Sir Hugh Myddelton, Welsh goldsmith and engineer, c 1600s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Oil on canvas portrait made c 1856, posibly after a painting by Janson. Sir Hugh Myddleton (1560-1631) traded as a banker, goldsmith and clothmaker. He became famous for the New River project (begun in 1609), designed to improve the water supply in London. A canal 38 miles in length, from a reservoir in Hertfordshire called New River Head, was completed in 1613. In 1617, Myddleton obtained large profits from lead and silver mines in Cardiganshire in Wales. He was created a baronet in 1622.