A London Apprentice
Born to industrious working-class parents, Sydney Hedley Waterlow endured a tough, unforgiving childhood education only to discover an enviable and undoubted talent in the printing industry while still an apprentice to the trade. On gaining his freedom he went on to partner his father and brothers in a world-famous family printing firm before using his business skills to highlight and greatly improve the life conditions for the downtrodden classes of Victorian London. With his well-established connections within the City of London, including serving a term as its lord mayor, Sydney used his powerful associations and influence to establish and improve many beneficial organisations we know today, including the City & Guilds Institute and Bart's Hospital (with his friend, Florence Nightingale), one of his final acts of selflessness being to donate twenty-nine acres of his own land in London to be used as a ‘garden for the gardenless'. Truly one of the Victorian era's greatest unsung heroes.