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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. Sir Henn died on the 21 October 1936.
Correspondence, notebooks etc. as Chairman of the Joint East Africa Board (1926-1929) and as a representative on the Imperial Economic Committee (1924-1927), the Advisory Committee of the East African Dependencies Trade and Information Office (1925-1935), and the Tanganyika Railway Commission (1930-1931).
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The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.
Listed as nos. 80 and 521 in Manuscript Collections of Africana in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1968) and as no. 33 in Manuscript Collections (excluding Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Supplement, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1971).
Henn | Sydney Herbert Holcroft | 1861-1936 | Sir | Knight, MP, merchant, and administrator
Joint East Africa Board
Great Britain | Imperial Economic Committee
Great Britain | East African Dependencies Trade and Information Office
Tanganyika Railway Commission