Edward Hermon Papers
The Edward Hermon papers provide a wealth of detail about British society in the second half of the nineteenth century, and are of great value to any historian of British architecture, game sports, and psychiatry. Edward Hermon (1821?-1881) was an entrepreneur in the cotton industry of Lancashire, and served as the managing partner of Horrocks, Miller & Company. Hermon became the conservative M.P. for Preston (1868-1881) as well as an eminent art collector, sportsman, philanthropist, and builder. His papers, dating between 1864 and 1867, cover a variety of topics, but for the most part deal with the building of Wyfold Court, his hunting preserves in Scotland, the division of the Hermon estate, and the mental health of his wife, Emily Hermon.
Correspondence for the years 1872 to 1876 concerns the construction of Hermon's country house, Wyfold Court. This mansion is still unique today for its size, style, and construction. Hermon also had an abiding interest in game sports, and there is considerable material about the game preserves in Scotland, including a series of sketches, expenditure statements, and maps. Edward Hermon died in May 1881, and his death and the distribution of his property is are the main subjects of the letters after that date. The correspondence regarding Hermon's wife Emily, is of unique value for the study of Victorian psychiatric practices. Mrs. Hermon developed a serious mental condition, most likely due to lead poisoning, that required her to be institutionalized in 1869. The correspondence includes medical reports of her condition and letters from concerned family and friends, both before and after Edward Hermon's death.
This collection can also be viewed within the Library's online archival resources site.