‘View of the gardens of the Quinta Waddington in Valparaiso’, from the Colección Museo Histórico Nacional, AF-141-3, courtesy of the Museo Histórico Nacional (Chile)
Authors: Manuel Llorca-Jaña and Graciela Iglesias-Rogers
This photo, taken in 1865 by Thomas William Oliver, a Chilean of English descent, shows a fountain in the middle of a public garden in Valparaiso known as the Jardín Recreo and towards the top of the hill a palace-style property built under the name of the ‘Quinta Waddington’ (‘quinta’ meaning country residence). This was in honour of Joshua Waddington (1792 – 1876), a native of Headingley, Yorkshire (England) who made fortune after arriving in Chile in 1817, particulary through trading in copper and silver and investing in the Santiago-Valparaiso railways, in wheat flour making, in joint stock companies, shipping, urban estate and public utilities. In 1838, he entered into Chilean high society through his marriage to Rosario UrrutiaGutiérrez (1803-1871) with whom he had 13 children, although only six were alive by 1874. In Valparaiso, the Waddington family owned much of the neighbourhood of Cerro de la Concepción and all of the Cerro Playa Ancha and Cerro Recreo where the Quinta Waddington stood for many years until demolished in the twentieth century. In the 1860s, Joshua Waddington donated 80 lots of land to the local municipality to provide public spaces for recreation, much of these lots resulting in the Jardín Recreo. Although Catholic himself, Waddington did much to encourage Protestantism, being the actual owner of the first Anglican chapel in Chile. This was a schoolroom semidetached from a private house in Santa Victoria Street on Alegre Hill, Valparaiso, that appears to have been in use as early as 1835 despite the absence of religious toleration at the time. His son Joseph at a later date donated also a suitable site to the Union Church which was built in 1855, being the first Protestant Church ever purposefully built on the West Coast of South America.
Sources and Suggested Reading: Hannavy, J. (2013). Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography. London, Taylor & Francis, p. 292; Mayo, J. (2005). ‘Joshua Waddington and the Anglo-Chilean Connection.’ Boletin Academia Chilena de la Historia, 71(114): 189-216; Araya Valenzuela, Roberto (2017). ‘Josué Waddington. De agente consignatario a engranaje modernizador en el Chile tradicional, 1817-1876’. In Manuel Llorca-Jaña & Diego Barría, eds, Empresas y Empresarios en la Historia de Chile, 1810-1930, Editorial Universitaria Santiago de Chile; Araya Valenzuela, Roberto & Manuel Llorca-Jaña. ‘The birth of joint stock companies in Chile, 1849-1875’, Revista de Historia Industrial Nº. 74, 2018, 43-76; Figueroa, Virgilio (1925). Diccionario histórico y biográfico de Chile, 1800-1925. Imprenta y Litrogràfica La Ilustración, Santiago de Chile; Llorca-Jaña, Manuel; Claudio Robles; Juan Navarrete-Montalvo; Roberto Araya Valenzuela, ‘La agricultura y la elite agraria chilena a través de los catastros agrícolas, c.1830-1855′, Historia, Vol. 50-2, 2017, 597-639.
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