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British Industrial History

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John Prentis Hawley

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John Prentis Hawley (1818-1885)

1885 Obituary [1]

JOHN PRENTIS HAWLEY, eldest son of the late Mr. William Hawley of Fleet Hall, Hockley, near Rochford, Essex, was born on the 7th of May, 1818.

He entered the service of the Lambeth Waterworks Company in 1841, having been engaged by the late Mr. James Simpson, Past-President Inst. C.E.; as outdoor District Manager. His occupation was to look after the supply of water generally, including the laying of service-pipes, the connecting of the houses, the quality of fittings, and the management of the turncocks and other outdoor men. When at Brixton his official residence was near the Works there, which after the new supply was introduced rapidly increased in size. He was also storekeeper at that station, and attended to the rating of the houses and the general supervision of the concern under Mr. Simpson.

On Mr. Simpson’s death Mr. Hawley continued in the same position under his successor, Mr. John Taylor, M.Inst.C.E. The latter gentleman having been acquainted with the Lambeth Works since 1837, when he first joined Mr. Simpson, was much associated with Mr. Hawley during his entire term of service, and bears testimony to the esteem in which he was held from his constant attention and assiduity in the position he occupied. The continual extensions of the district were under Mr. Hawley’s supervision, and a high opinion was entertained by his chiefs of his judgment in the management of his department. Mr. Hawley’s occupation being one of almost unvaried routine but little opportunity occurred for the display of professional acquirements; but he invented (1869) and patented improvements in apparatus for controlling the flow of water under great pressure, to regulate constant supply and to prevent waste. Also a double-screw stop-cock which can be made to control very effectually water or steam under high pressure.

After a service of forty-one years to the Lambeth Waterworks Company, Mr. Hawley retired on a pension in 1881.

He died suddenly on the 21st of January, 1885.

He was elected an Associate on the 7th of May, 1872.

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