Obituary | Published:

Lady Herdman

Nature volume 110, page 708 (25 November 1922) | Download Citation



In educational and scientific circles widespread sympathy is felt with Sir William Herdman at the death of Lady Herdman on November 7. His loss is shared by all who knew Lady Herdman, as well as by many others to whom her life and work were both a stimulus and a standard. Lady Herdman was a daughter of the late Mr. Alfred Holt, and was a student at University College, Liverpool, when Sir William Herdman was professor of natural history there. She graduated in science at London University in 1891, with first-class honours in physics, and in the following year became the first president of the Women Students' Representative Council at Liverpool. She was thus an active worker in the University College of the city before it became the University of Liverpool in 1903; and in promoting this development, as well as since, Lady Herdman was closely associated with her distinguished husband. The scientific world gratefully remembers how in 1916, in commemoration of the death of their brilliant son George in the battle of the Somme, they gave the sum of 10,000l. to the university for the foundation of the George Herdman chair of geology, and three years later founded and endowed the chair of oceanography in the university. In these and many other ways, as, for example, by devoted service on the Liverpool Education Committee, of which she was a co-opted member, Lady Herdman exercised an influence which was always beneficial and often more far-reaching than she herself ever conceived. She possessed wisdom as well as knowledge, and the remembrance of her life will long be cherished with affection, to console as well as to inspire.

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