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Statue of Sir Sydney Waterlow in Waterlow Park

Sir Sydney Hedley Waterlow, 1st Baronet, KCVO (1 November 1822 – 3 August 1906) was an English philanthropist and politician, principally remembered now for donating Waterlow Park to the public as "a garden for the gardenless".

He was born in Finsbury, and brought up in Mile End, and apprenticed as a stationer and printer, and worked in the family firm of Waterlow & Sons Ltd, a large printing company employing over two thousand people. From that he moved into finance, and was 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. This is when his philanthropic works began. He was chairman of the philanthropic housing company The Improved Industrial Dwellings Company in 1863, which built the Leopold Buildings amongst others. He also worked for many other charities.

He was Lord Mayor of London from 1872-1873, and was made a baronet on 4 August 1873.

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, but is now Channing Junior School .

He was a Liberal Member of Parliament for Dumfriesshire from 1868 to 1869, for Maidstone from 1874-1880 and Gravesend from 1880-1885.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Gustavus Walker
Member of Parliament for Dumfriesshire
1868–1869
Succeeded by
George Gustavus Walker
Preceded by
James Whatman and
Sir John Lubbock
Member of Parliament for Maidstone
2-seat constituency
(with Sir John Lubbock)

18741880
Succeeded by
John Evans Freke-Aylmer and
Alexander Henry Ross
Preceded by
Thomas Bevan
Member of Parliament for Gravesend
1880–1885
Succeeded by
John Bazley White
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
(new creation)
Baronet
of London
1873–1906
Succeeded by
Philip Waterlow
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