Thursday, 7 May 2009

Lady Florence Herbert 1870-1930

Click here for some photos of Florence

Lady Florence Herbert was born around 1870, the daughter of John Pepper of Thornton-le-Fen, Lincolnshire. She first married a Colonel Lucas and also became matron of the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital of which Alfred Herbert was for many years the chairman. She became his second wife in about 1914.

Florence and her mother Louisa and her sisters, Blanche and Margaret Pepper moved into Sir Alfred Herbert's newly-acquired estate at Dunley in Hampshire in 1918 and lived there until Florence died in 1930. She was buried in the family church at Litchfield, next to Dunley, in a tomb that Sir Alfred would later also be buried in.

In her memory, her mother and sisters erected the lychgate at Litchfield and at the same time Sir Alfred made many improvements to the churchyard.

On her last months, Sir Alfred completed the negotiations for the purchase of land and part of the remaining Coventry city wall at Swanswell on which he erected almshouses and created a garden which he named Lady Herbert's Homes and Garden. This still stands as Florence Herbert's Coventry memorial. In 2000 the garden was extensively refurbished and is now beautifully kept.

He also funded a lovely Lady Chapel at St Barbara's, Earlsdon, which was dedicated to her memory as well as endowing for St Paul's Church, Foleshill, the parish in his Alfred Herbert Ltd had it's main works.

A Lady Herbert Memorial Fund was also set up at Alfred Herbert Ltd which resulted in a presentation of £500 to the Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital in her name and the placing of a sundial in the garden of a new surgery being constructed at the works.

Return to Sir Alfred Herbert Index
Return to Sir Alfred Herbert's Family

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