Heald Family Papers

Scope and Content

The original donation of Heald family papers, made in 1958, consists of 400 letters, five letter-books and six volumes of diaries. The bulk relates to Walter Heald, to his wife Emily Isabel, née Krabbé, whom he met there, and to the firm of Krabb, Higgins & Co. of Buenos Aires, general merchants. Most of the correspondence consists of business letters from this country and from South America written and received by Walter Heald, who seems to have acted as a representative for the company. There are also four diaries written by Heald during his voyage to and residence in Buenos Aires, 1866-1870, and a two-volume diary kept by his future wife, 1869-1871.

Additional uncatalogued material acquired in 1996 and 1997, chiefly comprises the papers of Charles Brehmer Heald (5 boxes), including a typescript copy of his unpublished autobiography relating his colourful wartime experiences, scrapbooks, printed matter, correspondence and personal papers. These will be of interest to students of the history of medicine and particularly of the military medical services. There are also further family papers, including photographic prints, relating to the Heald, Hall and Krabbé families.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Heald family were active in business in both Britain and Argentina. Walter Heald (1841-1925) was a merchant who went to South America in 1866, where he met his future wife Emily Isabel, née Krabbé (1852-1926). he was associated with the firm of Krabbé, Higgins & Co. of Buenos Aires, general merchants. The Healds originated in Yorkshire, and Walter's father, Nicholas (1803-1896) went to Manchester in 1833 to practise law. He later worked for a banking concern; as a secretary to the engineer and arms manufacturer, Sir Joseph Whitworth (1803-1887); and as first chairman of the Lancashire Insurance Co.

Charles Brehmer Heald (1882-1974) was formerly consultant physician in physical medicine at the Royal Free Hospital. C.B. Heald had the distinction of serving as a medical officer in all three branches of the armed forces during the First World War. After the war he took a keen interest in electrotherapeutics and played a leading role in the development of physical medicine.

Access Information

The collection is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

The material was donated by Charles Brehmer Heald in 1958 and 1996-1997.


Description compiled by Jo Klett, project archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1952-1970 (English MSS 1217-1223), and an unpublished accession list of the material acquired in 1996 and 1997.

Related Material

For Charles Brehmer Heald see also the National Maritime Museum, The Caird Library, Manuscripts Section, for correspondence, journals and papers (1914-1915) (ref.: GB 064 HLD).

Geographical Names