Collection of autographs of musicians and composers, made by Herbert Mayo Leman (1870-fl1950), solicitor of Nottingham, 1882-1915

Scope and Content

The publication of printed birthday books related to particular themes was popular in the late19th century. This example, entitled 'Birthday Book of Musicians and Composers', contains printeddescriptions of musicians and composers born on particular days on the left hand side of the volume.On the right hand side are blank spaces on which the owner of the book can write the names offriends according to their birthdays.

The book has been used as an autograph book, primarily although apparently not exclusively, forcomposers, conductors and musical performers. The presence of some local and family names suggestsit served a more general purpose too. Names have been filled in for the majority of dates throughoutthe year, and in some cases the autograph is dated.

Autographs featured in the volume include those of Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961), composer andconductor; Dame Myra Hess (1890-1965), concert pianist; Vera Beringer, actress; L. Emil Bach,composer; John T. Carrodus (1836-1895), violinist; Sir Hamilton Harty (1879-1941) composer andconductor; Alice Lethbridge (dancer); Max Mossel, impresario; Hilda Saxe, musician; Sir Henry J.Wood, conductor; and Robert Watkin Mills (1849-1930) bass singer.

Administrative / Biographical History

The volume used as an autograph album was published by E. Fauer as 'Musicians and ComposersBirthday Book' (London: Forsyth Brothers, 1882). It is not certain who was its original owner. Thecover bears the words, in gold tooling, 'C. Mayo Leman, Nottingham'; the 'C' is partiallyobliterated, apparently deliberately. An autograph of Thomas Leman appears in the blank section for9th January in the volume. Thomas Leman was the father of Herbert Mayo Leman, and the coverinscription has led to the assumption that the volume was largely compiled by Herbert Mayo Leman, orcame into his possession.

Herbert Mayo Leman was born in Nottingham in 1870, the son of Thomas Leman. He was educated atthe University School, Nottingham, the Taylor's School, London and Magdalene College, Cambridge (MA,LLM.) He made his career as a solicitor, and in 1904 was Deputy Steward of the Manor of Newark UponTrent. He had keen historical interests and was a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Heremained a resident of Nottingham until at least 1950 and his business continued in the town until1980.


The collection has not required any arrangement.

Conditions Governing Access

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.


Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on thedescription belongs to the University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The volume was acquired for the Library collections at the University College Nottingham beforethe 1950s.

Related Material

  • University of Nottingham; Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections: Collection ofphotographs of performers and musicians made by John Adcock, a Nottingham conductor. 1884-1892.Reference: MS 736