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

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.


  • It has been suggested that William Haywood stood model for Walter in My secret life and may even have authored the book.[2]
  • Haywood may also have been one of the founders of The Geological Society [3]


  1. 1.0 1.1  Beare, Thomas Hudson (1901). [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2FHaywood%2C_William_%281821-1894%29_%28DNB01%29 "Haywood, William (1821-1894)" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). In Sidney Lee (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. The man who was Walter; Pattison, John Patrick, New Jersey Institute of Technology; reprinted by the Cambridge University Press
  3. Reference to William Haywood by The Geological Society

Further reading

  • The government of Victorian London, 1855-1889: the Metropolitan Board of Works, The Vestries and The City Corporation; Owen, David Edward and Roy M. MacLeod; reprinted in 1982 by the Harvard University Press. 480pp. ISBN 0-674-35885-6
  • Public sculpture of the City of London; Ward-Jackson, Philip; Liverpool University Press; 2003; 680pp; ISBN 978-0-85323-977-2.


  • Victorian Literature and Culture; Volume 30; Cambridge University Press; 2002; pp 19–40
  • In search of W.J. Haywood; Freeman, Eric F.; Proc Geol. Assoc. Volume 105; pp. 161–166;