municipal and banking corporations, 
with colonial also, and many foreign Governments. 
They print and publish the Banking Almanac, the 
Solicitors Diary, and the Solicitors Pocket-Book, 
besides many books on law, and the Banker's Maga- 
zine, with which they began in their humbler days. 
They print paper money for home and colonial banks 
and foreign Governments. They supply postage-stamps 

3 



34 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

and postcards to foreign States : their name and busi- 
ness have travelled to the ends of the earth. 

The name Waterlow has become a certificate. 
Whatever the firm does it does well none better. 
Conforming necessarily to the conditions of the market, 
their aim has been, and is, Excellence first. They 
would take a contract, no doubt, to-morrow to supply 
Germany with law-blanks or to print German Blue- 
Books, but the meaning we associate with the phrase 
" Made in Germany " is not one which at present con- 
nects itself with the word Waterlow. It was in the 
operations of the company that Sydney applied those 
ideas of what I may call co-operative benevolence, 
which had already taken shape in other ways. It was 
his wish, and particularly the wish of his eldest son, to 
create for the working men and women employed by 
the house an interest in addition to the wages paid 
them. He wanted them to understand that the 
prosperity of the house was a thing they were to 
share in. The company began by creating a bonus 
scheme, under which all its salaried officers were to 
receive each Christmas a percentage on their salaries 
equal to the percentage paid the shareholders as divi- 
dend. If the dividend was 5 per cent., the officers got 
5 per cent, on their salaries. This worked so well that 
presently another plan was contrived, including every- 
body employed by the firm. The employes were 
divided into two classes first, overseers and sub-fore- 
men ; second, workmen and workwomen. Four funds 
were created : (l) Death assurance ; (2) retiring allow- 
ance ; (3) sick fund augmentation ; (4) emergency 



WATERLOW AND SONS 35 

cases ; and the grants were allotted to the families or 
dependents of overseers and sub-foremen as follows : 

8 . a. 
After seven years' service ... 37 10 

After fourteen years' service ... 56 5 
After twenty years' service ... 75 

For the families of workmen and women the grants 
were, according to years as above, 25, 37 10s., 
and 50. 

The retiring allowance was settled upon a similar 
basis, the limit of age being sixty-five years, or before 
that age for those who were incapacitated by accident 
or disease. 

The Sick Fund Augmentation assured a death grant 
for employes subscribing to this fund whose length of 
service is less than that computed in the scale, as well 
as an addition to the cases occurring under it in the 
regular way. 

The Emergency Fund provided for relief in all cases 
of unforeseen calamity or distress, and there was also 
a scheme under which each employe, if incapacitated 
at sixty-five, receives a small pension for life, if em- 
ployed for twenty-one years. 

Add to these liberal and comprehensive provisions 
an unceasing care on the part of the firm, and then of 
the company, for the comfort and welfare of all those 
under them. The conditions of their service, sanitary 
conditions included, were ceaselessly studied and often 
improved. There was more than a business relation 
between the heads of this great concern and those to 

32 



36 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

whom it paid salaries and wages : there was a human 
relation. No doubt it was profitable to both sides. 
No doubt the men worked better because they were 
treated as men. Very likely these grants and allow- 
ances were good business as well as good fellowship 
between man and man. Sydney Waterlow had already 
shown on a still larger scale that philanthropy and 
5 per cent, go very well together. The phrase was 
flung at him as a sneer ; it abode with him as a eulogy. 
What does that prove except that honesty is not the 
only best policy, but that generosity and wise liberality 
are also the best policy ? 

That a business so vast as this must have been the 
work of many able men is evident, but I suppose 
I shall not go wrong if I say that the directing mind 
during a long series of years was Sydney Waterlow's. 
He laid the foundations ; he designed, and in large 
part built, the superstructure. His was a great 
creative energy. None ever doubted that he was a 
great man of business, and that without him the firm 
of Waterlow and Sons would have had a very different 
history. He impressed upon the business and upon 
the organization of it his own personality. The liberal 
policy to employes, and wise thought and care for 
their comfort and health and general well-being, of 
which I have given the outlines, were pre-eminently 
his. But, with all his genius and all his power of work, 
Svdney Waterlow would have been helpless had he 
stood alone. Some of his associates were chosen for 
him (they were of his blood) ; others he chose for him- 
self. If they were not of his blood, they became of 



WATERLOW AND SONS 37 

the great business family he gathered about him. 
He was ever the first to acknowledge his debt to 
them. 

AH credit then, and all honour, to the father, James 
Waterlow, and, if need be, to his father's fathers ; all 
credit to his brothers Alfred, Walter, and Albert ; all 
credit to the scores of able men who devoted their 
abilities and energies to the various branches of the 
business ; all credit to Philip the son, who took up his 
father's work and carried it on and on, and still carries 
it. But the mainspring of the machine was from the 
beginning Sydney. He stood by its cradle ; it will be 
long before anybody follows its hearse. He was not 
only a man of broad views ; he was a man of detail. 
He knew Waterlow and Sons in all their complicated 
ramifications from end to end. The manager of a 
great and fashionable tailor's establishment once said 
to me : " If I had not sat cross-legged for four years on 
the board, sewing as hard as I could sew, I should 
never have been where I am now ; and if I had been, 
I should not have known how to keep men in order, 
nor known when they did their work well and when ill." 
In like manner Sydney knew the printing business 
from end to end, and printing, as we have seen, was 
the source and chief nourishment of the fortunes of the 
firm. The ten or twelve establishments in London, 
Westminster, and Dunstable, are so many monuments 
to his fame. There are others. His general fame in 
the world depends, perhaps, more on the others than 
on these, but without these the others would never 
have existed. 



38 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Long before the business of Waterlow and Sons had 
had time to grow great, Sydney had become satisfied 
that it was to prosper. He never was a man to wait 
on events, and within twelve months after beginning 
he made up his mind to marry. After a brief engage- 
ment, he took to wife Anna Maria Hickson, the 
daughter of a London merchant and manufacturer 
with a home in the country Fairseat, Wrotham, in 
the county of Kent. The attachment between the 
two had been much longer than the engagement it 
had lasted for some years ; but he would not ask the 
girl to bind herself to him by a promise till her family 
should think him an eligible suitor. Their acquaint- 
ance must therefore date from his apprenticeship, for 
Sydney was not twenty-three years old when the 
marriage took place on May 7, 1845. He and his 
wife lived together in unclouded happiness till the 
spring of 1880. She had borne him eight children. 
Her death took place at Nice, preceded by the death 
of their eldest son at Genoa in 1871 a gentle, affec- 
tionate, delicate woman, devoted to her husband and 
her children, beloved by all who knew her, in whose 
memory her memory is still fresh. 



CHAPTER V 

ENTRANCE INTO PUBLIC LIFE 

FOB the next twelve years or so Waterlow was 
absorbed in business and in his family. He had 
become known, and when in 1857 a vacancy occurred 
by the resignation of a Common Councilman in the 
Broad Street Ward, he was asked to be a candidate. 
He was elected without opposition, and thus it was 
that his first public service began. He made it his 
business first of all to master this new trade. He 
spent a year in learning how municipal business was 
transacted in committees and in the Court of Common 
Council. Then he began to take part, and his first 
subject was the police. 

There was then almost no public or private electrical 
communication, excepting along the main lines of 
railway. It occurred to Waterlow that the efficiency 
of the City Police would be strengthened if the Chief 
Commissioner's office and his residence in Finsbury 
Circus were electrically connected with the police- 
stations. But, as there were no overhead wires in the 
City, he set to work first of all to persuade his partners 
to allow him to establish a telegraphic service between 
their factory in London Wall and their business house 



40 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

in Westminster. The brothers agreeing, he undertook 
the construction of this telegraph line, with the help 
of Mr. Allen, a builder, and Mr. Rowland, clerk to a 
firm of solicitors in Copthall Court. No one of the 
three had any knowledge of electrical engineering. 

The physical difficulties were met as they arose. 
Mr. Allen invented a cast-iron saddle to bestride the 
ridge-poles of the houses and receive the masts for the 
telegraph-wires. Similar saddles appear to have been 
used ever since. As the roofs were uninjured, the 
owners of the houses mostly assented. But the 
Drapers' Company, though no wire was to be affixed 
to their hall, objected even to the passage of the 
wire above their roof, insisting they had a freehold 
from the centre of the earth to the canopy of heaven. 
" Cujus est solum, ejus est usque ad ccelum." Finally 
they came to terms. Waterlow and Sons agreed to 
pay the Drapers' Company, for the right of stretching 
a wire through the air of heaven or of heaven and 
the Drapers' Company the sum of half a crown a 
year. The line ran thence to Water-low's premises in 
BirchinLane ; thence to So uthwark Bridge ; thence across 
the river to the Surrey side ; thence, clinging to the 
loftier buildings, up the river to Hungerford Bridge ; 
thence, recrossing the river, to Parliament Street, West- 
minster. " This last," remarks Waterlow, " was a long 
stretch, and we could not prevent the wire from 
sagging. When first placed in position, it came so low 
that sailing-barges frequently raised their top-masts 
with the object of pulling it down." As they once or 



ENTRANCE INTO PUBLIC LIFE 41 

twice succeeded, a light steel wire was substituted, 
which could be kept taut. The whole expense of this 
installation, including three of Wheatstone's instru- 
ments, was less than 100. Ultimately the Post- 
Office took it over. 

Mr. Daniel Whittle Harvey, about whose oratory 
the praise of Lord Beaconsfield diffuses a halo, was 
Chief Commissioner of Police for the City of London 
from 1840 to his death in 1863. He had been a 
Eadical politician, but took Conservative views of 
police management. He did not care about Waterlow's 
scheme. He told the Police Committee that the wires 
could be tapped, and so police secrets disclosed. The 
Committee rejected it on that ground. But Waterlow 
was of that breed of men who do not know when they 
are beaten. He appeared again before the Committee, 
with a new plan, by which the wires were to be 
attached only to church -belfries, to which eaves- 
droppers had no access. This was adopted, Mr. 
Harvey assenting. A contract was entered into this 
time with a firm of telegraph engineers, Messrs. 
Henley, for connecting the six police-stations and the 
Commissioner's house. The whole work was done for 
something under 300. After trial the Committee 
reported its success to the Court of Common Council, 
which thereupon unanimously voted its thanks to Mr. 
Waterlow " for his persevering exertions in originating 
and developing the plan for establishing a telegraphic 
communication between the police-stations of the City 
of London, which has proved by its results, not only 



42 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

highly useful in facilitating the operations of the 
police force, but also beneficial to the public in cases of 
emergency and danger." 

That, so far as I know, is the first public or official 
recognition of Mr. Sydney Waterlow's efforts in the 
public service. It is quite clear that he applied to 
the public service the same principles of action which 
he had found most useful in his private business. He 
did his work as well as he knew how, and as cheaply as 
it could be done. But whether he was working for 
a profit or for nothing, he put into it the same con- 
scientious thoroughness now and hereafter. 



CHAPTER VI 

ALDERMAN AND SHERIFF PARIS AND AN EASTERN 

JOURNEY 

WATERLOW'S service on the Common Council ran to 
something over five years from 1857 till early in 
1863. In November, 1862, Mr. Alderman Cubitt, who 
had been twice Lord Mayor, announced his retirement 
as Alderman of Langbourn Ward. Waterlow was at 
once urged to offer himself as a candidate. He replied 
that he did not live in the ward, and residence, 
though not legally necessary, was a usual condition. 
But he was reminded that the Birchin Lane premises 
of Wafcerlow and Sons were but two or three doors 
beyond the ward boundary line, and, his friends 
pressing the nomination upon him, he accepted. 
Within a few days half a dozen other candidates 
were in the field. Out of 200 electors 60 signed 
a requisition to Waterlow. The first names were 
Mr. H. S. Thornton, of Williams, Deacon and Co., 
bankers ; and Mr. George G. Glyn, head of the great 
Glyn Mills banking-house. The contest lasted eleven 
weeks, instead of two or three as usual, and its 
vicissitudes were many. One opponent after another 
withdrew, till only Mr. Andrew Lusk was left. Then 

43 



44 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Mr. Cubitt reconsidered his resignation. An attack 
upon Waterlow's religious views followed. He was a 
Unitarian. Mr. Lusk was a Churchman. " Will you 
vote for an unbeliever?" cried some of Mr. Lusk's 
supporters, whose intolerance Mr. Lusk himself re- 
pudiated. But Mr. Lusk soon after withdrew, and 
Waterlow thought himself safe, when suddenly Mr. 
Capper, Manager to the London and Victoria Docks, 
came forward, or rather was put forward by Sir 
Samuel Peto, the railway contractor, then at the top 
of the wave. Mr. Capper took up the sectarian cry. 
He appealed to Waterlow's supporters who were 
Churchmen to break their promises to a Unitarian 
because he was a Unitarian ; morals apparently having, 
in Mr. Capper's view, nothing to do with religion. 
The admission of Jews to Parliament was held no 
reason why a Unitarian should not be excluded from 
the Board of Aldermen. Sir Martin Peto wanted an 
agent in that honourable body, and any weapon was 
good enough to attack an independent candidate who 
was certain never to be anybody's tool. 

The nomination was on January 29, 1863, in the 
Langbourn Ward schoolrooms, the Lord Mayor pre- 
siding. The show of hands was for Mr. Waterlow. 
Mr. Capper demanded a poll. The poll was held next 
day. The first voter at the opening of the poll was 
Mr. Glyn, for Mr. Waterlow. Mr. Glyn's position in 
the banking world was such that his early support was 
of much advantage to Mr. Waterlow, as he ever grate- 
fully recognized. At the end of the day and of the 
poll, at four o'clock, the figures stood 



ALDERMAN AND SHERIFF 45 

Waterlow ... ... 126 

Capper ... ... 74 

Majority ... 52 

So began Waterlow's long and distinguished service 
in the Court of Aldermen. He was then forty-two. 
It lasted more than twenty years. 

An eminent Lord Chancellor once said to Waterlow 
that he knew of no legal work more important or more 
onerous than the summary administration of justice, 
and that there was no place where, on the whole, it 
was better administrated than in the City of London. 
It was with this encouragement and in this spirit that 
Mr. Alderman Waterlow entered upon his duties as 
magistrate. He had everything to learn about them 
except the sense of duty and responsibility. He had 
much to learn, also, of other more purely municipal 
duties, and to all of them he applied himself with the 
resolution to be a useful public servant. 

His first duty beyond the usual routine was an 
assignment to visit, as a magistrate, the lunatics under 
charge of the Corporation. There was then no lunatic 
asylum for the City of London, and there were few 
lunatics who had a domicile within the City ; but the 
magistrates were responsible for the custody of all 
insane vagrants found within the City limits. Some 
of the Continental authorities, it was believed, made a 
practice of sending their lunatics to the Port of 
London, and landing them wherever the ship anchored 
or made fast. It followed that most of the City 
lunatics were foreigners, and they were maintained by 



46 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

the City in private asylums. Mr. Alderman Waterlow 
went into all these matters, personally examining 
lunatics and asylums. Later he became a magistrate 
for Middlesex, and a member of the Committee of the 
County Asylum at Colney Hatch. There for a year 
he attended weekly, and became convinced of the 
superiority of public to private asylums. With some 
of his colleagues he carried a proposal for the City 
Asylum at Stone, near Dartford, Kent, which was 
built and successfully administered. 

Four years having now elapsed since his election as 
Alderman, he had to decide whether he would present 
himself for the Shrievalty. If you want to be Lord 
Mayor, you must first serve the office of Sheriff, and 
Waterlow had no doubt that he did want to be Lord 
Mayor. He had identified himself with the City ; he 
had the natural and inevitable ambition of a man who 
has once set foot upon the first of those winding stairs 
by which the Londoner rises to great civic place. 
There was in his case no difficulty. He was elected 
to the honourable office of Sheriff, September 29, 1866, 
with Mr. Francis Lycett for his colleague, both of them 
serving under Lord Mayor Gabriel, whom Mr. Sheriff 
Waterlow much liked and respected. 

Attendance in prison and upon executions was one 
of the Sheriff's duties ; a duty repulsive to Mr. Sheriff 
Waterlow, but discharged faithfully. Executions were 
at that time still public. At one, and only one, our 
Sheriff had to be present. He has described the scene, 
but it has been described often ; his reflections on the 
system have still, however, a retrospective interest : 



ALDERMAN AND SHERIFF 47 

"It is astonishing to think how long these public 
executions continued in a city claiming to be the most 
civilized on the face of the earth. No one who has 
ever witnessed the scene can resist the conclusion that, 
instead of acting as a deterrent, it actually created a 
fascination and a craving for notoriety which rather 
stimulated than diminished the tendency to crime." 

Two years later public executions were abolished. 

In the late spring of 1867 the Sultan of Turkey and 
the Khedive of Egypt the redoubtable Ismail visited 
the City of London. The Sultan was dined at the 
Guildhall, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cam- 
bridge being present, a supper following and then a 
ball. To the Viceroy the Lord Mayor had given a 
banquet before that at the Mansion House, memorable 
for the announcement that knighthood would be con- 
ferred on the Sheriffs as well as a baronetcy on the 
Lord Mayor ; not less memorable for the words of 
Lord Derby when he announced the knighthood : 

"The name of Waterloo itself is hardly more gene- 
rally known than the name of Alderman Waterlow, 
and the advantages conferred on the world by that 
great battle have, I believe, to some extent been 
equalled by the services which have been conferred 
upon the City of London by the success of the scheme 
of Alderman Waterlow for the erection of improved 
dwellings for the working classes of the Metropolis." 

The Earl of Derby who paid that tribute to Sir 
Sydney Waterlow was the fourteenth Earl of Derby, 
Lord Lytton's "Rupert of Debate," then for the third 
time Prime Minister. There were, I imagine, no two 



48 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

men of any distinction between whom the contrasts of 
birth, of position, of ideas, of career, were more complete 
than between Lord Derby and Sir Sydney Waterlow. 
What Lord Derby said is the more interesting as a 
tribute for that reason. It is not the language of con- 
vention, for Lord Derby was not given to convention- 
alities ; it was the sympathetic appreciation of a strong 
character by another strong character. 

In these days of friendly and even intimate relations 
between England and France, it may require an effort 
of memory, and also an effort of forgetfulness, to realize 
what the feeling was in 1867 and before that ; and it 
may seem a strange thing to remind the public that 
down to that year the Lord Mayor, for all the rever- 
ence with which he and his great office were regarded 
in Paris, had never gone to Paris in full state. But in 
June, 1867, the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs had received 
an invitation from the French authorities to attend the 
opening of the Paris Exhibition, July 1. The invita- 
tion, of course, said nothing about full state, but Lord 
Mayor Gabriel told Mr. Sheriff Waterlow he thought 
it undesirable to go otherwise, and hardly feasible to 
turn out in Paris in all the civic splendour of London. 
His Sheriff was more sanguine. He thought the 
invitation ought to be accepted, and offered to take 
upon himself the whole trouble in respect of carriages, 
horses, and liveried servants, and to arrange for taking 
them over, lodging them, and bringing them back. 
This offer the Lord Mayor accepted. 

It shows once more how seriously Sir Sydney took 
civic affairs, not only in matters of administration, but 



ALDERMAN AND SHERIFF 49 

in their decorative aspect. Indeed, he was a child of 
the City, and childlike in a sense, and a good sense, 
he remained to the end. The great traditions of the 
City were to him as fresh as when the first of them 
sprang into being. The first tradition or the first 
precedent is always an innovation. With the sanction 
of time it becomes a custom, and in this country part 
of the natural order of things that second nature 
which, as Pascal remarked, destroys the first ; adding : 
" I fear Nature herself may be only a first custom, as 
custom is a second nature." Possibly the British 
Constitution itself is not more rooted in custom than is 
the City of London. Its habits have the force of law. 
They are respected, venerated, perhaps rather blindly 
adopted. But the centuries of civic customs required, 
in Sir Sydney's opinion, no other defence and no other 
eulogy than their long continuance. He thought they 
ought to be kept up. If to the external eye there be 
anything of barbaric splendour about them, to him it 
was never barbaric. It was a survival from an age 
when men even sober-minded Englishmen were not 
afraid of colour or of picturesque fashions in the 
garments they wore, nor of pageantry vivid enough to 
appeal to the masses, and to the classes also. I once 
said to him I thought that a dinner and reception at 
Guildhall surpassed in the variety of its gorgeousness 
anything I had anywhere seen. " Oh," he answered, 
with the humorous glance not seldom to be seen in his 
eye, " how about republican simplicity ?" But he 
was none the less pleased. 

Travel facilities between London and Paris were not 

4 



50 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

then what they are now, any more than they are now 
what they will be in that more or less remote future 
when the English and French railway authorities, and 
especially the English, shall show themselves willing to 
meet the reasonable demands of the travelling public. 
But it was all comfortably managed, and Parisians had 
the pleasure of seeing for the first time a processional 
display of the full municipal magnificence familiar to 
London. The streets were crowded, and the crowd 
cheered. Good places were given the Lord Mayor 
and his cortege in the Palais de 1'Industrie. Next day 
they were told the Emperor would receive them in 
private audience at the Tuileries on the following 
Sunday. Sir Francis Lycett, having a conscientious 
objection to Sunday ceremonies, refused to go. The 
Lord Mayor and Sir Sydney, mindful of the maxim 
about Home, went. The Emperor received them 
cordially in the state drawing-rooms, talked awhile, 
and then presented them to Ismail, who asked them to 
come next day to see him at the Ely see. They went, 
and the Khedive discussed with Sir Sydney some of 
those commercial questions which always interested 
him. Sir Sydney, who could be a courtier where busi- 
ness was concerned, pointed out to His Highness that 
during his reign trade and commerce between Alex- 
andria and England had largely increased, thanks to 
his enlightened policy. This so much pleased the 
Khedive that he asked both Lord Mayor and Sheriff 
to visit him in Egypt. They were obliged to explain 
that this was impossible during their term of office. 
Imagine a City of London with its Lord Mayor and 



PARIS AND AN EASTERN JOURNEY 51 

Sheriff exploring the Pyramids and the Nile ! It is 
unimaginable. So, with many thanks and regrets, Sir 
Thomas and Sir Sydney took leave of Ismail, and 
presently returned to London, 

Not long after November 9, when they went out of 
office, the Khedive's agent in London asked Sir Thomas 
Gabriel whether he and Sir Sydney Waterlow would 
now accept the invitation to visit Egypt. Sir Francis 
Lycett, not having been present at the Tuileries, had 
not been asked to the Elysee, and was not asked now. 
He was therefore spared the pain of seeing for himself 
that the observance of Sunday in the land of the 
Pharaohs and the Israelites was not such as he could 
approve. But the ex-Lord Mayor and ex-Sheriff 
hardened their hearts, accepted the invitation, and 
went. The party consisted of Sir Thomas and Lady 
Gabriel with two daughters, Sir Sydney and Lady 
Waterlow and their eldest daughter, and Mr. J. S. 
Virtue. 

The record of this journey which Sir Sydney has left 
is interesting in itself, and would be interesting to the 
public if Egypt were not an oft-trodden and oft- 
described land, where most things have been dis- 
covered many times over. Even in 1868, and even as 
guests of the all-powerful Ismail, it was still possible 
to rough it. The party left London January 17, and 
sailed from Marseilles on a P. & O. steamer, the 
Ripon y which now would hardly be thought good 
enough to carry cargo. It had nevertheless been good 
enough to have Garibaldi as a passenger ; and, passing 
the Straits of Bonifacio, the captain hoisted his flag 

42 



52 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

when Garibaldi's house came in sight, whose flag went 
up in return. They went ashore at Malta on the 23rd, 
and reached Alexandria on the 27th. The Khedive 
sent his Chamberlain to meet them, and from that 
time on, so long as they remained in Egypt, they were 
looked after by their host. Sir Sydney characteristic- 
ally comments on the hovels of Nile mud and straw 
between Alexandria and Cairo : they were immemorial, 
and not the least like improved dwellings. The 
Khedive received them in the palace at Ghizeh, asked 
what they would like to do, and promised them a 
steamer for the Nile. No passenger-steamers were 
then allowed on that sacred river, only dahabeeyahs, 
and they heard from the British Consul at Luxor that 
only forty- one foreigners had been there that season. 
Twenty years later Sir Sydney tells us there fre- 
quently arrived, while he was at Luxor, two or three 
hundred within twenty-four hours. While waiting 
for the steamer, they explored Cairo and the Pyramids, 
witnessed the gathering of the pilgrims to Mecca, 
headed by self-torturing fanatics, and the ladies of 
the party visited the Viceroy's mother in her harem. 

Ismail gave them one of his best river-boats, about 
the size of a Thames penny steamer, and with scant 
room for so large a party. In fact, Sir Thomas and 
Sir Sydney had to content themselves with benches to 
sleep on ; but it was the Nile, and nothing mattered. 
They journeyed as they liked, stopped where they 
liked, levied that is, the Viceroy did on the people 
for supplies ; saw tombs, and sugar factories, and 
temples, and crocodiles, and mosques, and saints who 



PARIS AND AN EASTERN JOURNEY 53 

lived in holes and grew fat on the offerings of the 
faithful ; went aground at times and got off again ; 
made reflections on Karnac and Philae ; made excur- 
sions on camels ; and never forgot to read prayers 
on Sunday mornings. Cairo was again reached 
February 27, and on March 2 they said good-bye to the 
city " whose soil is gold, where women are like the 
black-eyed virgins of Paradise, whose houses are 
palaces, whose odour surpasses [but not in the right 
way] that of aloes-wood, and cheers the heart." How 
can Cairo be otherwise, asks the Arab writer whom I 
quote (at second hand), when it is the mother of the 
world ? 

Before Sir Sydney left London he was asked to call 
at the Foreign Office, where it was explained to him 
by an official that, in the view of the Government, he 
and Sir Thomas Gabriel ought not to visit the Khedive 
without also visiting the Sultan. To the obvious 
answer that the Khedive had invited them, and the 
Sultan had not, the official replied that this should 
be arranged. The reason of the Government's solici- 
tude is left to conjecture. Perhaps we are to suppose 
that the Foreign Office took account of the awe in 
which a Lord Mayor is held on the Continent, and 
feared lest the Sultan should deem himself slighted if 
even an ex -Lord Mayor should visit his vassal at 
Cairo, and not the Lord Paramount at Constantinople. 
Whatever the reason, a formal invitation was sent. 

The party, therefore, on quitting Cairo and 
Alexandria, took ship for Constantinople. The 
Khedive, whose hospitality was boundless, invited 



54 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

them to go by one of his steamers, on which the best 
cabins were assigned to them. Seamanship, whether 
Egyptian or Turkish, was not then, nor is it now, of 
the highest order. The deadlights had not been put 
in, and when it came on to blow the best cabins were 
drenched ; after which the deadlights were duly 
adjusted and other cabins given them, where they 
stayed in bed till their clothes dried. Then they 
steamed leisurely on, past Scio's rocky isle to Smyrna, 
where Sir Sydney records his satisfaction in once 
more finding houses well built and tolerably clean, 
and where the women were as fair as Europeans. 

At Constantinople they were met, and told that the 
Sultan had ordered rooms for them at the best hotel. 
An Imperial Chamberlain had been assigned to them 
as guide, the Sultan's box at the Opera was thrown 
open to them, and sedan-chairs supplied for their use 
in this carriageless city. Their days were spent in 
the usual sight-seeing and excursions. Finally, still 
by the Sultan's order, the Grand Vizier gave them a 
banquet in his palace, where the other guests were 
Turkish Ministers, Ambassadors, arid persons of like 
distinction. After it Hobart Pacha illuminated his 
fleet, and took the Englishmen to their hotel in his 
eight-oared caique. 

Before they left Constantinople the Sultan sent his 
Chamberlain with a written firman, conferring the 
order of the Medjidieh upon Sir Thomas and Sir Sydney. 
This order, they were told, bore with it the title of 
Pacha, and they might, if they saw fit, use that title ; 
but it is not on record that either of them ever availed 



PARIS AND AN EASTERN JOURNEY 55 

himself of this privilege. As Gabriel Pacha and 
Waterlow Pacha they now appear in print for the first 
time. Ten days altogether were spent in Stamboul ; 
then Sir Thomas and Lady Gabriel went to Athens, 
while Sir Sydney, thinking it time to be back for 
business in London, went via Corfu to Brindisi, and 
so by Florence ; and then over the snow-covered 
Mont Cenis in sledges ; resting a night at Dijon, and 
another at Paris, and reaching London after an 
absence of eleven weeks. 

" This was the longest holiday I had ever enjoyed," 
remarks Sir Sydney. He was then forty-six years 
old, all but a few months. 



CHAPTER VII 

INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 

I INTERRUPT the narrative of Waterlow's civic career 
in order to tell in its right place the story of those 
Improved Industrial Dwellings by which he will 
perhaps be as long remembered as by anything else. 
It is to be taken for granted that the private business 
of Waterlow and Sons has been steadily increasing 
down to this period, and will continue to increase 
year after year, as duties performed and distinctions 
won by its chief tread more closely upon each other. 
Waterlow was one of those men who find it possible 
to combine distinct interests and occupations, doing 
full justice to each. He had, of course, an extra- 
ordinary power of work, and he had an equally extra- 
ordinary power of concentration, or, as Mr. Gladstone 
said of himself, he had a mind built in watertight 
compartments. He would do a thing, with all his 
forces, as well as he knew how to do it. Then he 
would dismiss it from his mind. For the time it ceased 
to exist, and he would do something else, with equal 
vigour and equal absorption of all his powers in that 
one subject, and as well as it could possibly be done 
by him. This energy of mind and energy of undivided 

56 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 57 

application to the matter in hand go far to account for 
that long series of great things accomplished which 
make of his whole life one almost uninterrupted 
success. 

No man was farther than Waterlow from that pesti- 
lent nonsense which swaggers in the market-place 
under the name of Socialism. No man, perhaps, 
has done more than he in his own sphere to dimmish 
the inequalities and (if you like) injustices which 
Socialist orators would remedy by rhetoric. Of 
rhetoric he had none. He had what, perhaps, is nearly 
as useful. He had a clear knowledge of the difficult 
conditions under which too many working men's lives 
are lived. He had a conviction that these conditions 
could be bettered ; not by charity mainly, but by 
an intelligent application of business principles and 
methods to such business matters as most closely 
concern the working men. He did not think this 
application of business principles and methods primarily 
somebody else's duty, but his own. Dumas 's cynical 
definition, "Le devoir, c'est ce qu'on exige des 
autres," was not his definition, nor did he ever act on 
it. He believed that the circumstances in which a 
man lived affected his character ; and he set himself 
to improve the circumstances of the domestic existence 
of as many working men as possible. On strict busi- 
ness principles, we have seen what he and his partners 
did to improve the condition of the thousands who 
toiled for the firm of Waterlow and Sons. We have 
begun to see how he gave up his strength in the public 
service. It is time to ask how the Improved Industrial 



58 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Dwellings, recognized from the beginning as one of 
the most substantial practical benefits ever conferred 
on the working classes of London, came into being. 

Waterlow never regarded himself, nor wished others 
to regard him, as a pioneer in this attempt to improve 
the dwellings of the working classes, or, in the phrase 
he preferred, the weekly- wage earners or wage-earning 
classes. He desired it to be said that, more than 
twenty years before he began, the need for such dwell- 
ings was much discussed and strongly advocated by 
Dr. Southwood Smith, by the Rev. W. Denton, Rector 
of St. Bartholomew, Cripplegate, and by others. The 
first public company formed with this object was the 
Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings 
of the Industrial Classes. This was in 1842, under 
royal charter, and began work very soon after, The 
buildings this company erected for families paid 5 per 
cent., those for single men 3J per cent., in 1854-55, 
and before that much less. Lady Burdett-Coutts took 
up the same work, and in later years, having ceased to 
build on her own account, granted a building lease to 
the Waterlow Company of land near Shoreditch 
Church, on which eighty-eight tenements, known as 
the Leopold Buildings, were erected. 

The Peabody Buildings are too well known to 
require description. Mr. Peabody's first gift of 
200,000 was made in or about 1860, and to this 
sum he added later 500,000. 

" Beyond all doubt,'* said Waterlow, " they materially 
stimulated the Government of the day in promoting 
measures, not merely to facilitate the work, but to 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 59 

compel railway companies and others destroying any 
large number of houses occupied by the poor to provide 
to a certain extent new and commodious tenements 
suitable for the working classes." 

The idea, in short, was in the air. Macaulay said 
that if there had been no Newton the principle of 
gravitation would have been announced in or about his 
time. Darwin and Wallace were joint discoverers, and 
Herbert Spencer thought he also was a third in that 
unconscious partnership. Bismarck declared that if 
there had been no Moltke the Germans would have 
won just the same in 1870-71. Victory was the 
work, not of this or that man, but of the German Staff 
as a whole. The theory is familiar, the facts are 
numerous, but it is not everybody who is anxious to 
disclaim originality. But Waterlow knew very well 
what he had accomplished and what his achievement 
was worth, and he troubled himself no otherwise about 
priority than to render justice to others. 

Where were the workmen to go who had been, or 
would be, turned out of their houses by the railway 
companies who were tearing old London to pieces ? 
That was the question Waterlow asked himself, and 
that other people had asked themselves. Into that 
matter and into the insanitary condition of certain 
parts of London there had been private inquiries, and 
there had been Commissions under the Crown. Parlia- 
ment had passed the Public Health Act, but it was 
a permissive Act, and therefore of little effect. The 
death-rate was excessive. Epidemics traceable to 
insanitary conditions swept away half the children 



60 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

born in the overcrowded districts, and cut short the 
lives of adults by one-third. There was growing dis- 
content, naturally enough, among the workers. 

The evil was enormous ; to apply a comprehensive 
remedy was beyond the resources, not merely of any 
individual or company, but of society itself. With the 
homely sense and shrewdness which were his, Water- 
low made no attempt at large measures to begin with. 
Securing a piece of ground in Mark Street, Finsbury, 
he built at his own cost four blocks of dwellings in 
flats, with external staircases, with rooms for eighty 
families, or 400 persons, each tenement self-contained. 
For these the rents were 2s. 1 Jd. per room per week, 
which he believed would yield, as they did, 5 per cent, 
on the capital invested. Having done this alone, he 
then invited friends to join him in forming a small 
company with a capital of 50,000 to go on with the 
enterprise. Such was the commencement of the Im- 
proved Industrial Dwellings Company, which is still in 
existence, with a capital of 1,000,000. Waterlow 
lived to see the building of 6,000 tenements, dis- 
tributed through nearly all the parishes in the 
Metropolis ; the homes for 30,000 people living in 
comfort and content. 

Here, as elsewhere, success depended on details. 
Philanthropy divorced from business capacity was not 
the kind from which Waterlow expected much good. 
He worked out the details himself, and he was his own 
architect. The same Mr. Matthew Allen who had 
invented saddles for the roof telegraph-poles in the 
first electrical scheme served him here. Allen, though 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 61 

a master-builder in a small way, was a working man. 
Calling one day on Waterlow for his account, he spoke 
of his visit to tenements just put up for Lady Burdett- 
Coutts in Spitalfields. Said Allen : 

" The rooms are well shaped, but how little do the 
wealthy classes and the architects know of the require- 
ments of the working man ? The rooms have only bare 
whitewashed walls, like the cells of a prison, and the 
rules prohibit any tenant from knocking in even a nail 
to hang a picture, or to endeavour to decorate the 
walls and render the home more cheerful. No one but 
a working man knows what a working man wants." 

Finding that Allen had thought much on the sub- 
ject, and much wished to help the class to which 
he belonged, he arranged with this builder to do the 
work. Between them they drew the plans and 
designs. They did precisely what the architect, bent 
on a good architectural effect without and a good 
decorative effect within, sometimes omits to do : they 
considered the probable wishes and the convenience of 
the tenant. They set up the rooms in cardboard with 
each piece of furniture cut to scale and in its right 
place ; they planned a structural arrangement of the 
fireplaces and windows which would give the most 
open and healthy positions with the least exposure to 
draught ; they never forgot that these were rooms to 
be lived in, and lived in by people of moderate means ; 
indeed, of no means at all beyond their weekly 
earnings. 

The general plans were, in some particulars, adapted 
from the model for cottage dwellings contributed by 



62 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

the Prince Consort to the Exhibition of 1851 ; a 
model afterwards re-erected in Kennington Park. 
That, however, was designed for only two families, 
while Waterlow's building was for sixteen. But the 
principle of the external staircase, which Waterlow 
thought vital, was taken from the Prince Consort's 
model. It was outside the main walls of the building, 
and, however placed, was exposed to the fresh air. 
It provided a fire-escape. It limited the risk from 
infectious or contagious diseases. The whole of the 
ventilation of the rooms was lateral, each tenement 
having windows at the front and windows at the back, 
and when these were opened a perfect ventilation, 
entirely from external air, was secured to each tene- 
ment. The walls and floors, while not fireproof no 
building is fireproof were so designed and built as to 
insure a slow combustion in case of fire. There was 
a flat roof, of light iron girders filled in with concrete 
and covered with asphalt. The flat roof was a further 
protection from fire, and provided a playground for 
the children and a drying-ground for the wash. 

When the first of the four buildings was complete, 
Waterlow, desirous of criticism and suggestions 
perhaps of publicity also, with a view to the future- 
gave a lunch on the roof. A tent was pitched. The 
company included Lord Radstock, Lord Ebury, Mr. 
Chichester Fortescue (afterwards Lord Carlingford), 
Mr. Edward Chad wick, Mr. Samuel Morley, and Mr. 
Benjamin Scott, the City Chamberlain. There were 
speeches, most of them to the effect that the first step 
had been taken in solving the problem of housing the 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 63 

working classes. The company adopted a resolution 
that the very best moral and social results were to be 
expected from such a building, with a good return on 
the capital invested. 

But there was a discordant note. An eminent 
architect was present, who said : 

" We are summoned here to-day to inspect and 
criticize a building of such a novel form of construction 
that it is beyond all doubt quite a new departure. I 
do not desire for a moment to review its design in any 
hostile spirit, but it seems to me that it would be 
difficult to get a coffin up and down the staircase. 
The roof upon which we are now enjoying a comfort- 
able luncheon is also a novelty. Still, I must confess 
that I should not have felt justified in spending the 
money of any client of mine in the erection of buildings 
so peculiar in their arrangement. I nevertheless wish 
Mr. Alderman Waterlow every possible success in 
carrying out the philanthropic object he has in view." 

Such was the protest which this eminent member 
of an eminent profession thought it proper to make 
against a building which had come into existence 
without the help of that eminent profession. 

I do not know whether, in the view of this eminent 
architect, Waterlow's offence would have been less or 
greater had he been aware that a clerk in the office of 
a professional architect had been employed to visit the 
building three or four times a week, in order to see 
that the work was well and properly executed. Be 
that as it may, others, not architects, thought the 
building well adapted to its purpose. Waterlow was 



64 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

one of them, and he went on to put up three more 
blocks on the same model, still with no architect to 
help. 

The model has stood the tests of time and use. 
Thirty years later Waterlow summed up the results 
of his experience : 

" On this important question I am not merely 
theorizing. An experience of thirty years has proved 
that a fire will not spread from room to room in tene- 
ments built on this plan. With nearly 6,000 tene- 
ments, it was 'perhaps to be expected that fires should 
occasionally occur ; but on no occasion has the fire 
ever spread from one tenement to another. Even 
should this happen, the tenants could always escape 
freely and without harm by the stone staircase in front 
of the building, to which all have immediate access 
from their separate entrance-doors. 

" This plan of construction was put to a severe test 
upon one occasion, at some buildings in Goswell Street. 
The tenement houses occupied the frontage of the 
street. At the southern corner was another street, 
which ascended rapidly at a right angle. Just in the 
rear of our block of buildings was an extensive manu- 
factory where there was stored a very large quantity of 
tallow, oil, and other inflammable materials. This 
factory caught fire one night. The grease melted and 
poured down the street in liquid flames, setting fire to 
the shutters of a shop which occupied the corner of 
our buildings. Over the shop were four floors of 
tenement dwellings. The shop was occupied by a 
dealer in india-rubber goods, and contained other very 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 65 

inflammable articles. Although the shop was burnt 
out and completely gutted, the flames, licking up the 
front and back of the building, broke a few panes of 
glass and scorched the outside paint, but otherwise 
did no injury. 

" From the same cause namely, the absence of any 
vertical flue, like a staircase inside a house the 
liability to the spread of contagion is very materially 
lessened. On more than one occasion, when there was 
an epidemic of smallpox in London, and the disease 
was brought home to our buildings by children attend- 
ing the elementary schools, it never spread amongst 
the tenants. It was most satisfactory to find that the 
death and disease rate, among the 30,000 persons who 
live in the blocks of buildings belonging to my com- 
pany in various parts of the Metropolis, was, in the 
year 1896, only 9'9 per 1,000. The average death- 
rate in London for the same period was 18*5, and no 
doubt the death-rate in the poorer quarters of the 
Metropolis would be 30 or 40 per 1,000. This is, I 
trust, sufficient evidence of the validity of my state- 
ments as to the immunity of our buildings from the 
spread of contagious disease." 

As it was of the essence of this scheme that returns 
were to come from very moderate rents, economy in 
building was studied at every point. Again I must 
say I do not know whether this was more or less 
feasible by reason of the absence of the eminent archi- 
tect, whose fees would increase with the expense. A 
new building material was used, 25 per cent, cheaper 
than stone or brick. The arches and lintels through- 

5 



66 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

out the building were supplied and fixed in their 
places at a cost no greater than would have been the 
cost of the labour alone if ordinary brick arches had 
been put in. Mr. Allen was the author of this new 
material, now largely used by the builders of London. 
Mr. Allen, who started with no great education, had 
an active mind. He had read the report of a lecture 
delivered at the Institution of Civil Engineers by the 
eminent architect, Mr. Sydney Smirke, R.A., who had 
studied the concrete used in old Italian or Roman 
buildings. He found it composed of Roman cement 
mixed with broken lava from Vesuvius. The cement 
entered into the pores of the lava, and the concrete 
thus formed, while it might be pounded to ashes, 
would not split. To Mr. Allen, much reflecting on 
this matter, it seemed there must be in this country 
some substitute for lava, and he found it in refuse 
coke. He composed his new concrete of four parts 
of small drift coke and one part of Portland cement, 
strengthened for structural purposes by hoop-iron 
or wrought-iron where necessary. 

When Waterlow began building, high rents for 
cheap lodgings prevailed. For his new tenements, 
such as have been described, the rents were fixed at 
5s. to 6s. 6d. a week. The sum of the rents from the 
first of the four buildings was 309 ; the expenditure 
in ground-rent, rates, insurance, repairs, and the like, 
was 125 ; balance, 184, or over 9 per cent, in this 
case. 

The four blocks of buildings in Finsbury erected by 
Waterlow cost him 10,000 ; not till they had been 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 67 

completed did he ask others to help him with the 
work. He does not seem to have thought in the 
beginning that any considerable portion of the re- 
housing of the working classes could be accomplished 
by private enterprise. But, having shown the way, 
he conceived that a larger experiment would be useful 
as an example to the State and to the municipality ; 
hence the first company. He applied to his own 
friends ; an appeal to the public or to the official world 
would have been premature. The sum he thought 
useful, 25,000, was, in fact, subscribed by fourteen 
persons. Sir Henry Edwards, M.P. for Weymouth, 
who put down 5,000, was the largest investor. Lord 
Stanley, afterwards Earl of Derby, became chairman of 
the board of directors, with Mr. Alderman Waterlow 
as deputy- chairman, Mr. Goschen (afterwards Vis- 
count Goschen), Mr, Samuel Morley, and others, as 
directors. 

The company began without so much as an office, 
the counting-house of Waterlow and Sons being used 
for Board meetings. Lord Stanley remained chairman 
till 1866 ; then, upon accepting office in the Cabinet, 
resigned, and Mr. Waterlow was chosen his successor. 
He remained chairman for thirty years. 

The first 25,000 having been expended with results 
satisfactory to the Board, it was resolved to increase 
the capital to 50,000. This, again, was raised to 
100,000, and finally to 500,000, with power to 
borrow on a first mortgage from the Public Works 
Loan Commissioners a further sum of 500,000. For 
the half-million of capital an appeal to the public was, 

52 



68 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

of course, necessary, and the public, partly from 
interest in so promising an enterprise, and partly 
from the expectation of 5 per cent., responded, though 
slowly. The money was found. It is fair to assume 
that regard for the public good and the welfare of the 
wage-earning classes was the chief motive, since not 
5 but 7 or 10 per cent, is the usual return for 
house property. 

Meantime Waterlow made an attempt to induce the 
Common Council to do a share of the work of providing 
improved houses for the labouring poor ; a phrase which 
I extract from a resolution of the Court of Common 
Council in October, 1851. There was at that time 
a Finsbury Surplus Estate Fund amounting to 
42,469 3s. reduced 3 per cents, which this body had 
directed to be applied for this purpose. But nothing 
had been done, and in October, 1862, Waterlow moved 
a resolution of inquiry as to this fund, and also as to 
the destruction of the houses of the industrial poor in 
the City of London, and whether this fund could be 
used for supplying new homes. In 1851 the money 
was ready and sites had been bought, but such experi- 
ments as had then been made were discouraging, and 
eight years later the land was sold. Things had since 
grown steadily worse. The City Police had addressed 
a memorial to the Court pointing out the great diffi- 
culty they had in obtaining lodgings. This memorial 
was signed by 470 men of the force, of whom 80 
were, with families of from one to four children, occupy- 
ing single rooms at four shillings a week. Waterlow's 
statement to the Court was full and convincing. His 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 69 

resolution was adopted. A committee was appointed, 
and within two years the Court had erected the large 
block in Farringdon Road known as Corporation 
Buildings. Others were put up later near Holborn. 
By 1833 they had spent 105,800 in the building 
of 1,003 rooms, with an average net return of 3J 
to 4 per cent. 

An excellent piece of work, but I apprehend that 
the Corporation had done indirectly an even greater 
service to this good cause ; for they had taken and 
maintained a position of co-operation in the general 
movement for the better housing of the working 
classes. It became more and more difficult for indi- 
vidual corporate interests, eager for the destruction of 
houses in order to secure great spaces for private pur- 
poses, to destroy without rebuilding, when the City of 
London had declared itself on the side of the working 
men and their families. 

Nevertheless, Waterlow well knew that a long, 
hard, continuing struggle lay before him. The affairs 
of his company went on prospering. Money came in 
and buildings went up. But there was a battle to be 
fought with railway and other companies bent on the 
acquisition of land, and careless in too many cases 
what became of the people whom they dispossessed. 
The problem was not only to house them, but to house 
them within reasonable distance of their work. Some 
of the difficulties and inconveniences were remedied or 
mitigated by the extension of railway systems in the 
suburbs, but the problem was not solved. 

The struggle went on in Parliament, in the Press, in 



70 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Board-rooms, in Cabinet Ministers' offices, for twenty 
years and more. 

Waterlow was in the front on the firing-line. 
Public opinion was now so far aroused that he was 
sure of a hearing and sure of support. The Press, on 
the whole, was with him ; Parliament was generally 
with him when the business of the House of Commons 
was in a state which permitted it to do something ; in 
very urgent cases after not more than a year's delay. 
Boards of directors, existing in their own view solely 
to promote the interests of their shareholders, began 
to find it expedient to take account of public opinion. 
Cabinet Ministers, to whom public opinion had never 
been a matter of indifference, came to the conviction 
that it would support even the expenditure of public 
money for an object which not many years before 
would have been thought quixotic and chimerical. The 
5 per cent, dividends of Waterlow's Industrial Dwell- 
ings Company converted the most sceptical. 

Waterlow's argument was, indeed, one which it was 
not easy to refute or to neglect. The work of destruc- 
tion for the behoof of the railways could never have 
been carried on without the sanction of Parliament. 
It was not, therefore, for Parliament to shirk the 
responsibility of making some provision for the many 
thousands of working men and their families to whom 
removal meant distress, if not ruin. A simple proposi- 
tion. But when, in the early sixties, it was pressed 
upon Ministers and the House of Commons, it was an 
appeal in behalf of men who had no votes. To reject 
it might not imperil the re-election of a single member 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 71 

of Parliament. I mention that only to say that, in all 
the papers and correspondence I have read on the sub- 
ject, I find nowhere any suggestion that such a con- 
sideration was present to anybody's mind or retarded 
the action of any Minister. Delay there was, but it 
seems to have been inevitable. When the moment 
came for action, Ministers and the House were governed, 
not by a selfish concern for their own political pros- 
perity, but by large considerations of public welfare. 
If the ejected working men never went to the polls, 
reason the more that they who did go, electors and 
elected, should regard themselves as trustees for those 
who did not. 

Having done what he could through his friends, 
through the investing public, and through the Common 
Council, Waterlow found that more money was likely 
to be wanted than could be easily obtained from 
individuals. It had required much effort to raise the 
capital already, in 1865, subscribed. The need was 
pressing, for the railway and other clearances were on 
a greater scale than had been foreseen, and once the 
mischief done once, that is, great areas of dwellings 
had been cleared, and no new dwellings provided the 
difficulties became of the gravest kind. In short, the 
moment had arrived when State aid in some form had 
become, if not indispensable, in the highest degree 
desirable. 

Waterlow began modestly as usual. He wrote a 
letter, April 7, 1865, to Mr. Frederick Peel, then 
Secretary to the Treasury. The letter is a very clear 
and cogent statement of the case, and of the obliga- 



72 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

tions of the Government, bat is a masterpiece of 
moderation. He encloses a proposal on which he 
invites action, but all he asks is that Mr. Peel will 
bring it to the notice of the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, and ask that great officer of State whether he 
would be willing to receive a deputation with a view 
to discussing the principle of the scheme. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer was Mr. Gladstone, 
but, as Mr. Gladstone's name does not reappear in the 
subsequent proceedings, it seems probable that he was 
too much eccupied with more pressing duties to give 
his attention to Mr. Waterlow's proposal. The 
scheme was of much simplicity. Nothing more was 
asked than an Act of Parliament empowering the 
Public Works Loan Commissioner to grant loans upon 
mortgage of lands and houses applied to the use and 
occupation of the working classes, with all due specified 
precautions and securities. Waterlow, sanguine in 
his official inexperience, asked for an appointment for 
the proposed interview before, or as soon as possible 
after, Easter. Mr. Peel answers on May 15. He 
is commanded by the Lords Commissioners of Her 
Majesty's Treasury to say that their Lordships doubt 
whether public aid could be given to any such 
company unless the rate of profit were so limited as to 
distinguish their case from that of an ordinary com- 
mercial enterprise. 

By all means, answered Waterlow ; we will agree to 
5 per cent., as against the usual 10 per cent, on landed 
property. To this, on June 14, the Lords Com- 
missioners agree, and promise to ask Parliament for 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 73 

authority. But dissolution was at hand, and nothing 
was done that year. The Act was subsequently passed, 
and by 1897 the loans received by the Improved 
Industrial Dwellings Company from the Public Works 
Loan Commissioners amounted to .484,000, of which 
173,061 had been repaid. The capital of the com- 
pany then stood at 500,000 stock and 165,000 in 
deferred shares of 1 each, all fully paid. The total 
expenditure on land and buildings had been 1,112,242, 
including part of the reserve funds used in extending 
the company's work. A dividend at the rate of 5 per 
cent, per annum was paid regularly on both stock and 
deferred shares. 

But between the date of the first application for 
public money and 1897 the work of erecting dwellings 
and of protecting the interests of the working classes 
had encountered many obstacles of many kinds. In a 
letter to the Times, April 14, 1872, Waterlow drew 
attention to several Bills then before Parliament for 
the construction of new streets. The Metropolitan 
Board of Works and the projectors of the Mid-London 
Railway proposed to pull down 1,152 houses, turning 
3,870 persons into the street. As before, the powers 
granted by the Bills to destroy were compulsory. The 
powers to reconstruct were permissive only. Waterlow 
urged the familiar and unanswered and unanswerable 
arguments against this policy. Then he added : 

'' There are other reasons, social, political, and 
moral, why it is to the very highest degree undesirable 
that workmen should be driven from the localities in 
which their labour found remunerative employment. 



74 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

But if compulsory powers for the destruction of their 
houses are to be given, and only permissive and 
inoperative powers of reconstruction, the evils both of 
scattering and of overcrowding will ensue. There is, I 
think, one method of avoiding these evils, and my 
object in writting this letter is to bring that method 
prominently before the public, and to urge its adoption. 
The power which is compulsory in the one case should 
be made compulsory in the other. Parliament must 
be asked, not only to give power to pull down these 
houses, but to impose on those who exercise that 
power the correlative responsibility of erecting im- 
proved dwellings of the same class in their place. I 
venture, therefore, to suggest that clauses should be 
inserted in the Bill promoted by the Metropolitan 
Board of Works requiring them to set aside out of the 
surplus funds, which will remain after the construction 
of the proposed new streets, or out of any surplus lands 
now in the possession of the Board, a number of sites 
on which tenement houses suitable for the working 
classes may be built. The area thus set aside should 
be sufficient for the erection of dwellings to accom- 
modate all the persons who may be displaced." 

To the objection that the Board of Works could not 
undertake the erection and letting out of small 
tenements, he answers : " No ; but my company can." 
The Times, however, sided with the railways and the 
Board of Works, and advised Parliament to fall back 
on general principles ; " that is, an improved street and 
building legislation in order to obtain wider thorough- 
fares, better cleanliness, and less crowding." As for 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 75 

I the railways, they were having a hard time, and were 
bound to dispose of their surplus lands for the best 
price they could get. 
" How," asks the Times, " will they like to be com- 
pelled to restrict themselves to the limited and 
capricious market of philanthropists, building houses 
for poor people on the bare chance of 5 per cent, 
returns ? We believe that London will always find 
space enough for her increasing millions. Space 
increases as the square of the distance from the 
centre ; and even if the entire heart of the Metropolis 
were covered with public buildings, railway-stations, 
manufactories, banks, and offices, the only difference 
need be that the persons employed in them would 
have to go half a mile farther to more wholesome 
dwellings." 

Such were the optimistic views of a capitalistic 
millennium which then dazzled the eyes of the authori- 
ties in Printing House Square. But that was more 
than thirty-six years ago, and it is not only the 
philanthropist who has since become aware of the 
British working man, and of his right to exist in 
reasonable comfort. 

Others, Lord Lyttelton and Lord Shaftesbury 
among them, supported Waterlow's views, and other 
newspapers supported them. He restated his case in 
the Daily News, meeting with frankness the objection 
that he did not provide single rooms : 

"It is quite true that I do not provide single rooms. 
But one of the objects of these improved dwellings is 
to help eradicate the whole system of living of which 



76 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

these single-room dwellings are the evil sign. We 
build for the future, and look forward to the time 
when no family need be compelled to live in a single 
room. It is impossible that either sanitary or moral 
conditions can ever be satisfied under such a system. 
No proper feeling of decency or self-respect can be 
cultivated in families living in a single room." 

" We build for the future." The sentence might 
well serve as an epitaph for its author. No man lived 
more in the present, with a more practical eye for 
pressing wants and immediate possibilities, yet ever 
with a breadth of view and a foresight which took 
account of what was to come and of what ought to 
come. The future justified his confidence in it. His 
policy bore full fruit. His deeds live after him. 

He developed his argument in terms which are a 
good example of his habit of thinking things out, and 
are not less to the point now than they were then : 

" Yet even the unfortunate class whom overcrowding 
forces into single-room dwellings are helped and re- 
lieved by the provision of more eligible tenements. 
The better class of working people are glad to get out 
of such miserable dwellings into better ones, and, as 
they do so, more room is left for the rest. It is the 
competition of better-class workmen with the very 
poor which makes the rent of bad dwellings in back- 
streets so very high. Diminish that competition, and 
rents will fall, and the owners of such property will 
be compelled by the loss of tenants to effect improve- 
ments which will never be accomplished in any other 
way. 






INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 77 

" Improvements of this kind must begin from the 
top. If you simply draw out the worst layer from 
below, those above will sink into its place ; while by 
taking -away the upper strata, those below, relieved 
from the pressure, rise into their vacant places. Even 
the poor widow who can only pay two shillings a week 
for a single room is thus most directly benefited by 
the provision of these improved dwellings. She gets 
a better room for her money when the keenest com- 
petitors for it have been housed elsewhere." 

The subject became more and more complicated by 
well-meant but injudicious efforts toward reform. 
Waterlow has put on record his opinion that " the 
gravest obstacle to the improvement of the dwellings 
of the working classes lay in the course taken by the 
Metropolitan Board of Works in carrying out the 
Artisans' Dwellings Act." So when the Metropolitan 
Streets Improvement Act was before the House of 
Commons in 1872, he found that, as with Hallway Bills, 
this Act gave full powers for the destruction of work- 
men's dwellings without insisting on the building of 
new dwellings. With much trouble and letter- writing, 
he finally secured the insertion of Clause 49, in which 
was embodied the principle, or the germ of it, that 
those who demolish workmen's houses must set apart 
certain land for their reconstruction. 

By this time, and still more two years later, in 1874, 
the question of obtaining land had become more diffi- 
cult than the question of money for building. He 
was able then to say that he believed the public were 
ready to find any amount of money to carry on the 



78 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

work, and that he himself had nearly a quarter of a 
million under his control for that purpose. He 
explains in another letter to the Times what hinders 
the free use of this money : 

" We are, however, all working with our hands tied. 
We cannot obtain possession of the fever-dens in our 
narrow courts and alleys, and are practically unable to 
secure sites in the required localities. The good work 
has hitherto been carried on mainly through the 
facilities afforded by the Duke of Westminster, the 
Baroness Burdett-Coutts, the Marquis of Northampton, 
the Rev. W. Bassett, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, 
and other large landowners in the Metropolis. One 
of these proprietors sold to us a few years since 9 acres 
of small dilapidated houses in the East End of London, 
two public-houses being the only substantial buildings 
on the property. The School Board have built and 
opened a school for 1,500 children on one plot. New 
houses in flats of four or five stories have been erected, 
and in a few years every sign of the old houses will be 
gone. This was a rare chance, which may never occur 
again." 

Whether it does or not, he is ready with a general 
remedy : 

" Parliament must impose on some public Metro- 
politan body the responsibility and the power to 
purchase by compulsion, not merely the house property 
declared by the sanitary authority to be unfit for 
human habitation, but also the houses and lands 
adjacent thereto, in order that suitable sites with 
proper approaches may be secured. The ground when 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 79 

cleared by the public authority should be let by tender 
on long building leases, with stringent provisions for 
the erection and maintenance of workmen's dwellings 
on plans to be approved by the lessors." 

Admitting that the ground-rent obtained would not 
in all cases be equal to the cost of the improvement, he 
suggests that the money should be raised by the issue 
of 3-| per cent. Metropolitan Consols. In that case the 
loss would be comparatively small, and more than 
covered by the levy of a farthing rate on the assessment 
of the Metropolis. This in turn would be recouped to 
the ratepayers by the saving consequent on the reduc- 
tion of the death and disease rate among the working 
population. That it would be reduced may be inferred 
from the fact that the death-rate in the improved 
dwellings was in 1872 only 15*8 in 1,000, as compared 
with a death-rate in the Metropolis generally of 25*5 
in 1,000 ; while the average death-rate for ten years in 
the improved dwellings was 16, as against 24 in the 
whole Metropolis. 

The subject was again brought forward in the House 
in 1874, Mr. Disraeli being now Prime Minister. Sir 
U. K. Shuttleworth moved a resolution affirming the 
necessity of providing better dwellings for the working 
classes in London. Waterlow, now a member, spoke 
to that resolution, urging the levy of a rate of one 
penny for this purpose, and urging it upon economical 
as well as upon medical and sanitary grounds. The 
resolution was withdrawn, but the change in the 
attitude of the authorities was seen when the Home 
Secretary, Mr. Cross, asked Waterlow, in October, 



80 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

1874, to supply him with facts and suggestions. This 
opportunity he seized to urge again the grant of com- 
pulsory powers. Presumably it bore fruit, for in 1875 
the Artisans' Dwellings Bill was brought in. "I 
rejoice," said Sir Sydney, making his bow to his 
political opponents, " to find that the Government 
have taken the matter in hand so promptly, and with 
a clear and evident desire to deal with it practically 
and effectually." But he issued a memorandum point- 
ing out the need of certain amendments. There was 
the old trouble : it was to a great extent a permissive 
Bill ; the District Medical Officer might make it opera- 
tive or inoperative. There were many other criticisms, 
of which time has shown the wisdom. When the Bill 
came on, Sir Sydney moved an amendment for refer- 
ring to arbitration differences between the local 
authority and the intending purchaser of lands. But 
Mr. Cross said it would delay the sale of land for 
twelve or eighteen months, and the Bill was all right 
as it stood. Mr. Fawcett told the Home Secretary 
that if he insisted on his clause as framed the Act 
would be a dead letter. But Mr. Cross would not be 
moved. He put his trust in the local authority. He 
would do what was necessary to carry out the purpose 
of the Act. Protests went for nothing. The amend- 
ment was rejected, and the Bill passed. What hap- 
pened ? The Board of Works interpreted its duty in 
such a way that the very neglect and delay occurred 
which this amendment was intended to prevent. 

It was in October, 1875, that, at the annual meeting 
of the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company, 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 81 

Waterlow as chairman announced that they must 
issue 25,000 additional 10 shares. That brought the 
capital up to 500,000, and, with their borrowing 
powers, made their whole resources nearly 1,000,000. 
" The chairman of this most business-like yet eminently 
benevolent concern," said one journal, "has probably 
done more than all the temperance lecturers in the 
land to effect a real reform in the habits and morals of 
the working classes " or perhaps even more, some 
would add, than a Licensing Bill ; which does not seem 
a very extravagant eulogy. What the working men 
themselves thought was shown by their eagerness to 
occupy the rooms. " On several occasions during the 
past year," said Waterlow, " there had not been 
a single tenement to let on a Saturday night, 
and the majority of applications came from old 
tenants." 

A picturesque phrase occurs now and then in the 
midst of Waterlow's business statements to business 
men : 

" Each new building scheme, whether in West- 
minster, City Road, Pimlico, Islington, Shoreditch, 
Holborn, or elsewhere, represents an oasis of whole- 
someness in some dirty desert of dingy and rickety 
buildings, where toiling millions are at present worse 
housed than the rich man's horse, ox, or ass." 

In other cities a similar work was going on. 
Glasgow and Edinburgh were bright examples of 
telligent effort toward the better housing of the 
rking classes, and Glasgow supplied Waterlow with 
e of his most effective answers to the Metropolitan 

6 



82 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Board of Works. As that body seemed to pride itself 
on a dilatory policy, there can, I suppose, be no harm 
in saying that it pursued that policy with success. A 
Committee of the House of Commons in 1877 reported 
that " delay had occurred, and was likely to occur, in 
providing dwellings for labourers unhoused by street 
improvements, on the lands which it is provided shall 
be set apart for them by the Metropolitan Board of 
Works." The Board had then a Street Improvements 
Bill before the House. That Bill proposed to displace 
24,893 persons of the labouring class, and to provide 
for the rehousing of 2,754 such persons, and no more. 
This was upon Sir Joseph Bazalgette's own evidence. 
Waterlow put before the House the facts, showing 
how the Act of 1872 had been worked. The Board 
expressed a fear that his statements might leave an 
impression that the Board was defeating the intentions 
of the Legislature to facilitate the erection of dwellings 
for the working classes. 

" That," answered Waterlow, " is the very essence 
of my complaint." 

He did not complain that the land had not been 
sold to his own company, but that it had not been let 
or sold to anyone. 

The matter came before the House again in 1881, 
when Sir U. K. Shuttleworth moved, and Sir Sydney 
Waterlow seconded, a resolution for a Select Committee 
to consider the working of the Artisans' Dwellings 
Act of 1875 and the Metropolitan Street Improvement 
Acts of 1872 and 1877, " and especially to inquire into 
the causes that have prevented the reconstruction of 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 83 

dwellings for the poorer classes to the extent contem- 
plated and authorized by these three Acts of Parlia- 
ments." He restated his charges against both the 
Board of Works and the local authorities. 

The superintending architect of the Board of Works, 
in anticipation of this, or in reply to an earlier 
criticism, had stated that the estimated cost of sites 
was 734,766, and that the price offered by the 
Peabody Trustees had caused a loss to the ratepayer 
of 562, 061. But Sir Sydney showed that, reckoning 
the land used for street improvements, that reserved 
for commercial purposes, that sold to the Peabody 
Trustees, that required for the increased open spaces, 
and the increased value of the assessment of the new 
buildings, there was a balance on the debit side, not of 
562,061, but of 158,862. He then showed that for 
this sum London had secured two great advantages : 
first, the saving to the poor-rates by the decrease of 
death and disease ; and, second, the decrease of the risk 
of the spread of contagious diseases by stamping out 
the fever-dens in the overcrowded districts. Analyzing 
the figures, he showed further that, upon the usual 
basis of calculation and proportion of deaths to cases of 
illness averaging three weeks, and assuming that each 
sick pauper cost the ratepayers 16s. a week, there had 
been a direct money-saving of 11,520 per annum. 
This, capitalized at 5 percent., amounted to 220,400, 
as against the 158,862 standing to the debit of the 
cost account for clearing these sites. Verily, figures 
are wonderful things, and the use made of them by the 
superintending architect of the Board of Works was 

62 



84 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

also wonderful. The loss to the ratepayers, which 
he estimated at 562,061, proves to be a gain to 
the ratepayers of 61,538. 

Nor was this all. Why, asked Sir Sydney, had the 
Board of Works made so poor a showing with such 
vast powers under their three Acts, while Edinburgh 
and Glasgow had carried out similar Acts with great 
advantage to the people of those cities, and at a very 
small cost to the ratepayers ? Glasgow had spent 
2,000,000 at a cost of but 300,000 to the rate- 
payers. London had spent an equal sum with, on the 
Board's showing, far greater loss to the ratepayers. 
To which there seems to have been no satisfactory 
reply, either in the Press or before the Committee 
which the House granted. 

In 1884 the Improved Industrial Dwellings Com- 
pany celebrated its coming of age by the opening of 
the Sandringham Buildings in Soho. The Prince of 
Wales, President for the day, presented to Sir Sydney 
on behalf of the shareholders a service of plate costing 
1,000 guineas. The Prince said : 

" In common with all those who are interested in 
this very important subject, my best thanks are due 
to you, Sir Sydney Waterlow, and to your able 
colleagues, who have come forward in the most 
generous and disinterested spirit to devote your 
valuable time, perfectly gratuitously, to the further- 
ance of this object. We are very glad that an 
opportunity has been given us of assisting at the 
presentation of these works of art, and of testifying, 
by our presence here to-day, the deep sense of 



INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 85 

gratitude which we all entertain towards you for your 
unwearied and unceasing labours in this excellent and 
philanthropic work." 

Here as well as anywhere it may be said again that 
Sir Sydney always disclaimed the character of what 
is commonly called a philanthropist. He did not 
consider that the devotion of twenty of the best years 
of his life largely to such work as has been described 
gave him a title to that name. He knew, of course, 
the value of his work, and how disinterestedly it had 
been done. He accepted gladly, and with a due sense 
of the honour shown him, the gifts of his shareholders 
and the eulogy of the Prince of Wales. But, from the 
beginning to the end, he was desirous to put forward 
the business side of this enterprise, and to dwell as 
little as possible on the benevolent side. He knew 
how easily the sensitiveness and pride of the classes he 
wished to benefit were offended. He knew that his 
tenants liked to believe they were paying, as they 
were, the market value of the tenements they hired. 
There was no room for any sense of dependence or of 
favour conferred. For himself, he felt that he was 
discharging that duty which Bacon said every man 
owed to his profession. His profession was to be a 
useful citizen of the City of London. He had been an 
apprentice, a working printer. He knew what men in 
that position of life felt. And he used to say, " If you 
want to help them, you must do it on even terms. 
Charity is not a thing the British working men will 
ask for, nor, save in the last extremity, accept." 

In that spirit was this great scheme conceived ; in 



86 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

that spirit carried out so long as its author lived ; in 
that spirit it is still carried out. In no other spirit 
could it have become what it did become, and what it 
remains. If land could be had, and money, it would 
be capable of indefinite extension. That may or may 
not be. But what has been done has been done. The 
Waterlow dwellings are built upon a rock. They are 
there to stay, or to stay as long as the system of 
letting land on building leases shall allow them to stay. 
The 6,000 or 7,000 tenements, the 30,000 tenants, 
the 30 acres of buildings, are to-day, still more than 
when the first of them came into existence in Finsbury, 
a testimony to the courage and foresight and business 
capacity of Sir Sydney. Whether he cared to have it 
thought so or not, they are not less a testimony to his 
benevolent and wise philanthropy. I spoke of the 
great shops and warehouses of Waterlow and Sons as 
so many monuments to him. But they were for the 
making of money for that great firm. These are for 
the spending of it in the interest of a class whose 
interests were in that day too carelessly considered. 
SEre perennius. They are monuments to him. They 
are legacies to the City he loved. The good that 
Waterlow did has not been interred with his bones. 
It is a lasting possession to London, and the fame of it 
is also lasting. 



CHAPTER VIII 

PARLIAMENT AND POLITICS 

WE are now to tread for a while the thorny paths of 
politics ; the politics of the kingdom and not of the 
City of London only. It will be convenient to examine 
Sir Sydney's political career as a whole. His Parlia- 
mentary life, like his business, municipal, charitable, 
and other activities, in order to be clearly understood, 
must be treated by itself. It was important, pro- 
longed, useful, but it does not come first. He was a 
Liberal throughout, but his adhesion was given, in the 
first instance, to Liberal principles and ideas. He had 
his own convictions, and acted on them. He had that 
independence of mind and that self-reliance which 
must sometimes make it hard for a man to hold in 
abeyance his personal views on questions affecting a 
great party. But he had also a clear sense that not 
otherwise than by organized party action can ideas be 
translated into statutes. As Lord Morley of Black- 
burn said of himself in his House of Commons days so 
might Sir Sydney have said not less truly : "I am a 
party man, but not a bitter party man." He looked 
upon membership of the House of Commons as, among 

87 



88 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

other things, one more means of promoting great 
causes he had at heart. 

When he first began to concern himself with 
Parliamentary contests the City of London was 
Liberal, and returned four Liberal members to the 
House of Commons. Young Waterlow shouted for 
"Wood, Grote, Crawford, and Pattison," but, as he 
ingenuously remarks, could do little but shout, since 
his means were limited. In 1852 he worked hard for 
Lord John Russell, but by that time the City was fast 
turning Conservative, and Lord John was elected, not 
because he was a Liberal, but because he was Lord 
John. The business of Waterlow and Sons was then 
growing so fast as to require almost the whole of 
Sydney's time and energies. A few hours given by 
daylight to municipal or political efforts had to be 
made up by night-work. But these were days when 
great questions were at issue, and his interest in them 
grew, and his wish to have a share in settling them 
grew. In this one matter, however, he seems to have 
lacked confidence in himself. 

Overtures came to him from several English con- 
stituencies in 1868. Political passion ran high both 
before and after Mr. Gladstone had carried in the 
House of Commons his resolution for the Disestablish- 
ment of the Irish Church. Mr. Disraeli was holding 
on. The business of the session was to be wound up, 
and a General Election was to follow. It was a good 
moment for a new man, but it was not easy for 
Waterlow to persuade himself that it was a good 
moment for him, or that he was the new man. 



PARLIAMENT AND POLITICS 89 

Yet in the end he so far overcame this political 
shyness that he found his way into the House, and his 
Parliamentary work was thought important. He was 
a good and useful if not a great member of Parliament, 
and his influence was of the kind he most desired to 
wield. 

During the eighteen years from 1868 to 1885 in- 
clusive, Sir Sydney fought eight contested elections, of 
which he won four and lost four. Dumfriesshire was 
the first, and perhaps the most remarkable of all ; and 
it was an accident, or the unexpected intervention of 
fate, working by a humble instrument, which took 
him to Dumfriesshire. He had sent his secretary, 
Mr. Aldous Mays, to the London Institution in 
Finsbury Circus to look for certain information. Mr. 
Mays saw in the Scotsman that the Liberals of 
Dumfriesshire were looking for a candidate, and 
suggested to his employer that here was a chance. 
Sir Sydney said he had never been in Scotland, arid 
nobody there knew him. But Mr. Mays persisted. 
" Give me a ten-pound note, and let me go to Dumfries 
and see what the chances are." He went, and his report 
was so encouraging that Sir Sydney resolved to stand 
if the Liberals wanted him. He went down by the 
night mail on October 20, 1868, arrived next morning, 
and addressed a meeting of the electors at two o'clock 
that afternoon. 

What kind of encouragement the zealous Mr. Mays 
had received can only be guessed at. Dumfriesshire 
was a pocket constituency. It belonged to the Duke 
of Buccleuch. He and his father and grandfather 



90 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

before him had nominated and elected the members 
for the county for eighty years. There had been no 
contest during all that time. Nobody supposed it 
possible to contend against that all-powerful nobleman. 
Mr. Alexander Reid of Langholm seems to have been 
the first who found courage for the fight. Sir Sydney 
plunged into it, and from the first was made aware of 
the meaning of the Scottish verb " to heckle." Of his 
replies to many questions, one is as interesting to-day 
as it was then. He was asked whether he would vote 
for an Eight Hours Bill. Explaining first that he 
had himself worked for weekly wages, and had a 
deep sympathy with the working man, he pro- 
ceeded : 

" I say to my friend, and I would say to the working 
man of this county, If you want to limit yourselves to 
eight-hours pay, well, then, Parliament should let you 
do so if you like. But I ask you not to take away 
from your neighbour the right to work ten hours if he 
likes. No man should endeavour to restrict the hours 
of labour for his fellow- workmen." 

And from that he never swerved all his life long. 

Nothing could better show the state of things in 
Dumfriesshire than the fact that there was no register 
of voters. Those who ought to have drawn it up 
never dreamed that it could be wanted, or that any- 
body would venture to oppose the will or the nominee 
of the Duke of Buccleuch. What was the use of a 
register of voters when nobody voted ? There was 
not a man living who had ever exercised the Parlia- 






PARLIAMENT AND POLITICS 91 

mentary franchise in that county. It was a virgin 
constituency. 

Yet all the means of coercing a constituency seem 
to have been well known to the Duke and his agents, 
and they were all put relentlessly in force. 

The tyranny of the open vote was in full operation. 
The Duke, we are told, repelled with scorn the charge 
that he would unduly influence his tenants. But the 
factors and bailiffs on his estates were putting every 
kind of pressure on tenants to vote for Major Walker, 
the Tory candidate. In the dominions of Sir John 
Heron Maxwell the same policy was pursued. For 
want of any secular shelter Liberal meetings had to 
be held in the Presbyterian Church. When Sir 
Sydney went home for a Sunday to London, a detec- 
tive was employed by the Tories to follow him and see 
what service he attended ; and they placarded and 
denounced him all over Dumfriesshire as a Unitarian. 
This was the experience of his election as Alderman 
over again. The ducal agents were ashamed of it, and 
denied it, and Sir Sydney stood on the platform, with 
two little brownish-pink slips of paper in his hand, 
and read out the telegrams they had sent to the 
detective. They worried him about "hypothec." I 
believe it is one of the chief claims there are many 
of the Scot to an incontestable superiority over the 
human race in general, that a Scot knows the meaning 
of hypothec, and nobody else does. But Sir Sydney 
had it borne in upon him by the educational inter- 
rogatories which his opponents administered. 



92 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

The polling-day was November 1. An hour after 
the polls closed the figures were announced : 

Waterlow ... ... 1,100 

Walker ... ... 1,056 

Majority for Waterlow 44 

It was a great victory one of the most notable in 
that General Election which sent Mr. Gladstone back 
to Westminster with a majority of 128. The power 
of the Buccleuchs had been shaken. Many causes had 
been at work, but it is safe to say that, with a candi- 
date of less resource, less courage, less power of work, 
than Sir Sydney, or less indomitable in spirit, the 
victory could never have been won. He was from that 
time on a marked man, known to be willing to fight a 
desperate battle in the face of the greatest odds ; and 
never once, now or later, to surrender, for the sake of 
success, any principle or fraction of a principle he had 
once announced. 

Yet, save that it brought him to the front, and 
overthrew the Buccleuchs in one of their strongholds, 
the battle might as well never have been fought ; for 
it was presently discovered that Sir Sydney's firm 
held Government contracts, and though the partner- 
ship with his brothers had expired, and he would have 
no share in the profits, the lawyers first, and then 
finally a Parliamentary Committee, held that, as the 
Government had not released him from liability in the 
event of his brothers failing to perform their contracts, 
he could not keep the seat he had won. He resigned. 



PARLIAMENT AND POLITICS 93 

A fresh election was held. The circumstances were 
less favourable. The Duke of Buccleuch and Sir John 
Heron Maxwell were reinforced by the Marquis of 
Queensberry and Mr. Jardine. Ruin stared their 
tenants in the face. The Marquis of Queensberry to 
whom the Duke had promised as a reward a seat in 
the House of Lords as representative peer of Scotland 
stood all day at the polling-booth, watching every 
voter. Most of his tenants were pledged to the 
Liberal candidate, but most of them stayed away. In 
the result, the vote stood : 

Walker ... ... 1,117 

Waterlow ... ... 1,081 

The bargain between the Duke of Buccleuch and 
the Marquis of Queensberry was then fulfilled. The 
Duke sent him to the Lords, as he might have sent a 
doorkeeper. Having thus redeemed his promise, as 
an honourable man should, even perhaps if the 
promise was immoral, he took the first opportunity of 
discharging the Marquis of Queensberry from further 
attendance in this coveted place, and sent another 
domestic in his stead. 

Nearly six years elapsed years of Gladstonian rule 
followed by the dissolution and General Election of 
1874. Sir Sydney stood with Sir John Lubbock for 
Maidstone. Both were returned by large majorities. 
Mr. Gladstone, in spite of some experiments on the 
patience of Parliament, was still the idol of his party. 
You were either a Gladstonian or you were not. Sir 
Sydney told the electors of Maidstone he had always 



94 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

been a firm and earnest supporter of Mr. Gladstone, 
but added : "I do not say that I have always been 
satisfied, or that I agreed with all the details of his 
measures. I at once confess I did not." This was in 
1873, for the Liberal candidates had been chosen, and 
had begun their appeal to the constituency, nearly a 
year before the election. 

Sir Sydney went on to claim the right of private 
judgment for himself when did he not ? and for all 
Liberals. But he thought Mr. Gladstone had passed, 
during his four or five years of office, more beneficial 
measures than any other Prime Minister during an 
equal period. He thought the Irish Church Act and the 
Irish Land Act opened a new era in legislation ; a 
remark in which the Tories agreed with him. He 
thought tenant right in Ireland would promote tenant 
right in England ; presumably by different methods. 
The Army Regulation Bill " for the first time gave the 
British army to the British people." The purchase 
system " was nothing more nor less than putting up 
the command of the British army for sale." Under 
the new Ballot Bill, " for the first time in the history 
of the country Englishmen will be able to vote as they 
like, none daring to make them afraid." Finally, the 
University Tests Act " has simply thrown open the 
Universities to the whole nation ;" and he looked to the 
day when all antiquated restrictions and privileges 
should be abolished, and the Universities be free to all 
students. Sir Sydney would, in short, adopt and 
extend the Napoleonic maxim, "La carriere ouverte 
aux talens." 



PARLIAMENT AND POLITICS 95 

A year later, when Mr. Gladstone had promised to 
the electorate the repeal of the income-tax as a reward 
for their continued support, Sir Sydney urged that any 
Bill for the abolition of the income-tax should secure 
the remission of an equitable amount of taxation on 
the working classes. He ranged himself with Sir 
George Trevelyan, and favoured the assimilation of 
the borough and county franchises. He wanted a 
national and universal education for children, with 
due regard to everybody's religious scruples. He re- 
asserted his right of voting on all questions according 
to his own conscientious convictions, though he did not 
think this inconsistent with his position as a supporter 
of Mr. Gladstone. 

In the General Election of 1880 both Sir John Lub- 
bock and Sir Sydney Waterlow lost their seats for 
Maidstone. The University of London consoled Sir 
John for his defeat, and the Gravesend Liberals in June 
invited Sir Sydney to stand for that borough. His 
opponent was the third Sir Robert Peel, who once 
more raised the banner of religious intolerance which 
had been unfurled in Dumfriesshire. But Gravesend 
by a large majority put aside the appeal to ecclesi- 
astical prejudice, and returned Sir Sydney again to 
Parliament, and there he remained for the next five 
years and did good work. He was successful in 
amending the Thames River Bill, which touched nearly 
the interests of his waterside constituents, and the 
Alkali Bill, which struck at the large cement works in 
the borough. 

Occupied with these and other questions, Sir Sydney 



96 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

spent these five Parliamentary years usefully, if not 
brilliantly. Then came the General Election in the 
autumn of 1885. The County Franchise Bill had been 
passed in 1884, one of many measures originated and 
long pressed by lesser men ; then, at the moment when 
principle was found to coincide with political expedi- 
ency, taken up and passed by Mr. Gladstone. It 
seemed, therefore, to Sir Sydney and his friends that 
he might retire from Gravesend and present himself 
to the electors of Mid- Kent, where he was about to 
buy the place he afterwards did buy and inhabit, 
Trottescliffe or Trosley, near Wrotham. He had 
helped put the ballot in the hands of the agricultural 
labourer. Nobody knew or could know how the 
labourer would use it. The only means of finding out 
was by experiment, and this experiment Sir Sydney 
resolved to make. Not for the first time it happened 
that the new voter showed himself timid in profiting 
by his new franchise. Old influences were still strong ; 
the landlord and the parson had riot lost their power. 
The two issues in which they were directly concerned 
were both brought forward. Sir Sydney was a reformer 
in both. He wanted free dealing in land as it existed 
in English colonies. He wanted the rights of the 
tenant to be respected ; or, rather, recognized, since 
they were not yet rights. He advocated compensation 
for tenants' improvements. He advocated the Dis- 
establishment of the Church of England as a means of 
enlarging the usefulness of the Church. The clergy 
retorted by asking the voters, " How would you like to 
see Canterbury Cathedral turned into a museum ?" and 



PARLIAMENT AND POLITICS 97 

by withdrawing in some instances their custom from 
shopkeepers tainted with Liberalism. Sir Sydney, 
who never thought all the hard-hitting ought to be on 
one side, spoke out against what he called Purchase 
in the Church. He denounced the system by which 
the cure of souls, or the advowson, is bought and sold 
as a disgrace to the country. He gave his own 
experience : 

" During the last four or five months I have been 
negotiating for a property in this county, and, as a 
temptation to purchase more than I wanted, I was 
offered the right of appointing a minister of the Church 
of England in two parishes." 

He, a Unitarian, was offered this right. That state 
of things, he thought, weakened the Church, and he 
was able to cite the testimony of one of the Arch- 
bishops, given a day or two before, " that a man who 
desires to strengthen the Church should see to some 
of these reforms." But the Archbishop, whether of 
Canterbury or York, did not save him. He lost the 
election, as did all other Liberal candidates for all 
Kent. Sir Sydney polled more votes than any other 
Liberal, but he did not poll enough. 

With this amount of help from the electors of Mid- 
Kent, he came to the conclusion he could make a better 
use of the remaining years of his life than by contest- 
ing constituencies or by sitting in Parliament. He 
was now sixty- three years of age. He had his hands 
full of business, public and private. The real work and 
usefulness of his life had lain outside of the House of 
Commons. If he had been a Member of Parliament, 

7 



98 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

and nothing else, his life would not have been worth 
writing. He was respected in the House ; he was on 
his own questions an authority ; but he had made no 
lasting mark. The history of the House from 1868 to 
1885, during which he sat in it, could be written with- 
out mentioning his name. I suppose he was aware of 
that. He was aware, at any rate, that he was a far 
greater power outside than inside ; and so, after his 
defeat for Mid-Kent, he resolutely turned his face 
away from St. Stephen's, and applied himself to the 
tasks he still felt were his, and pre-eminently his. 



CHAPTER IX 

LORD MAYOR 

I THINK it may be said that Sir Sydney Waterlow 
looked upon his tenure of the great office of Lord 
Mayor as the central point of his whole career, if not 
the crown and climax of the whole. He had devoted 
himself to his duties as Alderman and Sheriff. The 
Lord Mayoralty is the natural sequel to the due 
discharge of the duties of those lesser posts. In the 
case of one thought worthy and found willing, election 
to be Lord Mayor follows as a matter of course in the 
sequence of time, or in the order of seniority on the 
roll of Aldermen who have also been Sheriffs. In Sir 
Sydney's case there was no question of his fitness, and 
there was no opposition. His name stood first on the 
list sent by the Livery to the Court of Aldermen, and 
he was chosen Lord Mayor on Saturday, September 28, 
1872. One question, and only one, he was asked by a 
Liveryman in the Common Hall namely, whether, 
if elected, he would do what in him lay to promote 
technical education by means of the action of the 
Livery Companies ; and this he promised to do whether 
in or out of office. To that pledge he held true for 
more than twenty years. 

99 72 



100 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

His first duty upon electiou was to make a speech of 
thanks to the Court of Aldermen for choosing him ; 
to compliment his predecessor and others before him ; 
and to offer to the Court an assurance that to the 
fulfilling of these new duties his whole time, energy, 
and means should be devoted. This Sir Sydney did ; 
asking further that, since no man who relies solely 
upon himself ever satisfies his colleagues or the public, 
they would give him their advice and assistance in 
what lay before him. He dwells, perhaps not unduly, 
on the freedom of election. " The Lord Mayor is the 
elected chief of the Livery of London." Nay, " he is 
the representative of the principle of popular election, 
and is bound to defend that principle to the utmost/' 
If there be any element of unreality in that view, it is 
not to be expected that a new Lord Mayor should 
feel called upon to admit it. More directly to the 
address of the public are these other sentences : 

" You, the Livery of London, have placed in my 
keeping the honour and credit of the oldest, the most 
venerable, and the greatest, of the municipal institu- 
tions of the country indeed, I might add of the 
world. It will be my earnest care that that honour 
and that credit shall not suffer in my hands. 

" But we live in days when the most time-honoured 
institutions have to justify their existence by proof of 
the advantages which they confer on the people of the 
present day. The municipality of the City of London 
continually gives such proof, not only on its own 
behalf, but in support of municipal institutions 
throughout the country." 



LORD MAYOR 

To dwellers in the West End these may seem only 
so many conventional commonplaces. To the true 
citizens of the true London, and especially to those 
concerned with its municipal affairs, and most of all 
to the new Lord Mayor, they were nothing of the 
kind. They were the authentic expression of a rooted 
belief. They were pledges which he was to strive with 
all his strength to fulfil. 

In a man to whom the practical was the note he 
most often struck, Sir Sydney's love of generalization 
served as a protest against the narrowing influences 
if there be such of business. He said to the Livery : 
" It is the glory of municipal institutions that they are 
common property ; all have their share in them. The 
Lord Mayor is your Lord Mayor, your creation, your 
head, your representative ; so that your interest in 
him is direct and personal." A very suitable preface 
to a Lord Mayoralty, in which the present incumbent 
was to find ample room for the exercise of a personal 
authority, an initiative, an originality, and a com- 
manding influence, which may or may not be incon- 
sistent with the pleasing theory Sir Sydney announced, 
but which, beyond dispute, were of high service to the 
City of London and to its citizens. 

His duties, ceremonial and executive, began at once. 
If anybody supposed this hard-headed, energetic man 
of business, this great public servant, was to be a mere 
figurehead, or would content himself with the 
ornamental parts of his functions or with the routine 
work of the office, they were speedily to be un- 
deceived. From what is ancillary to the office, or 



1 02 SIR SYDNEY WATERLO W 

merely dignified, or an embellishment of municipal 
life, he did not hold aloof. Far from it. He would 
renounce no privilege or prerogative of any kind. But 
he never made the mistake of thinking the accidental 
to be the essential. 

The Corporation of London is, as Sir Sydney himself 
defined it, an association of guilds which has' been 
formed for the safety and security and advancement 
of trade and commerce. But, he adds, speaking to the 
cutlers of Sheffield, whose guest he was in October as 
Lord Mayor elect : " You will understand that we are 
not associated so much for the mere purpose of trading 
as for the maintenance of the honour, reputation, and 
best interests of traders." And since the City of 
London is a city of traders *- it does not matter 
whether the trade be in ships, or shares, or money it 
was the honour, reputation, and interests of the whole 
City which, in his view, were committed to his charge. 
It was to protect all these that he entered upon the 
office of Lord Mayor. When at Westminster Hall, 
November 8, Lord Chancellor Selborne signified to the 
Lord Mayor elect Her Majesty's approval of his 
Lordship's election, he said : 

" The City of London has never been behindhand in 
fostering useful undertakings at home such as those 
connected with the development of industrial houses 
and middle-class schools. More than all, you, Sir 
Sydney, have shown yourself a man beyond other 
men, apt for a position in which such works have to be 
done. You have been honourably distinguished so 
honourably that, even if the City had not accumulated 



LORD MAYOR 103 

honours upon you, your name ought to be remembered 
with praise and gratitude hereafter for the efforts you 
have already made to improve the condition and 
the dwellings of the working classes an undertaking 
of the most vital importance, which, if crowned with 
success, will set an example which I hope will be 
followed throughout the land." 

Clearly, the election of a Unitarian Lord Mayor did 
not seem to this eminent Churchman and Keeper of 
the Queen's Conscience a menace to either Church or 
State. Nor did Sir Sydney, for his part, see any 
reason why he should not appoint the Rev. William 
Rogers, Rector of Bishopsgate, to be his Chaplain. 
Mr. Rogers was a clergyman of the Church of England 
who took broad views of his office as a minister of 
religion, and made religion to include education, and 
public spirit, and a large charity, and much else, 
leaving when he died a name honoured alike in the 
Church, in the City, and wherever the lifelong devo- 
tion of fine abilities to high ends is thought a title to 
lasting fame. 

Sir Sydney's journal, from which I have now and 
then quoted, contains entries relating to his Lord 
Mayoralty which have this value : they give us an 
inside view, and therefore an unusual view, of the 
office, and also of him who held it. He records his 
personal opinions and impressions and emotions with 
some freedom and with entire sincerity. Nor could 
he be anything but sincere if he tried. He says : 

" I naturally look back upon November 9, 1872, as 
one of the most important days in my life, for on this 



104 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

day I was to make my public appearance amongst the 
citizens as their new Lord Mayor and Chief Magistrate 
of our great City. I could not resist feeling consider- 
able anxiety as to how the day would pass off, for I 
had to show myself, not only to the Barons of the 
Exchequer at Westminster, but to the vast multitude 
who thronged the streets through which the ancient 
pageant and cavalcade customary on such occasions 
had to pass." 

Often as this wonderful show has been described, I 
don't know that it has ever been described from within 
the Lord Mayor's coach. There can be no novelty 
except in the point of view, with the Lord Mayor as 
his own journalist : 

" Fortunately for me, the weather was very fine, 
and the day being Saturday, with its usual half- 
holiday, there was naturally a much larger crowd in 
every direction than I had ever before seen in the 
streets of London. Brilliant equipages, gorgeous 
uniforms, and horses prancing to brass bands, were 
main features in the panorama which hundreds of 
thousands of people thronged to witness. 

" From the time I left Guildhall at one o'clock until 
I returned to the point of my departure at four o'clock, 
my reception was most enthusiastic, and materially 
helped to sustain my courage for the duties and re- 
sponsibilities of the banquet which was to follow at 
the Guildhall at seven o'clock. The enthusiasm of 
the crowds which came out to see the show was by no 
means confined to that part of the City in which I 
had resided and carried on my business for so many 



LORD MAYOR 103 

years, or to the thoroughfares within the City walls. 
From Temple Bar to Charing Cross the roadway and 
the pavements contained a crowded multitude of good- 
natured men and women, joyously shouting in the 
sunshine. On reaching Charing Cross, I found the 
whole space from Northumberland Avenue to the 
bottom of Pall Mall, and the rising ground up to the 
National Gallery, a mass of moving hats and bonnets, 
diversified by heads without either." 

Concerning the formalities which are nevertheless 
impressive to the general world, he has but a sentence : 

" On reaching the Courts of Exchequer, I had to 
claim at the hands of the learned Barons the acknow- 
ledgment of the full, free, and ancient privileges 
accorded to Lord Mayors of the City of London. Their 
lordships at once granted them in complimentary 
terms." 

The return journey is dealt with briefly and philo- 
sophically : 

" On returning from the presentation to the Barons 
of the Exchequer, down the New Embankment, the 
crowd had in no degree lessened. Cheers and con- 
gratulations were heard on all sides, varied by boys 
shouting, ' Portrait of the new Lord Mayor, only a 
penny !' and other cries. The people were most orderly 
in their deportment, having, no doubt, come out of 
their homes to witness the proceedings of the day, not 
so much from reverence for the incoming Lord Mayor 
and the Corporation, as from motives of curiosity to 
view the pomp and circumstance which characterized 
the time-honoured display." 



106 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

For the Guildhall banquet the new library was for 
the first time available as a reception-room for the 
guests. Of the banquet and the speeches Sir Sydney 
has not much to say. He regrets the absence of 
Mr. Gladstone, " owing to indisposition and the 
need of rest to prepare him for the duties of the 
ensuing session " and possibly in a slight degree to 
by-elections. Earl Granville, not in his most genial 
mood, offered an apology for the new treaty with 
France. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Selborne, who 
had just succeeded Lord Hatherley, replied for himself 
and for the House of Lords, in words which have a 
living interest ; indeed, they would have been more per- 
tinent last year or the year before than now, when the 
artificial agitation against the Lords was at its height. 
He spoke with due appreciation of the " illustrious 
assembly whose threshold I have not yet crossed." 
He spoke on another less grateful topic. The award 
of the Geneva Tribunal lately delivered in favour of 
the United States had not been a popular award in 
this country. It was a matter on which Sir Roundell 
Palmer, as counsel for England and as a member of 
the Government, spoke with authority. His advice 
was : " Make the best of it, pay the bill, and say 
nothing." Good advice ill followed. 

It is pleasant to find Lord Granville at the end, 
master as ever of gentle phrases, proposing the new 
Lord Mayor's health : 

" I propose it to you on account of his personal 
character. I propose it to you on account of the 
labours he has had in the service of the poor, 



LORD MAYOR 107 

and, if I may say so, I am encouraged to add that I 
propose it for the dignity and tact with which he has 
conducted the proceedings of this gorgeous banquet." 

Proposing the Lady Mayoress, Lord Granville 
made another remark which deserves record, though 
perhaps little to the taste of the militant women 
suffragists : 

" It has often been said that the influence of women 
is in exact proportion to the progress of civilization. 
I believe it was in this great banqueting- hall that the 
example was first set of public dinners where men 
need not be separated for many hours from the society 
of those who give grace and brilliancy to the scene." 

Ex orient e lux, then, and it is from the East End 
that the West End has had to borrow a considerable 
social reform. 

A business man in all circumstances, with a business 
man's liking for knowing exactly what a thing costs 
and where he stands, Sir Sydney has computed " the 
total expenses of the day's proceedings" at 3,300, of 
which one-half was paid by the Lord Mayor and a 
quarter by each of the Sheriffs. The two full-dress 
coaches which were used during the Mayoralty involved 
an expenditure of 225 guineas, and the horses for the 
same, 150." For the whole year the Lord Mayor 
has an allowance of 10,000, all which is spent and 
about 8,000 more. 

The duties of the Lord Mayor are not confined to 
riding in a gilt coach and giving dinners at the Guild- 
hall or the Mansion House. They are many and 
serious, well worth doing by a man capable of serious 



108 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

things. The following statement of them, comprehen- 
sive as it is, may not be complete, but has Sir Sydney's 
authority for his own time : 

The Lord Mayor has to preside at the sittings of the 
Court of Aldermen in their Court, at the meeting of 
the Court of Common Council, and at the Common 
Hall. He is Judge of the Court of Hustings (which, 
however, does not make any great demands upon his 
time), Chief Commissioner of the Central Criminal 
Court (which he officially visits twice during each 
session), and presides over the London Sessions held 
at the Guildhall. He is Escheator-General in London 
and Southwark, whenever there is anything escheat- 
able a matter now not of very frequent occurrence. 
He is Chief Conservator of the Thames, an office which 
involves the holding of some eight courts a year, and 
occasionally a ninth. He has to sign daily hosts of 
affidavits to notarial documents which may be required 
here or for transmission to the colonies. He attends, 
when necessary, committees of the municipal body and 
the meetings of the Sewage Commissioners, of which 
body he is an ex-offirib chief. He is obliged to be 
continually in correspondence with members of the 
Government. He presides at many, if not most, of 
the public meetings held in the City. Distinguished 
foreigners who may visit the Metropolis have an 
acknowledged claim on his attention and on his 
hospitality. He is an ex-officio member of Her 
Majesty's Privy Council during his tenure of office, 
and he attends its meeting on the accession of a new 
Sovereign. 



LORD MAYOR 109 

Then, as if his time were not sufficiently occupied 
with the business of the City and Corporation and the 
various interests which naturally grow out of it, other 
institutions educational, charitable, and religious of 
various sorts, look to him for official, if not personal, 
assistance. For example, he is, or was till recently, a 
Governor of Greenwich Hospital. He is a Governor of 
King's College, of Christ's Hospital, of St. Bartholo- 
mew's and St. Thomas's Hospitals. He is a trustee, 
with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of 
London, of St. Paul's Cathedral. He is President or 
patron of very many other public foundations. 

Lastly, the Lord Mayor sits regularly in his own 
justice-room at the Mansion House for some three 
hours or more daily to administer the law, sometimes 
also sitting privately to adjust differences as an 
arbitrator. 

As lately as the coronation of George IV., the Lord 
Mayor of London acted as Chief Butler, receiving a 
gold cup as his fee. Till an even more recent date his 
household included other officers besides the Sword- 
bearer, the Mace-bearer, and the Marshal namely, his 
lordship's Serjeant Carvers, Serjeants-of-Chamber, and 
his Esquires. But these ho longer exist, since even in 
that home of what is ancient and sometimes venerable 
the spirit of innovation is not unknown. Sir Sydney 
used to say that most of what is really valuable in the 
customs and varied institutions of his beloved City of 
London had survived. Reforms have gone only to the 
root of abuses, and perhaps not of all abuses ; they 
have in certain cases, as in transferring the care and 



110 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

paving of streets from the Committee of Sewers to the 
Common Council, added to the powers of the Corpora- 
tion. The Mansion House has escaped thus far ; the 
prerogatives of its yearly tenant are what they were. 
In his little kingdom of one square mile and over his 
25,000 subjects the Lord Mayor is King. 

By the time Sir Sydney attained to this great civic 
dignity he had become widely known, and not in the 
City of London only. His fame had spread ; the 
incidents of his career and his public services had given 
him a celebrity of an unusual kind, and people expected 
much from a man who had wrested Dumfriesshire from 
the grip of the Duke of Buccleuch. They expected much 
for other good reasons, and Sir Sydney, during the year 
to come, had to justify or disappoint these expectations. 
In almost all senses of the word he was a new man. It 
has sometimes been a reproach to incumbents of the 
Lord Mayoralty that they were just traders and 
nothing more. The superior persons who look down 
on them from the outside insisted that men of high 
social position, or of intellectual sympathies or large 
views, were content to leave this office to enriched 
shopkeepers, whose views of life were formed from 
behind a counter. True enough, no doubt, in some 
cases ; but, whether such cases be few or many, the 
dignity of the office has survived. Sir Sydney would 
have been the first to associate himself with his prede- 
cessors as Lord Mayors. He would not have cared to 
say that all Lord Mayors had been men of distinction 
apart from their position. Is there any great office of 
which every holder has been worthy ? Has every 



LORD MAYOR 111 

Prime Minister, even, been a man of political genius ? 
What sort of claim he made for himself we have 
already seen. He made none at alL He was content 
to ask his friends to believe he would do the best 
he could. 

One relation to the pursuits of intellect he had : he 
was a printer and stationer ; he supplied the raw 
material of books and of the newspaper press. Indeed, 
he supplied something more, if we are to accept Prince 
Bismarck's dictum that newspapers are only so much 
printer's ink on white paper which is not always 
white. He was Master of the Stationers' Company, 
which for a stationer may be what the Presidency of 
the Royal College of Surgeons is to a surgeon. It is, 
I am told, unusual for a printer to be Lord Mayor. It 
was suggested at the time that the instance was unique. 
There is a reflection more interesting than that. There 
were two bodies of people whose interest in Sir Sydney's 
elevation was personal, perhaps affectionate the em- 
ployes of Waterlow and Sons (then, I think, some 
2,000 in number), and the tenants of the Improved 
Industrial Dwellings, who owed to him, one and all, 
the possession of comfortable and sanitary rooms to 
live in. 

It will be taken for granted that Sir Sydney well 
and duly discharged the official Mayoralty functions of 
which a list has already been given. The routine 
duties are, I presume, well discharged by all Lord 
Mayors. But what distinguishes one Lord Mayoralty 
from another is, first, the personal character of the 
Lord Mayor and the degree of intelligent energy he 



112 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

brings to the conduct of his official life ; and, secondly, 
the use of his office for the promotion of schemes not 
official or obligatory, but of his own devising and 
carrying out. Of these there were several during Sir 
Sydney's first year which bore the mark of his personal 
effort and initiative. Beyond that, and at the founda- 
tion of the whole, lies the conception he had formed of 
the principles which should govern municipal life, and 
not in the City of London only. It may be given in 
his own words : 

" From the period when I first began to devote some 
time and attention to public questions, I have always 
held that the rights and liberties so largely enjoyed by 
the English nation were mainly owing to the develop- 
ment of municipal spirit throughout all the boroughs 
and cities in the kingdom. This love of municipal 
or, rather, local self-government was very much 
crushed and depressed by the passing of the Municipal 
Reform Act, which under the name of reform deprived 
the burgesses of the power of managing their own 
affairs which is essential to the life of a free community. 
Because the old Corporations were guilty of great 
jobbery, and by the perversion of the spirit of their 
charters, the new Corporations, when reformed, were 
placed in tutelage to the Local Government Board in 
London. I had for a long time felt that some attempt 
should be made to induce the Ministry to persuade 
Parliament to give all the municipalities greater power 
and control over the funds raised by themselves, and 
expended on public works in their own district, with- 
out compelling them to obtain the sanction of some 



LORD MAYOR 113 

officials in London before bringing any Bill into Parlia- 
ment to carry out their schemes. 

Admitting that many of the provincial corporations, 
especially the smaller ones, had abused their spending 
powers, Sir Sydney set off against their misdeeds the 
good deeds of the Corporation of London : 

" I think I am entitled to refer to the history of the 
Corporation of London as the best evidence of the 
advantages which a municipality may confer on the 
community by an honest, wise, and discreet exercise of 
an independent power over the funds." 

That is said with all the dignity of the Lord Mayor. 
Then follows a statement which cannot be impeached 
without impeaching either the knowledge or the good 
faith of the Lord Mayor, or both : 

" In centuries past the Corporation not only 
possessed a very large amount of real property, but 
have also been trustees for what was known as the 
Bridge House Estates. They have managed these 
estates with so much judgment that the revenues 
derived from them have increased enormously. The 
City of London is a county in itself, and the magistrates 
have hitherto never levied any rates on the citizens 
for county purposes, the expenses in this respect 
having been paid out of the City's cash. Although the 
Bridge House Estates were originally left for the 
purpose of being applied toward the cost of rebuilding 
London Bridge, the revenues, under the care of the 
Corporation, have been so well managed, and have so 
largely increased, that they have not only paid the 
cost of rebuilding London Bridge once, Blackfriars 

8 



SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Bridge twice, and the noble bridge known as Holborn 
Viaduct, but they have recently been charged with the 
cost of building the beautiful bridge known as the 
Tower Bridge." 

The moral of all which Sir Sydney modestly puts in 
the form of a question : 

" I think we may fairly ask ourselves whether, if all 
these great public improvements had been compelled 
to be carried out under the management and control of 
a Government department, such great benefits would 
have been secured to the public without imposing any 
taxation upon the citizens for the purpose." 

In the hope of giving eifect to these views, Sir 
Sydney resolved to invite all the Mayors, Bight 
Worshipful and Worshipful, to a banquet. The 
Frenchman who said Englishmen could do nothing 
without a dinner did not say it of the City only, but 
perhaps primarily of the City, and the modern English 
Radical echoes the complaint of the Frenchman. This, 
perhaps, was the first of its kind ever given in the 
City or elsewhere. The scene was the Mansion House. 
There came from all parts of England 200 Mayors. 
There came the Prime Minister, Mr. Gladstone, and 
other Ministers ; and a splendid company of Ambas- 
sadors and Foreign Ministers, with the French 
Ambassador at their head. The Mayors wore their 
scarlet robes, ermine-trimmed, with lace ruffles and 
golden chains and badges, some of them jewelled : a 
glittering company of citizens. The banquet was in 
the Egyptian Hall. 

I take it, one object of Sir Sydney was to draw 






LORD MAYOR 115 

Mr. Gladstone. He himself therefore, as Lord Mayor, 
gave as the chief toast of the evening : " Prosperity to 
the Municipal Corporations of England and Wales." 
He restated, tersely and forcibly, the views above 
expressed. He urged that every municipal body 
should have charge of all the affairs of its own city. 
If they do well, they justify the confidence given them. 
If they do ill, punish them. But give them the power 
and hold them responsible. Their proceedings must 
be public, and publicity will be a guarantee of 
honesty. Their rights have been taken from them. 
Restore to them that of which they have been robbed. 
Then he called upon the Prime Minister. 

A strong appeal to public opinion, but perhaps 
rather calculated to put Mr. Gladstone on his guard. 
When that great master of ambiguities rose to reply, 
he spent his strength upon compliments to the Mayors 
and to the Lord Mayor. He extolled their public 
spirit, and he begged them to believe that he should 
be " heartily disposed to accord to them all the liberty 
they could properly ask for." 

From that rather equivocal reserve Mr. Gladstone 
departed when he came to speak of Sir Sydney. The 
note of sincerity will be heard in these sonorous 
sentences. They are something more than sentences 
of compliment. He said : 

" I ask you to drink the health of the Lord Mayor 
of London in the first place because he is Lord Mayor 
of London, and that is a title sufficient to commend 
him to your esteem. But I ask you also to drink it on 
grounds which are more characteristic of himself. In 



116 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

times like these, it is much that we should be able 
to induce distinguished and able members of the 
Metropolitan community to bear the burden of civic 
office. But what is even more important is that those 
whom the Almighty has blessed with prosperity and 
wealth should, when they have undertaken official 
responsibilities, still feel themselves animated by a 
sense of duty with regard to their poorer fellow- 
creatures, and should engage, as the Lord Mayor has 
done, in works of humanity and beneficence. We are 
in these days too much inclined to indulge in the 
temptations to ease, arising from the growth of 
opulence amongst us ; but never let us forget that, 
along with that growth, there is an ever- widening 
career for those who undertake the task of endeavour- 
ing to meet the necessities of their fellow-creatures. 

" And I believe I may truly say that no one in this 
great community has earned a more just title to the 
admiration and respect of his fellow-citizens than the 
Lord Mayor has in connection with such works as I 
have mentioned." 

I quote another sentence from a Minister whose 
name had once a more resounding fame than it has 
now Mr. Lowe, afterwards Lord Sherborne, then 
Chancellor of the Exchequer. As was his habit, he 
disdained empty commonplaces and sugared phrases 
that mean nothing. He had no responsibility of any 
kind with reference to Local Government Boards. He 
said bluntly : 

"I am quite in favour of increasing the powers of 
boroughs to spend money, so long as the money thus 



LORD MAYOR 117 

spent is raised exclusively within the boroughs, and 
that they never come to the State for assistance." 

The qualification was one which the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer was perhaps bound to make. But Sir 
Sydney never wished that municipalities should go to 
the State for help. 

But Mr. Lowe was not the Government. Mr. Glad- 
stone was the Government, and was at that time in no 
mind to quarrel with the rising power of the Radicals, 
who thought centralization a democratic doctrine in so 
far as it controlled, or tended to control, the spending 
powers of municipalities. The powers of the Local 
Government Board over local legislatures were not 
diminished, but ultimately increased. One object, 
nevertheless, Sir Sydney did accomplish. He had 
stirred in civic breasts throughout England the old 
spirit of local independence. First Southampton, then 
Liverpool, Manchester, and York, took up the strain. 
The Mayor and Corporation of Southampton asked the 
Lord Mayor of London, accompanied by the two 
Sheriffs, Sir Thomas White and Sir Frederick Perkins, 
to attend a banquet, to aid in strengthening public 
opinion in favour of granting to all the municipalities 
fuller control over their own affairs, and the right of 
spending their own money in their own way. The 
invitation was accepted, the banquet held, and the 
effect of it was felt. 

A concerted movement followed. A meeting was 
convened in London early in 1873 in connection with 
the Municipal Corporations Association. A large 
number of the Chief Magistrates of the kingdom were 



118 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

present. The association was organized on a working 
basis. A resolution was adopted to have another ban- 
quet, with the Lord Mayor of London as chief guest, 
the Mayors of cities and boroughs in England to be the 
hosts. York was the place chosen. York has a vener- 
able and beautiful Guildhall, erected by the Mayor, 
Commonalty, and the Master and Brethren of the 
Guild of St. Christopher, in 1446, in the reign of 
Henry VI. ; a noble example of the Gothic architecture 
of that period. 

The banquet became a pageant, more regal than 
municipal in its magnificence. The Lord Mayor and 
Sheriffs of London travelled down in their robes of 
State, and were met at the station by the Lord Mayor 
of York, with the Aldermen, Town Council, and City 
Officers. The station was carpeted in crimson, and 
turned into an amphitheatre for seated spectators. 
The city was hung with flags. The Guildhall ap- 
proaches were in crimson, with masses of flowers. 
There was a procession a mile long ; the Lord Mayor 
of London in full state. Noblemen and gentlemen had 
come in from the country. The people of York 
cheered. What did it all mean ? 

Obviously, there was something more than a dispute 
between the municipalities and the Local Government 
Board about supervision of expenditure. Sir Sydney 
had struck a vein that ran deep. His appeal was 
but he shall himself say what it was : 

" My original object was to cement still more closely 
that bond of union and good understanding which 
ought to exist between municipalities for the purpose 



LORD MAYOR 119 

of maintaining free and unfettered local self-govern- 
ment in antagonism to the principle of centralization. 
The municipal corporations of our country are con- 
stantly increasing in power, and are no mean safe- 
guards to the preservation of the civil and religious 
liberty which we enjoy." 

He said later at the York banquet : 

" Our municipal institutions represented in an 
especial way the principle of self-government, and 
differed materially from all other forms of local 
administration. They were not only administrative, 
but also legislative, and embodied that most essential 
principle of self-government, the right of administering 
justice by the representatives of the people, and in 
their name." 

On every occasion when Sir Sydney touched on this 
subject, it is easy to see that his mind is saturated with 
the ideas which for centuries have been the foundation- 
stones of English liberty, and are to-day. Whether 
you look east or whether you look west, pretty 
much all the liberty there is has its source in town 
meetings. 

I once suggested to Sir Sydney that his ideal of 
municipal independence had taken shape in New 
England 250 years ago. Tocqueville saw in the town 
meeting of Massachusetts and her sister colonies the 
germ of American liberties. There was no purer 
democracy anywhere on the face of the earth. Once a 
year the citizens of each township assembled in town 
meeting. Every taxpayer voted, and some who were 
not taxpayers. The business for the coming year was 



120 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

transacted in open assembly. Taxes were levied, 
public works voted, and the spending of public money 
put to the decision of the public. Selectmen were 
chosen that was the name given to the executive and 
administrative officers of the community, They held 
office for a year, and had certain well-defined powers. 
They were, in fact, merely a committee of citizens 
appointed to do the will of their fellow- townsmen. 
But they were subject to no other control or check 
except that of the Courts ; and though the Legislature 
might interfere, it seldom or never did. There was in 
those days, in New England as well as in Old England, 
an unwritten constitution. The result was that from 
his earliest manhood onward every citizen was trained 
in civic duties. Public opinion demanded his attend- 
ance at these yearly assemblies and his acceptance of 
office when chosen to it. There were various posts of 
administration Road Surveyors, Tax Surveyors, and 
the like. But one and all they sprang from the people ; it 
was the direct outcome of an unbridled democracy, and 
I suppose no purer or more efficient municipal govern- 
ment existed anywhere in the world. The increase of 
population has brought with it city charters, Mayors, 
Boards of Aldermen, Common Councils ; armies of 
salaried officials and complicated municipal machinery. 
Whether it has brought a more useful system or a 
better school of political education may be a question. 
If upon the almost unrestricted powers of the local 
authority in local matters the doctrine of centraliza- 
tion has encroached, the idea remains, the local 
institutions remain ; and the nucleus of resistance, if 



LORD MAYOR 

resistance be needed, still exists, and is still a vital and 
vitalizing force. It was borrowed from England. It 
was part of the cargo of the Mayflower. It found for 
a time a freer development there than here, for the 
liberties of England were in mortal peril in 1620, when 
the Pilgrims set forth on their voyage. 

In the days when Russian autocracy seemed freest 
from all check, Theodore Parker, a great minister of 
religion like Sir Sydney a Unitarian and a great 
preacher on secular texts found an institution in 
Russia which he likened in a general way to the New 
England town meeting. After travelling in Russia, he 
declared that the hope of her future freedom lay in the 
Mir. There was the germ. He drew an analogy 
between the Russian Mir and the New England 
town meeting. 

The analogy is a striking one, but its value is 
perhaps chiefly prophetic ; for the germ is long in 
bringing forth flower or fruit, or any practical probable 
proof that the iron despotism of to-day holds the 
promise of freedom hereafter. 

The subject Sir Sydney as Lord Mayor brought 
forward so often is one on which other than English 
observers have had much to say. From Professor 
Lowell's recent elaborate treatise on " The Govern- 
ment of England,"* I will quote the two striking 
sentences with which he begins and ends his chapter 
on " Central Control." They have in Harvard 

* "The Government of England," by A. Lawrence Lowell, 
Professor of the Science of Government in Harvard University. 
2 vols., 8vo., pp. 570, 563. London, Macmillan and Co., Ltd. 



SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

University a chair of the Science of Government, of 
which Mr. Lowell was the tenant. He opens his 
chapter with this remark : 

" With the fall of the Star Chamber and the system 
of which it formed a part, administrative control of the 
local authorities by the central Government came to 
an end ; and during the eighteenth century the town 
councils and justices' of the peace were singularly free, 
except from the strong hand of the courts of law when 
they exceeded the powers conferred on them by a vast 
mass of statutes. Now, one of the most marked 
changes that the nineteenth century brought in local 
government, and one which has been very much 
discussed, was the ' introduction of central control of a 
highly developed kind.' " 

Then, tracing the origin and history of the Local 
Government Board, and explaining its methods briefly 
but clearly, Professor Lowell concludes, in his measured 
and balanced way, thus : 

" On the whole, it must be said that the system of 
central control has done much good, and that the mere 
liability to inspection has no doubt prevented a certain 
amount of ill- management. But it must also be 
admitted that the system is not perfect ; that it has 
been sometimes vexatious ; and that a stranger is wise 
in refraining from any attempt to cast up the balance 
of profit and loss." 

The explanation of this reserve may be found in 
Professor Lowell's preface, in a single sentence : " In 
fact, the writer has tried not to express, and so far as 
possible not to form, opinions on matters of current 



LORD MAYOR 123 

party politics." I am afraid the matters under 
discussion must be considered matters of party politics, 
and nobody, therefore, need complain if Professor 
Lowell handles them, or tries to handle them, in a 
judicial spirit. Yet the reference to the Star 
Chamber on the one hand, and the refusal to state a 
balance between the good and ill done by the Local 
Government Board, indicate clearly enough which way 
the decision would go if Professor Lowell felt himself 
entitled to deliver judgment. 

I venture to dwell on this point because, first, I think 
it a remarkable thing that a Lord Mayor of London, 
not trained in other public affairs than those of his 
own City, should have thought to so much purpose on 
a subject which connects itself with the origin and 
growth and stability of certain English liberties of no 
less moment to-day than in earlier times. It is 
remarkable also to find him in agreement with the 
very latest authority on government whom I have 
been quoting. There are others. Mr. Bagshot, toward 
the end of that book on the English Constitution 
which, though published in 1867, in advance of all 
important constitutional changes of recent days, is 
still the most luminous guide we have, discusses the 
dislike of the English people for executive government. 
He says (p. 316) : 

' We look on State action, not as our own action, 
but as alien action ; as an imposed tyranny from 
without, not as the consummated result of our own 
organized wishes. . . . The natural impulse of the 
English people is to resist authority." 



124 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

He goes on to speak of the " inbred insubordina- 
tion of the English people," then says : 

"Out of the same history and the same results 
proceed our tolerance of those ' local authorities ' which 
so puzzle many foreigners. In the struggle with the 
Crown these local centres served as props and 
fulcrums. In the early Parliaments it was the local 
bodies who sent members to Parliament ; the counties 
and the boroughs ; and in that way, and because of 
their free life, the Parliament was free too. If active, 
real bodies had not sent the representatives, they 
would have been powerless." 

In July, 1873, a baronetcy was conferred on Sir 
Sydney, officially announced in the London Gazette as 

follows : 

" WHITEHALL, 

"July 29, 1873. 

" The Queen has been pleased to direct Letters 
Patent to be framed under the Great Seal granting 
the dignity of a Baronet of the United Kingdom of 
Great Britain and Ireland unto the Right Honourable 
Sir Sydney Hedley Waterlow, of Fairseat, in the 
Parish of Wrotham, in the County of Kent, and of 
Highgate, in the County of Middlesex, Knight, Lord 
Mayor of the City of London, and the heirs of his 
body lawfully begotten." 

In announcing Her Majesty's intention, Mr. Glad- 
stone, dating from Carlton House Terrace, wrote : 

" I cannot convey to your lordship the tender of 
this honour without adding what lively satisfaction I 
feel in making it to one who, independently of the 



LORD MAYOR 125 

high office which he holds, has deserved so well of the 
people of this great Metropolis for an intelligent and 
indefatigable philanthropy." 

The creation was popular even with those who 
looked askance at the Corporation of London and its 
dignities and dignitaries. Mr. Gladstone's note 
sufficiently explains why. Among the congratulations 
the new Baronet received, perhaps none pleased him 
more than an address from the scholars of that 
St. Saviour's School where he had himself been a 
scholar. One address of compliment is very like 
another, but it is pleasant to listen to the boys of 
St. Saviour's as they approach Sir Sydney, in sentences 
which are, to say the least, sincere : 

"It is the privilege of those who attain to distin- 
guished positions in later life to serve as beacons to 
those who are only as yet entering upon its duties and 
labours, and your name has long been recorded by us 
as one whose example we should follow, not only as a 
man of mark among old St. Saviour's boys, but as one 
who, by his honourable career and unfailing energy in 
business, his deep interest in the welfare of the poor, 
and steady support of all measures for the spread of 
education, has obtained a position of commanding 
influence with this great community." 

That is the voice of a school three centuries old, yet 
still young enough, and still strong enough " in godli- 
ness and good learning," to look to a man who has 
those qualities, and who at fifty has all the vigour of 
early years, and perhaps more, as a type and an 
inspiration. The Shah of Persia had similar views of 



126 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

what makes a man a man, and of what makes a nation 
a nation, and of what makes England the England 
she is. 

The visit of the Shah of Persia to the City was one 
of the events of Sir Sydney's Mayoralty which gave 
him an opportunity for that hospitality for which the 
City is renowned, and which is apparently one of the 
reasons for the hostility of some of its critics. In 
April, 1873, the Lord Chamberlain officially announced 
to the Lord Mayor the coming of the Shah. This 
letter was laid before a special meeting of the Court of 
Common Council, which unanimously agreed that an 
invitation to a reception at the Guildhall should be 
sent by the Corporation to the Shah. They agreed, 
further, to present this Oriental potentate with an 
address in the Persian tongue. Not merely was the 
language Persian, but the address itself, in sentiments 
and courtiership, might seem to have been inspired by 
a Persian spirit. This is a sample : 

" In the effulgent presence of His Most Holy Imperial 
Majesty, the King of Kings of the World and the Age, 
the Sultan, son of Sultan, son of a Sultan, Nasr ed 
Deen Shah may God preserve his kingdom for ever : 

" We, the Lord Mayor and people on whom devolves 
the government of the City of London, sincerely ap- 
proaching his angel-guarded threshold, with our hands 
on our breasts and standing in the appointed place on 
the feet of supplication, present this petition." 

The Lord Mayor used to be thought the natural 
leader of the City, and led his municipal lieges in arms, 
if need were. Pepys, January 7, 1660-61, briefly men- 



LORD MAYOR 127 

tioning " a great stir in the City this night by the 
Fanatiques," adds : " My Lord Mayor and the whole 
City had been in arms, above 40,000." And on the 
8th : " My Lord Mayor, Sir Richard Browne, hath 
carried himself very honourably, and hath caused one 
of their meeting-houses in London to be pulled down." 
But those were troubled times, and the mind even of 
a Lord Mayor might be a little unsettled and un- 
certain as to his strict legal rights. Eight years later 
another Lord Mayor, Sir William Peake, a peaceable 
clothworker by trade, being invited to dine at the 
Temple, thought to carry his sword up, not for warlike 
purposes, but as a symbol of his authority. But the 
students would have none of it ; they pulled down the 
Lord Mayor's sword, and forced him to stay all day in 
a Councillor's chamber until the students went to 
dinner. Then, alas ! " my Lord Mayor did retreat 
out of the Temple by stealth, with his sword up," 
whereupon " Sir Richard Browne did cause the drums 
to beat for the Train-bands." It all arose out of a 
dispute whether the Temple be within the liberty of 
the City or no. The Lord Mayor complained to the 
King ; there was a hearing before His Majesty in 
Council, but the question remains undetermined to 
this day. 

A century later came one of the most famous of 
Lord Mayors ; famous, however, for what he had done 
otherwise than as Lord Mayor and many years before 
his election John Wilkes. What I wish to note is 
that the Whiggism of the City turned readily enough 
in such a case to what we should now call Radicalism. 



128 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

The North Briton dates from 1762-63, and the House 
expelled Wilkes, January 19, 1764, as the reputed 
author of " No. 45." His outlawry for the " Essay on 
Woman," his imprisonment, and much else, had all 
occurred before 1771, when he was chosen Sheriff of 
London and Middlesex ; and in 1774 he became Lord 
Mayor. 

When a man of note enters upon a conspicuous office, 
the question is always asked, or always arises, Does he 
lend distinction to the office, or does the office add 
something to his own distinction, or do both these 
things occur ? This is no place for a complete inquiry ; 
it would take us too far. The office of Lord Mayor is 
700 years old. It would be strange indeed if, during 
that long period, it had not tenants both good arid 
bad, and perhaps many more indifferent. The City of 
London itself has lived through many a crisis and 
undergone many a change, yet on the whole it has 
maintained its authority and its privileges to a very 
remarkable degree. It has kept what is essential, its 
independence. In very critical times it has been a 
bulwark of liberty ; it may be again. It has survived, 
especially in modern times, many attacks. Statutes 
which have covered all the rest of the Metropolitan 
area have passed it by. It still keeps its own police ; 
its municipal institutions are still its own ; it still 
chooses its Lord Mayor and other officers in its own 
fashion ; it administers its own finances. If Temple 
Bar has been pulled down, the dividing-line between 
the City of London and the rest of the Metropolis is 
just as clearly marked as ever, and as impassable save 



LORD MAYOR 129 

by its own consent. Even to an American eye, 
Mr. Lowell's, it is "by far the most picturesque of all 
the local bodies in England." If there have been 
abuses, in what government have there not ? If too 
much money has been spent by the guilds in sumptuous 
feasts, great sums have come out of these offending 
coffers for charity. If proposals have often been made 
to abolish privileges and reduce guilds and the whole 
City of London under one central authority, as they 
have, and if these proposals one and all have failed, as 
they have, there must be a reason more reasons than 
one, no doubt. Mr. Lowell well says : " The City is 
the financial centre of the world, and under venerable 
forms it is governed by the people who carry on their 
business there." I suppose it may be taken for granted 
that the millions upon millions of money in this small 
area feel safer with things as they are than if the 
London County Council should take possession for all 
purposes, as it does for some ; for capital now takes 
care of itself, governs itself, provides for its own 
security, and is content with the result. The London 
County Council is in the long-run the offspring of the 
new democracy ; it governs well or governs ill accord- 
ing to its triennial composition. The delegates, which 
under any numerical scheme the City could send to it, 
would be powerless to resist the will of the great 
majority of the Council. Alien interests would over- 
come the interests of the City, alien influences would 
be paramount where it is held desirable that only 
influences of the City itself should prevail. 

There is a larger reason the just veneration in this 

9 



130 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

country for what is old because it is old ; and a larger 
still that, spite of all that has happened since 1832, 
England remains essentially Conservative. I am 
expressing, of course, an opinion. An interim judg- 
ment on such matters can only be matter of opinion, 
but it is an opinion cherished, not only by those who 
are called Conservatives in the party sense, but by 
men of high authority outside party lines. And it 
has seemed at times that among the Radicals them- 
selves there are men who hesitate to try experiments 
in the domain where commerce and finance have their 
home. They may at least ask themselves why the 
City used to be Liberal, and why it now sends four 
Conservative members to Parliament, with the leader 
of the Conservative party at their head. If politics do 
not enter into the contest for Lord Mayor, and if there 
is seldom a contest of any kind for that high office, it 
is because all candidates for the Mayoralty are sup- 
posed to put, and do in fact put, the welfare and 
honour of the City above all politics. In its official 
hospitalities the City never thinks of drawing a 
political distinction. The Prime Minister is invited to 
the Guildhall as Prime Minister, and nobody asks 
whether he is Conservative or Liberal. It is Lord 
Salisbury one day, and Mr. Gladstone the next. 
Mr. Balfour and Mr. Asquith are alike Prime Ministers 
of the whole Kingdom and the whole Empire. When 
Sir Sydney was chosen Lord Mayor, he was, as he 
always had been and ever remained, a Liberal, but no 
one dreamed of opposing his election on that account. 
It was a transition period in the history of the City, 



LORD MAYOR 131 

politically speaking. But Liberal Lord Mayors are 
elected now as readily as when the City itself was 
Liberal. 

To say that Sir Sydney kept up the splendid 
tradition of hospitality is to say little. A Lord 
Mayor who did not would be a strange exception. It 
is not a matter one need dwell on. But he gave one 
dinner in the Egyptian Hall on Christmas Day, 1872, 
for which there cannot be many precedents. It was a 
family dinner. His own family and his wife's family 
were both numerous. The party included Sir Sydney's 
father, his own and his wife's brothers and sisters, 
their children and grandchildren, uncles and aunts, 
nephews and nieces. Out of 200 invited, 180 were 
present, among them 17 children of an age so tender 
that their nurses came also. The Lord Mayor's 
father, Mr. James Waterlow, was then in his eighty - 
third year. He saw around him his four sons, three 
daughters, two sons-in-law, four daughters-in-law, 
forty-nine grandchildren, and fourteen great-grand- 
children. Old customs were not forgotten. There 
was a baron of beef weighing 276 pounds, borne in 
procession by four men ; followed by a plum -pudding 
of 117 pounds, garnished with holly and blazing spirit. 
The only toast was to the health of Sir Sydney's 
patriarch father, and the only speech was his, prettily 
embroidered with the remark that "the next best 
thing to being Lord Mayor was to be the Lord 
Mayor's father." The Lord Mayor himself was but 
fifty years of age, yet the number of his children, all 
present, was eight. 

92 



SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

More splendid than the traditions of hospitality are 
the traditions of charity. To see a great disaster 
followed by a great movement of relief from the 
Mansion House has become common. Whether by 
land or sea, the sympathies of the City go out to its 
victims, and a Lord Mayor who did not put himself at 
the head of such an enterprise would be thought an 
unworthy Chief Magistrate. A ship goes to the 
bottom of the Channel, as did the Northftcet off 
Dungeness, sunk by a steamer which stole away in the 
darkness, unknown, without an effort to save the 400 
lives on the ship, of whom three-fourths went down 
with the captain and all his officers. There was a 
Mansion House meeting and a subscription of 8,000. 
Nor were City charities, nor have they ever been, 
limited to English necessities. The floods in Ferrara 
and elsewhere in Northern Italy had destroyed much 
property, and left many homeless and ruined. This 
was in November, 1872, and the announcement of a 
relief effort at the Mansion House brought a cheque 
for 400 from the Queen. The Corporation gave 
500 guineas. As the money came in, the Lord Mayor, 
attentive to the maxim that he gives twice who gives 
quickly, sent drafts to the Minister of Foreign Affairs 
in Rome. Altogether 7,300 was remitted, and Italy 
poured out her thanks to the Queen, and to the City, 
and to all those English men and women who had 
shown themselves mindful of the friendship which 
unites England and Italy. At the end the King of 
Italy, " to mark the high estimation in which His 
Majesty held the powerful, cordial, and personal 



LORD MAYOR 133 

support of the Lord Mayor," conferred upon him the 
distinction of Commander of the Order of the Crown 
of Italy. The Chevalier Cadorna, Italian Ambassador 
in London, wrote : " No one knows better than I how 
this distinction will be worthily and justly placed, and 
it is with a feeling of real pleasure that I have the 
honour to make known to you the King's intention." 
The order was accepted, and the document conferring 
it holds an honoured place in the family archives. 

This precedent set in Sir Sydney's time and before 
has been followed this year in circumstances far 
more calamitous, and with money results in proportion 
to the greater need. A Mansion House subscription 
for the sufferers by the earthquake which destroyed 
Messina and Beggio has produced 125,000. 

To increase his opportunities of charitable useful- 
ness, the new Lord Mayor became a life governor of a 
great number of the charitable institutions of the 
Metropolis. He then made an effort to abolish the 
system under which each subscriber to a charity is 
entitled to votes for beneficiaries in proportion to the 
amount of his subscription. It is a system under 
which abuses flourish and money is wasted. He 
called a meeting at the Mansion House. Mr. Glad- 
stone, unable to attend, sent a letter of approval ; 
Mrs. Gladstone another ; and Lord Shaftesbury a 
third. Miss Florence Nightingale described the 
system as "the best system for electing the least 
eligible," adding : " There is a traffic in votes ; it is a 
scheme to gratify gambling propensities"; and from all 
institutions which countenanced this practice Miss 



134 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Nightingale declared she had withdrawn her support. 
The Press, a single paper excepted, spoke in the same 
sense ; for once the best public opinion seemed to be 
on one side. 

But what happened ? The meeting in the Egyptian 
Hall was packed by secretaries, managers, paid officials, 
clerks and their friends, by the organizers and agents 
of electioneering, all profiting by the existing method, 
and many of them paid. They would not so much as 
allow the Lord Mayor to be heard, nor listen to the 
Marquis of Westminster or to Mr. Samuel Morley, 
and they carried by a great majority a resolution of 
their own in favour of abuses as they were. The 
wisdom of the serpent had been wanting, nor had it 
occurred to the Lord Mayor that one of the worst 
methods of practical politics would be used against 
him when seeking to reform charity organizations. 
Undiscouraged, however, he founded the Charity 
Voting Reform Association. Several charities presently 
agreed to abolish the system, and did abolish it, while 
others pruned away some of its worst practices. 
Finally, since 1873, no new charity has set up proxy 
voting. 

An attempt followed to deal with the schools 
question in the City. Two years before that, a plan 
for remodelling the existing schools had been matured 
by Sir Sydney, the Rev. William Rogers, perhaps the 
highest of all City authorities on that subject, and 
others. In the ward schools instruction was ele- 
mentary and inefficient. They were hardly more than 
old-fashioned charity schools. It was now proposed, 



LORD MAYOR 135 

while leaving untouched the largest and wealthiest 
schools, to amalgamate the other endowments, and, 
with the income from these invested funds, to create 
three schools of 1,000 children each. But against 
school reform, as against charity reform, the partisans 
of vested abuses combined, and again in the Egyptian 
Hall the Lord Mayor was voted down and his proposals 
were rejected. Says Sir Sydney : 

" I was disappointed with the result but not dis- 
heartened. Experience has taught me that those who 
seek to carry out reforms in ancient institutions, in 
order to place them in thorough harmony with the 
public opinion of the time, must not expect to succeed 
in their first or even second attempt." 

Old customs are fading out of sight not all, but 
some yet the memory of them will not fail, nor does 
a Liberal Lord Mayor seem less desirous to perpetuate 
either the customs or the memory, than if he were a 
Conservative. Here is Sir Sydney's record of one : 

" In the month of December, 1872, I received from 
the Horse Guards a memorandum giving me the pass- 
word to the Tower for every day in the months of 
January, February, and March ; and similar lists were 
forwarded quarterly to enable me, as Chief Magistrate 
of the City of London, to pass the Guards at the 
Tower. These lists were signed by Her Majesty's own 
hand, being marked, 'Approved Victoria R.' They 
have, I believe, been long since discontinued. They 
were a remnant of the old right which belonged to the 
Lord Mayor of London, of refusing admittance to the 
Queen's troops within the City walls, and gave the 



136 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Lord Mayor the right, as head of the trained bands of 
the City of London, to pass within the precincts of the 
Tower. 

"At this time it was also the practice for the War 
Office authorities, whenever they wished to pass 
Queen's troops through the City, to obtain previously 
from the Lord Mayor an order permitting their entry 
within the City walls." 

A reminiscence of a different order is among those 
which Sir Sydney cherished. He, like all Aldermen, 
was an ex-officio member of Queen Anne's Bounty 
Board, sitting in Dean's Yard, Westminster. Business 
to be done was a magnet which drew him to no matter 
what spot. He found himself in contact with Bishops 
and other high personages of the Church to which he 
did not belong. But the Bishops, or the best of them, 
are in the best sense men of the world. They could 
not well administer their dioceses if they were not. 
They welcomed in Sir Sydney a man long used to 
dealing with house and land property, and with many 
questions thereunto relating with which this Board 
was concerned. Dilapidations of rectories and vicar- 
ages, charges upon the estates of deceased incumbents, 
sums to be fixed by new incumbents for repairs, and 
the like, came often before the Board. Upon these he 
gave a lay opinion, but the opinion of a man of 
business. It was like Sir Sydney that he strove to 
reduce the law charges which came as a heavy burden 
upon new incumbents, men often without private 
means. The solicitors' fees were particularly heavy, 
and I find it recorded that Sir Sydney had a long 



LORD MAYOR 137 

contest with the then Bishop of Winchester (since 1869), 
Samuel Wilberforce. It appears that the Bishop's 
private solicitor and the solicitor to the Board were 
the same person, and the Bishop, thinking more of 
his legal friend's interest than of the clergy, used his 
eloquence and authority, both considerable, to keep as 
they were the fees the clergy had to pay to the solicitor. 
But some of the younger Bishops, not thinking a 
Bishop should prefer the interest of an attorney to 
the interests of a hard-pressed body of clergymen, 
sided with Sir Sydney, and, with help from other 
members of the Board, cut down the fees. The 
Unitarian layman was, in this instance, a better friend 
to the Church than one of its own Bishops. 

Incidents not in themselves important may serve 
to illustrate the multifarious character of the Lord 
Mayor's duties in matters, not of obligation, but due to 
his personal energy. An Act of Parliament had been 
passed in 1869 for the freeing of the toll-bridges over 
the Thames between Staines and the Tower. Sir 
Sydney was on the Commission, and Kew Bridge, the 
last of them all, was not freed till his Mayoralty, at a 
cost of 57,300. The ceremony of liberation was such 
as to leave no doubt in the minds of the public what 
had happened. The Commission was summoned to 
meet at the Middlesex end of the bridge, Sir Sydney 
at their head, and, with the help of a few navvies, took 
the toll-gate off its hinges. The gate was then borne 
high on the shoulders of the navvies, the Commission 
following in procession, to the middle of the bridge, 
and thrown into the river, to the cheers of multitudes 



138 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

on either bank, and no more tolls were levied for the 
passage of Kew Bridge. 

Among the novelties of his reign, Sir Sydney sets 
down a dinner he gave in the Egyptian Hall to the 
Oxford and Cambridge crews, March 29, 1873; u a 
dinner which had never been given by any previous 
Lord Mayor, and has never been given since." There 
were 174 guests. Invitations had been equally dis- 
tributed between the Light and Dark Blues. I rather 
infer from Sir Sydney's account that the state and 
solemnity of an official banquet at the Mansion House 
was soon forgotten, and the two crews and their friends 
united in an easy good-fellowship. Indeed, when mid- 
night struck they were not at all ready to depart ; but 
Sunday is respected in the City, and depart they did, 
under gentle compulsion, carrying off the door-key by 
way of protest, which they handsomely returned next 
morning. Sir Sydney, proposing Cambridge, the win- 
ning crew, made one of those little speeches in which 
he put his whole soul into a subject altogether new to 
him, enlarging upon the value of rowing and exercise, 
which " stirs the Viking's blood that runs in our 
veins." Nay, " outdoor life and sports are the best 
features of our modern civilization," thinks this 
printer's apprentice who stood seven years at the 
desk, and this merchant who had spent most of his 
days in the counting-house. 

Later we find the Lord Mayor entertaining the 
Archbishops of Canterbury (Dr. Tait), and of York 
(Dr. Thomson), and of Armagh (Dr. Milner), and of 
Dublin (Dr. French), and a dozen Bishops yes, and a 



LORD MAYOR 139 

goodly number of leading Nonconformist ministers. 
Sir Sydney, as much a Unitarian as ever, distinguishes 
himself by bearing testimony to the Church of England 
as " a Church which has a great work to do, and does 
it earnestly, carefully, and conscientiously." And the 
Archbishop of Canterbury replied in a spirit not less 
liberal, saying he had often been welcomed in the City 
by Chief Magistrates not of his own faith and com- 
munion. " But they welcome us because our Church 
has, thank God ! not adopted a narrow theory which 
would make it exclusive, but has desired ever to be at 
the head of the whole Christianity of the country." 
The annals of dinners during the twelvemonth of the 
Lord Mayor's term are all but endless. I have chosen 
out of them only those which seem, for one reason 
or another, characteristic and deserving to be re- 
membered. 

The Mayoralty narrative draws to a close. It has 
been to Sir Sydney a year full of effort, full of honour. 
I shall have told it ill if it does not leave upon the 
reader an impression of serious duties worthily done, of 
honours well borne, of a deep sense of public duty, and 
of a readiness to shoulder any burden or work, and 
never to spare himself. The outside world concerns 
itself, perhaps, but little with the City and its dignities 
and responsibilities. But to the City they are very real. 
If there were, among all men of that day whose work 
lay in the City, one whose name was a guarantee of 
sincerity and wise judgment, it was, I suppose, the 
Rev. William Rogers, that Hector of St. Botolph, 
Bishopsgate, already one or twice mentioned, to whom 



140 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

the schools of the City are monuments. On the day of 
the election of Sir Sydney's successor, Mr. Rogers 
preached a sermon at St. Lawrence Jewry, before the 
Lord Mayor retiring, the Lord Mayor elect (Mr. Alder- 
man Lusk), and other Aldermen and officers of the 
Corporation. Proverbs supplied him with a text : 
" Seest thou a man diligent in his business, he shall 
stand before kings." In no sense is it a sermon of 
compliment ; it is a deliverance of truth. I quote a 
sentence or two, sermon though it be : 

" He has had great opportunities, and he has 
embraced those opportunities with energy and intelli- 
gence ; he has filled the post with honour, and has 
added dignity to the office by his liberality, by his 
open-handed hospitality, and by his impartial adminis- 
tration of justice. Many difficult questions have come 
before him for judgment, and he has pronounced sen- 
tence with equity and discretion, commending himself 
to the approval of his fellow-citizens." 

It is a measured eulogy, and the more a eulogy 
because it is measured. There is much more of it, but 
I wish only to make it clear that Sir Sydney's work 
had won the approval of a man who was never known 
to praise anybody who had not, in his opinion, deserved 
praise. 

In this tribute his colleagues joined, privately and 
officially. The Court of Aldermen passed a resolution 
of thanks to the retiring Lord Mayor which covered 
pretty much all the ground : 

" That the cordial thanks of this Court are due, and 
are hereby given, to the Right Hon. Sir Sydney 



LORD MAYOR 141 

Hedley Waterlow, Bart., late Lord Mayor of this City, 
for the dignity, efficiency, and zeal with which he has 
discharged the many and important duties of Chief 
Magistrate during the past year ; for the assiduity and 
impartiality with which he has performed his official 
functions ; for the energetic course pursued by him in 
the maintenance and support of municipal institutions ; 
for his exertions in the cause of charity, his liberal 
hospitality, his courtesy and accessibility whenever 
waited upon for assistance and advice ; and for the 
manner in which he has uniformly upheld the dignity 
and privileges of the City of London and the interests 
and rights of his fellow-citizens." 

It was a golden year in the annals of the City of 
London, says a friend, but even a friend may keep 
within the truth. His successor, between whom and 
Sir Sydney the contrasts were many, owned he had 
made it difficult for any man to follow him. 

It is perhaps enough to say that the distinction of 
the Lord Mayoralty is greater than that of any indi- 
vidual who holds it for the time being. The prestige 
and splendour of long descent belong to it, as they do, 
in a different way and for different purposes, to the 
office of Prime Minister. Time is the mother of all 
things. No statute, no one man, of no matter what 
genius or belief, could bring to either office all that he 
finds there when he assumes it. These things are not 
created ; they grow. But there must be men in such 
places who grow, and who bring to them new qualities. 
Sir Sydney fulfilled high expectations, redeemed large 
pledges, impressed upon the City a sense of his strong 






SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

personality and his rare administrative capacities ; never 
lowered the standard of splendour, never left duties 
undone ; and, throughout his tenure of the Chief Magis- 
tracy taking upon himself many burdensome obligations 
which were voluntary, left no opportunity for doing 
good unimproved. The wish he himself expressed was 
that he might " leave the ancient and honourable office 
as unsullied and free from stain as when he accepted 
it." With that kind of pride which it is permitted to 
a man in great place to indulge, he says of himself : 

" I have never used the great power and influence of 
my office for the purpose of gratifying my own personal 
feelings or of improving my own position pecuniarily. 
As in the case of most Lord Mayors, overtures were 
constantly made to me to join lucrative commercial 
and industrial companies, but my answer was invariably 
the same to all ; namely, that during my Mayoralty 
I could not listen to offers of that kind. From the first 
I made up my mind that my conduct in that respect 
must be above suspicion. I spared neither time, 
labour, nor expense, in endeavouring to sustain the 
dignity of the office." 

Those who think the Lord Mayoralty a position of 
ornament may be surprised to find a man so familiar 
with great affairs and vast business enterprises as Sir 
Sydney saying : " The position of Chief Magistrate is a 
supremely difficult one, and no man who relied solely 
upon himself has, I think, ever satisfied the public or 
passed through his year of office pleasantly and profit- 
ably." 



CHAPTER X 

THE IRISH SOCIETY 

IT was after Sir Sydney had completed fifty years of 
his life, and after his fortune had become ample, that 
tasks and duties crowded upon him as never before. 
Well-earned leisure was a phrase that had little mean- 
ing for him. He was not the man to sum up his 
philosophy of life in a sentence. If he had been, he 
might have chosen the saying that "Work is the salt of 
life." The hard toil of his early and early middle years 
had but increased his appetite for more, of many 
different kinds, most of them such as he might easily 
and honourably have let alone. The governorship of 
the Irish Society was one ; which became vacant toward 
midsummer, 1873, by the resignation of Alderman Sir 
William Hose from ill-health. The Court of Common 
Council forthwith, and by acclamation, chose Sir 
Sydney Waterlow to be his successor, and he remained 
Governor till the autumn of 1883. 

Why should there be an Irish Society in London, 
and what was there in it to tempt Waterlow to take 
charge of it ? The Irish patriot would perhaps answer 
the first question by saying that in 1609 James I. 
wanted 60,000, and in exchange for that sum offered 

143 



144 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

the Livery Companies of London a share in the " Plan- 
tation of Ulster." Upon the overthrow of the O'Neills 
and O'Donnells a great area of land had become forfeit. 
The King desired it to be settled and improved. He 
invited particular attention to " the late desolated city 
of the Derrie " on " the river of Lough Foyle." He 
promised to the " Planters " a free grant of the towns 
of Derry and Coleraine, with all the land between the 
Bann and Lough Foyle. 

The Corporation of London appear to have thought 
they must in any case find the money the King 
demanded, and had better take what they could get 
in return. A company was formed, since known as the 
Irish Society. The twelve " Great Companies " of the 
City took equal shares. A certain indivisible estate 
under the Society was set apart ; the remainder was 
divided by lot among the contributing guilds. The 
Crown conferred upon the Society and the Companies 
large and sufficient powers of colonization. A new 
county was formed. The "desolated" city upon the 
Foyle was rebuilt, and well built ; better than was 
usual in those days ; and fortified. A stout breed of 
Protestant English yeomanry was sent over to people 
the county. So well was the work done that all 
attacks upon it, whether by the Star Chamber, by the 
rebels of 1641, or by James II. in 1689, failed. The 
charter by which Charles II. confirmed the original 
grant has never been disturbed. The best answer to 
the criticisms upon the Irish Society and its manage- 
ment of these estates is Londonderry itself. We all 
know how Londonderry and Ulster compare with some 



THE IRISH SOCIETY 

other and from the Parnellite point of view more 
patriotic parts of Ireland. The Irish Society is entitled 
to a large share of the credit for the economical and 
industrial prosperity of that part of the distressful isle. 
Sir Sydney visited his new dominions in August, 
1873, and plunged at once into questions of schools, of 
the granting of leases, of the Presbyterian Institute, of 
the building of a new town-hall, of fisheries, of ferries, 
of many other matters. The new Governor took 
nothing for granted, but inquired for himself into each 
subject. If he found schools flourishing, like the 
Coleraine schools erected and maintained by the 
Society, with nearly 500 pupils, he said so, with due 
praise for those entitled to praise, and with a pledge 
that the Society would do everything in its power to 
maintain in the future this present high standard. If 
he found, as in the case of the Presbyterian Institute, 
good opportunities imperfectly improved, with seven 
endowed professors to forty-six scholars, he told those 
concerned that the Society would help those who 
helped themselves. As to leases and increased rents, 
but three tenants out of thirty objected, of whom one 
went to the Land Court, which he left wiser, but not 
richer, than he came. A fortnight was spent in this 
way, and each succeeding year the Governor went over 
to inspect the condition and progress of these great 
estates. Throughout his was a business policy, based 
upon justice tempered with kindness, regardful of all 
interests. Some of the subjects he had to deal with 
had long been his own lands, schools, houses to live 
in, and the care of great possessions. 

10 



146 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Even ecclesiastical problems were solved. There was 
Foyle College in Derry, with four boarders, where there 
might have been sixty. The secret of its unpopularity 
was ecclesiastical. It was a diocesan Church school. 
The Head-master had to be a member of the Episcopal 
Church of Ireland, and the boys had to attend daily 
Episcopal service, which the Presbyterians did not like. 
Upon this state of things he consulted with the Bishop 
of Derry, Dr. Alexander, afterwards Bishop of Armagh, 
a large-minded man with a physical frame to correspond. 
The Bishop, in a letter very honourable to him, proposed 
a new governing body, of which the great majority 
should be neither Episcopal nor in any shape sectarian. 
"If," said Dr. Alexander, "a jealousy is entertained of 
the Bishop, I do most sincerely trust that the patronage 
will be left to the Governor of the Irish Society." 
He adds : 

" For good or for evil, the old order of things has 
passed away. So far as regards the old school, I am 
thankful that its future history must be so largely 
moulded by a man of your honesty and wisdom." 

With this letter Waterlow went to Parliament. He 
introduced a Bill for a new governing body for Foyle 
College, to consist of five ex-offitio members : the 
Bishop of Derry (politely put first), the Governor and 
Deputy-Governor of the Irish Society, the Mayor of 
Derry, and the Moderator of the General Assembly. 
Therefore, while the Bishop stood for the Church and 
the Moderator for the Presbyterians, there remained 
three other Governors who might be Churchmen or 
Nonconformists, or nothing at all. They were the 



THE IRISH SOCIETY 147 

majority. In short, Sir Sydney had contrived to make 
this governing body altogether undenominational. 
His Bill was passed, and since it passed, in 1874, there 
has been no further trouble. Under this Act, and 
under the head-mastership of the house, the four 
students quickly became sixty, all the college had 
room for. Foyle College is not Trinity or Maynooth, 
but it is an example, and Waterlow's way of dealing 
with it is as well worth considering as if the students 
were 600 instead of 60. 

With an eye open to politics and to the movements 
of Mr. Gladstone's mind, Sir Sydney, concerned as 
Governor with the value of the Irish Society's pro- 
perty as well as with his duties, came to the belief 
that this property in the county of Londonderry 
would soon decrease in value. His own Company, the 
Stationers', though having no share of its own, held 
part of the share granted to the Skinners' Company. 
This is his account of what happened : 

"As the Skinners were willing to treat for the 
purchase of the Stationers' share, I took an active 
part in negotiating the sale, and was able to induce 
the Skinners' Company to give 40,000 for the pur- 
chase of the Stationers' share. This was in 1875. The 
changes which took place in the Land Laws in Ireland 
during the ensuing fifteen years reduced the value of 
the land to half the price which was then obtained." 

It was during the two years after this transaction 
that Sir Sydney had to meet a Parliamentary attack 
on the Irish Society. Mr. Charles Lewis, M.P. for 
Derry, put on the paper, early in 1876, a notice of 

102 



148 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

motion for a Select Committee to inquire into the 
constitution, management, and annual expenditure of 
the Irish Society, and how to reorganize and improve 
it. But Sir Sydney was going abroad, and Mr. Lewis 
obligingly postponed his motion till next year. By 
that time he seems to have discovered that a Royal 
Commission had already reported on the Society as 
far back as 1853. What the Royal Commission 
recommended was that the Irish Society be dissolved, 
its charter repealed, and its property vested in a new 
set of trustees. 

Clearly there was a case against the Society, but as 
clearly Londonderry and Coleraine held opinions of 
which Mr. Lewis was not the representative. Petitions 
against his motion were presented ; not one for. Mr. 
Lewis moved for and obtained a return of receipts and 
expenditure from 1865 to 1874. The showing was 
awkward, for the expenses were more than a third of 
the receipts, while visitation and personal charges came 
to 15 per cent. more. But the House would not be 
led by Mr. Lewis. Sir Sydney, Sir William McArthur, 
and Sir J. C. Lawrence having been heard for the 
defence, nothing was left for Mr. Lewis but to with- 
draw his motion. It appears from the course of the 
debate that the House desired to signify its confidence 
in Sir Sydney as Governor. Whatever happens, said 
speakers on both sides, "we hope he will remain 
Governor." Mr. Whalley himself, that redoubtable 
foe of the Roman Catholic Church, declared the Society 
" a model and an example to the whole of Ireland." I 
extract one sentence from Sir Sydney's speech, which 



THE IRISH SOCIETY 149 

evidently told on the House : "I do not admit that 
members of the Society have squandered its funds ; 
while as for myself, I have devoted much time to my 
duties as Governor, and I have been yearly to London- 
derry at my own expense." 

To dispel the notion that the Society existed for 
what profit it could make, Sir Sydney mentioned 
briefly some of the benefits it had bestowed. The 
bridge over the Foyle was a toll bridge. On one side 
were the great factories ; on the other the poorer 
districts where the workmen live. To free the bridge, 
he offered, subject to his colleagues' assent, 40,000 
toward paying off the bridge debt of 80,000, if the 
citizens would levy a rate to pay the other half. They 
cheered him and levied the rate, and the bridge is 
free. The Society gave a grant eventually amounting 
to 40,000 to improve the navigation of the River 
Bann. They gave a site for a new market for Coleraine, 
well called the Waterlow Market. But, said Sir 
Sydney, these are services of to-day. The benefactions 
of the Society began two centuries ago and more. 

" Those who have visited the cathedral at London- 
derry must have noticed an old black stone in the 
porch, upon which certain letters have been rudely 
carved in years long gone by. They run thus : 

1 If stones could speak, they London's praise would sound, 
That built this church from out the ground.' 

" But I venture to think that, if stones could speak, 
the stones in almost every Church and day school in 
Londonderry and Coleraine, in which the Protestant 



150 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

religion has been taught these last two centuries, would 
chant the same song ; and not only of every Church 
and every school, but the stones of the manses attached 
to those churches, and the stones of the fortifications 
by which the town is surrounded, would be equally 
anxious to offer their share of praise to the Irish 
Society and the Corporation of the City of London." 

London and its Livery Companies not only built the 
walls which saved the city when besieged ; they came 
to its defence with guns and supplies. There lie on 
the ramparts to this day cannon bearing the names 
of the Vintners', Fishmongers', Merchant Taylors', 
Grocers', and Mercers* Companies, and several in which 
the arms of the Irish Society are still visible. The 
siege over, the Society spent large sums in rebuilding 
the town. The reason why the old town of Derry 
became Londonderry lies in what London did for 
Derry. Colonists and capital came from London at a 
time when the city of Derry and the country around 
it were a desolate waste. No good house remained ; 
no acre of ground had been tilled for years. The 
Irish Society, with an intelligence beyond its time, 
addressed precepts to the London Companies, desiring 
each of them to send artisans with their families into 
Ulster. And the decree went forth that Derry in 
future was not to be peopled exclusively by Irish. 
This, no doubt, is an Irish grievance, on the platform, 
in the Nationalist Press, on the Irish Benches in the 
House. But suppose there had been no Irish Society, 
no wealth from without, no English enterprise and 
steadfast patience in recovering this Irish desert to 



THE IRISH SOCIETY 151 

civilization and to its matchless prosperity of to-day 
then what ? The Maiden City, says one of its bene- 
factors, is the child of the City of London ; and the 
great City has cared for the lesser as for a child. 

Considering that all this was familiar to the 
Governor of the Irish Society, it is not surprising that 
he, with whom business and kindly sentiment went 
hand in hand, should have put his soul into his Society 
work, and rejoiced in rescuing it from its enemies, in 
Parliament and elsewhere. Some of its enemies, 
unhappily, were within. There was so much founda- 
tion for the charges of excessive expenditure that 
Waterlow prevailed on his colleagues to lay the whole 
matter before a private meeting of the Common 
Council, with whom rested the ultimate authority and 
responsibility. This was the body which, four years 
before, had broken through formalities in order to 
elect Sir Sydney by acclamation there and then. But 
when he presented himself before them in the name of 
his colleagues and himself, as an advocate of retrench- 
ment and economy in expenses, the Court of Common 
Council would not listen. They would not allow him 
to make a statement. Whether they thought there 
was a kind of solidarity between the abuses which 
existed in the Irish Society and those which prevailed 
in municipal expenditure, I do not know. But they 
behaved as if a criticism upon one were a criticism on 
the other, and they silenced the great public servant 
whom they themselves had put into a position of trust 
which he sought to administer honestly and frugally 
his only offence. Sir Sydney was contending for a 



152 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

principle, that no public money should be spent except 
for a public purpose. The Common Council were con- 
tending for " fees and feasts," an expression I borrow 
from a Londonderry newspaper. Perhaps that also is 
a principle. 

For a Governor thus treated by the body which has 
made him Governor, there would seem to be nothing 
left but resignation. That was Sir Sydney's opinion. 
He addressed a letter to the Lord Mayor setting forth 
with dignity and respectful reserve the circumstances 
and facts as given above. The committee of the 
whole Court " refused to listen to any statement from 
me, and would not even allow me to read an official 
extract from the Society's minutes." He says : 

" I therefore feel that no course is now left open to 
me but to resign into the hands of the Corporation the 
office they have so long honoured me with, and to 
request the acceptance of my resignation of the position 
of Governor of the Irish Society. 

" During the five years that I have presided over 
the Society as Governor, it has passed through many 
troubles, but, as far as I know, at the present moment 
no man's hand is raised against it, Mr. Lewis's motion 
in the House of Commons having, for a time at all 
events, been set at rest." 

He concludes with a grave expression of thanks to 
the Lord Mayor and to every member of the Corpora- 
tion for the kindness shown him " on many occasions,'' 
and for his yearly unanimous re-election " to one of 
the proudest positions which the Corporation has in 
its power to bestow on one of its own members." 



THE IRISH SOCIETY 153 

This letter never was sent, or, if sent, was withdrawn. 
Sir Sydney's friends, and not his friends only, besought 
him to remain Governor. They had recourse to the 
usual arguments ; his usefulness, his knowledge of the 
business, his prestige, and the hope, greater under him 
than under another, that the reforms be thought 
desirable might yet be accomplished. The London- 
derry and Coleraine newspapers and the leading 
journal of Belfast were all on his side, and all asked 
him to stay where he was. One of them, the London- 
derry Journal, spoke out plainly : 

" Sir Sydney urged the Society to forgo its fees for 
attending meetings at Guildhall, the annual present of 
plate to its members, and the dinners. This the 
Society was willing to do. What prevented the 
realization of this suggestion ? The Common Council, 
in a private meeting, declined." 

But the retention of fees and feasts was not, said 
the Londonderry Standard, to be set against the 
retention of one of the most upright and far-seeing 
Governors who ever directed the affairs of the Irish 
Society. It is uncertain how much the attitude of the 
Press had to do with Sir Sydney's decision, but it is 
clear that in remaining Governor he acted solely from 
a sense of public duty. He could not of his own 
choice, or if he considered only his own feelings, 
submit to the affront offered him. He had, as he 
thought, to make up his mind whether it were more 
for the general interests that he should go or stay. 
He was quite willing to sacrifice his own inclinations. 
He did sacrifice them. It may be doubted whether he 



154 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

judged rightly. It is not certain that his resignation 
might not have made the reforms he wished for 
inevitable. On merely personal grounds one may 
regret his submission. When a supremely competent 
man resigns an important office, the public service 
always loses something. Yet many a Minister resigns, 
knowing he can have no successor as efficient as 
himself. But he resigns, and a resignation on a point 
of honour sweetens and strengthens the tone of public 
life. 

Well, Sir Sydney stayed on. He continued Governor 
of the Irish Society until 1883. On his ninth re- 
election in 1881, in returning thanks to the Common 
Council, which did not now refuse to hear him, he 
spoke of the governorship as a position of great 
responsibility, not unmixed with anxiety. 

" And never, perhaps, more than at the present 
time, when from one end of Ireland to the other, but 
more especially in the Centre, the South, and the 
South- West, the tenant-farmers have been induced by 
selfish and designing men to set themselves in opposi- 
tion to their landlords, and to repudiate their legal 
obligations, and to refuse to pay any rent except on 
such terms as they may consider to be fair and reason- 
able. The agents of the Land League have, up to the 
present, done very little harm in the districts in which 
the estates of the Irish Society are situated. I venture 
to think that this arises from the fair and generous 
policy which has guided the Society in dealing with the 
tenants, and from the kindly feeling that has for 
some years past existed between the Irish Society 



THE IRISH SOCIETY 155 

and the inhabitants generally of Londonderry and 
Coleraine." 

" A landlord's view," the Nationalists will cry. But 
this Governor of the Irish Society goes on to say that 
during the whole period of his governorship there has 
never been one single case of eviction. Once, notice of 
eviction was served, but the Land Court decided that 
the increased rent was fair, and the tenant paid it and 
continued tenant. 

" The Society have always endeavoured to give to 
their agricultural tenants fixity of tenure, fair rents, 
and freedom of sale, subject only to the condition that 
any intending purchaser shall have fair notice of the 
time when the farms may have to be revalued. I 
venture to think no tenant should ask more, and no 
landlord should give less, especially in cases where the 
tenants have made permanent improvements on the 
farm." 

Such was the agrarian policy of an Ulster landlord 
in 1881 the policy of the three F's. It does not 
seem to have been questioned either by the Society or 
by the Common Council, the latter having had its way 
about two other F's Fees and Feasts. 

Two years later, in the autumn of 1883, Sir Sydney 
resigned. He had had eleven years of continuous ser- 
vice. He had administered the estates and revenues 
of the Irish Society wisely and justly. He had left 
Londonderry and Coleraine, in so far as their prosperity 
was concerned with the Irish Society, better and more 
prosperous than he had found them. He had restored 
good relations where they had been impaired ; he had 



156 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

won the confidence of the people among whom he 
laboured ; he had left a mark upon the city and 
country. Free bridges, better schools, a contented 
and thriving tenantry, improved buildings, a more 
business-like administration, were among the results 
of his work. Even in those days of an agitation not 
always scrupulous, and of Irish leaders who sedulously 
taught hatred of England as the first duty of every 
true Irishman, Sir Sydney had won the confidence of 
the tenants of the Society. It is all very simple. He 
was a strong, just man. 

On no other theory can the history of these eleven 
years be explained. I have told the story at some 
length because I think it a remarkable one, and 
because it shows us Sir Sydney in a new light or in a 
different setting. At a time when Ireland was turbu- 
lent, and when a policy of outrage was the policy of 
its popular leaders, a London Alderman goes over to 
Londonderry as Governor of a Society at which, to say 
the least, these popular leaders looked askance. He 
governs in a spirit which wins respect and liking. He 
looks upon the interests of the Society and of its 
tenants, and of Londonderry itself, as identical. He 
acts in that spirit. As Governor he is bound to con- 
sider first the advantage of the Society ; but, since the 
advantage of the Society and of the community are 
inextricably intertwined, there is no difficulty. 

None ; yet to a Governor who did not look at the 
matter broadly difficulties would have been ever 
present. Sir Sydney had, perhaps, no particular 
sympathy with the Irish, or an imperfect knowledge of 



THE IRISH SOCIETY 157 

their peculiar character. But he had now and always 
a sympathy with his fellow-men, and a longing, which 
lasted till death, to do what he could for them. The 
Alderman's gown covered a large heart, and there was 
a head capable of giving effect to the impulses of the 
heart. Thus it happened that, in alien circumstances 
and amid a suspicious people, he carried on the manage- 
ment of the Irish Society's estates in a way which 
landlord and tenant alike approved. He had a power 
of mastering facts and a mind open to arguments, but 
in the end he decided for himself. I can imagine that 
Irishmen, a race of diplomatists, may not always have 
thought his manner conciliatory, nor always have been 
quite comfortable under his bluntness of speech. But 
they gave him, when they came to know him, a kind 
of confidence which Englishmen, in a country which 
looks upon Englishmen as invaders, are not apt to win ; 
a sympathetic confidence. If an Irishman sometimes 
holds his sense of justice in subordination to his desire 
for land or low rents, he seems never to have doubted 
that this English Governor of an Irish Society had 
administered it fairly, holding the balance even, and 
leaving the Irish better off than he found them. 



CHAPTER XI 

ROYAL COMMISSIONS 

THERE was a time when the Government, true to its 
habit of calling on the busiest men for unpaid service 
on Royal Commissions, and other the like public 
duties, laid its hand rather frequently on Sir Sydney. 
One of the first demands was in 1870, when the Home 
Secretary, Mr. Bruce, invited him to act on the Com- 
mission to inquire into Friendly Societies and Benefit 
Societies. The civilities which the Home Office can 
practise when civilities are expedient were not for- 
gotten. " The lively interest you have taken in all 
that concerns the working classes," wrote Mr. Bruce, 
" and your successful exertions in their behalf, would 
render your acceptance as gratifying to them as it 
would be to me." The Commission, when appointed, 
proved to be a strong one, with Sir Stafford Northcote 
as chairman. There were at that time more than 
32,000 Benefit and Friendly Societies, with 4,000,000 
members, and probably another 4,000,000 interested 
in their prosperity, the wives and children of members. 
The accumulated funds of these societies amounted to 
11,000,000. Their aggregate incomes were computed 
at 5,000,000, and some of them were more than a 

158 



ROYAL COMMISSIONS 159 

century old. The Commission sat first in London, 
then in great towns throughout England, Ireland, and 
Scotland. These inquiries went on till 1874, and a 
report was presented to the House of Commons in 
March of that year. 

It does sometimes happen that the report of a Royal 
Commission is acted on and becomes the basis of 
legislation. It was so now. A Bill was brought in 
Mr. Cross being now Home Secretary in Mr. Disraeli's 
newly formed Ministry and passed, with the object of 
better protecting those who had invested their money 
in these societies. It was not a party question, but it 
was a Government measure, perhaps one of the most 
beneficial of those passed in the first year of Mr. Dis- 
raeli's Government. Waterlow himself had before this 
been a trustee of the London Friendly Institution, in 
which he continued till 1884, and of the Printers' 
Pension Almshouse and Orphan Asylum Corporation ; 
a peculiarly felicitous example of that nomenclature 
which tries to put the whole purport of a charter into 
the company's title. 

It was at first sight more surprising that Waterlow 
should be named, in September, 1867, a member of the 
Judicature Commission, appointed to inquire into the 
constitution of the High Court of Chancery, the 
Superior Courts of Common Law, the Central Criminal 
Court, the Probate and Divorce Court, and the Courts 
of Common Pleas ; and also, it is added, " into all 
other matters relating to the administration of justice." 
But, obviously, although the numerical strength and 
legal strength of the Commission is professional, with 



160 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

the Lord Chancellor at the head, and ex -Lord Chan- 
cellors, the Lord Chief Justice and other Judges to 
help, members are taken from Parliament, and from 
various walks in private life, for other than purely 
legal purposes. Some of the matters relating to the 
administration of justice may lie a little outside of 
the law. Ex-Ministers, Mr. Hunt, Mr. Childers, Mr. 
Ayrton names which once shone with a mild efful- 
gence, but have grown a little dim were among the 
lay members ; and half a dozen others, of whom an 
ungrateful public is oblivious. 

This Commission also lasted for years. Sir Sydney's 
first effort was to induce the Judges to give up the 
circuit system. That system he thought inflicted 
injury and loss upon Metropolitan suitors, for Her 
Majesty's Judges had often to put aside important 
business in London in order to try a few unimportant 
cases in a few inland towns. But the Judges would 
not agree, and the list of remanets year by year did 
not convince them. There were, in 1874, 286 causes 
standing over when the Courts rose. They stood over 
because the Judges had not time to try them. But the 
circuit system was not one on which a profane hand- 
meaning a lay hand could be laid. 

As years went on and evidence was taken, the 
Government enlarged the original reference, and the 
question of setting up tribunals of commerce was 
added to those the Commission had at first to con- 
sider. This was a matter on which Waterlow had the 
knowledge of an expert. He had, at any rate, the 
large commercial experience essential to an under- 



ROYAL COMMISSIONS 161 

standing of the question, and he put the City view 
before the Judges and lawyers. But to no purpose. 
He therefore declined to sign the Third Report, in 
which the matter was considered and the proposal 
rejected, and he drew up the following weighty memo- 
randum : 

" I am unable to agree with all the recommendations 
of this report, and therefore do not sign it. I feel 
very strongly that, in a great commercial country like 
England, tribunals can and ought to be established 
where suitors might obtain a decision on their differ- 
ences more promptly, and much less expensively, than 
in the Superior Courts as at present constituted and 
regulated. 

" Those who support the present system of trying 
mercantile disputes seem to regard them all as hostile 
litigation, and lose sight of the fact that, in the majority 
of cases where differences arise between merchants or 
traders, both parties would rejoice to obtain a prompt 
settlement by a legal tribunal duly constituted, and 
to continue their friendly commercial relations. The 
present system too frequently works a denial of justice, 
or inflicts on the suitor a long-pending, worrying law- 
suit, the solicitors on either side pleading in their 
clients' interest every technical point, and thus en- 
gendering a bitterness which destroys all future 
confidence and puts an end to further mercantile 
dealings. 

" It is essential that the procedure of our Mercantile 
Courts (whether called Tribunals of Commerce or by 
any other name) should be of the simplest and most 

11 



162 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

summary character, similar to that of the Tribunals of 
Commerce in Hamburg or in France, or before justices 
of the peace in this country, as recommended by the 
Select Committee of the House of Commons in 
1871. 

" The liberty of the subject is, perhaps, more jealously 
guarded in this country than property. If the summary 
jurisdiction conferred on justices of the peace in criminal 
cases, when exercised by gentlemen who are not lawyers, 
gives satisfaction, it can scarcely be doubted that a 
similar jurisdiction in civil cases would be equally 
acceptable." 

But it was not to be. There was, and is, in the 
world of commerce and general business a strong belief 
that such tribunals would be of great use, but neither 
this belief nor the example of Paris has penetrated the 
legal mind. 

Before the end of the first session of Parliament 
under Mr. Gladstone's new Government in 1880, he 
was induced to appoint a Royal Commission of inquiry 
into the Livery Companies, a favourite subject of 
Radical invective. The royal warrant is dated July 29. 
A strong, and perhaps, on the whole, as conser- 
vative a Commission as could be expected. The Earl 
of Derby, the Duke of Bedford, Viscount Sherbrooke 
Viscount, though the Queen thought a barony 
ought to have contented him Lord Coleridge, Sir 
R. A. Cross, Sir N. M. de Rothschild now Lord 
Rothschild, the "de" going out when the peerage 
came in Sir S. H. Waterlow, Sir W. J. R. Cotton, 
Mr. Thomas Burt, Mr. J. F. B. Firth, and two or three 



ROYAL COMMISSIONS 163 

others, composed the Commission. It was meant to be, 
and was, a Commission to command confidence. Hardly 
a man on it who had not beside his position and capacity 
some special qualification. Sir Sydney, of course, was 
on his own ground, knew his subject from end to end, 
and had a direct interest in the whole business as a 
member of the Livery Companies, and for near twenty 
years concerned very closely with City affairs and 
with the government of the City of London. 

The reference was very wide. The Commissioners 
were directed to inquire into the constitution and 
powers of the several Companies, into all the circum- 
stances connected with their property, and into the 
uses to which their income was applied. A large 
subject. To take only the twelve great Companies, 
their aggregate income in the year of the appointment 
of the Commission was returned at nearly 800,000. 
Of this, 200,000 was trust income. The rateable value 
of the halls was about 35,000 ; of their schools and 
almshouses, about 15,000 ; and the worth of their 
plate and furniture was not less than 50,000. Evi- 
dence taken by the Commission showed that the Com- 
panies' estates were rapidly increasing in value. At 
the moment it was reckoned at 15,000,000; a sum 
which in twenty-five years was likely to become 
25,000,000. 

Sir Sydney used to say that it was hardly possible 
to determine when the Livery Companies or the 
ancient guilds of London came into existence. Some 
of them certainly were in being before the Norman 
Conquest, and it was through them that the municipal 

112 



164 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

independence of London was won and established. 
Hallam describes them as " fraternities by voluntary 
compact to relieve each other in poverty and protect 
each other from injury. Two essential characteristics 
belonged to them ; the common banquet and the 
common purse. They readily became connected with 
the exercise of trades and with the training of 
apprentices." 

Membership of two companies had made Sir Sydney 
master of the history and condition of all ; the 
Stationers first, by right of his seven years' appren- 
ticeship to the printing trade ; and the first free 100 
he had after his servitude ended was spent in taking 
up his Livery in this company. He was called upon 
the Court in 1863, and for many years remained the 
youngest member of its governing body. His admis- 
sion to the Clothworkers' Company involved a com- 
pliment of an unusual kind. He was entered as a 
freeman, a liveryman, a member of the Court, and a 
Past Master, all on the same day. It is said there is 
no precedent for this ; it commonly takes many years 
for a member to pass the chair. 

The Companies on the whole came out from this 
searching inquiry better than was expected, and much 
better than the Radicals hoped. The Commission sat 
weekly for a twelvemonth. Witnesses came forward 
ungrudgingly. It was clearly proved that the trust 
income of all the Companies was prudently and faith- 
fully administered ; in most cases without charge. It 
was proved, further, that in the case of the best- 
governed Companies one-third of the corporate income 



ROYAL COMMISSIONS 165 

was assigned to charitable or educational purposes. 
That abuses existed appeared clearly, but not of a kind 
to call for the abolition of these corporations. It was 
not so much what they did as what they did not do 
which lay open to criticism and suggested the need 
of reforms. But when it came to report and recom- 
mendations the Commission were not unanimous. Three 
members Sir R. Cross, Sir N. M. Rothschild, and 
Mr. Alderman Cotton withheld their signatures from 
conclusions of which I give a summary : 

1. The Companies should be prevented by Parliament 
from alienating their property. 

2. They should publish their accounts annually, both 
corporate and trust. 

3. Admission to the Livery of a Company should no 
longer carry with it the Parliamentary franchise for 
London. 

4. Each Company to allocate one-third of its cor- 
porate income to purposes of admitted utility. 

5. As the Companies never die, they should pay 
annually a sum of money in commutation of succession 
duty. 

Out of all the five, but one become law, the fifth, for 
which Sir Sydney was responsible. It is embodied in 
the Act of Parliament which levies this tax on all 
corporations holding property in a similar way. 
Phrased as the Commission phrased it, the demand 
upon the Companies reads like an epigram from the 
Exchequer, in Mr. Lowe's time. As they never die, 
they are to pay a penalty or what Mr. Chamberlain 
used to call a "ransom " in lieu of the tax imposed 



166 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

on those who die. It is a death duty on a living body. 
Like other death duties, it is a tax, not on income, but 
on capital, and, in the opinion of economists abroad, to 
the extent of its death duties this country is living on 
its capital a method of living or of providing for 
yearly needs which is thought difficult to defend in 
theory. 

But since this particular tax was carried on the 
proposal of a successful man of business, holding 
austere views on the conduct of business and on 
finance, it may be thought to have practical advan- 
tages outweighing theoretical disabilities. Sir Sydney 
once asked me what Sir William Harcourt meant by 
saying " We are all Socialists now." I suggested that 
he said it as the author of the Budget by which death 
duties were first imposed, and that when he said " all" 
he meant to remind Mr. Balfour that he refused to 
oppose those duties " on principle " at the time, and 
that they had ever since been re-enacted annually by 
Liberals and Conservatives alike. " But I am not a 
Socialist," responded Sir Sydney. Nor was he, nor 
anything approaching to it, in the common meaning of 
the word. His benevolence, his many schemes for 
improving the condition of men less successful than 
himself, his wish to see justice done as between class 
and class, his love (there is no other word for it) for 
his fellow-men because they were his fellow-men these 
are not proofs or marks of Socialism : they are con- 
vincing evidence to the contrary. 

" I cannot refer to the work of the Livery Companies 
Commission," says Waterlow, " without calling atten- 



ROYAL COMMISSIONS 167 

tion to the admirable manner in which the Companies 
initiated the work of technical education in this 
country. The first grant of 3,000 a year was voted 
on my motion by the Cloth workers' Company in 1876, 
after many discussions on the subject, commencing in 
1870. In 1877 and in subsequent years the Drapers', 
the Goldsmiths', and nearly all other large Companies, 
formed an association for promoting the work. This 
association erected the college in Exhibition Boad at a 
cost of more than 100,000, and it has for many years 
subscribed 25,000 to 40,000 per annum in promoting 
this national work all over the country." 

In short, it was Sir Sydney's opinion that the good 
works of the City Companies are more numerous than 
those which even their enemies call evil. Reform was 
needed, and had been effected, but more from within, 
and upon the initiative of the Companies themselves or 
of their most public-spirited members, than by external 
pressure. They may well effect more. But it was 
ever Sir Sydney's opinion that, where the means of 
doing good exist on a great scale, it is better to deal 
with the possessors of these means in such fashion as 
to increase the possibilities of doing good than to 
destroy the Companies. He judged and spoke, no 
doubt, as a Liveryman holding an honoured place, but 
I do not yet know of a case where he formed or 
announced an opinion, whether it concerned his own or 
his friends' affairs, otherwise than honestly. His posi- 
tion in the City was sometimes a difficult position. 
He had to hold the scales even between interests, 
especially those of the City or of some portion of the 



168 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

City, and interests which stretched far afield. Perhaps 
it is enough to say that, if any conflict occurred 
between them, he was equally trusted by both. As a 
Member of Parliament, for instance, he had to legislate 
on matters touching the City, and without complaint. 
He was trustee for municipal interests and -trustee for 
national interests. I never heard that either suffered, 
or that anybody, even a Radical, said that they did. 



CHAPTER XII 
ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S 

THOSE who have followed the course of Sir Sydney's 
life to this point may have noted that his energies were 
ever directed to the carrying out of some practical and 
useful work, beneficent to man, or, to use the phrase 
which on his tongue had a beneficent meaning, his 
fellow-men. It will be so to the end. He was a 
captain of industry, no doubt, and also of charity. 
People who are interested in neither will find little in 
his life to attract them unless, perchance, they happen 
to be interested in character. In the titles of these 
chapters, as they succeed each other, there is no sound 
of the trumpet. They all, or almost all, relate to the 
duties which connect themselves with everyday affairs ; 
more often, indeed, with the duties which are only 
duties because he imposed them upon himself for the 
welfare of others. One of them which interested him 
profoundly was the work he undertook and carried on 
during thirty years for St. Bartholomew's Hospital. 

During the generation which had passed since he 
became apprentice to a printer, Sir Sydney seems never 
to have forgotten his early wish to be a doctor. Medical 
and surgical matters still had an attraction for him, 

169 



170 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

and when in 1863, by virtue of his election as Alderman, 
he became ex officio a Governor of St. Bartholomew's, 
St. Thomas's, and Bridewell Hospitals, he at once 
sought to gain an insight into hospital work. At first 
attending only quarterly meetings, he soon found a 
place on the weekly committees. 

St. Bartholomew's, sometimes affectionately called 
" Bart's/' is as much an institution of London as the 
National Gallery. It stands in Smithfield. The 
foundation dates back to 1123, by Rahere, jester or 
minstrel to Henry L, afterward by conversion first 
Prior of the Convent of Augustinian Canons. It 
received fresh charters in 1544 and in 1547. Harvey 
was physician to the hospital in 1609. Escaping the 
Great Fire of 1666, it was rebuilt in 1729. The original 
endowment has been greatly enlarged from public and 
private sources, and its revenues are ample. On the 
clinical side there is a service of 678 beds, and there 
are 75 more for convalescent patients at Swanley in 
Kent. Indoor and outdoor relief is given to 150,000 
patients annually. The Medical School attached to 
the hospital has 400 students. The thirty-two resident 
appointments and all the student appointments- 
clinical clerkships, dresserships, etc. are bestowed upon 
the most diligent students, without fee to the hospital. 
" A meritorious system," thought Sir Sydney. 

He served, as it were, a kind of apprenticeship to 
St. Bartholomew's, for it was not till 1874 that he 
became its treasurer. Meantime, early in 1870, he had 
been appointed by the Local Government Board a 
member of the Central London Sick Asylum District 



ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S 171 

Board, and in May he became chairman. This Board was 
responsible for the care of the sick poor in the Central 
Metropolitan District who could not be treated pro- 
perly in the workhouses. It no longer exists, but had 
for a time the control of several large hospitals or 
infirmaries. During Waterlow's chairmanship an in- 
firmary of 525 beds was built at Highgate, close by 
his own house and under his supervision. It was done 
as well as it could be done, and the cost worked out at 
110 per bed, as against 1,000 per bed at St. Thomas's. 
He did, perhaps, a greater service than by economical 
administration. The day of trained nurses in hospitals 
had then only just dawned. St. Thomas's had them, 
and had also a training school for nurses established 
under Miss Florence Nightingale ; a name no pen can 
write without pausing long enough for a tribute to the 
great work she did, and to the noble spirit in which 
she did it, and to the originality and courage of her 
conceptions, and most of all to her womanly beauty 
of character. Miss Nightingale came readily to Sir 
Sydney's help for the Highgate Infirmary, and to her 
it was largely due that this hospital was supplied with 
an efficient staff of trained nurses. So was the other 
Board hospital, with 200 beds, in Cleveland Street. 

His first distinguished service to St. Bartholomew's 
was the provision of a convalescent home. There was 
none when he began attending the meetings, nor was a 
single trained nurse employed in the hospital. The 
female staff was under the control of a matron, the 
highly respected widow of a solicitor, without previous 
experience of nursing. The managers felt the need of 



172 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

such a home, aware that a patient often makes good 
progress up to a certain point, and there stops, and 
that nothing but change of air can then revive his 
recuperative power. 

While this dilatory period still lasted, Lauderdale 
House, near which was Fairseat, Waterlow's place on 
Highgate Hill, became vacant. A large house with 
beautiful grounds of some acres one of those historical 
mansions which everybody in London is supposed to 
know all about, and which foreigners do in fact visit. 
The name tells its story. The place belonged to the 
wicked Duke of Lauderdale, not the least infamous of 
the infamous Cabal of Charles II. The little cottage of 
Andrew Marvell, Cromwell's Under Latin Secretary, 
Milton being the Upper, was hard by. The house has 
no architectural merit, but it has memories. The wicked 
Duke lent it to his royal master, who lent it to Nell 
Gwynn, and it was out of one of the upper windows of 
Lauderdale House that Nell held her baby, and cried to 
Charles : " If you don't do something for him, here he 
goes ! " But Charles cried out in turn : " Save the 
Earl of Burford :" and so the future Duke of St. Albans 
was preserved to posterity. Probably not true, but it 
might have been. 

Till Sir Sydney took hold of it, the house had re- 
mained pretty much as it was when Charles found it 
convenient for the housing at different times of his 
different mistresses ; for Nell was not the only one to 
whom it gave shelter. If that light-hearted monarch 
were to walk again to-day on the terrace, he would 
see little change outside. The internal alterations are 



ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S 173 

many, and the place was skilfully adapted to its new 
purpose, with large day-rooms and wards for thirty- 
four beds. In this new state, the beds provided and 
all linen and other appliances provided, Sir Sydney 
handed it over to the governors of St. Bartholomew's, 
ready for the reception of patients, without cost or 
charge to the hospital, and rent-free for seven years. 

The Prince of Wales was then President of St. 
Bartholomew's, and opened the convalescent home at 
Highgate July 8, 1872, the Princess and many other 
distinguished persons present. The Prince, in the 
graceful way usual to him, expressed, as President 
and on behalf of all the governors, their thanks to 
Sir Sydney : 

" We all owe you a great debt of gratitude for your 
immense liberality, and are all fully convinced of the 
advantages the institution is calculated to confer, as 
an annex to St. Bartholomew's, on patients recovering 
from illness. It has given pleasure to the Princess 
and to myself to have a part in these opening cere- 
monies." 

This convalescent home remained open and useful 
till 1880, when the patients were transferred to a 
much larger home at Swanley in Kent. 

Two years after the Highgate ceremony, Sir Sydney, 
at a meeting of the governors presided over by the 
Prince of Wales, was unanimously elected Treasurer of 
St. Bartholomew's Hospital. It was an unpaid post. 
What he thought of it and its duties may be seen from 
his address of acceptance, from which I take a few 
sentences only. After remarking quaintly that he 



174 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

viewed the vote as a testimony to his general public 
character, " and a direct expression of confidence in 
the judgment, temper, and zeal, which I may be able 
to bring to the discharge of these functions," he 
discussed the functions themselves. Now and then a 
ringing note is heard : 

" We inherit this great hospital from the piety of 
the past. It has done noble service through many 
generations. It is no small honour to stand in such a 
line, no light responsibility to keep up for a time that 
line of faithful help, and to hand on the great in- 
heritance to those who shall come after us, not 
impoverished or weakened, but richer and stronger for 
our care." 

He values the institution first of all because it is 
ancient ; nor had Sir Sydney ever much patience with 
the temper which saw in the antiquity of an institution 
only a reason for its destruction : 

" For some 750 years this hospital of St. Bartholo- 
mew has been a centre of help and relief to the poor 
of this City. Amid social, political, and commercial 
changes, through dynastic and religious revolutions, 
it has been a constant witness to that charity which 
all men alike admire and need. It is a perpetual 
testimony to a unity which underlies all our diversities, 
a common feeling and interest which binds us together 
in spite of the widest differences than can sever us." 

Not forgetting the energetic and faithful services of 
those who, from Rahere downward, had gone before, 
" from that of Alfune, the first Hospitaller who begged 
for its support in the shambles of Smithfield, down to 



ST. BARTHOLOMEWS 175 

the late treasurer, Mr. Foster White/' he pledged 
himself to take up the burden and bear it. The 
management of the hospital funds, the responsibility 
of personally looking after the estates, houses, and 
landed property of his trust, the supervision of the 
hospital buildings, the care of receipts and expenditure 
all these would be thought duties of any treasurer. 
But at St. Bartholomew's the Treasurer s, in fact, the 
chief executive of the whole. On him devolves the 
management of men, of the staff, of all officers and 
servants in each department. 

" This is, in fact, the main portion of the Treasurer's 
charge. The function of the Treasurer is to keep in 
personal relation to them all, and so to form, if I may 
say so, the common centre which unites and harmonizes 
them, the centre of gravity around which they move." 

He regards the Medical School as perhaps the 
most valuable adjunct of the hospital, and to keep 
the Medical School efficient and flourishing will be one 
of his main endeavours. The hospital as a whole 
represents, in his mind, the noblest side both of science 
and of government ; " a work of charity and of mercy 
which shall not suffer at my hands so far as it is 
committed to my keeping." 

That may be supplemented with specimens of the 
official statement of the Treasurer's duties : 

" You shall preside at all general courts and com- 
mittees, and, in the absence of the President, shall 
convene general and special courts. 

"As chief executive officer you shall have control 
over all the other officers. You shall, with three 



176 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

other governors, stand possessed of all the property of 
the hospital vested in public funds. 

"You shall view the landed estates, houses, and 
other property of the hospital, previously to their 
being let." 

And so on. 

A great post, evidently, to be filled only by a man 
of great administrative powers and great devotion. 
But the unanimous choice of the governors was ratified 
by public opinion and by the highest medical and 
surgical authorities, of whom one may stand for all. 
If any name eminent in surgery at that day is familiar 
to men of the present, it is Sir James Paget's. He 
writes on the morrow to Sir Sydney : 

" It will, I believe, be a real happiness to you to 
find so unbounded a field for humane work, and 
certainly it will be happy for the hospital that it will 
be under the guidance of one so devoted to good work, 
and so experienced in it, as yourself." 

Sir James Paget had entered St. Bartholomew's as 
a student, passed the best part of his life within its 
walls, and remained senior surgeon till age forbade. 
If anyone knew what was wanted, or who was wanted, 
at St. Bartholomew's, he knew. 

But, after all, it is what was done, not what was 
said, that counts. If an estimate is to be made of Sir 
Sydney's achievements at St. Bartholomew's, it can 
only be, first, by a brief statement of what he attempted 
and accomplished in various ways ; and, second, by a 
comparison between the hospital as it was when he 
became Treasurer in 1874, and as it was when he 



ST. BARTHOLOMEWS 177 

resigned his office in 1892. These were eighteen years 
of hard work. What is there to show for it ? 

During these eighteen years Sir Sydney had each 
year to offer himself for re-election, and each year he 
was unanimously rechosen. The spirit in which he 
entered upon his self-imposed task may be seen from 
his first step. He left his home in Highgate, with its 
grounds and pure air and other attractions, and went 
to live within the precincts of the hospital. He had 
in mind from the beginning great reforms and a large 
reorganization of the hospital system, as well as the 
best attention he was able to give to his official work 
as Treasurer. Like a good general, he first surveyed 
the field of battle, since battles there were to be. He 
spent some months in a careful supervision of the 
daily routine of the hospital, till he knew generalities 
and knew details. He made no announcement and 
issued no proclamation, nor even a circular. It was 
like him to begin with a detail, and that a professional 
one. He caused a letter to be addressed to the 
medical staff concerning the office of administrator of 
chloroform. He desired further that an arrangement 
should be made by which patients suffering from con- 
tagious diseases should be placed in separate wards. 
The absence of such a provision so late as 1874 would 
seem incredible but for the written official evidence. 
Thirdly, might there not be one or more padded 
rooms ? It was evidently Sir Sydney's plan to attack 
the weakest spots. The doctors saw how weak they 
were and yielded. 

Then came a sweeping proposal the employment of 

12 



178 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

trained nurses, with a trained and competent matron 
as superintendent. The days when it was possible to 
be content with the services of that highly respected 
widow of a highly respected solicitor, of whom we have 
already heard, were over. The Sisters of the hospital 
were all highly respected and highly incompetent. 
They did their duty conscientiously, but conscience is 
not a good substitute for knowledge. One of the chief 
rivals of Bartholomew's, St. Thomas's, had a staff of 
trained nurses whom Miss Nightingale had supplied. 
To her Sir Sydney applied, having first persuaded the 
governors to grant a retiring pension to the matron in 
power. Miss Nightingale undertook to find, and did 
find, a successor, all the way from Montreal in 
Canada, and four nurses to be under her. I have 
before me two of Miss Nightingale's letters ; admirable 
letters, but dealing too much with details to be quoted 
in full. But a sentence or two will show how well this 
great Sister of Charity understood the art of letter- 
writing ; an art by no means dead, as people carelessly 
say, but practised, now as ever, in its highest perfec- 
tion by women : 

" I should ere this, had I not been afraid of troubling 
your well-filled time, have seized the opportunity of 
giving you joy, and the nursing cause too, for your 
wise and efficient measures for improving the nursing. 
... I think I am as anxious for your success as for 
our own. Or rather it is all one, the good nursing 
cause, so furthered by you. But you would not think 
much of our training if we had always a stock of people 
' trained at a moment's notice,' as the advertisements 



ST. BARTHOLOMEWS 179 

have it, on hand to offer. God speed St. Bartholo- 
mew's nursing and its treasurer !" 

The date is 10, South Street, Park Lane, Novem- 
ber 29, 1878, and the signature, " Ever your faithful 
servant, Florence Nightingale " - quite in the 
eighteenth- century manner. 

Unhappily, the Montreal lady soon departed. The 
untrained Sisters and nurses were difficult to manage, 
nor would they work harmoniously with the trained, 
or with the probationers. Sir Sydney had to start 
afresh, inquiring right and left, and finding none who 
seemed likely to be competent. Suddenly Mrs. Glad- 
stone appeared on the scene. That admirable woman 
was then devoting herself to the creation of her excel- 
lent convalescent home at Woodford in Essex, of 
which the world knows, and was much at the London 
Hospital. There was in that hospital, and in charge of 
a ward with forty beds, a certain Miss Ethel Manson, 
whom Mrs. Gladstone strongly commended to Sir 
Sydney as a suitable matron for St. Bartholomew's. 
The careful Sir Sydney went twice to the London 
Hospital, incognito each time, visiting Miss Manson's 
ward, but only as a spectator interested in nursing. 
He liked her way of doing things, but there remained 
the difficulty of persuading 200 governors, in whom 
the appointment vested, to like them also. His 
diplomacy, however, was seldom at fault. Instead 
of canvassing the 200 in Miss Ethel Manson's behalf, 
he induced them to allow the standing order to be 
suspended, and to allow him to select the matron 
for a three months' trial ; the governors then to ratify 

122 



180 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

or reject his choice. So to St. Bartholomew's this lady 
came on trial, and when the three months had expired 
she was confirmed by the 200 unanimously, all having 
meantime, I presume, seen the lady and studied her 
methods. 

I presume so, because some of the senior doctors 
objected to Miss Ethel Manson as matron on the 
ground that she was too young and too pretty. 
These faults were not denied, but Sir Sydney 
replied : 

" The first fault time will remedy ; the second I do 
not regard as altogether a fault, for I think a kind, 
genial, sympathizing word from a pretty woman is very 
acceptable to a sick patient." 

Perhaps the senior doctors were not really in earnest. 
At any rate, Miss Manson continued matron of Bar- 
tholomew's for some years, to everybody's pleasure and 
satisfaction, devoted herself with energy to the work, 
developed the Nurses' Training School, and left only 
to be married. In that new state, observed Sir Sydney, 
neither youth nor beauty were deemed faults. 

From nursing to law is only one of many transitions. 
There was a great Chancery suit. The Crown had 
granted long ago to the hospital the great tithe of the 
parish of Christchurch, involving a legal claim to half 
a crown in every twenty shillings on the current 
rental. The full claim had been long in abeyance, the 
Hospital, by some unexplained laches, taking only two- 
pence instead of the half-crown. Then came a Board 
of Governors who sought to revive the old claim as of 
right. The tithe-payers did not like it, and would not 



ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S 181 

pay. The Chancery suit was begun, but languished, as 
Chancery suits did in those days, and sometimes do 
even in these days. Sir Sydney thought it a case for 
compromise ; he was almost always for a reasonable 
compromise. Finally the Christchurch people came 
to terms, agreed to pay tenpence, and the hospital 
profited to the extent of 1,800 a year more than they 
had been receiving. 

High matters follow. Bartholomew's had not room 
for its lectures nor for dissecting, nor was the dissecting- 
room well ventilated. The subject was laid before the 
governors, who gave Sir Sydney leave to have plans 
prepared ; then the plans were approved. A new 
dissecting-room, five times as large as the old, a library, 
class-rooms, a museum ; these were all built on the site 
of the old building facing West Smithfield, at a cost of 
70,000. It was thought so important a departure 
that they were opened with ceremony, November 3, 
1879, by the Prince of Wales, a distinguished company 
attending. Sir Sydney, as the mouthpiece of the 
governors, delivered an address, historical and explana- 
tory, full of interest. But the history of Bartholomew's 
is written elsewhere. What Sir Sydney himself had 
done, in conjunction with the governors, is what most 
concerns us, and this he sets forth clearly and, as his 
ever-to-be-praised habit is, briefly : 

" The governors, after a full and most careful con- 
sideration of the whole question, gave permission for 
the construction of a new library, practical class-rooms, 
a new museum, a new anatomical theatre to accommo- 
date 400 students, a new chemical and medical theatre 



182 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

for 200, with new dissecting-rooms constructed on the 
most approved modern sanitary principles, enabling 
more than 200 pupils to pursue their studies at the 
same time." 

He gives other important particulars of the new 
reforming energies at work in the hospital. The con- 
valescent home, which was the treasurer's gift, we 
know, and shall presently see it transferred to Kent, 
and the number of beds doubled. The training of 
skilled nurses began in 1877, and thirty probationers 
were working in the wards and hearing lectures from 
professors of medicine and surgery. Other novelties 
are mentioned, less vital ; then says the orator : 

" I trust that Your Royal Highness as President 
will sympathize with me as Treasurer, and with the 
governors and staff of the hospital, in the feeling that 
we have a great past history to sustain, and that we are 
therefore bound in our own day to do all that we can to 
carry forward in the best possible manner the good work 
handed down to us, in order that our royal charity may 
continue to relieve and to cure a constantly increasing 
number of the sick poor of this great Metropolis." 

To signify his approval of what had been done, the 
Prince of Wales dedared the new buildings open. The 
names of the Prince and Princess of Wales appear often 
in these or similar circumstances. They are never 
weary in well-doing, or in approving the well-doing of 
others. The royal presence was, in truth, not only 
ornamental, but profitable to the hospital. What they 
have sanctioned becomes widely known. The number 
of pupils on the roll of the school very greatly increased. 



ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S 183 

In a short time the total far exceeded that of Guy's 
Hospital, or of any other medical school in England. 
The medical staff, however conservative they may have 
been on certain subjects, profited. Their incomes from 
student fees grew. The annual register of students 
before 1873 varied from 50 to 70. By 1878 it had 
risen to 153. 

Having secured his trained nurses, Sir Sydney 
thought it right to look after their health and the 
health of others. They had no home but the wards 
and their bedrooms, and the bedrooms were windowless 
dens built out of the staircase. Night nurses went to 
the beds the day nurses had just left. Some slept in 
the wards. It was all very crude, primitive, and 
insanitary. The first attempt at improvement had no 
success, though several houses, one of them a public- 
house, and all very old, were turned into dormitories. 
The matron's report on them was filled with the most 
shocking particulars, and other houses were chosen as 
a nurses' home. They were 200 years old, but in the 
end were made sanitary and inhabitable. 

Other problems, perhaps more delicate, were solved. 
Sir Sydney always liked to remember that he and the 
medical and surgical staff were always on good terms. 
That does not mean that they always agreed. He 
was in some things an innovator, as they thought or, 
as we should now say, in advance of his time, as has 
been seen. He became convinced that the fees paid 
by the house-physicians and house-surgeons, on their 
nomination to office, to the senior physicians and 
senior surgeons, ought to be abolished. The seniors 



SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

treated these fees as payments by pupils to their 
masters, and wrote a very curious letter, on the whole 
very creditable to them, in which, while reasserting 
this view, they agreed to remit the fees. For they 
desired, they said, to show in this way, and by yielding 
to Sir Sydney's wishes, how fully they appreciated his 
interest in the school, and his and the governors' 
services. A very practical piece of evidence. 

This is the kind of compliment, and something more 
than compliment, which sweetens intercourse between 
the many servants of so great an establishment as 
Bartholomew's. There was another a little later. Sir 
Sydney was unanimously elected a governor of the 
hospital, " in consideration of his most valuable services 
to this hospital for many years past, and his increasing 
devotion to its interests." 

Such endeavours as have already been mentioned 
may explain how it was that his treasurership took up 
nearly half his time while still active in the conduct of 
his own business, and in his directorates, and in many 
enterprises of charity or public service. But there was 
another form of administrative duty, more exacting 
still. The property of the hospital consisted of many 
hundreds of houses in London, and of some 13,000 
acres of land in the home counties, the largest acreage 
being in Essex. I believe it to be literally true that 
every time a house or farm fell out of lease it was 
visited personally by the Treasurer, accompanied by the 
clerk and surveyor and by one or two of the almoners. 
It was no light task. He was often away from London 
two or three days at a time. Agricultural depression 



ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S 185 

had already set in, and was steadily increasing. Farms 
could be re-let, in many cases, only with great difficulty. 
The governors had themselves to undertake the 
cultivation of the land. Sir Sydney computed that 
during his eighteen years these agricultural rents 
were reduced 40 per cent, on an average. The loss 
was happily recouped by the increased values of the 
London houses. Ground leases fell in, and the hospital 
grew rich on rack rents generally, observes the 
treasurer, unmoved, with a change in the tenancy. 
When he resigned, the yearly income available for 
hospital purposes had increased by 37,000. 

In the spring of 1892, Sir Sydney, then in his 
seventieth year, began to feel the work at Bar- 
tholomew's telling on him, and he was advised by his 
physician to resign his treasurership, and take life a 
little more easily. Acquiescing, probably because the 
medical advice squared with his own feelings, he sent 
to the President and governors a letter of resignation, 
dated June 20, 1892. After referring to his eighteen 
years of service in this very responsible and onerous 
position, and his annual re-election, he says : 

" The rules of the medical hospital provide that no 
medical officer shall hold office after sixty-five. I have 
long since passed that age. After fifty-five years of 
work in the City of London, I have to thank God that 
I still enjoy good health, but my friends and medical 
adviser strongly recommend me to pass the winter on 
the Riviera. 

" Under these circumstances I feel it to be my duty 
to intimate to you that I do not propose to offer myself 



186 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

for re-election on Thursday, July 28th next, being 
election- day. My work here for the last eighteen 
years has been a great pleasure to me, and a constant 
labour of love. I am encouraged in my retirement 
by the belief that I leave the hospital to the guidance 
of my successor in a much stronger position, both as a 
place of relief and cure of sick patients, and also as an 
educational institution, than I found it in 1874." 

The answer came from the Prince of Wales by the 
hand of Sir Francis Knollys : 

" His Eoyal Highness the President directs me to 
assure you of the very sincere regret which he 
experiences at learning that circumstances have 
compelled you to come to this decision, and to express 
to you his sense of the great loss which the hospital 
will sustain by your withdrawal from an office which 
you have most ably filled, with so much advantage to 
the institution and with the entire confidence of the 
Prince and the Court of Governors, for the last eighteen 
years. 

" You will have the satisfaction of retiring with the 
knowledge that during that long period the prosperity 
of the institution has largely increased, and (as you 
observe) that the hospital has made rapid progress in 
its endeavour to be, not only a place of cure and 
relief, but one likewise for the advancement of educa- 
tion and instruction." 

The regret of the medical profession was expressed 
at length by the Lancet ; reciting the long list of Sir 
Sydney's achievements and improvements, and re- 
marking that "it is to his credit that he perceived 



ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S 187 

their necessity, and so husbanded the resources that 
they could be easily executed." The Times spoke for 
the general public, giving an account, not quite 
complete, of his work, and rightly considering that 
his good deeds were his best eulogy. The governors 
of St. Bartholomew's resolved unanimously : 

" That this Court receives his resignation with 
unfeigned regret : that, reviewing the period of his 
treasurership, the Court has the utmost pleasure in 
acknowledging that the great advance in the material 
prosperity of the institution, and in its arrangements 
for ministering to the relief of the objects of its charity, 
is in no small measure due to Sir Sydney Waterlow's 
great business capacity, his singular administrative 
ability, and to his zealous devotion to the interests 
of the hospital and the well-being of the sick and 
suffering poor. 

" That the Court begs leave to offer to Sir Sydney 
Waterlow its most cordial and grateful thanks for his 
invaluable services in the past eighteen years, and 
desires to express its earnest hope that during a 
prolonged life he may be blessed with continued 
health and happiness. 

" (Signed) ALBERT EDWARD, President" 

As a memorial of his treasurership he was asked by 
the governors, and by the medical, surgical, and 
nursing staff, to sit for his portrait, to be hung in 
the great hall of the hospital. Among the sub- 
scribers were the Prince of Wales, 166 governors, 
including Lord Derby, the Lord Mayor, Sir James 



188 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Paget, and the whole hospital staff. Professor 
Herkomer painted the portrait, more suo, and the 
picture now hangs in its appointed place. 

Sir Sydney's work as treasurer, or the improve- 
ments during his term, may conveniently be sum- 
marized as follows : 

Annual income of the hospital increased from 
53,104 to 79,703. 

Formation of special departments for ophthalmic, 
orthopaedic, skin, ear, and throat diseases. 

Establishment of an electrical department, with a 
complete apparatus and a medical officer in charge. 

Medical and surgical staff increased from thirty to 
fifty-seven. 

School buildings rebuilt at a cost of 50,000, and 
the number of students increased from 223 to 469. 

Construction of isolation-rooms for infectious and 
contagious diseases. 

Complete reorganization of the nursing department, 
including the establishment of a training school for 
nurses ; improved arrangements for the domestic com- 
forts of the nurses, with bedrooms in a home away 
from the wards. 

The female nursing staff increased from 116 to 232, 
and the nurses trained. 

Establishment of an institution for supplying the 
public with fully trained and competent nurses. 

Provision of a convalescent home at Highgate, the 
gift of Sir Sydney, with thirty-two beds, subsequently 
superseded by a much larger home at Swanley, with 
seventy beds. 



ST. BARTHOLOMEWS 189 

Erection of hydraulic lifts in the four wings of the 
hospital. 

Improved sanitation. 

These are the general heads under which innumer- 
able particulars might be given. Such reforms were 
not effected without many a struggle and many a 
controversy, nor without long and anxious thought and 
unremitting toil. They called for courage, and for an 
intelligent devotion to the welfare of the hospital 
which was never lacking. Sir Sydney's own estimate of 
his work, as may in part be seen from what he has said 
in speeches and letters, was high. He knew his value. 
He knew he had carried through a task which not 
many men would have attempted, and fewer still would 
have completed. He spoke of it from time to time 
with a just pride never vaingloriously, but with that 
kind of appreciation which every strong and successful 
man has, and must have, of himself. To an acquaint- 
ance, or to one who had no particular concern in or care 
for such matters, he would say nothing. To his friends 
he would dwell on the events of these eighteen years, 
with thankfulness that circumstances had allowed 
him to accomplish so much. I used to ask him about 
it. " No," he would answer ; " you are only interested 
in the treasurership of Bartholomew's because I was 
the Treasurer. You don't really want to know 
about it for its own sake." Well, whether I did or not, 
I have become interested in the story since I began to 
tell it. I should have liked to tell it more fully. But 
in a short Life like this there must be proportion, and 
the main facts have been given. 



190 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

I add but one remark. The catalogue of the bettered 
conditions of St. Bartholomew's at the end of Sir 
Sydney Waterlow's treasurership still lacks the most 
important item of all. Public confidence in the hospital 
had grown as the work went on, and reached at last a 
height of stability never before known. Opinion in 
medical and sanitary matters had been educated in many 
ways during these years. It had become instructed 
and exacting. Had the hospital stood still, had no 
reforms been made, there would have been an outcry, 
a demand for nobody can say what kind of inter- 
ference, Parliamentary or other. But the hospital, 
which may have been sluggish at first, roused itself 
and led the way; and it was Sir Sydney who was the 
leader, and to whom, not alone but first, Bartholomew's 
in no small measure owes the position it holds to-day. 



CHAPTER XIII 

HOSPITAL SUNDAY FUND 

CLOSELY related to Sir Sydney's work in connection 
with Bartholomew's was his work in connection with 
the Metropolitan Hospital Fund. Indeed, from 1863, 
when he became, as Alderman, ex-ojficio governor of 
St. Bartholomew's Hospital, down to the end of his 
active life, he never ceased in his efforts of one kind or 
another in behalf of hospitals. There are more than 
200 hospitals in London. There are but three or four 
able to depend on their endowments, or on anything 
but voluntary contributions. The voluntary system, 
precarious as it may seem, is one which Sir Sydney 
always said he hoped to see maintained, but it needs a 
good deal of maintaining. 

The scheme of a Sunday Hospital Fund seems to 
have been first conceived by Mr. Richard B. Martin 
and Sir Edmund Currie. These two gentlemen laid 
before Sir Sydney while he was Lord Mayor, and near 
the close of 1872, a suggestion for making a collection 
in the Metropolitan churches on some fixed day annu- 
ally, the collections to be divided in aid of the funds of 
the hospitals and dispensaries of London. He adopted 
it and acted on it, welcoming it as something more 

191 



192 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

than a means of enlarging hospital funds in the most 
commercial way. In his view, it was an opportunity 
for churches and congregations of all kinds, no matter 
how wide the difference in their religious creeds, to 
unite in an act of Christian benevolence, so that for 
this one Sunday in each year there should be a unity 
of religious feeling in all hearts. 

There was no lack of helpers. The Rev. Canon 
Miller, of Greenwich (formerly of Birmingham), was 
one. Dr. Wakley, editor of the Lancet, was among 
the first to take hold. Great medical or surgical 
authorities like Sir William Gull and Sir James Paget 
befriended the scheme. So did the Bishops of Win- 
chester and of Rochester, and Archbishop Manning. 
The Bishop of London came to the first meeting of the 
Council, and described the movement as Sir Sydney 
had described it. To the Bishop, also, it was a 
great act of Christian charity in which all denom- 
inations could join. The Baroness Burdett - Coutts, 
Earl Russell, the Earl of Derby, had each a share 
in the scheme. 

The Hospital Sunday Fund was formally initiated at 
a conference held in the Egyptian Hall of the Mansion 
House in January, 1873, when Sir Sydney, then Lord 
Mayor, was appointed president and treasurer. The 
first collection, in the following June, amounted to 
28,000, and the moment the money was in the 
treasurer's hands the difficulties began. They were 
difficulties of distribution. What hospitals were to 
share in the fund, and in what proportion ? These 
difficulties continued during the whole period of Sir 



HOSPITAL SUNDAY FUND 193 

Sydney's treasurership. They were, and are, insepa- 
rable from the administration of such a charity. Sir 
Sydney took throughout a business view of a business 
question. It was not in him to take any other. He 
required all hospitals desiring to benefit by the fund to 
send in an application, accompanying it with a state- 
ment of accounts ; all accounts to be drawn up on a 
uniform system. A hospital which was extravagantly 
managed found its allowances reduced or wholly with- 
held. Sir Sydney had definite ideas as to the proportion 
which ought to exist between income and expenses, 
and what percentage of expenses to income was reason- 
able. The rule required accounts to cover the three 
years previous to the application. The uniform system 
was one which representatives of leading hospitals had 
agreed to, and was confirmed by the council of the 
trust. Accounts were examined minutely by a com- 
mittee, an immense labour. Moreover, they were 
public, and the analysis made by the Committee of 
Distribution, the criticism applied to them, and the 
action upon them, have tended to produce, and have in 
fact produced, greater economy and better management 
generally in the various hospitals. The refusal of the 
committee to make a grant to a particular hospital left 
a mark. The public took note : other gifts fell off, and 
the hospital had to mend its ways. 

Sir Sydney had ceased to be president when he 
ceased to be Lord Mayor, and the Lord Mayor for each 
year was ex-officio president. But Sir Sydney was 
elected vice-president and chairman of the Distribution 
Committee, and remained so for twenty-four years. 

13 



194 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

He and his colleagues practised what they preached 
in respect of economy. They managed their fund at 
a cost of 2j per cent, upon the amount received. 
There was at least one hospital where the management 
expenses amounted to 25 per cent, of the money spent 
for the support of patients. 

" Nothing that I have undertaken," writes Sir 
Sydney in his journal, " has been more satisfactory to 
me than the gradual progress which the Hospital 
Sunday Fund has made in the public mind. In 1873 
we had 1,072 congregations at which services were 
held and collections made on the day fixed by the 
council, whereas by 1894 the number of contributing 
congregations had risen gradually to 1,799. While the 
total receipts for congregational collections, legacies, 
and special donations, only reached in 1873 the sum of 
27,700, in 1874 the sum of 43,679 was received 
from the same sources, and in 1895 the large sum 
of 60,361. 

" Although the money received gradually increased, 
the number of institutions applying for assistance 
increased in even a larger ratio. In 1873 the money 
was divided amongst 77 hospitals, dispensaries, etc., 
while 182 institutions received grants in 1894." 

Public meetings were held from time to time to 
bring before the public as a whole the claims of the 
fund. " They were started," said Sir Sydney in a 
speech at Hampstead, " from a feeling that the public 
generally did not grasp the duties and responsibilities 
which fell upon them in supporting the hospitals and 
dispensaries of the country in which they lived. In 



HOSPITAL SUNDAY FUND 195 

America the maintenance of the hospitals and dis- 
pensaries is cast as a tax upon the population. It is 
not so in this country, and I hope it may never be so, 
but that the voluntary principle will always be main- 
tained. As I have said, I do not think the public 
thoroughly comprehend the duty devolving upon them. 
I want now to make everyone feel that that which 
they have to lean upon in the time of their trouble 
they should not forget in the time of health." 

Other funds having the same object were created 
the Hospital Saturday Fund and the Prince of Wales's 
Fund. They were not rivals, for they all were meant 
to benefit the hospitals ; but if the theory of the 
economists be true, and if the available charity fund 
may be likened to the wages fund, each new hospital 
charity was to some extent competitive with the old. 
The Saturday Fund was started about a year after the 
Sunday Fund, for street collections once a year, 
weekly workshop collections, and the like. It amounted 
in 1896 to 21,614. Sir Sydney was so far from 
regarding it as an interference with his own work that, 
at the request of the secretary, he prepared for the 
public in furtherance of this new enterprise an 
account of the operations of the Sunday Fund. He 
dwelt on the legacy question. But one large legacy 
had been left direct to the fund, from the Guesdon 
Estate, amounting to 4 5, 34 6 in consols, the dividends 
on which are now reckoned as part of the annual 
receipts. Says Sir Sydney : 

" If a few more friends could be induced to follow 
this example, they would soon provide for the Hospital 

132 



196 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Fund an endowment that would give greater security 
for its permanency. The names of the late James 
Wakley, Esq., M.D., the Duke of Cleveland, Sir Savile 
Crossley, Bart., M.P., will be found among the most 
liberal donors from and after 1885." 

In 1898 the Hospital Sunday Fund was a quarter 
of a century old. At a meeting of the council held in 
the Mansion House, August 3, Sir Sydney presided. 
The receipts for the year had been 38,741, a decrease 
from former years, but satisfactory, in his opinion, 
when the difficulties had been taken into account. 
" Many of their large contributors, who formerly gave 
500 or 1,000, had either transferred their contribu- 
tions to the Prince of Wales's Fund or had divided 
them." It is interesting to note that some of the 
hospitals leaned a little on the committee for some- 
thing beside money. There had been deputations 
from twelve hospitals. " Scarcely any of the gentlemen 
who came to them left the committee without ex- 
pressing their appreciation of the advantages they 
derived from a conference with the committee, who 
had for so many years been engaged in discussing 
whether this or that institution was conducted in a 
manner which was not only efficient, but reasonably 
economical." I suppose the truth is that the Com- 
mittee of Distribution had become a Committee of 
Supervision. They had money to give which the 
hospitals wanted ; every hospital, excepting the three 
or four sufficiently endowed, being in a state of chronic 
need of money, even if not confronted with a deficit. 
Each became aware that money could only be had 



HOSPITAL SUNDAY FUND 197 

from the fund by complying with certain conditions 
imposed by the committee. Efficiency and economy 
were the two conditions, and in both the standard 
was high. It was set by Sir Sydney, and the audits 
of the hospital accounts was rigid in the extreme. 
The hospital profited administratively ; the public 
profited ; above all, the patients profited, for out of 
every 100 a greater proportion was spent for their 
benefit. 

Far-reaching, therefore, was the usefulness of this 
Hospital Sunday Fund. The great sums of money 
distributed among nearly 200 hospitals and kindred 
institutions were but one part of the benefit conferred. 
The total income of each hospital was increased by 
more than the sum total of the money allocated to it. 
The enforced saving of the shilling or two shillings in 
each pound spent is so much clear gain to the annual 
revenue. That is obvious ; but it is none the less an 
unexpected result of a great charitable work, or of the 
wise business administration of its chief promoter. 

The Hospital Sunday Fund, in spite of these diffi- 
culties to which Sir Sydney referred, and of others, has 
gone on prospering. The increase is not relative, but 
actual. In 1907 the receipts were 78,651, of which 
42,618 came from churches and congregations, and 
35,833 from gifts, legacies, and investments. But 
the number of hospitals, dispensaries, and nursing 
institutions, among which this sum was divided had 
increased to 243. 

Splendid as have been the gifts to the King's 
Hospital Fund, they have left the Hospital Sunday 



198 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Fund unimpaired and augmented. The King's receipts 
for the first year, 1897, when the fund was founded in 
commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the late 
Queen's accession to the throne, were 227,552. From 
the beginning a large part, 167,021 was set aside as 
capital. In 1906 the receipts were 130,989, but the 
balance to the credit of the fund had risen to the great 
total of 947,283 ; and then came Mr. Carnegie's noble 
gift of 100,000, one of the first, if not the first, he 
assigned to hospital purposes. That voluntary system, 
therefore, with the King as chief patron, more than 
justifies Sir Sydney's wish to see it maintained. To 
no man did the King's wise benevolence give greater 
pleasure than to Sir Sydney. It would have pleased 
him hardly less to know that, while the total receipts 
in 1906 were 130,989, the expenses were but 2,535, 
or less than 2 per cent. We have seen before how 
it delighted him to apply business methods to charity, 
and how much charity has profited by these methods. 
They were his methods. 

I hope there is a public which cares for these things, 
figures and all. The public which gives must care ; 
and perhaps a more general company of persons to 
whom anything which concerns the welfare of their 
fellow men and women is dear. Be that as it may, a 
certain fulness of statement is due to Sir Sydney, for 
this was the work into which he put his heart. The 
relief of illness was to him a sacred duty. I can 
imagine that he would put institutions for the care of 
the body by the side of institutions for the care of 
souls. His interest in these matters was an abiding 



HOSPITAL SUNDAY FUND 199 

interest ; it was part of himself. He never went any- 
where that he did not inquire into hospitals. In Cairo 
he laboured with the Khedive for trained nurses, arid 
finally secured them. In New York his first visits 
were to the great hospitals of that ambitious city. In 
Cannes, where he bought a villa for his winter resi- 
dence, he set up an English hospital not far off, to 
which he gave not only money, but for many years his 
close and continual personal care. 

When you came to know him, you saw, you felt, that 
beneath an exterior which might seem hard he had a 

o 

rare tenderness toward all those who suffered. Illness 
was a concrete form of suffering which he knew how to 
deal with, and he liked to deal with it on a great scale ; 
on a scale commensurate, if possible, with the illness 
itself; and by organized, systematic, scientific effort. 
With a makeshift policy he was never content, nor with 
things as they stood when they could be replaced by 
better. All this we saw at St. Bartholomew's. I saw 
it at Cannes, when often and often our afternoon drive 
was by way of the hospital. No detail was too minute 
for him or ever wearied him. It might be five 
minutes or it might be an hour, but the visit did not 
end till everything had been attended to. He would 
have none but the best. The nurses were the best, 
and were brought out from London. The permanent 
staff, whether medical or other, was as good as Cannes 
could furnish. This hospital, of course, was proportioned 
to the needs of the place, and not large. It was no 
such field as Bartholomew's, but it was quite evident 
that the knowledge he put at the service of this in- 



200 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

stitution had been gathered in a great school. He was 
absolute master, and he liked that. He knew ; and he 
did not like being hampered by men who did not know. 
Absolute or not, they all loved him. He would listen 
patiently to the head-nurse she was an expert when 
she differed from him, and, being a reasonable human 
being, he would give way to her if he was convinced. 
But he had to be convinced, and to the amateur he 
would not listen at all. Why should he? He had 
other things to do with his time. 



CHAPTER XIV 

JOURNEYS TO AMERICA AND ROUND THE GLOBE 

" I HAVE been a great traveller," remarked Sir Sydney 
once, in his comprehensive way. True enough, if to be 
a great traveller is to have circumnavigated the globe, 
to have crossed the Atlantic half a dozen times, to 
have crossed the American continent twice or thrice, 
and to have seen what a tourist usually sees of 
Egypt and of India. But his first journey to the 
United States was in 1876 (his eldest son, Philip, 
accompanying him), as Commissioner to the World's 
Exhibition at Philadelphia, and the travel standard 
has altered a little since then. His return to England 
was saddened by the death of his father, of whose 
illness he had heard nothing till a telegram met him 
at Queenstown. A painless death from old age, life 
going out quietly as if it had been lived to the full. 
The son deplores his loss, " for no man was ever more 
beloved or esteemed by all who knew him." He was 
the original " Waterlow" of the great firm, and Sydney 
and his brothers the "Sons." 

In 1881 came the journey which, as will be seen, was 
to be the most eventful of all. He left Moville, in 
August, by the Allan Line steamship Circassian, taking 



202 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

with him his two daughters and his son Paul. They 
made "a very rapid passage across the Atlantic," 
landing in Quebec eight days after leaving Moville, or 
in about twice the time for the same voyage last 
summer by the armed Indomitable. On the wharf at 
Quebec came an echo from Dumfriesshire ; the welcom- 
ing voice of one of the tenants whom the Duke of 
Buccleuch had turned out of his farm for the offence of 
voting for Sir Sydney when he stood for Parliament in 
the private electoral preserve of that great nobleman. 
But the Duke's ex-tenant had found a place in free 
Canada more lucrative and agreeable than the ducal 
farm from which he had been driven for the free 
exercise of a freeman's right. 

In Canada, as in the United States, there are 
reporters. By one of these Sir Sydney was " inter- 
viewed " at Toronto, and at the end of two columns 
was described as a " level-headed " man. This he 
understood as an expression of the reporter's discon- 
tent, " but they assured me that, in American par- 
lance, it was as great a compliment as he could have 
paid me." The word American includes Canadian. 
The Canadians claim it as of right, and there is no 
Customs duty upon words as they cross and recross the 
3,000 miles of border-line between the two halves of 
the North American Continent. 

Chicago was to have been the limit of Sir Sydney's 
journey, but a friend who was traffic superintendent 
on the Rock Island line from Chicago to Omaha 
assured him that no true or sufficient notion of America 
was to be had unless he pushed on to San Francisco. 



TO AMERICA AND ROUND THE GLOBE 203 

A journey of four or five days by rail " seemed a 
terrible undertaking for such a party as mine " ; but 
his friend promised to make it comfortable so far as his 
jurisdiction went, and they started. As if it were an 
exceptional privilege, Sir Sydney mentions that the 
Ptock Island trains were provided with sleeping-berths 
and restaurant-cars ; on the Union Pacific the same ; 
but on the Central Pacific they had to be content with 
comfortable accommodation and " catching their meals 
at the roadside restaurants"; which they survived as 
others have survived. At Salt Lake City he found the 
streets lighted by electricity (unknown in England 
except experimentally till many years afterwards), 
visited a baby-show, and thought the babies much 
finer specimens of humanity than their mothers. The 
rest of the journey to San Francisco, with its magnifi- 
cent scenery, he dismisses in a sentence, appreciative, 
but full of anxiety to return home. What then hap- 
pened must be given in Sir Sydney's own words : 

" Although my stay in San Francisco did not exceed 
ten days, I was fortunate in obtaining an introduction 
to a lady who, a few months afterwards, came over to 
England and became my wife. We were married in 
Paris in March, 1882, and from that time I have 
always felt that the friend who persuaded me to go to 
San Francisco was my greatest benefactor." An 
opinion shared by Sir Sydney's friends. 

This lady was Miss Margaret Hamilton, second 
daughter of the late Mr. William Hamilton, of Napa, 
California. It was on both sides a union of lifelong 
happiness. 



204 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Naturally enough, the next Transatlantic journey 
was back again to California. Sir Sydney and Lady 
Waterlow had a desire to go round the world, and San 
Francisco, a fourth of the whole distance from London, 
would be a convenient stopping-place. They left 
London in the autumn of 1883. Sir Sydney had then, 
as he said, " practically retired from business." I once 
heard a great corporation lawyer in America perhaps 
the greatest use the same phrase, adding, " I never 
before knew what it was to be really busy " ; whereas 
Sir Sydney never at any time knew what it was to be 
anything else. If there were no business ready to his 
hands, he would make a little. 

Lady Waterlow's return was an event of interest to 
San Francisco. Anglo-American marriages were then 
less frequent than now, and this was an unusual 
example. Miss Margaret Hamilton had married an 
Englishman of distinction twice her own age. Only a 
year and a half had passed : she was still a bride. 
Interest was sharpened by curiosity, and both were 
gratified by her and his return. Their visit lasted 
only a fortnight, but long enough for the impression in 
favour of these international alliances to become perma- 
nent. The rest of the journey need not detain us long. 
A world voyage has ceased to be a novelty, and they 
did not leave the beaten track. A young lady friend 
of Lady Waterlow was of the party. They were nine- 
teen days from the Golden Gate to Yokohama. A 
fortnight in Japan, thence to Hong-Kong, thence to 
Canton, at that time in a restless state, with five 
European and American men-of-war to calm the 



TO AMERICA AND ROUND THE GLOBE 205 

Celestial mind. " The tables in the bedrooms were 
covered with firearms. The house of a merchant with 
whom we stayed was guarded by patrols all through 
the night." Yet " we could not resist visiting the 
trading parts of the City of Canton, and the City of 
Boats in the river, although we were warned we should 
go at our peril." But they came to no harm other 
than hooting and some insults. From Canton to Saigon 
a place of heat and humidity, all but intolerable ; 
thence to Singapore ; thence to Colombo, where they 
were deluged with tropical rains, to escape which they 
made for Madras ; lunched with the Governor, Sir 
Mountstuart Grant-Duff, most voluminous of memoir- 
writers ; and came within measurable distance of being 
drowned in the surf and sea when they re-embarked on 
their French steamer. When they reached the deck, 
" friends who had been watching us dropped down on 
their knees, thanking God for our safety." 

Calcutta was reached Christmas Eve, and there they 
stayed a fortnight, guests of Mr. Henry Neville Glad- 
stone, third son of a person of eminence, Mr. W. E. 
Gladstone. Excursions to Darjeeling and many other 
places followed. Sir Sydney seems to have welcomed 
anything like an adventure when occasion offered, and 
it amused him and his party to take a plunge down the 
railway of two-feet gauge from Darjeeling to Jumna ; 
" grading down the line instead of attaching our car to 
the locomotive " perhaps a new use of the word 
grading. At any rate, it is thought desirable in these 
circumstances to have a driver ''with sufficient control 
over the carriages to prevent their running away with 



206 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

you." But their driver was the chief engineer. 

Returning unharmed to Calcutta, they journeyed to 

Benares, Cawnpore, Lucknow, Delhi, Agra, where 

" morning, noon, and night," they visited the Taj 

Mahal, of which on one occasion the sun and moon 

obligingly lighted up different sides at the same time. 

" The ladies were so fascinated that they remained in 

the temple until past eleven at night, chanting hymns 

which echoed and re-echoed in the dome." Naturally ; 

but Sir Sydney's fresh enthusiasm is more delightful 

still. Seven } 7 ears' apprenticeship to printing and fifty 

years of unremitting toil in the City had not sufficed to 

crush out of him the romance that was in him as a boy. 

But in the very next sentence he is absorbed in the 

silk-weaving and other industries of Delhi. 

Leaving Delhi, he remarks on the Bombay and 

Baroda Railway : " A line splendidly built, perhaps as 

well constructed as any line in the world, the permanent 

way being quite equal to the best American lines " ; an 

unexpected compliment to the solidity of American 

engineering. Sailing from Bombay, they ran against 

an outbreak of cholera at Port Said, and therefore 

quarantine at Marseilles, a compulsory eight days at 

sea and twenty-four hours outside this inhospitable 

French port. The captain went at half-speed through 

the Mediterranean to consume the whole eight days. 

The passengers seem to have liked it. Arriving, Sir 

Sydney found urgent telegrams requiring his immediate 

presence in the House of Commons for a great division. 

The English authorities besought the sanitary people 

at Marseilles to allow Sir Sydney to land at once, but 



TO AMERICA AND ROUND THE GLOBE 207 

they were inexorable ; as inexorable as those Italian 
officials who, during the last cholera scare, turned out 
a train full of men and women upon an Alpine slope, 
shelterless for four days, and at first foodless, and to 
all remonstrances replied, " Mais quatre jours sont 
bientot passes." However, the division was postponed, 
Sir Sydney reached London in time to vote, and the 
interests of the party, or of the Empire, whichever it 
was, did not suffer. Nor would the Marseilles sanitary 
people have cared if they had. Was there ever yet 
a French official of any kind who cared for anything 
but his consigne f 

I have taken from Sir Sydney's journal what I 
thought likely to win a moment's attention from the 
reader of these later days. As a whole, the journal 
has the air of being written for family perusal, and to 
the family I will leave it. But something may still be 
said. There is a use, and a usefulness, of travel not 
always dwelt on. The judge, says Emerson, is judged 
by his judgment. So is the traveller by his, and by 
the impressions made on him by new scenes and 
strange people. " The eye sees that which the eye 
brings means of seeing." Every diary of travel lets in 
a little light upon the soul of him who writes it, and 
in this, from which I extract only here and there a 
sentence, there comes a little illumination, a glimpse 
of a Sir Sydney other than he of the City or of 
Bartholomew's, or, in short, of the man to whom life 
has meant an austere devotion to duty. The child 
who has been father to the man sometimes reappears. 

It is the more interesting because writing was never 



208 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

the means by which he expressed himself best or most 
completely. He did not, as a rule, write well. His 
speeches were better than his essays, and his conversa- 
tion best of all ; for in conversation he had a lucid 
directness, a habit of going straight to the mark, and 
an entire freedom from the merely conventional 
phrases and commonplaces which, in his journal, are 
too frequent. His mission was not to say things, but 
to do things. His message to his own time came 
through the counting-house and the Mansion House ; 
through the treasurer's office of St. Bartholomew's ; 
through committees and directorships ; through the 
open doorways of those Industrial Dwellings which have 
given to 30,000 working men and their families cheap 
and comfortable and healthful homes ; and, as he ever 
hoped and strove, happy homes. So what does it 
matter what use he made of the pen in his hand, save 
when he used it to sign cheques or to frame great 
schemes of business or of charity and wise beneficence? 
It is none the less remarkable that throughout his 
travel-diary there is little evidence that he concerned 
himself with the social or industrial prosperity of the 
peoples among whom he travelled. Very likely he 
observed and thought, but he deemed it useless to 
make comments to which he could give no practical 
effect. The little brown men of the Island Empire, 
the heathen Chinee, the tawny millions of Hindustan, 
the Canadians, the Americans themselves, except for 
what they have done, are dismissed in silence. His 
enthusiasms and those of his party are not for men or 
women on the other side of the globe, but for scenery 



TO AMERICA AND ROUND THE GLOBE 209 

and architecture, and more often for the work of 
Nature than of man. He had no time in this scramble 
over the circumference of the globe to study social 
problems or political problems. Wherefore he let them 
alone ; an example of discreet wisdom by which 
vagabond emissaries of English labour, ever promising 
to their yellow brethren what they cannot perform, 
might profit if they would. And we all might profit 
even, if I dare say so, some of our British and 
American missionaries might profit. 

What he did concern himself with was the working 
of hospitals and schools and the printing. These three 
things were of vital importance to him wherever he 
went. For them he neglected other things which to 
most minds were more interesting. 

For some of the other things also he cared. He 
and Lady Waterlow were present at the first garden- 
party ever given by the Mikado. It was ordered on 
the lines of the Marlborough House garden-parties. 
They saw also, while at Yedo, the Mikado's first great 
military review. It was the Emperor's birthday. 
Lady Waterlow was presented not Sir Sydney, 
apparently. This was the first unofficial presentation 
to His Majesty, and was thought important enough to 
be cabled to the Times. 

In 1886 Sir Sydney and Lady Waterlow visited 
America, accompanied by Sydney's two daughters, 
Hilda and Celia. They all went to Mr. Charles 
Crocker's, and from there Miss Hilda was shortly after 
married to Mr. Alfred Ford, of San Francisco. 

They went also to Boston a journey of 3,000 miles 

14 



210 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

is nothing in America and there Mr. Robert Treat 
Paine, a Boston philanthropist, drove them through 
two streets, one named Sydney, and the other Water- 
low. On both these streets have been built large 
blocks of tenement houses, the plans employed being 
those used by Sir Sydney for the working men's 
dwellings in London. 



CHAPTER XV 

TECHNICAL SCHOOLS AND TRAINING 

As early as 1869 Waterlow began to consider in his 
own mind the subject of technical education, and to ask 
the attention of competent persons to the existing 
deficiencies in the schools. What is there remarkable 
in that ? queries some critic who limits his views of 
things to things as they are. Well, it is hardly too 
much to say that in 1869 there was no such thing as 
technical education in England ; certainly nothing com- 
parable to what exists now. Modest as were his 
ideas, and modestly put forth, he and they were 
denounced as visionary. Sixteen years before, the 
only scientific classes in England were those in con- 
nection with the Committee of the East Lincolnshire 
Union of Institutions or evening classes. That was 
the date, 1853, when the work of the Science and Art 
Departments of the Committee of Council on Education 
began. What first really alarmed people in England, 
and set them thinking, was the Paris Exhibition of 
1867. Then for the first time the inferiority of Eng- 
land in technical training and in scientific knowledge 
became clearly visible. When that lesson had been 
brought home, a real attempt was made to increase and 

142 



SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

improve evening classes for scientific instruction. The 
lower-grade schools and mechanics' institutes were the 
first to take hold. 

Such was the condition of things when Waterlow 
began. It was slow work, and of course it was work 
which, so far as he was concerned, had to be done in 
the hours that could be rescued from business of many 
kinds. One of those who stretched out a hand was 
Mr. Auberon Herbert, a man who throughout his life 
contrived to make such a use of very shining abilities 
and genuine devotion to ideals as to create in the 
breast of many highly respectable persons a distrust 
alike of his abilities and himself. So did his brother, 
the late Lord Carnarvon, yet both were men of con- 
victions and high capacity. Mr. Auberon Herbert 
went straight to the point, convening an assembly of 
working men's clubs, since it was from those who most 
needed and would most thrive by technical education 
that the strongest opposition was likely to come. It 
was not till 1872 that Waterlow got together a small 
committee in the City of London with a similar object. 
One Alderman protested. He would not have his men 
taught chemistry and other matters by which they 
could find out all the secrets of his business. It would 
be " monstrous." The name of this public-spirited 
public servant has perished. He was a dealer in 
paints, colours, and varnishes. 

But once again the much -criticized Livery Companies 
appear in the van of a reform movement. They, and 
among them the Cloth workers especially, did much to 
call attention public attention to the subject. They 



TECHNICAL SCHOOLS AND TRAINING 

discussed the question informally among themselves, 
these reactionary persons, in 1871. They appointed in 
that year a committee to consider the expediency of 
encouraging the cloth trade by teaching the technique 
of the trade. Then their views broadened. The com- 
mittee perceived that other trades needed technical 
teaching not less than the cloth trade. It followed 
that other Companies must take part in the movement, 
and they resolved to appeal to other Companies. Con- 
ferences were held. Then a meeting in the Mansion 
House was held, Sir Sydney in the chair. He would not 
have been the Sir Sydney we know if he had not pro- 
posed the erection of a building where technical schools 
for the children of the working classes could be opened. 
In 1874 and 1875 the Cloth workers' Company went 
steadily on. This was the Company which had elected 
and promoted Sir Sydney in one day to be member 
and high officer, and his hand is traceable in all these 
proceedings. But it was Mr. Roberts, afterward Sir 
Owen Roberts, who put himself at the head of the 
Livery Companies in their struggles for technical 
education. The Drapers joined the Clothworkers 
two of the Great Companies hand in hand. In Decem- 
ber, 1876 again a seven years' apprenticeship Sir 
Sydney submitted to the Court of the Clothworkers' 
Company this motion : 

" That while the Court has every reason to be grati- 
fied with the success which is attending its experiments 
in providing improved industrial training for the 
clothworkers of Yorkshire and the West of England, 
in connection with the Yorkshire and Bristol Colleges 



214 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

of Science, it is desirable that the Clothworkers' 
Company should initiate a movement for establishing 
in London a City Guilds' Industrial Institute or 
University, with affiliated branches for the local 
centres of the various industries in the suburbs and 
the provinces generally, where the latest appliances of 
science to the development of the trades and manufac- 
tures generally may receive practical illustration and 
impetus, as the most effective substitute for the super- 
seded system of apprenticeship, such an important 
element of, and so strongly inculcated by, the by-laws 
of all the guilds of London, which was, in fact, the 
technical education of former days ; and that this 
Court is prepared to devote a sum of 2,000 per 
annum towards establishing such an institution on a 
scale proportionate to the necessities of the time and 
to the wealth and intelligence of the associated Com- 
panies of London, in extension of the Gresham College 
or otherwise, as may be determined hereafter ; and 
provided that satisfactory subscriptions are promised 
by other Livery Companies." 

In that one breathless sentence Sir Sydney has 
crowded together his plans, hopes, aspirations, appeals, 
and one regret, for in the reference to " the superseded 
system of apprenticeship " he has once again recalled 
the pious affection of his early days for a system that 
has vanished. It had made a man of him : why should 
it pass away ? 

His motion was carried without dissent, and the 
grant of 2,000 a year was, I think, the first money 
ever voted by any public body for providing technical 



TECHNICAL SCHOOLS AND TRAINING 215 

education facilities in London. That, again, is a 
dividing line. On one side of it stagnation, barren- 
ness, decaying industries, and the spread of ignorance. 
On the other the dawn of that day in which light was to 
flood the land ; in which not even the hostility of trade- 
unions could wholly block the progress of the British 
working man ; in which their demand for a standard of 
uniform mediocrity should be met by the provision of 
means toward the full development of a man's natural 
faculties ; in which, as a consequence, England 
should move forward with the rest of the industrial 
world ; and in which the spirit of contented acquies- 
cence in British inferiority to Germans or Belgians 
should give place to an active rivalry and a just 
ambition for the best place, the best work, and the 
best results. 

Any man who had a hand in that transformation 
might well be proud of it, and his friends be proud of 
it. Others have taken up the burden ; other leaders 
are in the van. Sir Sydney is gone, but his claim to a 
place, and a high place, among the earliest promoters 
of technical education cannot be denied. 

The City and Guilds of London Institute grew out 
of that Clothworkers' gift of 2,000 a year. They and 
the Drapers held a conference shortly after, Sir Sydney 
presiding, and resolved : 

" That this joint committee of Drapers and Cloth- 
workers is of opinion that the City Companies gene- 
rally should unite in promoting a national system of 
technical education by forming a City Guilds Technical 
Institute or University, with affiliated branches for the 



216 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

local centres of the various trades and industries in the 
suburbs and the provinces generally." 

They put before themselves five leading objects : 

" 1. To provide technical instruction in those manu- 
facturing arts and industries in London in which such 
instruction is not now provided. 

" 2. To assist in the development of places of 
technical instruction already in London. 

" 3. To assist in establishing and maintaining schools 
of technical instruction in the provincial centres of 
trade. 

" 4. The companies do not propose to ask for 
Government assistance. 

"5. To secure a prominent site in London for the 
erection of a college for the education of teachers." 

That is a sort of original charter or, if charter be 
too ambitious a word, a programme according to which 
the work has by unhurried stages proceeded. Sir Sydney 
was directed to apply next to the Mercers' Company, 
of which Lord Selborne was then the most influential 
member. It is a good illustration of the good effect 
which may be produced, and has often been produced, 
by the creation of an honorary membership in these 
City Companies. The Mercers ultimately gave 3,000 
a year, and Lord Selborne became Chairman of the 
Council of the Guilds Technical Institute. 

At the end of 1876 the Cloth workers issued their 
draft scheme. Their central idea was combined action 
by the Livery Companies and by the Corporation of 
London. Disposing of great riches, the Companies and 
the Corporation, assuming that they all co-operated 



TECHNICAL SCHOOLS AND TRAINING 217 

freely, might well dispense with Government aid in 
any form. A building fund of 60,000 and a yearly 
income of 20,000 were then thought adequate. But 
public opinion was still supine, and some of the Com- 
panies held aloof, and I believe still hold aloof. In 
this as in some other matters, it is evident that influ- 
ences were, and still are, at work to obstruct liberal 
reforms. Liberal ideas are not always popular. I am 
not using the word Liberal in a party sense ; perhaps 
it no longer has a party sense. But the conservatism 
of the City is of the City. Some of the Livery Com- 
panies rejected the suggestion that they were bound 
to use their moneys, or any part of them, otherwise 
than as they had been used in the past. They 
asked, as the Duke of Newcastle asked : " May I not 
do what I will with mine own ?" And taking a narrow 
view of their obligations, and a narrow view of municipal 
obligations, and a narrow view of those vast interests 
interests of the Kingdom and of the Empire on 
which the prosperity of the City depends, they 
declined all part or lot in the great enterprise of 
technical education. 

Sir Sydney's missionary efforts were continuous and 
were very largely successful, but the success was never 
complete. Some of the great Companies needed no 
preaching. Their own gospel sufficed for their salva- 
tion. Some were beyond preaching ; they were im- 
penitent, and prided themselves on their impenitence. 
But by June, 1877, the promises of help were so many 
that Lord Selborne wrote to Sir Sydney suggesting 
that the representative committee of the proposed 



218 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

college needed a practical man to draw up a practicable 
scheme. He suggested Major Donnelly (afterward 
Sir John Donnelly) ; a name since honourably identi- 
fied with this cause and with the Science and Art 
Schools of South Kensington. Sir Sydney agreed and 
Major Donnelly prepared an elaborate report ; elabo- 
rate, business-like, detailed, and creative. Other 
reports were obtained from Lord Playfair, from Captain 
Douglas Galton, from Mr. Lothian Bell, from Professor 
Huxley (who contributed two), and from Sir William 
Armstrong. 

Aided by these, the representative committees, in 
July, 1877, laid a scheme for the constitution of the 
proposed institute before the subscribing Companies ; at 
that time the Clothworkers, the Mercers, the Drapers, 
the Fishmongers, and the Goldsmiths, each 2,000 a 
year. Smaller contributions from other Companies 
made up the whole annual pledges to 11,582. An 
executive committee was appointed which reported 
at the end of 1 877 ; setting forth plans for the organiza- 
tion of the Technical College and exhorting the 
Livery Companies to vote at once a sum not less than 
25,000 a year to put the whole business on a sure 
basis. But though the Clothworkers, Drapers, Mercers, 
Fishmongers, and Goldsmiths did later double their 
subscriptions, the impenitent Companies remained im- 
penitent, and the progress of the scheme was but 
leisurely. 

It was not, in fact, till March 17, 1879, that the 
Board of Governors of the Institute, not yet an 
Institute in being, elected Sir Sydney treasurer of 



TECHNICAL SCHOOLS AND TRAINING 219 

the Institute. He held that position, and bore his 
usual burden of financial responsibility, till June, 
1891. 

Meantime the Corporation of London had no share 
in this work ; it was still to many members of that 
ancient body a " visionary " scheme. In March, 1880, 
Lord Selborne, chairman of the council of the Insti- 
tute, Sir Frederick Bramwell, chairman of the 
executive committee, and Sir Sydney Waterlow, 
treasurer, addressed a letter to the Lord Mayor 
asking for a definite statement of the intentions of the 
Corporation. They had already agreed with the Com- 
missioners of the Exhibition of 1851 for the site on 
which the Institute building now stands. A lease was 
to be granted, but to whom ? The name of the City 
had been used hitherto in the hope that the City would 
finally come in, but the institute had now to be legally 
registered, and a decision must therefore be taken. 

If deliberation be an element of dignity, the move- 
ment of the Corporation may be called dignified. The 
letter was referred in April to the Finance Committee 
of the Corporation, which sat upon it for seven months, 
and reported in November that the Institute ought to 
be supported financially by the Livery Companies, and 
not by the City. The full Court met on December 2. 
There was a debate of the kind called animated ; 
perhaps stormy would be more descriptive. The 
fact that the Government had given the Institute a 
site worth 100,000 on lease for 990 years at a pepper- 
corn rent was pressed upon the Court. Were they to 
stay their hands when other hands opened so wide as 



220 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

that ? Sir Sydney, speaking as Alderman, put it in 
another way. If, he said, the City Companies should 
do their utmost, and the Corporation should give them 
twice the 2,000 for which they were asked, it would 
be but as a mere drop in the bucket. He appealed to 
the pride of the citizens and Corporation of London. 
In Continental cities where these technical schools 
existed, the municipal authorities gave one-third of the 
whole cost and the Government another third. Thus 
the fees were kept low, and low the fees must be kept 
if the institute was to reach those whom it was meant 
to benefit. The Companies, he added, in his best 
diplomatic manner, desired the Corporation to con- 
tribute, not only for the sake of the money, but 
because they wished Companies and Corporation to be 
associated in so noble a work. 

He prevailed. Mr. George Shaw's amendment to 
the report for a yearly gift of 2,000 during the 
pleasure of the Court, but not to exceed five years, 
was carried, and was then adopted as a substantive 
proposition. The Institute was built at a cost of 
100,000 the land being free was opened in 1884, 
and its income is 35,000 a year. The Finsbury 
College had been opened in 1883 at a cost, equipment 
included, of 40,000. There are besides these the 
South London School of Technical Art, the Leather 
Trades School in Bethnal Green Road, the Techno- 
logical Examinations yearly in May in sixty different 
subjects, and there are grants from the parent Institute 
in aid of other schools. It had all been accomplished 
within ten years from the time when the Drapers 



TECHNICAL SCHOOLS AND TRAINING 

agreed on their draft scheme. To those concerned, 
and perhaps especially to Sir Sydney, impatient of 
delays and dulness of mind, the work had seemed at 
times to go slowly. But there are not many ten years 
during which a specific purpose of high national use 
has been carried more fully to completion. 

If in this matter of technical education, as in others, 
I dwell upon details which are technical or construc- 
tive, I do so for two reasons. First, a great part of 
Sir Sydney's life was given up to such things. Delete 
them or deal with them casually, and the significance 
of his life disappears. Second, my hope is that the 
readers of this book may absorb some of his enthusiasm 
for unselfish work, of high aim and practical use. 
That is what he would like more than all things else. 
That was one main reason, to his mind, for the writing 
of his life. No doubt he liked to think there would be 
a memorial of his labours, and a tribute to them and 
to him. He was quite human enough to be conscious 
of his own merits, and to desire recognition of them 
from others. But he looked also to posterity as his 
successors in this self-appointed task. There was 
nothing he desired more than that some competent 
man should take up the burdens he laid down, and 
then others after him. He saw this wish in part 
fulfilled, because he withdrew in time. It is for the 
men of to-day and of to-morrow to see it assumed 
and continued, year by year and generation by 
generation. I know well, for I have lived in this 
country long enough to know, how admirable is that 
English public spirit which imposes public duties on 



SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

private men ; whether charitable, political, or what- 
ever else. It is nonsense to talk of the decadence 
of England so long as that spirit survives, and is a 
great moving force in public life. Sir Sydney's life will 
always be an example and an inspiration, because he 
was in this respect a representative man ; a representa- 
tive Englishman. In every generation there are 
thousands not less high-minded, and many not less 
capable of using their generous enthusiasm wisely to 
good ends ; but these hundreds and thousands are 
made up of units, and he was one of the units. 

If it be too much to say that Sir Sydney was a 
pioneer in technical education, he was at any rate 
among the first of those who put it to the test of 
experiment on a great scale. The first Royal Com- 
mission of inquiry into the subject was not appointed 
till 1880, and a Royal Commission is the foundation of 
most enterprises in which a new social theory or a new 
industrial experiment is to be tried or to be put into a 
scientific shape. The Guilds Institute was already in 
existence, and as treasurer of the Institute he was 
examined before the Commission. He was asked to 
give an account of this undertaking, and his first 
effort was to impress on the inquiring body the fact 
that he and his associates had studied the Continental 
systems thoroughly before attempting to construct an 
English system. They took none as a model ; they 
drew from each what they thought best adapted to 
English needs. Among the results of this Commission 
was the founding of technical colleges in Glasgow, 
Bristol, Bradford, Manchester, Huddersfield, Sheffield, 



TECHNICAL SCHOOLS AND TRAINING 223 

Halifax, and elsewhere ; so that there is a sense in 
which it would be quite true to say that technical 
education as it exists to-day in England is not a 
generation old. 

In 1884 the City and Guilds of London Institute 
had to go through a sort of crisis. The Drapers' Com- 
pany had become dissatisfied, and presently withdrew 
its 4,000 a year ; an unhappy example which was 
followed by some of the smaller Companies. The 
executive committee of the institute therefore issued 
an appeal to the Livery Companies, setting forth the 
urgent need of more funds. The institute had been 
all this time expanding, yet its funds were shrinking. 
They named 40,000 as the minimum income on which 
the work could be carried on. A controversy followed, 
but the best answer to it all was the increase of the 
Clothworkers' annual subscription from 3,000 to 
4,000 a year. Public opinion had been to a con- 
siderable extent educated, yet Professor Huxley, 
whose name stands second to none, thought it needful 
to utter a grave warning : 

" This country has dropped astern in the race for 
want of the education which is obtained elsewhere in 
the highest branches of industry and commerce. It 
has dropped astern in the race for want of instruction 
in technical education given elsewhere to the artisan, 
and if we desire to have every chance to keep up that 
industrial predominance which was the foundation of 
the Empire, and which, if it fails, will cause the whole 
fabric of the State to crumble ; if we desire to see want 
and pauperism less common than, unfortunately, they 



SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

are at present, we must remember that it is only 
possible by the organization of industry in the manner 
in which we understand organization in science, by 
straining every nerve to train the intelligence that has 
served industry, to its highest point, and to keep the 
industrial products of England at the head of the 
markets of the world." 

Those penetrating sentences of a great student of 
science and a great citizen like Huxley are enough to 
show how absolutely he and a man so unlike him as 
Sir Sydney were at one on this question. The fact 
that 87 per cent, of the total exports of Great Britain 
were manufactured goods was, to Sir Sydney's mind, 
a decisive argument. His opponents used it the other 
way, saying that English control of the markets of 
the world was so complete that it could never be 
disturbed. It was obtained, he answered, at a time 
when England had, in eifect, the best manufacturing 
plant in the world ; it has been shaken just so far as 
her manufacturing capacity and supremacy have been 
successfully challenged by foreign competition ; it can 
only be maintained by restoring her supremacy ; and 
that can only be by putting her technical education 
on a level with the best, and a little above the best. 
Whether, in addition to that, any measure of fiscal 
reform must be tried is a point on which, from his lips, 
I have nothing to quote. 

But the finances of the Institute improved in spite 
of all mischances and all opposition. Two years after 
the executive appeal the income had risen to 29,350, 
of which the Goldsmiths gave 6,000, the repentant 



TECHNICAL SCHOOLS AND TRAINING 225 

Drapers 4,500, the Clothworkers and Fishmongers 
each 4,000, and the Mercers 3,000. Ten years 
later the whole gifts of the Livery Companies to the 
Institute had amounted to 453,435 19s. 6d. Three 
years before that, in 1891, Sir Sydney resigned his 
post as treasurer. The governors thanked him hand- 
somely for his services and, upon the nomination of 
the Prince of Wales the council chose Sir Sydney as 
vice-president. He writes : 

" After my retirement from the position of treasurer, 
I was unable to give much time or attention to the 
work of the Institute, or to the various movements 
which were then being organized for the purpose of 
promoting technical education throughout the country. 
Although I regretted my inability, this regret was 
considerably mitigated by the feeling that so many 
other men, of greater scientific knowledge and more 
eminent public position than myself, had put their 
hands to the plough, and, having recognized the im- 
portance of the work, were willing to give both time 
and ability to promoting it." 

That is it. That is, I mean, the advantage of being, 
if not the first, one of the first in the field. He raised 
a flag to which others rallied. Everybody knew that 
a scheme in which Sir Sydney was concerned must 
have a sound business side to it as well as a definite, 
intelligent, public purpose. He adds : 

" I was especially gratified to think that the London 
County Council had given this subject their attention, 
and clearly indicated a desire to utilize the funds at 
their disposal in the establishment of a Technical 

15 



226 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Education Board, as well as furthering the object in 
many other ways. It was also cheering to know 
that a portion of the funds arising from the City 
Parochial Charities would be applicable for the same 
purposes." 

Then this ; to which the German friends of England 
are welcome : 

" It may be that some years must elapse before 
technical education in this country can hope to compare 
favourably with that which has been for so many 
years in operation on the Continent, and especially in 
Germany. But one need not, I think, despair. The 
work is being forwarded in many directions, and I 
hope I may live to feel that the time and attention I 
gave to the subject from 1869 to 1890 have not been 
entirely thrown away." 

To what extent that modest aspiration is justified 
may be seen by comparing the condition of technical 
education to-day with the condition of it when Sir 
Sydney put his hand, as he says, to the plough. 

The means of making that comparison are accessible 
to everybody who cares for the subject, and of making 
it much more fully than would be possible or proper 
here. It may be that Germany is still ahead of 
England in her methods of technical education and in 
the apparatus she has created for that purpose. It 
may be that France is. It may even be that the 
United States, which began later, has established a 
system on a more scientific basis than England, and 
that such schools as the Sheffield at Yale University 
or Sibley College at Cornell have no rival elsewhere. 



TECHNICAL SCHOOLS AND TRAINING 

But the true test is the advance England has made 
a comparison, that is, between the England of to-day 
and the England of the mid-Victorian period ; and in 
such a comparison, as well as in the new views 
prevailing, there is every hope for the future. 



152 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS 

To another problem of education Sir Sydney devoted 
much of his time and energy during twenty years ; 
the United Westminster Schools. His share in the 
scheme of reorganizing the old schools and foundations 
began with one of those contests which he loved ; for 
I think he, like most strong men, loved fighting for 
fighting's sake ; with a good cause behind it. The 
battle had its dramatic side. His chief opponent was 
the Corporation of the City of London itself; the 
Corporation of which Waterlow was still a member, 
and to whose interests he had given some of the best 
of his life. The contest was carried to the House of 
Commons and fought out there ; nor was one honest 
art of Parliamentary warfare left untried on either 
side ; and perhaps on one side some arts for which 
honest would not be the fittest adjective. Finally, it 
brought upon the scene Mr. Gladstone himself, in one 
of his whirlwind moods, armed with the thunders of 
Jove. 

There were in the city of Westminster and the 
parish of Chelsea four very ancient educational endow- 
ments. The oldest of the four, known as Emanuel 

228 



THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS 

Hospital, had been founded in 1594 by Lady Dacre. 
She enriched her charity with a large agricultural 
estate in Yorkshire, and with land and houses in 
Westminster and elsewhere. Next in order of date 
came St. Margaret's Hospital, founded under a charter 
granted by Charles I. in 1633 ; and in the old 
buildings of this hospital the new schools were first 
opened. The third was Palmer's Hospital, endowed 
by the Rev. J. Palmer in 1654. Hill's Grammar 
School came fourth, springing into existence under a 
deed by Emery Hill in 1674. 

Of these four, the most important and the richest 
was Emanuel Hospital, and but for this there would 
have been, or might have been, no contest. For when 
you laid hands on Emanuel you laid hands on the 
ark of the Corporation of the City of London, and if 
anything is, in the estimation of Aldermen and Com- 
mon Councilmen, sacred, it is this great Corporation. 
Emanuel and its revenues were entirely under the 
control of the Aldermen of London, and each of these 
Aldermen in rotation nominated a child to be clothed, 
educated, and boarded free of charge. It was one of 
those privileges, or perhaps perquisites, of municipal 
office to which the possessor clings with a tenacity out 
of all proportion to its real value. As for the three 
other foundations or trusts, they had been so much 
neglected that there were in all four schools together 
not more than sixty boys and girls, and the whole 
income of the four endowments was but just over 
5,000 a year. 

In this state of things a scheme was laid before 



230 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

Parliament in 1873 for the re-organization and develop- 
ment of the schools ; consolidating the four, and putting 
them all under a Board of Governors, and all under 
the authority of the Endowed Schools Commissioners. 
The Aldermen, naturally enough, were unwilling to 
part with any of their authority or prerogatives. They 
were not content to surrender their absolute right to 
the personal presentation of children to the boarding- 
school. They objected to the provision for two-thirds 
paying scholars, and they brought to bear against the 
Bill in Parliament every engine of opposition known to 
skilled lawyers ; the City solicitor acting for the Cor- 
poration with the limitless zeal lawyers with limitless 
funds to spend are wont to display. A very large 
sum of money was spent. Members of the House- 
not members for the City or the Metropolitan area 
only, but from all over the kingdom were supplied 
with documents and arguments against the scheme, 
and so strong a whip went out that, when the Bill 
came on, more than 500 members were present. It 
was not a party question, but Conservatives were the 
leading opponents of the measure, and the members for 
the City of London naturally defended the City. 

If it had been a year later, after Mr. Disraeli had 
become Prime Minister, it is likely enough Sir Sydney 
and the friends of good education would have been 
beaten. But Mr. Gladstone was still Prime Minister, 
still the head of a Government discredited in many 
ways, defeated again and again in by-elections, 
weakened by defections, torn by secret dissensions, 
yet still one of the most powerful Governments of 



THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS 

modern times. Nor had he yet lost any part of his 
unequalled ascendancy over the House. He spoke 
toward the close of the debate. It is always named 
as one of those speeches which really altered votes, and 
probably altered the result. He asked the House to 
consider that this was a scheme of the Endowed School 
Commissioners, for which the Executive Government 
accepted a plenary responsibility. In a tone of warn- 
ing, if not of menace, he said : 

" I want to know whether the credit of the House of 
Commons is not engaged in the course which it is 
about to take in regard to this measure. You have 
passed, I understand, 120 schemes of the Commis- 
sioners. No attempt has been made to show and if 
it were made it would entirely fail that this scheme 
contains any principle whatever which has not been 
embodied in former schemes, unless you are ready to 
hold that it is a new principle if it touches the Cor- 
poration of the City of London." 

Sentence after sentence followed, like so many 
counts in an indictment against the entrenched and 
chartered holders of undue municipal authority, 
strangely abused. Then this final thunderbolt : 

" Not to vindicate the sacredness of the Foundress's 
will, not to secure to the objects of the Foundress's 
beneficence that which was intended for them, but for 
the purpose of consecrating rather negligence and 
wrong, and for establishing where, to say the least, 
there has been no special fidelity in the execution of 
the trust, an exceptional law, involving in its essence 
a principle of preference which is hateful to English- 



SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

men, and proceeding on the principle that that which 
is to be applied to every other body in the country is 
not to be applied to the consecrated existence of the 
Corporation of the City of London." 

One would rather like to know what impression this 
tremendous invective against the Corporation made on 
that member of the Corporation in whose behalf 
Mr. Gladstone uttered it. But there is no record of 
Sir Sydney's impression of that matter, nor is it likely 
he perceived here a divided duty. His duty was not 
to the Corporation when it stood, or tried to stand, in 
the way of improvement, or to perpetuate ancient 
abuses. He was, as he had ever been, a loyal servant 
of the City and a loyal member of the great governing 
Corporation of the City ; but he was a man who saw 
that loyalty to the City required him to oppose the 
City in wrongdoing. 

On the House the impression was riot doubtful. 
There had been to all appearance, as the result of 
skilful campaigning, a majority against the Bill. It 
melted away in the heat of Mr. Gladstone's eloquence, 
and the Bill was carried in a House of 524 by a 
majority of 34. Not much, but enough. 

Fifteen years later Mr. Mundella, a good judge, said : 

" The school, though young, has a unique history. 
It went a very long way on one occasion toward 
wrecking a Government, which was only saved by 
one speech (Mr. Gladstone's), and that speech saved 
both the Government and the school." 

Then began Sir Sydney's twenty years of unrequited 
toil for the Westminster children. He was named in 






THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS 233 

the Bill one of the temporary Governors. He was 
elected chairman at the first meeting of the Board, 
then appointed on the permanent Board, and then by 
triennial election remained chairman of the Board 
during all these twenty years. There were twenty-six 
members. As so often happens, most of the work fell 
on one or two ; in this instance on thef chairman and 
on Mr. Hunt, the vice-chairman. 

The processes by which the Westminster Schools 
were transformed are instructive, but I suppose only 
educational specialists can be asked to interest them- 
selves in such details, and I must deal mainly with 
results. Perhaps a bird's-eye view of the beginning 
and of the end is most enlightening of all. When Sir 
Sydney took charge in 1873, about thirty boys were 
boarded, clothed, and educated, in the old Emanuel 
school buildings. In 1888 there were 850 boys in the 
new schools, and at about that number they remained. 

The Board went to work systematically ; not 
hurriedly but rapidly. They wound up the old 
charities, making suitable provision for the children 
then on the foundations. They adapted the old 
buildings so far as they could, opening their first 
school in April, 1874, a little more than six months 
after the passing of the Bill. In the new day-school 
there was room for 230 boys. Within two years it 
was full, and 70 boys besides were temporarily provided 
for. Under the scheme, one third were to be, and 
were, exhibitioners, or free scholars. The fees to the 
paying pupils averaged 4 10s. per annum in the 
lower school, and 6 10s. per annum in the upper 



SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

school. Paying scholars might come from any part of 
London, Westminster having the preference. 

The work went on from this point in a way which 
showed ever more clearly how great a want had been 
met when Sir Sydney and his associates undertook to 
provide educational facilities for Westminster. Two 
new permanent day-schools were built. By the end 
of 1876, three years from the start, every inch of 
available school space had been occupied by the 300 
boys. An upper and lower day-school with a master's 
house were built, on April 9, 1877 ; were formally 
opened by the late Dean Stanley ; and the next day 
307 boys walked into them. No money spent in 
ornament,' had been Sir Sydney's maxim ; everything 
for educational efficiency. They have that, and they 
have their open and covered playgrounds, of which 
their neighbours are well aware. There were interest- 
ing experiments in paying and non-paying and part- 
paying scholars and foundationers, which Sir Sydney 
has described in a memorandum, perhaps too technical 
for quotation. It is good to read, however, if only 
from its clear precision of statement. He deals with 
facts as if they were figures and his summary reads 
like a balance-sheet. He is proud of the prizes and 
scholarships gained by his Westminster boys. There 
were scholarships to Cambridge, London, and Durham 
Universities, to the Royal College of Music, to King's 
College; to St. Bartholomew's, St. Thomas's, Middlesex, 
St. Mary's, and other hospitals. The commercial 
successes were many. Boys were sent by scores into 
the Civil Service and into the Telegraphs. They were 



THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS 235 

wanted for engineers', draughtsmen's, and solicitors' 
offices, for railways, for city firms. " Indeed, a boy 
seldom left the school without being provided with an 
excellent place where he had a chance to rise." The 
school buildings from which these boys were sent out 
had been built at a cost of 18,457 19s., less than 23 
each for the 850 boys. Sir Sydney remarks, pointedly, 
that the City of London School, erected about the 
same time, cost 70 per boy. 

The head-master was Mr. Goffin, about whom 
controversy long raged. His success gave rise to 
jealousies. He passed through the South Kensington 
examinations a larger percentage of boys than any 
other schoolmaster in the kingdom. One of the 
South Kensington officials accused him of surrep- 
titiously obtaining a knowledge of the examination 
papers. Mr. Goffin indignantly denied it. Sir Sydney 
appointed a special committee of inquiry, and they 
declared the charge unfounded. 

But South Kensington would not accept this 
acquittal, and refused to examine any more scholars 
taught by Mr. Goffin. Sir Sydney then arranged for 
an independent examination, in which Mr. Goffin's 
success was the same. Then an action was brought 
by Mr. Goffin against Colonel Donelly, the South 
Kensington official who had made the original charge. 
But to this Colonel Donelly, or his advisers or 
superiors, rather strangely pleaded privilege, and there 
was no trial. Next it came before the House of 
Commons, and there Sir Sydney was beguiled into 
allowing the motion for a Select Committee to be 



236 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

made by Lord George Hamilton, then Vice-President 
of the Committee of Privy Council on Education. 
The effect of this piece of official strategy was that 
Lord George, and not Sir Sydney, had the naming of 
the Committee, and a Committee to convict was ap- 
pointed, with Mr. Eobert Lowe (Lord Sherbrooke) as 
chairman. It was a sort of Star Chamber performance. 
The sittings were secret. Witnesses from South 
Kensington were heard for four days twenty-two of 
them. Mr. Goffin was not allowed counsel, nor to 
cross-examine, nor even to be present except to give 
his own testimony. The witnesses he desired to call 
were not heard, and the Committee condemned him. 
Says Sir Sydney, in his forcible, common-sense way : 

" The result naturally confirmed me in the conviction 
that a Parliamentary Committee is the most unsatis- 
factory tribunal before which the guilt or innocence of 
a man, or the wisdom or folly of any proposition, can 
be considered and determined. The members of the 
Committee are almost invariably party men, and con- 
sequently vote with the leader of their party." 

A judgment perhaps truer now than then, since 
now, for the first time in the history of English public 
life, a party has made its appearance in the House of 
Commons avowing its purpose to consider the interest 
of a single class, and that only, and to put that one 
class interest above the interest of the community as a 
whole. The Irish had done so before the Labour 
Party, but I speak now of what is English. To no 
such doctrine would Sir Sydney have assented or 
listened. He was one of the best friends to Labour 



THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS 237 

this country ever saw. He did more than most men 
for the working classes ; in his own business and 
outside of it, privately and publicly. He had their 
welfare at heart, but never would it have occurred to 
him to sacrifice the whole country to a single section, 
or to legislate on that theory, or to vote for any one 
Bill framed with that intent and supported by that 
kind of argument. 

Again it is characteristic of Sir Sydney that, in the 
face of the House Committee's condemnation, he stood 
by Mr. Goffin. At a special meeting of the Governors 
of the United Westminster Schools, held at the 
Guildhall, October 14, 1879, they declined to accept 
the decision of the Committee, for the reasons indicated 
above. It was then discovered by Sir Sydney and 
certain Members of Parliament that the Government 
was entitled to bring an action against Mr. Goffin and 
against each Governor to show cause why he should 
not be dismissed. The action was brought. The 
Attorney-General, Sir Henry James, appeared for the 
Government. There was the usual delay, which 
presently proved unusual, and the proceedings became 
almost (if not quite) vexatious, and at any rate costly, 
and threatened to be interminable. Finally, to bring 
it to an issue, the Governors moved to strike the case 
off the record. The Attorney-General, on behalf of 
South Kensington and the Government, assented. The 
Governors' counsel thereupon urged on the Court that 
the sole reason for this surrender by the Government 
was the want of evidence to prove their charges 
against Mr. Goffin. Not only that, but they had not 



2S8 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

evidence enough to carry on their action further, or to 
justify the beginning of it. On which grounds they 
asked for costs. Sir Henry of course replied that costs 
could not be given against the Government, and they 
were not given. Upon which Sir Sydney, with an 
indignation which may be forgiven him, springing as 
it did from the long persecution of an innocent man, 
remarks : 

" It has been said that Corporations have no con- 
sciences have neither a soul to be saved nor a body 
to be kicked and I presume Governments are in the 
same position, and therefore think themselves justified 
in taking a course that would be a disgrace to any 
honourable man." 

Mr. Goffin had been compelled to incur heavy costs 
far beyond his means to pay out of his 375 yearly 
salary as head-master of the United Westminster 
Schools. Sir Sydney besought the Charity Commis- 
sioners to allow the Governors to pay the costs. They 
would not. But Sir Sydney was still determined that 
means should be contrived to compensate their head- 
master, and he found that under the scheme, and 
without asking leave of the obdurate Charity Com- 
missioners, the Governors might increase the capita- 
tion grant made to the head-master. This they did, 
and the amount of the increase was sufficient to recoup 
Mr. Goffin for his law expenses in the course of a few 
years. " By this means," says Sir Sydney, " we were 
enabled to award some slight means of justice to our 
head-master." 

In truth, Sir Sydney's friendship was of a persevering 



THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS 239 

kind. He was a friend worth having ; and I think we 
may go so far as to say that he became the friend of a 
man if that man was unjustly treated. The Goffin 
controversy appears to have lasted some five years. It 
ended in the discomfiture of the South Kensington 
authorities, and of the Government whose officials had 
taken up their case. The prejudiced decision upon a 
one-sided hearing of the House of Commons Committee 
may be set aside as ineffectual. With that exception, 
there was nothing to show that South Kensington had 
a case, or had any justification for their inveterate 
hostility to Mr. Goffin. But it does not appear that 
South Kensington ever expressed its regret for its long 
injustice to an honourable and capable head-master, 
whose sole fault it was to be more capable than his 
rivals. Perhaps South Kensington also is a corpora- 
tion of the kind Sir Sydney describes, or the official 
world there is animated by the Corporation spirit. To 
expect a Government to admit its faults would, of 
course, be unreasonable. To the outside world, none 
the less, the history of these proceedings is a pregnant 
history. 

Upon Sir Sydney's retirement, the following address 
was presented to him : 

" We, the assistant-masters, old boys, and present 
boys of the United Westminster Schools, beg leave to 
present you with this address in commemoration of the 
completion of the twentieth year of the existence of 
the schools and your chairmanship of the Board of 
Governors. We recall with great satisfaction the 
facts 



240 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

" 1. That through your strenuous exertions in 
Parliament and elsewhere the Government of the day 
authorized the reconstruction of the schools on their 
present basis. 

" 2. That to you as Lord Mayor of London was 
entrusted the duty of inaugurating the scheme pro- 
posed by the Charity Commissioners for their manage- 
ment and control. 

" 3. That the governing body summoned by you in 
August, 1873, elected you chairman of the Board, 
and that you have been annually re-elected ever 
since. 

"You have 011 many occasions been pleased to 
express your satisfaction at the success of the institu- 
tion of which you may be justly styled the founder. 
We who have benefited by your exertions rejoice in 
this opportunity of recording our appreciation of your 
indefatigable energy in developing the school property, 
and your liberality and skill in administering the funds 
derived from it. But we are especially thankful to 
you for your unwearied zeal in the cause of education, 
for your active and generous sympathy with all in the 
schools, and for your invariable readiness to advance 
the prosperity of those who leave them. We trust 
that many years of health and happiness are before 
you, and that for so long a period we may be honoured 
with your continued friendship and guidance." 

Since then the Westminster Schools have gone on 
increasing in usefulness ; the governing body has been 
enlarged and made more representative ; the number 
of Governors nominated by the Mayor and Aldermen 



THE WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS 241 

has been reduced from twelve to six ; in fact, a new 
scheme was prepared by the Charity Commissioners 
and put in execution, and many men of distinction and 
experience in technical education have been added to 
the Board. But the original scheme framed by Lord 
Lyttelton and Lord Hobhouse was, and is, the working 
basis on which the school, during Sir Sydney's twenty 
years' service, built the fabric of its lasting prosperity. 



16 



CHAPTER XVII 

WATERLOW PARK 

IF there be one place where Waterloo's name is 
written indelibly on the map of London, it is over the 
29 acres in Highgate which he gave to London, known 
now and for ever as Waterlow Park. The gift was in 
1889, and the conveyance was to the London County 
Council, as the body having local control. Yet, so 
difficult are the devious ways of the law relating to 
landed property, it required an Act of Parliament to 
make valid the transfer. In 1889 Lord Rosebery was 
Chairman of the London County Council, and it was 
under his guidance and by his tact and sagacity that 
this municipal Parliament gradually lessened and 
loosened its burden of unpopularity. As chairman 
he read to the Council the following letter from Sir 
Sydney : 

" MY DEAR LORD ROSEBERY, 

" On the southern slope of Highgate Hill, in 
the parish of St. Pancras, I own an estate of nearly 
29 acres in extent, which was for many years my own 
home. This property, if judiciously laid out, would I 
think make an excellent park for the North of 
London. 

242 



WATERLOW PARK 243 

" The grounds are undulating, well timbered with 
oaks, old cedars of Lebanon, and many other well- 
grown trees and shrubs. There are also Ij acres of 
ornamental water supplied from natural springs. 

" The land is freehold with the exception of 2f acres 
held on a long lease, of which thirty-five and a half 
years are unexpired, and it is bounded almost entirely 
by public roads and a public footpath. 

" Commencing the work of my life as a London 
apprentice to a mechanical trade, I was during the 
whole seven years of my apprenticeship constantly 
associated with men of the weekly-wage class. Working 
shoulder to shoulder by their side, later on as a large 
employer of labour, and in many various other ways, 
I have seen much of this class and of the poorer people 
of London, both individually and collectively. The 
experience thus gained has from year to year led me 
more clearly to the conviction that one of the best 
methods for improving and elevating the social and 
physical condition of the working classes of this great 
Metropolis is to provide them with decent well- 
ventilated houses on self-supporting principles, and to 
secure for them an increased number of public parks, 
recreation-grounds, and open spaces. This latter object 
can, I think, be best accomplished by the kindness of 
individuals acting through the agency of the London 
County Council, and with as little burden as possible 
on the public rates. 

" Therefore, to assist in providing large gardens in 
the great city in which I have worked for fifty-three 
years, I desire to present to the Council, as a free gift, 

162 



SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

my entire interest in the estate at Highgate above 
referred to. 

" On the day when the conveyance is executed, and 
that may be as soon as your solicitors have prepared 
the necessary legal documents, I will in addition pay 
over to the Council the sum of 6,000 in cash, the 
estimated value of the freehold interest in the 2f acres 
of leasehold, this sum of money to be used in pur- 
chasing this interest or in defraying the cost of laying 
out the estate as a public park in perpetuity, as the 
Council may deem most desirable. 

" If your lordship is of opinion that this proposal is 
one which the members of the Council are likely to 
accept, this letter may be communicated to them as 
soon as you may deem expedient." 

After reading the letter, Lord Rosebery told the 
Council he had been over this beautiful piece of 
ground, and he knew of no estate of the same size 
which had so many attractions. It was, said Lord 
Rosebery, a noble gift, and one that was enhanced by 
the giver's letter and its terms. Sir John Lubbock 
(Lord Avebury) moved the thanks of the Council to 
Sir Sydney for his munificent gift, which Mr. Gibb 
seconded, Mr. Haggis (deputy-chairman) supported, 
and the Council adopted by acclamation. Mr. Haggis 
remarked that the example set to the landlords of 
London was a grand one, " and he sincerely hoped it 
would prove contagious." 

What was said was well said, and Lord Rosebery 's 
few sentences of appreciation are much to have come 



WATERLOW PARK 245 

from that master of measured language. But the 
impression left is that the Council as a whole received 
Sir Sydney's gift with no very great enthusiasm. Yet 
there are not many such, nor has the example he set 
proved, according to the pious wish of the deputy- 
chairman, " contagious. " 

But whatever may have been the official view, the 
people of Highgate and of the vicinity welcomed it 
with no stinted thanks. They held a meeting to put 
their gratitude on record, and they resolved thus : 

" The gift will be of inestimable value to the large 
working-class population of the Metropolis, and will, 
moreover, be highly appreciated by all classes of resi- 
dents, not only on account of the historic interest of 
the site, but because, when taken in connection with 
the recently acquired Parliament Fields and Highgate 
Woods, it will environ a considerable proportion of 
Highgate with a belt of beautifully undulating land, 
dedicated to the public enjoyment for ever. 

" This meeting further recognizes that, although 
gifts of a similar character have not been infrequent of 
late years in other parts of the kingdom, this is the 
first instance of a citizen of London giving property of 
this description for the use of the Metropolis, where 
probably, from the vast aggregation of population in 
the Valley of the Thames, it is more needed than in any 
other city in the world." 

That is the kind of appreciation which Waterlow 
cared for. If anything was characteristic of him, it 
was his indifference to the argument from the past, 
from tradition, or from custom, when it stood in the way 



246 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

of present improvement. He had rather any day 
establish a precedent than follow one. Nor did he 
care so much whether his precedent was followed as 
whether he himself had done the right thing. He was 
not the first to see the hygienic and sanitary value of 
open spaces in crowded towns, but he was the first man 
in London to act largely upon the modern theory of these 
matters. Mr. Glover said at this meeting that 20,000 
lives are sacrificed annually in London to bad sanita- 
tion alone, while the money lost by it was reckoned at 
24,000,000 a year, or more than three times the poor 
rate. Sir Sydney, said Mr. Glover, had taken these 
things to heart, and his noble gift was the consequence. 
He had a knowledge of London life that told him what 
was of use to the working classes. 

" They should consider the noble self-sacrifice of this 
gift. A man cannot part with property of this value 
without thinking seriously." 

The actual value of the land given was 100,000. 
The prospective value of it, if held for building pur- 
poses, was anything you please ; since to the increment, 
earned or unearned, of such a property in London no 
limit can be set. 

Meetings were held also in St. Pancras, Islington, 
Hornsey, and elsewhere. The St. Pancras Vestry 
travelled a little beyond the record, and put upon its 
own record an assurance to Sir Sydney "of the high 
regard in which he had always been held by his fellow- 
parishioners in St. Pancras, because of his long and 
intimate connection with the parish, his support of 
local charities, and his generally useful works through- 



WATERLOW PARK 247 

out London. The Vestry trusts that he may long be 
spared to see with pleasure and satisfaction how greatly 
the people, not only of this district, but of the whole 
Metropolis, appreciate the noble gift of what in future 
must be known as Waterlow Park, which in itself will 
be a lasting memorial of a well-spent life." 

There is the note of true feeling in that, as in much 
else that was said at the time, and has ever since been 
said. If Sir Sydney cared for gratitude, he cared most 
of all for the silent gratitude of the users of the park, 
of the working men and their families ; perhaps most 
of all for what was not gratitude ; the happiness of 
those thousands of children to which the park was a 
playground, and the only playground. The motorists 
few, I hope, but sometimes voluble who hold that 
children have no business in the streets except to pass 
and repass, ought to be grateful to him who offers 
them something better than the streets as an outdoor 
home. That, if you think of it for a moment, is what 
the park is to the poor children of Highgate ; an out- 
door home. 

And again, if one thinks, Sir Sydney rounded out 
his scheme of benefactions to London, providing as he 
did indoor and outdoor homes. The Improved Indus- 
trial Dwellings and Waterlow Park go together. I do 
not suppose the two conceptions were of the same date. 
But Sir Sydney was a man who thought long and 
hard. In the end he made an imaginative use of his 
charitable impulses. They remained impulses to the 
last, but they were turned to practical purposes, and 
these purposes were harmonized, co-ordinated, and 



248 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

made the servants of an idea, of a considered policy, of 
lifelong experiments, one after the other, but all in one 
direction ; in doing good to his fellow-men. In his gener- 
osity there was never anything sporadic or fitful. The 
money he gave and the efforts he gave would not 
have done half the good they did had they been casual 
or uncertain. He had, in fact, a clear view of life ; saw 
it steadily and saw it whole ; and upon this complete 
view it was, and not upon mere glimpses, that he 
modelled his plans. In that way, I think, must his 
work be regarded if you are to do justice to it and to him. 

There stands now in the park a statue of Sir 
Sydney ; a fitting testimonial to him ; a lasting 
reminder to the public ; an appeal, perhaps, or even a 
lesson, to those who might, but do not, go and do like- 
wise. 

The principal contributors to the fund were, natur- 
ally, those who lived in the neighbourhood of Highgate. 
H.R.H. Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, unveiled 
the statue. The Duke of Argyll was present, and in 
a short speech said that on one day alone there was 
taken from the little boxes they distributed over the 
park 18. There was not a shilling piece to be found 
in this collection ; for the most part it was made up of 
farthings, halfpennies, and pennies ; which testified to 
the fact that it was not the rich so much as the 
poorer classes who had raised this lasting monument 
to Sir Sydney Waterlow. 

Lady Waterlow sends me a reminiscence which I 
print in her own words, since to alter them would only 
injure the picture : 



WATERLOW PARK 249 

" It was one brilliant Saturday in August, the day 
before all public schools had closed for the autumn 
holidays, so the park was fairly overflowing with 
children. We drove up Highgate Hill, to what is 
called the Highgate Entrance ; we then sent the 
carriage back to await us at the lower gate. Sydney 
had quite made up his mind to walk the full length of 
the park ; this was an undertaking, for he was by no 
means strong. However, we got on slowly, and for the 
most part silently. He wandered about, stopping 
now and again at some familiar spot, remarking 
occasionally that he had planted this tree or that ; 
that such an incident had occurred here or there. 

" At one time, when I thought him looking tired, I 
suggested we should rest near where the band was 
playing. I remember he said emphatically : " No, I 
will go on. I want to hear only the voices of the 
children." By-and-by we came to a long straight 
path ; there, to my surprise, I saw directly in front of 
us a great number of people. I hesitated for a 
moment, fearing an accident ; then a gentleman came 
forward and told me that, having heard Sydney was in 
the park, the people had collected there in the hope 
of seeing him as he passed by. So we went on, and 
as we neared the statue the path cleared before us. 
And then quite suddenly there went up a great shout 
of welcome to Sydney. There were hundreds of 
people and they all seemed so glad to greet him. 

:< His was a pathetic figure as he walked slowly 
along, alone, looking neither to the right nor to the 
left, his head uncovered, his hair in the afternoon sun- 



250 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

shine white as snow, his figure bent, his step feeble. 
He was treading the old familiar path in the twilight 
of his life, and I could well imagine that while the 
children shouted their elders were moved to many a 
tear. 

' ' The whole concourse of people followed him to the 
lower gate, and there again, as, slowly and with an 
effort, he seated himself in his carriage, there went up 
another great shout. And then we drove away, and 
Sydney had parted from his old home for ever." 



CHAPTER XVIII 

AN APPRECIATION DEATH 

IT is not an easy matter to set down one's personal 
impressions of Sydney Waterlow in such a way as to 
be quite sincere, and yet not to mislead the reader who 
did not know him. I never knew him till late in life ; 
then I knew him, for a time, rather intimately. In 
1898 I was his guest at Cannes for six weeks, and I 
have such a memory of his kindness and of his wife's 
as makes impartiality difficult. But I must take a 
lesson from him, knowing that he would have thought 
anything but the exact truth disloyal to him and un- 
worthy of any friend of his. 

Yet for the more attractive side of his character there 
was perhaps no better point of view than Monterey, 
the beautiful villa in Cannes he had bought and made 
his winter home. The villa is in the Croix des 
Gardes quarter, at the far western end of what Carlyle 
might have called the " lang toun of Cannes," some 
three miles from the Californie extremity. You climb 
a pretty long steep hill to reach it ; then you look 
down on Lord Brougham's villa, and on the measureless 
expanse of the Mediterranean, and still farther to the 
east on the serrated outline of the picturesque Esterel. 



252 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

The house is large, comfortable, British to look at 
when you are once inside. When Sir Sydney's doctor 
ordered him to the South of Europe, this was the spot 
he chose, and here he spent each winter ; a winter 
lasting from October to May, yet in a land where it 
was always spring when it was not summer ; excepting, 
again that hour before sundown when all prudent 
people scurried indoors. Everybody knows what 
Cannes is like, but I allow myself a sentence or two 
because Sydney liked to talk of the place and its 
climate. There were not many natural beauties which 
those eyes, used to poring over ledgers for half a 
century, did not see in Cannes, and most of all in and 
from Monterey itself. He had a highly developed 
sense of possession. It was easier to him to see the 
value of a thing which was his, and I used to think he 
sometimes looked upon Cannes itself as, in the first 
instance, his own residence ; a portion of the earth's 
surface providentially assigned to him as a refuge from 
the rigours of an English winter. He made it his own 
by his benefactions and his unceasing efforts to promote 
the welfare of the place and of its poorer people. 

I doubt whether adversity or prosperity ever much 
altered the essential nature of the man. We talk 
sometimes rather lightly about the influence of circum- 
stances. But strong men make their own circum- 
stances ; or, be circumstances what they may, the men 
remain what they were. Seven years of a grinding 
apprenticeship ; many years of untiring struggle, then 
many more when assured success gave no relief from 
hard labour ; then, toward the end of life, a period of 



AN APPRECIATION DEATH 253 

enforced repose or comparative repose here are 
vicissitudes enough to modify a man's nature if it be 
capable of modification ; yet I judge they all left 
Sydney Waterlow pretty much what he was in the 
beginning, except that he grew ; and he would have 
grown anywhere. Hardship did not create, nor did 
more than a generation of prosperity and distinction 
much soften, the external ruggedness of his character. 
It was external, but it is the external we see. No 
man had a kinder heart ; few men took less pains to 
translate this kindness into the surface courtesies of 
social intercourse. Yet I don't think he was much 
misunderstood. Beneath the roughness of the husk 
we all knew the sweetness of the kernel within. 

He wore, indeed, an austere look, and his manner 
was a hard manner to the general world. Tall, 
strongly built, square in the shoulder, square in the 
jaw, strong-featured, the eyes full and piercing, the 
hair and beard growing strongly and left a little 
ragged, the movement that of a man before whom 
other men gave way, he imparted to you at first much 
more the sense of force than of sweetness. By-and-by 
you found out the sweetness was there. He did not 
seem much to care whether you found it out or not. 
Long used to imposing his will on others in the way of 
business, he imposed it from mere force of habit, and 
in little matters, on many of those with whom he came 
in contact. You do not create, or aid in creating, such 
a business as Waterlow and Sons without the qualities 
of command. The expectation of obedience begets 
obedience. He was for a long time the commanding 



254 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

officer of an army numbered by thousands. He could 
not have led them to victory if he had not been a 
soldier at heart, or if he had not had the military 
instinct. The power of organization is a military 
power. Peace hath her victories no less than war ; 
yes, and they are not always without the shedding of 
blood, and a passion for peace may well lead to 
warlike endeavour. Mr. Bright, said Lord Palmerston, 
loved peace so deeply that he would fight to preserve 
it. There were points of likeness between Mr. Bright 
and Sydney Waterlow. Both were imperious. Each 
of them was convinced that his own gospel was the 
true gospel, and each was prepared to go far, and did 
go far, to make other men understand that his gospel 
was the true one, or that anyhow others had to 
accept it. 

Sydney, in truth, had the ascendancy a strong man 
must have. He liked having his own way, and 
generally did have it. One of his fellow-directors 
whether in the Union Bank or the Chatham and 
Dover does not matter said of him : 

" When Sydney comes to a Board meeting with his 
mind made up, and begins to bring his heavy artillery 
to bear on the rest of us, there is nothing to do but 
get out of the way." 

So clear was Sydney's conviction of the need of his 
own counsel, or, if you like, control in these matters, 
that he yearly made the journey from Cannes to 
London in the dead of winter to attend one of these 
meetings, returning the next day. In vain did the 
doctors forbid it. In vain, even, did his wife entreat ; 



AN APPRECIATION DEATH 255 

go he must, and did. His health or his life might 
hang on it, but he had never been much inclined to 
consider either when duty called him, or when he had 
a point to carry. 

He liked conversation, but it had to be rational. If 
it were not rational to him he sat silent, no matter 
who were the company royal or other. For the kind 
of talk that ripples about a dinner-table he had no 
liking and no gift. He wanted a topic he could put 
his mind to ; then he was a good talker, and also a 
good listener, holding La Bruyere's theory of I' esprit 
de la conversation, that the main thing is to bring out 
that esprit in others rather than make a show of it 
oneself. He liked asking questions, and expected a 
short, full answer. 

Almost every day for six weeks I drove with him 
after lunch, and almost every day we drove to the 
Croisette, a pleasant promenade by the sea in Cannes, 
which at its eastern end runs into a rude country of 
waste spaces and hovels where, on all days of the 
week, the family washing of this humble population 
was exposed. And almost every day Sydney said, as 
we started, " Let us go and see whether the washing is 
hung out to-day." A joke lasted him a long time. 
But we went often to his hospital first, and sometimes 
most of the afternoon slipped away while Sydney held 
counsel with the matron. In which case the rest of 
it slipped away while the hospital affairs were discussed 
over again with me. Nobody could be more ignorant 
about hospitals than I was, but when I heard Sydney 
discourse on them I felt that I had learnt all there 



256 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

was to be learnt. He had, in fact, a great capacity 
for imparting knowledge ; not merely because he had 
the knowledge, but because during so much of his life 
it had been his business to drive it home in the minds 
of trustees and Boards, with a dialectical force all his 
own. Of rhetoric he had little or none, but he had a 
power of lucid statement which dispensed with 
rhetorical ornament. 

Whether in great affairs or small, he liked to decide 
questions for himself. He would take infinite pains 
about matters that many men would have left to 
others. He no more distrusted his own judgment, 
founded on a knowledge of the facts and on due 
reflection, than he distrusted the evidence of his 
senses. He had so long been in the habit of taking 
responsibilities that clearness of view and courage had 
become easy to him. His simplicity of mind was a 
source of strength. 

If, as Wendell Holmes insisted, there are always 
three men inside the skin of one, there are at least 
two Waterlows whom it is difficult to reconcile ; two 
antagonistic natures which lay side by side, un- 
reconciled and perhaps irreconcilable. There was, as 
there often is, the public-spirited and philanthropic 
citizen who spent a lifetime and a fortune in the 
service of the State. And there was the railway 
director with whom the interests of his railway were, 
so far as they went, paramount. At the time of the 
consolidation of the South -Eastern and Chatham and 
Dover systems, I asked Sir Sydney whether it was for 
the benefit of the public that the whole area served by 



AN APPRECIATION DEATH 257 

these two roads should be under the control of a single 
corporation without a competitor. " Certainly not," 
he answered. " But you supported this scheme." 
" I did what I thought my duty to the Chatham and 
Dover." "And the House of Commons why did 
they sanction the creation of such a monopoly ?" 
" Well," murmured Sydney, gazing out on the 
Mediterranean as if nothing else concerned him, 
" there were seventy-six railway directors in the 
House of Commons." 

His charitable impulses never led him to fling money 
away. He gave largely, but he gave wisely ; with 
discrimination, after inquiry, and when convinced that 
some real good was to be obtained. He liked a con- 
sidered scheme of charity. There was a great philan- 
thropist, Archbishop Whately, who said shortly before 
death that he had given away 40,000 during his life, 
and he thanked God he had never given a penny to a 
street beggar. I don't suggest that this is true of Sir- 
Sydney, but I may quote what a near friend said of 
him: "If you want anything of Waterlow, don't ask 
him for a five-pound note : ask him for 500, and you 
may get it." He was capable of small economies, like 
most men whose fortunes are of their own making. 
He tore off the blank half-sheets of letters, and kept 
them in a drawer of his writing-desk. Then he would 
use one of them for that 500 gift. And since he 
would not knowingly squander 5, he used to argue 
that a demand for the lesser sum might require 
as much time and trouble for investigation, as for the 
larger, and he thought it good economy to get the 

17 



258 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

best result possible for every such expenditure of 
energy. One of his secretaries told me that Sir 
Sydney, during her first day's service, rebuked her 
for cutting the string to a parcel instead of untying 
it. One such rebuke, though amiable, sufficed. He 
preached and practised the gospel of thrift early in 
life because he must ; late in life because it had become 
a habit, and also, I suppose, from that conviction which 
underlay Lord Rosebery's recent discourse on thrift ; 
albeit in the latter a Scottish doctrine, or part of the 
Scottish religion ; and a large part. 

Like other successful men, Sir Sydney used to be 
asked to explain the secret of success. Secret there is 
none and explanation there is none ; but he set forth 
what he had to say on this subject in a discourse 
printed in a periodical known as The Young Man. 

" You young men must not think that you have been 
born into the world too late, and that all the great 
deeds have been done, all the noble services rendered. 
You must not suppose that all the mighty acts of 
heroism have been performed, and that in your time 
there will be no more marching of heroes to victory 
and defeat ; for heroes march to defeat as well as 
to victory. Every great deed that ever was per- 
formed, or one like it, is still waiting to be performed. 
The weary, sad-eyed, unhappy people are still waiting, 
as in former times, for saviours and redeemers." 

Then come counsels of patience, of obedience, "even 
when the terms of submission may seem harsh and 
unnecessary," and of perseverance. 

" If you fail in efforts which you may have made 



AN APPRECIATION DEATH 259 

both earnestly and conscientiously, do not be dis- 
couraged or give way to despair ; the effort is of far 
more consequence than the result. Always do the 
nearest thing to you as well as you possibly can ; this 
is the surest way of obtaining advancement to higher- 
class and more remunerative work. Never think for 
a moment that any remunerative work is beneath you. 
You need only be ashamed of any good work when 
you have not accomplished it as well as you might 
have done." 

Other not less well-worn counsels follow. Progress 
must be step by step. Things must not be hurried. 
No one can become learned, skilful, or successful 
except by slow degrees. Courage and faith in one- 
self are needed. And do not be over- anxious about 
reputation. 

"If you live the right life and have faith, your 
reputation will be quite safe. Whatever it is that you 
desire for yourself, give those same things freely to 
others who are near to you. If you wish people to 
speak truly to you, speak truly to them. If you wish 
them to love you, love them. If you want help from 
others, give help to all you can. Remember that it is 
only by giving freely of that which you most need that 
your own soul's wants can be supplied. Believe me, 
this is true." 

If this enlargement of the Golden Rule has not the 
merit of newness, neither has the Golden Hule itself 
that merit. Nor is the New Testament of yesterday. 
What I hope readers may find interesting is the 
choice of these old maxims of perfection by a success- 

172 



260 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

ful, practical man near the close of his life. This is 
what he thinks it most useful to say to young men at 
that time. And he goes on : 

" Never suppose or dream that the things you most 
covet in life can be secured by fraud, or wrong, or 
injustice ; by lying, cowardice, or any sharp practice, 
or by unkindness toward your fellows, or by any evil 
whatsoever. You are now youths, and you may some- 
times fancy that the road for you to make a start in 
life seems to be barred ; but every day the space about 
you will grow wider, and if you do well the smaller 
things entrusted to you larger things will come within 
your grasp, and advancing years shall erelong bring 
you wider spheres of action, greater influences, heavier 
responsibilities, and deeper joys. You are the heirs of 
all the past ages. Be of good courage. Do not be cast 
down by failure or defeat, or by any sense of un- 
worthiness. All the great men of the past sprang from 
such youths as you are, and the men of the future 
who will spring from you will do as great deeds as 
ever were done in the past, and they will lead lives 
that will shine with a lustre not less than the lustre 
that now shines from the lives of the great and 
mighty dead." 

The very repetitions in this unstudied address are 
characteristic. A little pride of authorship would 
have pruned them away. But of that pride Sir 
Sydney had none. He knew very well that his fame 
had been won by other means ; his solid and enduring 
renown built up by methods which had nothing in 
common with the glitter of epigrams or any charm 



AN APPRECIATION DEATH 261 

of style. If, indeed, he could have told the young 
men for whom he wrote this little essay what his own 
methods had been, he would have earned a different 
kind of gratitude. When Mr. Carnegie, at the climax 
of his business career, was asked whether there are 
now any such opportunities as those by which he pro- 
fited, he answered : " Yes, and more. There never was 
a time when there were so many." Sir Sydney plainly 
thought the same thing, but he looked first of all to 
the formation of character as the true foundation of 
fortune. He had not Mr. Carnegie's fluency of speech 
or readiness with the pen. He made his fortune by 
methods less spectacular than those of the great 
Scottish ironmaster. But the two had this in com- 
mon. The fortune of neither was built on the ruins of 
other fortunes or other men. You might say of both 
what was said of Mr. Mills by one who knew him well 
that, in order to attain that golden end, he never 
crushed a rival. All three men were large enough 
to build each for himself without pulling down others. 
The resignation of the treasurership of St. Bartholo- 
mew's in 1892, followed by his resignation of the 
chairmanship of the Board of Governors of West 
minster Schools in 1893, may be said to mark the 
close of Waterlow's long public service. There was a 
sense in which it ended only with his life, but the 
period of continuous activity and close connection with 
one or another of the great enterprises to which, one 
after another and often several together, he had set his 
hand, did not endure beyond 1893. Then it was that, 
having been advised rest and a milder climate, he 



262 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

divided his life with regularity between England and 
Cannes. He went to the Riviera yearly in October or 
November, remaining there till April or May, his one 
visit to London on directorship business in the dead of 
winter excepted. He enlarged, improved, and beauti- 
fied Monterey ; the gardens and grounds especially, 
till they were among the most beautiful in Cannes, 
which abounds in beautiful gardens. He found a new 
pleasure in hospitality and in his guests. In the social 
life of Cannes, which is agreeable but exacting, he took 
no great part outside of his own house. Duties of that 
sort, or pleasures, were left to Lady Waterlow, whose 
social gifts were of a high order. Many friends 
came winter after winter to Monterey, among them 
H.H.H. Princess Louise (now Duchess of Argyll), 
Mr. John Walter of the Times, and other potentates 
of other worlds. The business of Waterlow and Sons 
gave him no concern, for it had long passed out of his 
hands, and the chairmanship of the company had been 
entrusted to his son, Sir Philip, with the best results. 
To that satisfaction were added others, among which 
I may mention the career of his son, Mr. David S. 
Waterlow, who was, and is, a County Councillor and a 
Member of Parliament. Sir Sydney also took the very 
liveliest interest, during the latter years of his life, in 
discussing the question of education with his eldest 
daughter, Mrs. Frank Homan, who for many years was 
an active member of the London School Board. But 
business of one kind or another he still transacted, 
whether his own or others' ; it sought him out whether 
he would or not, and, in truth, he would have been less 



AN APPRECIATION DEATH 263 

happy had it not. His health had become uncertain, 
his strength was no longer equal to great tasks, but he 
liked to feel that he was in touch with great affairs. 
The care of great interests had become to him an 
essential part of his life. He had always thought for 
others ; he continued to think for them, and now, as 
ever, he shrank from no toil which had the helping of 
his fellow-men as its object. 

Even down to his last hour he had not given up 
all his directorships. He was still Chairman of the 
Improved Industrial Dwellings Company, Vice-Presi- 
dent of the Hospital Sunday Fund, Chairman of the 
United Westminster Schools, and Director of the 
London, Chatham, and Dover Railway. Almost his 
last words to his faithful servant Hammond were : 
" Remember you call me in time Friday morning. I 
must go to London ; there is a meeting of the Chatham 
and Dover." 

Whether at Cannes, in Chesham Place, where his 
house was the centre of an interesting circle, or at 
Trosley in Kent, the beautiful place he had created, 
people still sought him out. I doubt whether Sydney 
ever accurately distinguished between the duties and 
the pleasures of life ; they were so interwoven that 
between the two there was and could be no clear 
dividing line. The pleasure he derived from doing a 
duty was of a mixed kind. If it were a charity, he 
had the pleasure of giving, whether money or time or, 
as almost always, both. And he had the pleasure of 
directing, to him a very high order of content ; for he 
could take only one view, his own, and that he enforced 



264 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

upon others alike by reason and authority. In no 
sense had he a judicial mind. Like an artist, he saw 
a thing as it presented itself to him, and not otherwise, 
nor could he otherwise. A judicial artist would not 
be an artist. A judicial Waterlow would not have 
been Waterlow but somebody else ; plus one copybook 
virtue, and minus those irresistible forces which spring 
from single-mindedness. 

I suppose he could not conceive of life without busi- 
ness of some kind. I used to wonder at the number of 
people who called upon him at Cannes in the morning 
and still more at the patience with which he listened 
to people who came to him about their own affairs. At 
a glance or at the first word he knew what they had 
come for. His judgment of men was seldom at fault, 
nor was he to be imposed upon by appeals to his 
generosity. If he gave, he gave upon judgment. I 
doubt whether his sympathies could be reached until 
you had satisfied his reason. He must be convinced ; 
then his hand opened wide, if it opened at all. All his 
life long, spite of his minute attention to details, and 
even sometimes to trivialities, he had thought largely 
and acted largely. But he was not incapable of 
illusions. He would make business if there was no 
business. Every afternoon as he stepped into his 
carriage his order to the coachman was, " Chez 
Taylor." Taylor was his banker, and a banker's offices 
in a place like Cannes are a sort of club, with the 
possibility of business. Sydney felt himself at Taylor's 
at least in contact with the affairs on which his hold 
had so long been so unrelaxing. 



AN APPRECIATION DEATH 265 

With all this, he had a love of beauty for its own 
sake. He loved his gardens and the blue sky that 
bent over them ; he loved the Mediterranean. There 
was one evening when the sea was pale azure and the 
heavens like an outspread roseleaf ; through which 
shone the light of a single star. We sat for awhile 
together looking at it, till Sydney, who seldom said 
much of his sentiments, as nearly as possible echoed the 
remark of Napoleon to his atheistic officers on the deck 
of the frigate ; myriads of stars above : " It's all very 
well, gentlemen, but who made all that ?" To the 
ecclesiastical mind in this country, Unitarianism, I 
suppose, is not a religion. But it answered Sydney's 
purpose very well ; and if he had had no religion, he 
had principles of honour and of duty which would 
have served him fairly well instead of dogmatic 
theology. 

He loved Trosley as he loved Monterey, and for 
much the same reason. Each was his own ; each gave 
him air and space, flowers and shrubbery and, at 
Trosley, woods in which he had made drives which led 
nowhere, solely to open up the loveliness of the forest. 
He liked altering and improving. He remade the 
interior of the house in Chesham Place. His mood 
elsewhere than in London was so much softer as to 
suggest that Nature laid her hand gently upon him, 
and remoulded him a little into more complete harmony 
with her own moods. 

But wherever he was, he was an uncompromising 
person. Tact was not a thing he valued or thought 
essential to intercourse. He spoke his own mind and 



266 SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 

expected you to speak yours, yet seemed rather sur- 
prised if you did not end by agreeing with him ; a 
silent surprise more often than not. The graces of life 
were to him silent graces. He could descend upon his 
adversary like an avalanche ; if he did not, that was 
his way of sacrificing to the conventionalities. And 
perhaps the grace of silence is among the best of all, 
and the silent man is at least as likely as another to be 
the strong man. 

At seventy-two he had an apoplectic stroke, and 
soon after a second. The doctors gave him but a few 
days to live. But he lived on for eleven years and, if 
the full vigour of health never returned, few would 
have guessed that any such blow as that had fallen 
upon him. He kept, spite of his imprudences, a fair 
measure of strength. The end came at Trosley. Not 
many days before, he had been in London, and though 
it was the last of July, he was for some reason reluctant 
to leave Chesham Place. But he was persuaded to go to 
Trosley and there, as usual, the pure air revived him. 
Three days before his death he was driving out, and 
even walked. 

Lady Waterlow writes : 

"As we drove about in the shady lanes there at 
Trosley, every time we caught sight, in the distance, of 
a ray of sunshine across the road, Sydney would say 
always the same thing : ' There's sunshine beyond, my 
dear there's sunshine beyond.' He repeated this with 
so much feeling and earnestness that I cannot but 
believe that he felt the end was drawing near." 

The long malady of weakness brought on finally an 



AN APPRECIATION DEATH 267 

attack of dropsy, which developed suddenly, yet gave 
time to summon his family, most of whom were with 
him at the last. He died August 3, 1906, peace- 
fully, passing away in sleep, perhaps painlessly. He 
would have been eighty-four had he lived to Novem- 
ber 1. Full of years and of honours, he is to be 
remembered as one of those who left the world his 
own world better than they found it. The epitaph 
he preferred to all others is his : " Here lies one who 
loved his fellow-men.'' 



INDEX 



ALDERMEN, Court of, 43-5, 99, 108, 

140, 229-30, etc. 
Alkali Bill, amended, 95 
Allen, Mr. Matthew, 40, 60-1, 66 
Apprenticeship of Sir Sydney, 17-27 
Artisans' Dwellings Bill, 80 
Autobiography, fragments of, 7-14, 19, 

20, 22-4, 103-4, 142, 174 

BAGSHOT, Mr., quoted, 123 4 
Bank Charter Act of 1844, 23-4 
Banker's Magazine, the, 29, 33 
Baronetcy conferred on Sir Sydney, 

124 

Benefit and Friendly Societies Com- 
mission, 158 

Bridge House Estates, 113 
Brighton, boarding-school at, 8 
Browne, Sir R. (Lord Mayor), 127 
Buccleugh, Duke of, 89-90, 93, 202 
Burdett-Coutts, Lady, 58, 78, 192 

CANNES, life at, 251-2, 255, 262, 264 
Charity Voting Reform Association, 

134 
Chesham Place, Sir Sydney's house in, 

263, 265 

Clothworkers' Company, actions of, for 
promoting technical education, 
167, 212-14 
Membership of, 164 
Coleraine Schools, 145 
Constantinople, visit to, 53-4 
Corporation of City of London 
Financial powers, use of, 113 
Industrial Dwellings, interest in, 

69 

Ireland, work for, 150-1 
Technical education, share in pro- 
motion of, 217, 219-20 
Westminster Schools, opposed to 

reform of, 228-32 
County Franchise Bill, 96 
Court of Common Council, election to, 



Irish Society, the, connection with, 

143, 151-2 
Meetings of, 108 



Crakell, Mary (see Waterlow, Ms. 

James) 
Crews, Oxford and Cambridge, dinner 

to, given by Sir Sydney, 138 
Crown Street, Finsbury (birthplace of 

Sir Sydney), 5, 10 
Cunningham, Mr., 22 

DEATH of Sir Sydney, 267 
Derby, fourteenth Earl of, 47-48 
Disraeli, Mr. (Prime Minister), 79, 88 
Donelly, Major, 218 ; Colonel, 235 
Dumfriesshire, constituency of, con- 
tested by Sir Sydney, 89-90 

EGYPT, visit to, 51-53 
Emanuel's Hospital, 229 
Endowed Schools Commissioners, 230, 
231 

FINSBURY COLLEGE, 220 
Foreign Office, the, Sir Sydney's rela- 
tions with, 20-25 
Fox, Rev. W. J., 13-14 
Foyle College, Deny, 146-7 
Franchise for agricultural labourers, 96 

G ALIGN ANI, M., 26, 29 

Gabriel, Sir T. (Lord Mayor), 46, 48, 

50, 51 
General Election (of 1874), 93; (of 

1880), 95; (of 1885), 96 
Gladstone, Mr., 24, 56, 72, 88, 92, 93-6, 

114-5, 124, 130 
Glynn, Mr. G. G., 43, 44 
Granville, Lord, 106-7 
Goffin,Mr. (headmaster of Westminster 

School), 235-9 
Gravesend, constituency of, contested 

by Sir Sydney, 95 

HAMILTON, Miss Margaret (see Lady 

Waterlow) 
Hammond, Lord, 21 
Harrison, Mr. Thomas, 17 
Harvey, Mr. D. Whittle, 41 



269 



270 



SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW 



Herbert, Mr. Auberon, 212 
Hicksou, Anna Maria, 38 
Hospital Sunday Fund, 16, 191-200 

distribution of, 192-4 
Huxley, Professor, 218, 223-4 

INDUSTRIAL DWELLINGS 

Improvements of, first discussed, 
58 ; companies formed for, 58, 
60, 67, 70 ; public interest in, 
70 ; application for public help 
in, 72-3, 74 

New tenements for, erected by Sir 
Sydney, 60 ; architectural plan 
of, 61-2, 64 ; decrease of disease 
anddeath-rateowingto.65 ; rents 
for, 66 ; Finsbury Surplus Estate 
Fund devoted to, 68 ; good 
effects of, 76, 83 ; Artisans' 
Dwellings Bill for providing, 80, 
82 ; copied in America, 210 

Railway Companies, destroyed by, 
59, 69, 71 ; reconstruction by, 
compulsory, 74, 77 
Irish Society 

Benefactions of, 149-50 

Governorship of, held by Sir 
Sydney, 143, 145-57 

Origin of, 143-4 

Parliamentary attack on, 147, 

151-4 
Ismail, Khedive of Egypt, 47, 50, 51, 

52 
Italy, Order of the Crown of, 133 

JUDICATURE COMMISSION, 159 

KNIGHTHOOD conferred on Mr. Sheriff 
Waterlow, 47 

LAND LEAGUE, in Ireland, 154 
Lauderdale House, Highgate, 172 
Leopold Buildings, the, 58 
Livery Companies, advocate technical 
education, 99, 212 and ff; com- 
mission of inquiry into, 162-6 
Local Government Board, powers of, 

112, 117, 122 

London Bridge, old, description of, 11 
London County Council, the, 129, 225 
Lowe, Mr. (Lord Sherborne), 116, 117 
Lowell, Professor, quoted, 121-3, 129 
Lunatic Asylums, administration of, 

45-6 
Lycett, Sir Francis, 46, 50, 51 

MAIDSTONE, constituency of, contested 

by Sir Sydney, 93-4, 95 
Manson, Miss Ethel, 179-80 



Mayor, Lord 

Charities undertaken by, 132-3 

Duties of, 108-10, 137 

Hospitality of, 131 

Lord Mayor's Show, 104-7 

Office of, 46, 128 ; election of Sir 

Sydney to, 99 
Politics of, 130 
Medjidieh. Order of the, conferred on 

Sir Sydney, 54 
Mercantile Courts, 161-2 
Metropolitan Association for Improv- 
ing Industrial Dwellings, 58 
Metropolitan Board of Works, 73, 80, 

82, 83, 84 
Mikado, The, first garden-party given 

by, 209 
Monterey, villa in Cannes, 251, 252, 

262, 265 

Municipalities, independence of, Sir 
Sydney's schemes for, 112-22 

NIGHTINGALE, Miss Florence, 133, 171, 

178-9 
Nile, the, Sir Sydney's voyage up, 

52-3 

PACHA, title of, 54-5 

Paget, Sir James, 176 

Paris, visit of Lord Mayor and Sheriffs 
to, 48-51 

Parker, Theodore, 121 

Peabody Buildings, the, 58 

Peake, Sir William (Lord Mayor), 127 

Peel, Mr. Frederick, 71-2 

Persia, Shah of, visits London, 126 

Philadelphia, World's Exhibition at, 
201 

Police-stations, telegraphic communi- 
cation established between, 39-41 

Politics, main opinions of Sir Sydney, 
94-5 

Presbyterian Institute in Ireland, 145 

Printing business, 17-24, 28-9, 37 

QUEEN ANNE'S COUNTY BOARD, 136 

ROGERS, Rev. W., 103, 134, 139, 140 
Rosebery, Lord, 242, 244, 258 

SCHOOLS, City, plan for reform of, 

134-5 

Technical (see Technical Educa- 
tion) 
Westminster (see Westminster 

Schools) 

Selborne, Lord, 102,106, 216, 217,219 
Sharpe, Rev. Lancelot, 9, 10, 18 
Sheriff, election to office of, 46 
Shuttleworth, Sir U. K., 79, 82 



INDEX 



271 



Stationers' Company, the, 111, 147, 

164, etc. 

Statue of Sir Sydney, 248 
St. Bartholomew's Hospital, 169-190 
Convalescent Home for, 171-3, 

182 
Medical School, 175 ; extension of 

buildings for, 181-2 
Sir Sydney's work for, summary 

of, 188-9 

Treasurership of, 175-6, 184 
Stone, City Asylum at, 46 
St. Saviour's Grammar School, 8-9, 

10-12, 18, 25, 125 

St. Thomas's Hospital, 170, 171, 178 
Sydney Street, Boston, 210 

TECHNICAL EDUCATION, movement for 

providing, 211-27 
City Guilds Institute for, 214, 215, 

220, etc. 

Commission of inquiry into, 222 
Importance of, for England, 214, 

223-4 

Livery Companies' share in pro- 
moting, 167, 213-17 
Thames River Bill amended, 95 
Toll-bridges, commission for liberation 
of, 137 



Travels round the world, 201-10 

Trevelyan, Sir George, 95 

Trosley, Sir Sydney's place at, 96, 263, 

265, 266 
Turkey, Sultan of, 47, 54 

WATERLOW, James (father), 5, 6, 13, 
14, 16, 26, 27, 28, 30, 131, 
201 
Lady (nee Hamilton), 203, 209, 

248, 262 

Mrs. James (motner), 5, 6 
Mrs. Sydney (n6e Hickson), 38 

Waterlow and Sons, business of, 6, 16, 
27, 28-38 

Waterlow Park, 242-50 

Waterlow Street, Boston, 210 

Westminster Schools 

Attack on Headmaster of, 235-9 
Board of Governors, 233, 237, 240 
Condition of in 1873, 229 
Reorganization of, 230 5 
Scholarships from, 234 

Wilberforce, Samuel, 137 

Wilkes, John, 127-8 

Worship Street, school in, 8 

YORK, mayoral banquet at, 118 



THE END 



POINTED BY 

BILLING AND SONS LTD. 

GUILDFORD 



Telegrams : and Maddox Street, 

Scholarly, London.' _/ J , ' 

Bond Street, London, W. 

1 elephone : 
No. 1883 Mayfair. September, 1909. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's 

Autumn Announcements 

1909. 



MEMORIES OF FIFTY YEARS. 

By MARY JEUNE (LADY ST. HELIER). 
With Illustrations. One Volume. Demy &vo. t cloth. 155. net. 

Lady Jeune's salon was the rendezvous of all that was best in 
English society during the last thirty years of the nineteenth 
century. To her house in Harley Street flocked notabilities in every 
walk of life statesmen, politicians, men distinguished in literature, 
science, and art, famous generals and naval officers, legal luminaries, 
and apostles of culture. It would probably be difficult to mention 
a single person of distinction of either sex who had not at some time 
or other been present at her receptions, sure of meeting there the most 
interesting ' lions ' of the day. To European and American 
visitors, Lady Jeune's parties stood for the English counterpart 
of the brightest French salons, and their popularity remained 
unabated after Sir Francis Jeune was raised to the peerage as 
Baron St. Helier, until his death caused them to be discontinued. 

It can truly be asserted that Lady St. Helier's ' Reminiscences ' 
form an integral part of the history of the Nineteenth Century, if 
the social life of England counts for anything in its pages. No 
mere summary of the book would give a clue to the interest of its 
contents ; this is the grand vin of society, sparkling and unique. 



LONDON : EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 43 MADDOX STREET, W. 



2 Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements. 

SOUTH AFRICAN MEMORIES. 

By THE LADY SARAH WILSON. 
With Illustrations. One Volume. Demy 8vo., cloth. 155. net. 

These entertaining memories of society, war, and sport in South 
Africa, covering a period from 1895 to JQ ^ are written from diaries 
kept at the time, and contain many novel and interesting episodes. 
The author tells us that everything of interest that has happened to 
her in life has been in connection with Africa : she was there at the 
time of the Jameson Raid ; she was present in the siege of Mafeking 
during the war, an episode that has never yet been adequately de- 
scribed ; she has hunted lions in the vast country north of the Zambesi ; 
she has been nearly drowned in the Nile; and in Africa she has made 
some of her best friends. Lady Sarah Wilson has often proved the 
truth of the saying that ' adventures are to the adventurous,' and no 
more attractive motto could be found for such a volume as the present. 
The book is dedicated to the memory of her sister Georgina, Countess 
Howe, whose health and life were sacrificed in labours undertaken on 
behalf of the Yeomanry Hospitals during the war. 



HOUSEBOAT DAYS IN CHINA. 

By J. O. P. BLAND, 

AUTHOR OF ' LAYS OF FAR CATHAY,' ETC. 

Illustrated by WILLIAM STRAIGHT. 
With Map. One Volume. Medium Svo., cloth. 155. net. 

To charter a houseboat and make an expedition along a river 
' up country ' is one of the favourite recreations of British residents 
in China. Mr. Bland is an old hand at the game, and knows how 
to accept its drawbacks with philosophy, while enjoying the pleasures 
to the full. Sport is the ostensible object of these expeditions, and 
Mr. Bland had many exciting days in the pursuit of duck, geese, 
and snipe. Even more entertaining than his sporting episodes are his 
shrewd descriptions and comments on the types of Chinamen he 
came across, from the Lowdah who managed the boat, and his crew, 
to the Mandarin and the Missionary. The Ethics of Houseboat 
Travel forms an amusing chapter, and however far he journeys he 
cannot escape ' The Eternal Feminine.' Thoughts on books and 
poetry intrude themselves among recollections of smuggling and the 
coming of railways. The volume winds up with a subject ever 
present to the Briton in China reflections ' On Coming Home.' 

The volume is charmingly illustrated by Mr. William Straight, 
every chapter having appropriate head-pieces and terminals, while 
there are a large number of delicate vignettes in the text. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 3 

SIKHIM AND BHUTAN. 

^experiences of {Twenty lears on tbe Bortb* Eastern 

^frontier ot 3nofa. 
By JOHN CLAUDE WHITE, C.I.E., 

LATE POLITICAL AGENT IN SIKHIM. 

With 7 Photogravure and numerous other Full-page Illustrations and a Map. 

One Volume. Royal 8vo., cloth. 2is. net. 

Until the recent expedition to Lhasa, the north-east frontier of 
India attracted much less attention than the north-west, and the 
regions of Sikhim and Bhutan have remained shrouded in the 
isolation of inaccessible mountains and shadowed by the proximity 
of mysterious Tibet. This independence of the outer world makes 
their inhabitants a most interesting study. The primitive state of 
society, the influence of the priests and monks, and the way in which 
the gradual spread of British influence was received, read like a 
chapter of history from another world. For twenty years Mr. John 
Claude White has been the one Englishman who has had the key to 
these remote countries, conducting missions to their rulers, travers- 
ing their fastnesses from end to end, studying the people and their 
curious customs. He has had to combine the energy of the explorer 
with the arts of the diplomatist and administrator, and has been 
responsible for such measure of development as has been possible of 
achievement. The present volume owes much to its illustrations, 
for the author is an expert and enthusiastic photographer, and his 
zeal has induced him to carry a large camera into spots where most 
people would find even a Kodak a burden. 

WITH A PRE-HISTORIC PEOPLE. 

ttbe 2MftMm*BU ot ^Sritfab Bast Africa. 

By W. SCORESBY ROUTLEDGE, M.A., OXON, 

And KATHARINE ROUTLEDGE (born PEASE), M.A. 

TRIN. COLL., DUBLIN. 

With a great many Illustrations. Medium Svo. i8s. net. 

This is the first published account of one of the most interesting 
of African peoples, previously unknown to white men, who have 
lately come under British rule. The object of the authors, who 
have just returned from a prolonged sojourn amongst them, is to 
describe primitive life as it really exists, and the book should be of 
great value to those who are interested in our Empire and its 
responsibilities as well as to those of more scientific tastes. It should 
also prove of material assistance to Government officials, settlers, 
and travellers in the country described, enabling them to understand 
native thought and custom. 'The great interest of the subject/ 
say the authors, * lies in the fact that the A-ki-ku-yu of to-day are 
at the point where our ancesters stood in earliest times.' There are 
over a hundred pages of illustrations from the authors' photographs. 



4 Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 

THE SALMON RIVERS AND LOCHS 
OF SCOTLAND. 

By W. L. CALDERWOOD, 

INSPECTOR OF FISHERIES TO THE FISHERY BOARD FOR SCOTLAND. 
AUTHOR OF ' THE LIFE OF THE SALMON.' 

With Illustrations and Maps of the Principal Rivers. One Volume. 
Demy 8vo., cloth. 2 is. net. 

Also a Large Paper Edition de Luxe, limited to 250 copies, on hand-made 
paper. Handsomely bound. One Volume. Quarto. 2 25. net. 

This comprehensive and valuable work gives a complete account 
of the rivers and lochs of Scotland frequented by salmon. The 
author has personally visited every important river described, and 
possesses unequalled knowledge of his subject. 

Among the matters discussed in the book are the boundaries and 
fisheries of estuaries ; obstructions and sources of pollution in the 
rivers ; fish passes and croys ; means adopted for maintaining the 
water supply ; descriptions of angling waters ; ownership of the dif- 
ferent fisheries ; angling obtainable at hotels ; records of the annual 
catch on various fisheries ; influence of temperature on the salmon ; 
stories of great ' days ' on famous rivers ; the scenery of the river- 
valleys, etc., etc. 

The book is well illustrated, and contains several maps, specially 
drawn on the scale of 2 inches to the mile, to show the different 
fisheries on such important rivers as the Tweed, Tay, Dee, 
Spey, etc. 

A FIFTH SERIES OF 
MEMORIES OF THE MONTHS. 

By the Right Hon. Sir HERBERT MAXWELL, Bart., 

AUTHOR OF ' SCOTTISH GARDENS,' ETC. 

With Photogravure Illustrations. Large Crown 8vo., cloth. 75. 6d. 

The pleasure given by each fresh instalment of Sir Herbert 
Maxwell's * Memories of the Months ' continues unabated, and the 
welcome accorded to the Fourth Series was such that a large circle 
of readers may be confidently predicted for the Fifth. 

Every year rings new changes on the old order of Nature, and the 
observant eye can always find fresh features on the face of the Seasons. 
Sir Herbert Maxwell goes out to meet Nature on the moor and loch, 
in garden and forest, and writes of what he sees and feels. This is 
what gives his work its abiding charm, and makes these memories 
fill the place of old friends on the library bookshelf. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 5 

THE COTTAGE HOMES OF ENGLAND. 

Drawn by HELEN ALLINGHAM, 
and Described by STEWART DICK. 

With 64 Full-page Coloured Plates from Pictures never before reproduced. 
In One Volume. 8vo., cloth. 2 is. net. 

Also a Large Paper Edition, limited to 500 copies for the British Empire. 
Handsomely bound, with the Plates artistically mounted. 2 2s. net. 

Mrs. Allingham's pictures of English rural life and scenery are 
already famous. She possesses a rare power of expressing the 
incomparable beauty of the commons, gardens, and cottages of 
England, and each drawing forms a perfect little idyll in colour. 
The counties of Surrey, Sussex, and Kent naturally provide a 
wealth of charming subjects for the volume, and examples are also 
given of cottages in Cheshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon, the Isle of 
Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, etc. 

Mr. Stewart Dick's letterpress gives an extremely interesting 
account of the history and construction of the ancient cottages and 
farmhouses for which English country districts are conspicuous. 
Among the contents are chapters on the Evolution of the Cottage, 
the Great Building Time, the Structure, Tiled and Thatched 
Cottages, Mud Cottages, Stone Cottages of the Cotswolds, Farm- 
houses, Inns, and Old Gardens. 

TEN YEARS OF GAME-KEEPING. 

By OWEN JONES. 

With Numerous Illustrations from Photographs by the Author. One 
Volume. Demy Svo., cloth, ics. 6d. net. 

The author, who was educated at Marlborough and Oxford Uni- 
versity, being reluctant to follow a conventional pursuit, took up the 
occupation of a Gamekeeper as a means of livelihood. After twelve 
years' experience he feels that he is thoroughly acquainted with his 
subject, and that the public may be interested to read a record of 
what he has seen and learned in the course of his duties. As regards 
game, Mr. Owen Jones gives many a wrinkle about partridges, 
pheasants, hares, rabbits, and wild fowl, that may be studied with 
advantage by the owner or tenant of a shooting. There are chapters 
on vermin, trespassers and poachers, and the great question of foxes. 

Some very attractive reminiscences are given of ' My Dogs ' ; 
while ' My First Shoot,' My Brother Keepers,' 'Tips and Tippers,' 
present certain aspects of sport from an original and novel point of 
view. 



6 Mr. Edward A mold's A utumn A nnouncements 

IN A YORKSHIRE GARDEN. 

By REGINALD FARRER, 

AUTHOR OF 'Mv ROCK -GARDEN,' 'ALPINES AND BOG PLANTS,' ETC. 

With Illustrations. Demy &vo., cloth. los. 6d. net. 

In his latest book on the garden, Mr. Farrer will delight his many 
readers by conveying them round all his own provinces, with 
accounts of this plant and that as he goes. Though less technical 
and severe than * My Rock- Garden,' his new book will be found more 
practical and helpful than * Alpines and Bog Plants,' in so far as it 
deals with the garden as it is, its ups and downs and difficulties as 
they lie before us, rather than with any purely abstract and visionary 
ideal of bog-garden or mountain-slope. In especial, will those who 
have long waited for help on the subject be delighted to hear that 
Mr. Farrer has at last dealt exhaustively and practically with the 
Moraine Garden ; nor, though rock-plants are, of course, Mr. Farrer's 
particular friends, has he neglected other parts of the garden, but has 
many words to say on shrubs, and herbaceous treasures, and 
bamboos, and the wild garden. Let the names of a few chapters 
give a hint of the rest : The Old Garden ; The Piz Languard and 
the Piz Padella ; Among the Primulas ; The Old Moraine ; Round 
the Frames ; The Cliff-garden ; The Terrace-wall ; Alice's Garden 
in the Wood. 



A HANDBOOK OF 
ENGLISH LITERATURE. 

By C. E. BAINES. 

Crown 8vo., cloth. 

This volume covers the entire period of the history of our 
literature down to the close of the Victorian Age, with the deaths of 
Swinburne and Meredith but the period before Chaucer is only 
briefly dealt with. Special care has been taken that, while the book 
contains all the names, dates, etc., that a text-book should contain, 
it should be as little cumbered as possible with the names of writers 
who ' deserve a passing mention.' Occasionally a typical author or 
work is dealt with at some length, even though this involves a 
sacrifice of proportion. This seems, on the whole, the best way, in 
a short book, to give the reader a general idea of any particular 
period without employing undesirably vague generalities. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 7 

A CENTURY OF EMPIRE, 1801-1900. 

By the Right Hon. Sir HERBERT MAXWELL, Bart., P.C., 

AUTHOR OF ' THE LIFE OF WELLINGTON,' ETC. 

Volume /., from 1801 to 1832. With Photogravure Portraits. About 
400 pages. Demy Svo., cloth. 145. net. 

NOTE. The work will be completed in Three Volumes, which will be 
issued at intervals of about six months. 

The great task which Sir Herbert Maxwell has undertaken, and of 
which the first instalment is now offered to the public, is the history 
of the British people during the nineteenth century. It is a history 
in the broadest interpretation of that term ; the back-bone of it is 
political, as was inevitable in the case of a constitutionally governed 
country, but all the principal aspects of the national life are duly 
dealt with in his closely knit narrative. Sir Herbert Maxwell writes 
with the authority conferred by a union of wide knowledge and with 
practised literary skill, and the insight gained by an active and varied 
participation in the public affairs of his own time. To these quali- 
fications he adds an intimate familiarity with that side of social and 
political history which is embedded in countless volumes of the letters 
and memoirs of the leading personages of the time. From this 
source arises what forms perhaps the most characteristic excellence 
of his narrative, the many dramatic touches which enable us to follow 
the progress of events, not only in the light of subsequent knowledge, 
but as they presented themselves to the actors at the time. 



EDMUND GARRETT. 

B dfcemolr. 
By E. T. COOK, 

AUTHOR OF ' RIGHTS AND WRONGS OF THE TRANSVAAL WAR,' JOINT EDITOR OF RUSKIN'S 

WORKS, ETC. 

With Portrait. One Volume. Demy &vo., cloth. IDS. 6d net. 

Edmund Garrett was a journalist of genius, and his short but 
brilliant career was tinged with romance. Going to South Africa, 
in the first instance temporarily for reasons of health, he eventually 
settled there, and so it came about that at the time of the Jameson 
Raid, of which he wrote a singularly lucid and convincing account 
in The Story of an African Crisis,' he was Editor of the Cape Times. 
Henceforward he was involved in the turmoil of events of world- 
wide significance, and it was no small matter that his post should 
have been occupied by one so clear-sighted and courageous. 



8 Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 

THE LIFE OF 
SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW, BART. 

By GEORGE SMALLEY, M.A., 

AUTHOR OF ' STUDIES OF MEN,' ETC. 

With Portrait. One Volume. Demy &vo., cloth. IDS. 6d. net. 

There have never been lacking in the City of London men of the 
type which is associated in the popular mind with the name of 
Richard Whittington, and the story of their early struggles and 
gradual rise to wealth and distinction can never fail to appeal to the 
imagination. Sir Sydney Waterlow was one of Whittington's most 
eminent successors ; from small beginnings and slender resources he 
created one of the greatest printing businesses in the whole country, 
and in due course he arrived at the highest distinction which London 
can bestow, the office of Lord Mayor. But his chief title to remem- 
brance is his unequalled success as a practical philanthropist, and at 
the present time this side of his strenuously active life is probably 
the most interesting and valuable, more especially the story fully 
told in these pages of his wise and far-reaching work in connection 
with the housing of the poor. 



TEN GREAT AND GOOD MEN. 

Lectures by HENRY MONTAGU BUTLER, D.D., D.C.L., 

MASTER OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. 

One Volume. Crown 8vo., cloth. 6s. net. 

These studies are not, in the ordinary sense of the word, bio- 
graphical; the object of the author was in each case to give his 
audience, in broad outline and with as little as might be of historical 
fact and detail, some understanding of the mind and soul of a great 
figure by whom the destinies of the country had been moulded. 
Thus, while he has illustrated his studies by characteristic examples 
of the great public utterances in which the aspirations and ideals of 
his heroes are formulated, he has also enlivened them by recording 
those incidents which, trivial in themselves, reveal the personality of 
the man behind the trappings of the statesman. For his purpose, 
to take a single example, Pitt dominating the House of Commons 
with his eloquence is scarcely more interesting than Pitt romping 
with a roomful of children. The skilled and sympathetic employ- 
ment of this method has resulted in a singularly charming gallery of 
portraits. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 9 

A HISTORY OF 
THE LONDON HOSPITAL. 

By E. W. MORRIS, 

SECRETARY OF THE LONDON HOSPITAL. 

Illustrated. One Volume. Cloth. 6s. net. 

The history of this great Hospital is not only interesting on 
account of the particular incidents of its long and honourable career, 
and the prominent men who have been connected with it, but also 
provides a typical example of the way in which our splendid medical 
charities have grown and developed. Beginning with a survey of 
the condition of Medicine and Surgery in 1741, the date of the 
foundation of the Hospital, the author describes its early days in 
Goodman's Field, the move to Whitechapel, and the gradual growth 
during the last hundred and fifty years. He then deals with the 
system of Administration, Finance, and Management, the relation of 
the Hospital to Medical and Surgical Science, the Medical School, 
and the Development of Sick Nursing. The reader is initiated into 
some noteworthy customs and ceremonies of the Hospital, and some 
account is given of the men whose names stand out in its history. 
The author has enjoyed exceptional advantages in writing his book, 
through his position as Secretary of the Hospital, and has collected 
some valuable materials for illustrating it from sources not generally 
accessible. 



A GREAT BISHOP 
OF ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO: 

JBefng a Sfcetcb of tbe Xffe of JBisbop IborsleE. 
By the Rev. H. H. JEBB, 

RECTOR OF STREATHAM. 

Crown 8vo. 55. net. 

This book has considerable historical interest. It touches on several 
present problems, including the condition of the Welsh Church, 
Passive Resistance, and the immigration of Roman Catholics. 
Overton, the historian, says that Bishop Horsley was regarded as 
far and above all other contemporary writers on the side of the 
Church. The author possesses the Bishop's private letters, and 
information hitherto unpublished. 



io Mr, Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 

HIGH ALBANIA. 

By M. EDITH DURHAM, 

AUTHOR OF ' THE BURDEN OF THE BALKANS ' AND ' THROUGH THE LANDS OF THE SERB.' 

Illustrated from the Authors Sketches. One Volume. Demy Svo. 

145. net. 

No writer on the Balkan peoples displays more intimate know- 
ledge and sympathy than Miss Durham, and it is fortunate that she 
should have taken up her pen again at the present moment when so 
much attention is focussed on Turkish affairs, for the warlike and 
independent Albanians are nominally within the Ottoman Empire, 
despite the fact that there is no conscription and Albanians cannot 
be tried by Turkish law. Miss Durham's new volume is the first 
book to deal with the whole district, and is written mainly for the 
purpose of recording manners and customs that will soon be extinct, 
and which belong to a very early period of the world's history. The 
humour and spirit of tolerance that distinguish her other works is 
again present, and the author contributes her own very effective 
illustrations. 



A SCAMPER THROUGH THE 

FAR EAST. I 

3ncluDing a Visit to tbe flBancburian JSattlcScl&s. 
By Major H. H. AUSTIN, C.M.G., D.S.O., R.E., 

AUTHOR OF ' WITH MACDONALD IN UGANDA,' ETC. 

With Illustrations and Maps. One Volume. Demy Svo., cloth. 155. net. 

Major Austin is a keen-eyed and practised observer, with a 
remarkable flair for the minor details and incidents which make a 
narrative of travel pictorial and lively. The story of his scamper 
across Siberia, and through China, Corea, and Japan, would have 
been well worth telling even if he had enjoyed no privileges and 
experiences of an exceptional character ; but the record of this 
accomplished soldier's visit, in the company of veteran Japanese 



Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements n 

officers, to the scenes of the great battles in Manchuria, and to the 
approaches to Port Arthur, raises his book to an altogether higher 
plane of interest. Moreover, he was fortunate enough to be present 
at some manoeuvres carried out, on a grand scale, by Japanese 
troops under the eyes of the Mikado himself, and to take part as a 
guest in the accompanying festivities. Major Austin's knowledge of 
the points of interest to look out for, and his trained eye for resem- 
blances and contrasts with similar operations carried on in other 
countries, have enabled him to describe the spectacle with exceptional 
vividness and force. 



TURKEY IN TRANSITION. 



By G. F. ABBOTT, 

AUTHOR OF 'THE TALE OF A TOUR IN MACEDONIA,' 'THROUGH INDIA WITH THE PRINCE,' ETC. 



With Illustrations. One Volume. Demy Svo., cloth. 125. 6d. net. 



Mr. Abbott's original intention was to write a book about the 
present position of affairs in the Balkan States generally, but while 
he was in Turkey collecting and amplifying his material he had the 
good fortune to be an eye-witness of the counter-revolution a 
subject that he felt must be treated with all the fulness it deserves. 
It not only afforded admirable material for the illustration of the 
political conditions which caused it, and which will continue to 
influence the situation, but it also gave him a splendid opportunity 
for dramatic writing. The Advance of the Macedonian Army on 
Constantinople, the Siege, the Capture of the City, the Fall of Abdul 
Hamid and his subsequent fate all these events could not be 
spoilt by the dullest pen, let alone one so racy and graphic as 
Mr. Abbott's. 

He has devoted, as well, considerable space to the social changes 
that have come over Turkish life since the establishment of the 
Constitution e.g., the new Turkish woman. It was a rare chance, 
and Mr. Abbott has made the most of it. 



12 Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 

NEW NOVELS. 



THE PASQUE FLOWER. 

By JANE WARDLE. 

AUTHOR OF ' MARGERY PIGEON,' ' THE LORD OF LATIMER STREET,' ETC. 

Crown Svo.j cloth. 6s. 

Jane Wardle's new story centres primarily in the search for a 
monkish treasure supposed to be hidden at an ancient mansion in 
the Wiltshire downs, and secondarily in the love affairs of a young 
man who is not able to make up his mind which of two girls he is 
in love with. Such is the groundwork of a tale that is told in the 
author's charming and original manner, and one that displays her 
talent for character drawing to its fullest advantage. 

A CRUCIAL EXPERIMENT. 

By A. C. FARQUHARSON, 

AUTHOR OF 'ST. NAZARIUS," ETC. 

Crown Svo.j cloth. 6s. 

A distinguished composer and teacher of music, wealthy and 
independent, but wholly wrapped up in his art, goes through the 
form of marriage with a young girl possessing a genius for music, in 
order to enable her to escape from hostile surroundings, and pursue 
her true vocation under his roof. This is the crucial experiment. 
Needless to say, it does not work out in the way contemplated by its 
originator. The situation develops to a tragic climax ; the interest 
of the book lies in the portrayal of the emotional conflicts which 
rack the essentially noble and upright characters whose destinies are 
involved. 

THE BEGGAR IN THE HEART. 

By EDITH RICKERT, 

AUTHOR OF 'THE GOLDEN HAWK,' ' THE REAPER,' ETC. 

Crown Svo.j cloth. 6s. 

Miss Rickert has already shown in ' The Golden Hawk ' that she 
possesses the true spirit of romance, and her new story will not 
disappoint her large and increasing circle of admirers. The scene is 
for the most part laid in London, and the characters are drawn with 
remarkable charm and delicacy. It is a story that cannot fail to 
give pleasure, and to remain long in the memory. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 13 

THE MYSTERY OF THE YELLOW 

ROOM. 

By GASTON LEROUX. 
Crown Svo., cloth. 6s. 

This mysterious and fascinating story has not yet been published 
in a form adapted for library reading, and it may be confidently 
expected to prove the same wonderful success in this edition as in 
the cheap sixpenny issue which made such an impression upon a 
section of the public not repelled by small type and paper covers. 
The book deserves to have a place beside the classic works of 
Gaboriau, and can safely be recommended as one of the most 
thrilling mysteries of modern fiction. 



ORPHEUS WITH HIS LUTE. 

Stories of tbe Mortis Springtime, 
By W. M. L. HUTCHINSON, 

AUTHOR OF ' THE GOLDEN PORCH,' ETC. 

Illustrated. Crown Svo., cloth. 55. 

In this book some of the earliest and most beautiful of Greek 
myths are presented under the guise of stories told to the child Orpheus 
by the Muses, whom he meets on nine moonlight nights in their 
woodland haunts. Thus, the first part, entitled ' The Making of 
a Minstrel,' forms a ' Forest Night's Entertainment,' including, 
among others, the legends of Prometheus, Pandora, the Coming of 
Apollo to Delphi, Demeter and her Maiden, and the fortunes of 
Cadmus and his house. The shorter second part deals with Orpheus 
the Singer, and 'his half-regained Eurydice,' and takes us to the 
Underworld, where the minstrel hears from the shades of ancient 
heroes Sisyphus, Ixion, Meleager the tale of their crime or 
misfortune. We are shown the realm of Pluto, not in the darker 
colouring of Virgil's pencil, but as Greek imagination pictured it, 
a shadowy land where souls dwell, as in Dante's Limbo, ' only so 
far afflicted that they live Desiring without hope.' The fate of 
Orpheus is reticently and simply told, and the story has the happiest 
of endings in the Elysian Fields. 



14 Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 

A New and Cheaper Edition. 

IN THE DESERT : 
THE HINTERLAND OF ALGIERS. 

By L. MARCH PHILLIPPS. 
With Illustrations. One Volume. Crown 8vo. 6s. net. 

The original edition of this interesting book being quite out of 
print, it has been thought advisable to re-issue it in a cheaper form, 
for the benefit of the numerous travellers who visit Algeria and the 
Desert beyond. The volume provides an admirable supplement to 
the guide-book, enlarging upon the life of the Desert Tribes, the scope 
and meaning of their art, and the influence of natural surroundings 
in shaping their destiny. 

From a review in The Times \ ' There are many who go to the Desert, but few are chosen. Mr. 
Phillipps is one of the few. He sees, and can tell us what he has seen ; and reading him, we look 
through his eyes and his sympathies are ours. He can be lyrical without irritating, and analytic 
without boring.' 

A New and Cheaper Edition. 

RUTHLESS RHYMES FOR HEARTLESS 

HOMES. 

By Col. D. STREAMER (Captain HARRY GRAHAM). 

A New and Cheaper Edition, with Additional Illustrations by Hon. 
G. Gathorne-Hardy, and some New Rhymes. 

One Volume. Oblong Crown &vo., paper boards. 2s. 6d. net. 

The steady and continuous sale of these Rhymes for over ten 
years seems to indicate the permanent elements of popularity, that 
bid fair to make them a classic of their kind. They have therefore 
been reprinted in a more handy form, and the author has included 
a few additional ' Ruthless Rhymes ' which were not in the earlier 
editions. He has fortunately been able to enlist the assistance of the 
original illustrator, whose style has matured considerably without 
losing any of its quaint freshness. 



A Popular Cheap Edition. 

THE POEMS OF GEORGE CRABBE. 

Edited by BERNARD HOLLAND, 

AUTHOR OF ' IMPERIUM ET LIBERTAS,' ' LETTERS OF MARY SIBYLLA HOLLAND,' ETC. 

With Photogravure Frontispiece. One Volume. Crown 8vo., 

cloth. 35. 6d. net. 

This edition of Crabbe's poems was originally issued with a 
number of illustrations, but it is felt that the demand is rather for a 
cheap well-printed standard volume than for a more costly and 
ornamental edition. 

Crabbe's readers are more numerous than ever, and it is hoped 
that the present issue will bring his works within the reach of all. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 15 

THE THEORY OF STRUCTURES. 

By R. J. WOODS, M.lNsx.C.E., 

FELLOW AND FORMERLY ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ENGINEERING, ROYAL INDIAN ENGINEERING 
COLLEGE, COOPER'S HILL. 

With 157 Illustrations. Demy 8vo., cloth. IDS. 6d. net. 

The author deals with the design of masonry and steel structures, 
as based upon the determination of the working stresses in them. 
Various types of girders, with parallel chords, parabolic, and with 
curved chords not parabolic, plate girders, arched ribs, and suspen- 
sion bridges are in turn considered. 

Other chapters are concerned with the strength of columns and 
design of struts, riveted joints, and earth pressure, and a final 
chapter is devoted to reinforced concrete construction. 

The subjects are treated from a practical point of view, and a large 
number of examples from everyday practice are worked out. 
Although self-contained and independent, the volume forms a more 
advanced continuation of the same author's previous book, ' The 
Strength and Elasticity of Structural Members.' 

THE GEOLOGY OF ORE-DEPOSITS. 

By H. H. THOMAS and D. A. MACALISTER, 

OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF GREAT BRITAIN. 

Illustrated. Crown 8vo., cloth. 75, 6d. net. 

This book forms the second volume in the Geological Series now 
being issued under the general editorship of Dr. J. E. Marr, F.R.S., in 
in which especial attention is paid to the economic aspect of Geology. 

The authors here present as concisely as possible an account of the 
various processes by which in nature local concentrations of metal- 
liferous material have been brought about in such amounts and 
under such conditions that the ores become commercially valuable. 
Segregation from igneous magmas, pneumatolysis, hydatogenesis, 
and metasomasis are first described; next, precipitation from solution, 
and sedimentary deposits ; and lastly, secondary changes in lodes. 
The subject is one of great importance, not only to the student of 
geology, but also to the practical mining expert, and the authors 
have considered typical deposits of all the principal metals with 
examples from various parts of the world. 

A TEXT-BOOK OF 
ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING. 

By DR. ADOLF THOMALEN. 
Translated by G. W. O. HOWE, M.Sc., 

SENIOR WHITWORTH SCHOLAR, LECTURER IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AT THE 
CITY AND GUILDS COLLEGE. 

Second edition, revised and enlarged. With 454 Illustrations. Royal Svo., 

cloth , 155. net. 

The call for a second edition of Mr. Howe's translation of Dr. 
Thomalen's ' Kurze Lehrbuch der Elektrotechnik ' shows that it has 
successfully met the want for a good text-book to bridge the gap 



1 6 Mr. Edward Arnold's Autumn Announcements 

between elementary books and specialized works on advanced 
electrical engineering. Second and third year students will here find a 
book dealing with the broad principles of electrical machinery without 
entering into all the details of its practical construction and design. 

In thoroughly revising the book for a second edition, the translator 
has further added several valuable sections on the rise of tempera- 
ture of electric motors under continuous and intermittent loads, on 
the Rosenberg constant-current variable-speed dynamo, and on 
six-phase rotary converters. 

AN INTRODUCTION TO 
THE THEORY OF OPTICS. 

By ARTHUR SCHUSTER, PH.D., Sc.D., F.R.S., 

HONORARY PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER. 

Second Edition. With 180 Illustrations. Demy Svo., cloth. 155. net. 
The second edition of Prof. Schuster's introduction to the study of 
the advanced theory of optics has had the advantage of complete 
and thorough revision by the author. Among the new matter added 
may be especially mentioned the fuller account of Michelson's and 
other methods for the absolute determination of wave-lengths, and 
the direct comparison of the lengths so determined with the French 
standard metre. 

ELEMENTARY PHYSIOLOGY 
FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS. 

By W. B. DRUMMOND, M.B., C.M., F.R.C.P.E., 

MEDICAL OFFICER AND LECTURER ON HYGIENE TO THE EDINBURGH PROVINCIAL COMMITTEE 

FOR TRAINING TEACHERS. 
AUTHOR OF ' AN INTRODUCTION TO CHILD STUDY,' ETC. 

With Illustrations. Crown Svo., cloth. 25. 6d. 

This work differs from the usual type of text-book on Elementary 
Anatomy and Physiology in several important particulars. In the first 
place special reference is made throughout the book to the differences 
between children and grown people. For example, there are special 
sections dealing with the diet of children, with the peculiarities of 
the child's skeleton, and with the nervous system in childhood. 

In the second place, those organs and systems are described most 
fully which are of special importance in reference to the care of 
children. Thus, the skeleton and muscles are described in greater 
detail than usual in works of the same size in reference to physical 
training. The effect of exercise on the different organs of the body 
is discussed. Considerable space, as might be expected in a book 
intended for teachers, is devoted to the nervous system. 

Lastly, while the work does not deal directly with either hygiene 
or education, the bearing of physiology on these subjects has been 
kept in view throughout. 

LONDON : EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 4 3 MADDOX STREET, W. 



AN ^INITIAL PINE OP 25 CENTS 

OVERDUE. HE SE VENTH DAY 




UNIV. OF CALJfi 



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