SIR HUGH MYDDELTON (or MIDDLETON), 1ST BARONET (1560 – 10 December
1631) was a Welsh clothmaker, entrepreneur, mine-owner, goldsmith ,
banker and self-taught engineer. The spelling of his name is
inconsistently reproduced, but MYDDELTON appears to be the earliest,
and most consistently used in place names associated with him.
The sixth son of Richard Myddelton, governor of
Denbigh Castle in
Wales and MP for
Denbigh Boroughs , he travelled to seek his fortune
in London and after being apprenticed to a goldsmith became so
successful in that trade that he was appointed Royal Jeweller by King
James I . In the meantime, he became an alderman and then recorder of
Denbigh, and in 1603 succeeded his father as MP for
Denbigh Boroughs ,
which he remained until 1628. He also became a very wealthy merchant
* 1 New River
* 2 Mining activities
* 3 Memorials
* 4 References
* 5 Sources
* 6 External links
The New Gauge House (1856) which regulates the abstraction of
water from the
River Lea into the start of the New River in the
Myddelton is, however, best remembered as the driving force behind
the construction of the New River , an ambitious engineering project
to bring clean water from the
River Lea , near Ware , in Hertfordshire
to New River Head, London. After the initial project encountered
financial difficulties, Myddelton helped fund the project through to
completion, obtaining the assistance of King James I. The New River
was constructed between 1608 and 1613 (being officially opened on 29
September that year), and was originally some 38 miles (60 km) long.
It was not initially a financial success, and cost Myddelton
substantial sums, although in 1612 he was successful in securing
monetary assistance from King James I.
In 1617, Myddelton obtained large profits from lead and silver mines
Cwmsymlog in Cardiganshire , Wales.
Working those mines involved building aqueducts to serve the stamp
mills needed to crush the ore . Following engineering works at Brading
Isle of Wight , he was created a baronet in 1622.
He died in December 1631, and was buried in the church of St. Matthew
Friday Street , London. He had a family of ten sons and six daughters.
One of Sir Hugh's brothers was Sir Thomas Myddelton (c. 1550–1631),
Lord Mayor of London, and another was William Middelton (c.
1556–1621), poet and seaman, who died at Antwerp on 27 March 1621.
Statue of Sir
Hugh Myddelton by John Thomas , on Islington
Green previously known as Paradise Row near the terminus of the New
River. Unveiled 1862 by
William Gladstone , then Chancellor of the
Exchequer and soon to become Prime Minister. Statue of Sir Hugh
Myddelton on the
Royal Exchange, London
Royal Exchange, London
There is a statue of Myddelton on
Islington Green . He has a blue
plaque on the site of his former residence at the end of Cunard
Crescent in Enfield .
Clerkenwell streets, not far from the Round
Pond, the original southern end of the New River, and locations and
institutions (some closed) named after him include Myddelton Square
and Myddelton Passage;
Hugh Myddelton Primary School in Myddelton
Street; the Myddelton Wing of the LSE Rosebery Hall of Residence, also
on Myddelton Street;
Hugh Myddelton Secondary school (which closed in
the mid 1960s in Sans Walk, Islington); and Myddelton House on
Pentonville Road, central office of
Citizens Advice . Myddelton
Avenue, parallel to Brownswood Road and the site of one of the New
River Reservoirs, also takes its name from him. At the northern end of
the New River, Myddelton Road in Ware is situated close to the source
of the river. Myddelton Road in
Bowes Park crosses the New River at a
point where it goes underground between there and the
treatment works, where there is another Myddelton Road off Hornsey
High Street. Bounded by the former course along the valley of Turkey
Brook , Myddelton House at
Bulls Cross, Enfield
Bulls Cross, Enfield (now the headquarters
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority ) was also named in his
honour; it was built by Henry Carrington Bowles (formerly a print and
map maker of St Paul's Churchyard) whose wife, Anne Garnault, was a
member of a
Huguenot family with a controlling interest in the New
River Company. On an island in the New River at
Great Amwell a stone
memorial is dedicated to Myddelton. There is a Myddleton Arms on New
North Road in
Canonbury , curiously with that spelling.
* ^ newriver.pdf at shelford.org
Great Amwell memorial urn. Retrieved 30 October 2011
* Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Myddelton, Sir Hugh". Encyclopædia
Britannica . 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
* Goodwin, Gordon (1894). "Myddelton, Hugh". In Lee, Sidney .
Dictionary of National Biography . 39. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
* Jenner, Mark S. R. "Myddelton , Sir Hugh, baronet
Dictionary of National Biography (online
ed.). Oxford University Press. doi :10.1093/ref:odnb/19683 .
(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)