Edmund Robert Harris

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Edmund Harris
Portrait of Edmund Harris
Portrait of Edmund Harris
BornEdmund Robert Harris
Died(1877-05-27)27 May 1877
Preston, Lancashire,

Edmund Robert Harris (c. 1804 – 27 May 1877) was a British lawyer from Preston, Lancashire who was the principal benefactor of the Harris Museum, Harris Institute or Art School, Harris Technical School and the Harris Orphanage.

Harris was the son of the Reverend Robert Harris (1764–1862) vicar of St George's Parish Church in Preston and headmaster of the Preston Grammar School. The Reverend Harris was also the librarian of the Dr. Richard Shepherd Library and had been involved in a long campaign for the creation of a free public library and museum in Preston.[1]

Harris died aged 73 at his home at Whinfield House in Ashton on 27 May 1877 and was buried in a triple coffin in a vault in St Andrews Church, Ashton.[2]

After the death of his father in 1862 and his brother Thomas in 1875, Edmund Harris inherited the family's entire wealth and had no heirs. He left instructions in his will and £300,000 to create a trust that would help support several new institutions in Preston, including a free public library, museum and art gallery. They were all dedicated in memory of his family and in particular his father the Reverend Robert Harris.[3]

The Harris Museum is the only institution created by the Harris bequest that still exists in its original form. The Harris Institute and Harris Technical School became the University of Central Lancashire and the university still has the Harris technical school building on Corporation Street as part of its campus.[4] The Harris Institute building on Avenham Lane and Harris Orphanage buildings on Garstang Road are now in private ownership.[5][6]

The Harris Free Public Library and Museum Endowment Trust still exists to support the work of the Harris Museum and the library.[7]


  1. ^ Death of the Rev. R. Harris - Preston Chronicle and Lancashire Advertiser, 8 Jan 1862 page 3
  2. ^ Death and Funeral of Edmund Robert Harris - Preston Chronicle and Lancashire Advertiser, 2 June 1877 page 4
  3. ^ "History of the Harris". Harrismuseum.org.uk. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Layout 1" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  5. ^ Published on Thu Nov 06 14:44:04 GMT 2008. "Former orphanage will become family homes, Lancashire Evening Post, 2008". Lep.co.uk. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  6. ^ Published on Fri Dec 11 15:07:07 GMT 2009. "Tycoon snaps up historic building, Lancashire Evening Post, 2009". Lep.co.uk. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Harris Free Public Library And Museum Endowment Trust - Charity Number 526078, Details, Financial Information and Comments from directors". Charitiesdirect.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2011.

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