Person Male Born 24/5/1815 Died 8/8/1870
First Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works and thus the first Leader of local government in London.
Born Westmorland. Came to London in 1832, trained as a draper and set up his own business in 1842. Entered local government through the church, representing more than one Vestry. Sewage was an important problem at this time and Thwaites became a bit of an expert. This all led to his election to be Chair of the newly formed Metropolitan Board of Works 22 December 1855.
With Bazalgette as the Board's Chief Engineer, Thwaites was responsible for the construction of a London sewage system including the construction of the Victoria Embankment. Knighted in 1865 in recognition of his success with the sewage system. Most unfairly, Thwaites died of cholera at his home in Wandsworth.
Not to be confused with the John Thwaites who commissioned a new sewerage system in western Victoria, Australia, in 2003. Wonder if he knows of his illustrious name-sake?