Born Sidney Herbert Adams, Herbert Sidney grew up surrounded by the art collection of his father F.W. Adams who was one of London's top dealers at the time. He was therefore immersed in the art world early on, and his talent was recognized at a young age. It was, however, through his studies at the Royal Academy Schools, in Antwerp, and in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, and under the tutelage of such great artists as de Keyser, Van Lerius and Gerome that Sidney became a skilled and eventually a much sought after artist.
Sidney changed his name by deed poll to Herbert Sidney, and Exhibited frequently at major academies and galleries under this name throughout his career. His works were exhibited in his lifetime at the Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; The Royal Academy; The Royal Cambrian Society; The Hiberian Academy; The Royal Institute of Oil Painters; and Arthur Tooth and Son Gallery.
The City Hall of Westminster houses his portraits of R.W. Granville-Smith, and Booth-Heming.