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Blue plaque, 14 Gordon Square, London

Robert Travers Herford B.A., D.D., Litt.D.[1] (1860–1950) was a British Unitarian minister and scholar of rabbinical literature.

He was the grandson of John Gooch Robberds and brother of Professor C. H. Herford, of Manchester University.[2] Herford was educated at Owens College, Manchester, and Manchester New College, London (B.A. 1880) Then, as a Hibbert Scholar, he studied at the University of Leiden.[3] From 1914 to 1925 he was librarian of Dr. Williams's Library, Grafton Street, London.[4] In 1886 Herford's first effort in Talmudics appeared in an article on "The Jerusalem Talmud" contributed to The Christian Reformer. From 1914 to 1925 he lived in London, having been appointed to the charge of Dr. Williams' Library, .. breaking down the prejudices of both the learned and cultured laity. In 1928 another important volume of a more popular nature appeared, Judaism in the New Testament Period, published for the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Churches.

He was noted as one of the first Christian scholars of the Pharisees to take a neutral view between Talmud and New Testament.[5]


  • Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, 1903[6]
  • Pharisaism: Its Aim and Its Method, 1912
  • "What the World Owes to the Pharisees", The Menorah Journal, 1919[7]
  • Ethics of the Talmud: Sayings of the Fathers, 1962


  1. ^ R. Travers Herford, A Brief Sketch of His Life and Work by Dr. H. Mclachlan
  2. ^ Essays and addresses p96 Herbert McLachlan - 1950 "John Gooch Robberds was the grandfather of Professor C. H. Herford, of Manchester University, and Dr. R. Travers Herford, the rabbinical scholar, both of whom were reared in the Cross Street tradition"
  3. ^ Joseph Estlin Carpenter Freedom and truth: modern views of Unitarian Christianity 1925 "R. Travers Herford was born in 1860, and was educated at Owens College, Manchester, and Manchester New College, London, graduating BA in 1880. Subsequently, as a Hibbert Scholar, he studied at the University of Leiden"
  4. ^ Pirke Aboth: the Ethics of the Talmud : Sayings of the Fathers Robert Travers Herford - 1962.
  5. ^ Roland Deines Die Pharisäer: ihr Verständnis im Spiegel der christlichen und ... 1997- Page 339 "Leben und Bedeutung Herfords (1860-1950) Nahum N. Glatzer rühmt Herford als den "wohl erste(n) christliche(n) "
  6. ^ Preface to 2007 reprint by Daniel J. Lasker "Robert Travers Herford (1860-1950) was an English Unitarian minister whose research interests were rabbinic literature in general and the Pharisees in particular. He approached these topics with respect and with few ... "
  7. ^ Volume 5, Issue 3 Menorah Association (New York, N.Y.) -- R. Travers Herford The Arthur Davis Memorial Lecture for 1919 INTRODUCTORY NOTE Bv ... 1860; educated at Manchester, London, and Leyden universities; Unitarian minister at Stand, Lancashire, until 1914, ..."

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