Letters from Sir Sydney Herbert H. Henn

Scope and Content

Letters from Henn to his brother, Canon Percy V. Henn, in Western Australia on various family matters [originals]. Also, letters to his son John in Kenya, and others (1916-1936), including references to his Chairmanship of the Joint East Africa Board (1926-1929) [photocopies].

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Sydney Herbert Holcroft Henn, KBE (1918), was born on the 4 December 1861 in Manchester, England. He was educated at Marlborough College and Manchester Grammar School. In 1881 he entered a firm of South American merchants, Duncan Fox & Co., and spent the next 32 years in Chile. Henn retired in 1913 in order to settle in England.

In 1917 Henn joined the staff of the Surveyor-General of Supply at the War Office; 2 years later he was transferred to the Ministry of Munitions. He retired, once again, in 1921. A year later he was elected to the House of Commons as Unionist Member for Blackburn (1922-1929).

Henn served on the Imperial Economic Committee (1924-1927) and on the Advisory Committee of the new East African Dependencies Trade and Information Office in London (1925-1935). During this time he was also Chairman of the Joint East Africa Board (1926-1929) and toured East Africa on their behalf. In the election of 1929 Henn lost his seat in the House of Commons. He spent part of 1929 and 1930 on a trans-Atlantic visit.

In the summer of 1930 Henn visited Tanganyika to preside as an independent Chairman over a local commission appointed by the Governor to make recommendations on railway construction. He was elected a member of the Joint East Africa Board Executive Council in 1930. In August 1932 he visited South America on a financial mission for the Governor of the Bank of England. Henn died on the 21 October 1936.

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Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

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