My Family History

Trace your ancestors and then immortalise them!

                                                   Victorian Philanthropists


                                        Sir Sydney Hedley Waterlow  (01/09/1822 – 03/08/1906)

Sir Sydney Hedley Waterlow was an English philanthropist and politician, principally remembered for donating Waterlow Park to the public as "a garden for the gardenless".  It stands alongside Highgate Cemetery where Karl Marx is buried. I think Karl must be very happy to have such a beautiful park next door, and would love to have shaken hands with Sydney.

He was born in Finsbury and brought up in Mile End. Educated at St Saviour's Grammar School, he was apprenticed to a stationer and printer and worked in the family firm of Waterlow & Sons Ltd, a large printing company employing over 2000 people. From that he moved into finance and became a director of the Union Bank of London.  He was a Commissioner at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and a juror at the Paris International Exhibition in 1867 for which he was knighted.

He started his political career as a Councillor in 1857 (when he introduced telegraph links between police stations). In 1863 he became an Alderman and began his philanthropic works. He was chairman of the philanthropic housing company The Improved Industrial Dwellings Company, which built the Leopold Buildings amongst others. He also worked for many other charities. He was a Sheriff of the City of London in 1866 and Lord Mayor of London from 1872–1873, and was created a Baronet on 4 August 1873.

In 1870, he bought large areas of land in Kent, including the village of Fairseat (near Stansted), a major portion of Stansted as well as other pieces of land extending from Wrotham to Meopham. The parts of the estate were linked by a small bridge bearing the family crest over Trottiscliffe Road. In 1887, he built Trosley Towers on the crest of the escarpment on the North Downs, to the east of Trottiscliffe Road. Two drives approached the house, and it was surrounded by wooded grounds. Later, other private drives were constructed, including Hamilton Drive which still survives within the Trosley Country Park and runs from the site of the old House to Commority Road.

In 1872 he gave Lauderdale House (now in Waterlow Park) to St Bartholomew's Hospital to be used as a convalescent home for the poor, staffed by nurses supplied by Florence Nightingale, and in 1889 he gave the surrounding park to the London County Council. His former house next to the park, Fairseat, became Channing Junior School.

He was a Liberal Member of Parliament for Dumfriesshire from 1868–1869, when he was unseated on the grounds that he was a government contractor,his firm having taken a contract without his knowledge. He then sat for Maidstone (1874–1880) and Gravesend (1880–1885). His fourth son, David Sydney Waterlow, was Liberal MP for Islington North. The artist Ernest Albert Waterlow was his nephew.

When Sir Sidney died in 1906 at his Trosley Towers estate, Wrotham, which passed to his son Philip (who thereby became entitled Sir). When Sir Philip died in 1931, the estate was sold off. Some of the houses (of the estate) were bought by tenants, one of these was Pilgrims House, with six acres of land, at the bottom of Trottiscliffe Road which went for £600. Trosley Towers and the woodlands around it, were sold to 'Mr E. E. Shahmoon' in 1935. In 1936, Mr Shahmoon had Trosley Towers demolished and had Hamilton Lodge built along with adjoining stables. One story suggests that the Lodge and stables were built to accommodate the Shah of Persia's racehorses on his visits to England.

Waterlow Park has always had a special place in my heart. Thank you Sydney for making  such a beautiful garden for those who have no garden, and thank you Sydney for being a very great and kind man.  :o)

                        William Hesketh Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme  (19/09/1851 – 07/05/1925)

William Lever started work at his father's wholesale grocery business in Bolton. In 1886 he established a soap manufacturing company, Lever Brothers, with his brother James. It is now part of Unilever. It was one of the first companies to manufacture soap from vegetable oils, and with Lever's business acumen and marketing practices, produced a great fortune.  Sunlight Soap, Lux and Lifebuoy were some of the many well-known brands.  In politics, Lever sat as a Liberal MP for Wirral and then as a Peer (as Lord Leverhulme). He was an advocate for expansion of the British Empire, particularly in Africa and Asia, which supplied palm oil, a key ingredient in Lever's product line.

William Lever was born on 19 September 1851 at 16 Wood Street, Bolton, Lancashire, England. He was the eldest son and the seventh child born to James Lever (1809–1897), a grocer, and Eliza Hesketh, daughter of a cotton mill manager. He was educated at Bolton Church Institute between 1864 and 1867 and worked in the family grocery business from 1867 until he was given junior partnership in 1872.

Lever was a member of the Congregationalist Church and applied its ideals in his business life. On 17 April 1874 he married Elizabeth Ellen Hulme, daughter of a draper and neighbour from Wood Street, at the Church of St Andrew and St George (then Congregational, now United Reformed) in Bolton.  William, their only surviving child, was born in 1888.

Lever moved to Thornton Hough in 1888 and bought Thornton Manor in 1893. He subsequently bought the village which he developed as a model village. His London home was The Hill at Hampstead, bought in 1904. He bought and demolished neighbouring Heath Lodge in 1911 to extend the garden. The Hill was his main home from 1919. In 1899 he bought Rockhaven in Horwich and the Rivington estate in early 1900. He built a wooden bungalow on the slopes of Rivington Pike in 1902 which was burned down in an arson attack in 1913 by suffragette, Edith Rigby. Its stone replacement was his summer home until his death.

In 1887, Lever looking to expand his business, bought 56 acres of land on the Wirral in Cheshire between the River Mersey and the railway line at Bebington. This site became Port Sunlight where he built his works and a model villageto house its employees. From 1888, Port Sunlight village offered decent living conditions in the belief that good housing would ensure a healthy and happy workforce. The community was designed to house and support the workers. Life in Port Sunlight included intrusive rules and implied mandatory participation in activities. The tied cottages meant that a worker losing his or her job could be almost simultaneously evicted. Even workers' social lives were policed from the head office. W.H Lever stated "a good workman may have a wife of objectionable habits, or may have objectionable habits himself, which make it undesirable for us to have him in the village."

Lever began collecting artworks in 1893 when he bought a painting by Edmund Leighton. Lever wanted to share his collections with the public. At first he used the library and then Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight Village for small displays. But he needed a bigger and more impressive building for his collections. Lever had learned his new business methods, especially marketing, from America. The idea for his art gallery may also have come from America. Many American business tycoons built galleries for their own art collections and presented them to the public. Lever was the only British tycoon who did this. Lever personally selected works of art from his huge collection for the gallery. He also bought new works specifically for public display. He explained, "I have to cater for all tastes ." He founded the Lady Lever Art Gallery in 1922, dedicated to his late wife.  Much of Leverhulme's art collection is displayed in the gallery which houses one of the finest formed by an industrialist in England.

In his later years, Leverhulme became deaf and kept a klaxon horn by his bed to wake him at 5 am. He took up ballroom dancing late in life. Throughout his life he thought the only healthy way to sleep was outdoors in the wind and the rain.  Leverhulme was involved with freemasonry and by 1902 was the first initiate of a lodge bearing his name, William Hesketh Lever Lodge No. 2916. He later formed Leverhulme Lodge 4438. He saw freemasonry as a tool to reinforce the hierarchy within Lever Brothers. He was a founder of the Phoenix Lodge 3236 whilst an M.P in 1907 and a founder of St. Hilary Lodge No. 3591 founded 4 May 1912, then Past Pro-Grand Warden and Immediate Past Master. He was appointed Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England in 1919 and co-founded a number of lodges. He was Provincial Senior Grand Warden of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cheshire.

Lord Leverhulme died aged 74 of pneumonia at his home in Hampstead on 7 May 1925. His funeral was attended by 30,000 people. He is buried in the churchyard of Christ Church in Port Sunlight, Cheshire.  William Lever made the celebrated quote about advertising, "I know half my advertising isn't working, I just don't know which half."

                                                       John Cadbury (12/08/1801 – 11/05/1889)

John Cadbury was the fourth child of ten born to Elizabeth and Richard Tapper Cadbury, on 12 Aug 1801 in 92 Bull Street Birmingham. Richard Tapper had started business as a Linen Draper & Silk Mercer in Birmingham in 1794, with a fellow Quaker, Joseph Rutte, and featured in Benjamin Robert Haydon's painting of The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, 1840. In 1796, he married Elizabeth Head (born 7 Mar 1769) of Ipswich.

Richard was born on 6 Nov 1768 in Exeter, Devon, son of Joel (born 17 Jan 1733) and Sarah Cadbury (born on 18 Jun 1736) Richard had five siblings and two half-siblings, his father Joel having married twice. Richard's middle name, Tapper, was his paternal grandmother Hannah's maiden name before she married his grandfather John Cadbury, born in Hemyock on 01/10/1696.  Hannah was born on 29 April 1725.  Joel had been their youngest and only surviving child of four.

John Cadbury was descended from a line of West Country yeomen and woolcombers, the 3rd child of James Cadbury, churchwarden in Hemyock, born circa 1664.  James father was also called James, born circa 1633, and his mother was Elizabeth Upton. James' grandfather was James Cadbury of Culmdavey and his great-grandfather was Lawrence Cadbury, born circa 1564, the son of James, also from Culmdavey, who died circa 1588. The father of this James, and at the very top of our tree, was William Cadbury , born 16 June 1557, and married to Agnes, born 13 Aug 1564. They lived at Uffculm. Thank you to Richard Barrow Cadbury's "The Cadbury Family Book" for researching this family tree, and to his son William A Cadbury for collating it in 1904.