William Haywood (engineer)

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William J. Haywood (December 8, 1821 – April 13, 1894) was a surveyor and an engineer to the City of London Commissioners of Sewers. He was also known as an architect.

Personal life[edit]

William Haywood was born as the eldest of three children in Camberwell. His father was probably also called William Haywood. Nothing is known about his mother. In the census of 1871 he was no longer alone and living in Maida Vale.

He died at 56 Hamilton Terrace, Maida Vale, on 13 April 1894.[1]


He was probably educated in Camberwell. There are records which suggest he went to Camberwell Grammar School. Later he trained with George Aitchison (1792–1861).


With Joseph Bazalgette he was responsible for the enormous undertaking of improving London's sewerage system which enable the growth of the city (Abbey Mills pumping station). He worked with James Bunning on the Holborn Viaduct.[1]

His main work however, for which he should be remembered, is the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium. The facility was built near Little Ilford (now Manor Park) as a way of relieving the appalling overcrowding of London's church burial grounds (described e.g. in Dickens's 'Bleak House'). As the City was redeveloped the remains from many of its churchyards were reinterred there. Haywood was a pioneer of cemetery reform.

There is a small Gothic mausoleum near the gates of The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium which contain his ashes.

Other activities[edit]

It has been suggested that William Haywood was the anonymous author 'Walter' of the erotic memoir My Secret Life.[2]

In 1858 Haywood was one of the founders of the Geologists' Association.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b  Beare, Thomas Hudson (1901). "Haywood, William (1821-1894)". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  2. ^ John Patrick Pattinson, The man who was Walter, in Victorian Literature and Culture, Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 19-40
  3. ^ "A true amateur". Geoscientist Online. July 2008. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  4. ^ Freeman, Eric F., (1994) "In search of W.J. Haywood"; Proc Geol. Assoc. Volume 105; pp. 161–166;

Further reading[edit]