JOHN MANN senior
THE senior partner of the firm of John Mann & Son, Chartered Accountants, is a native of Glasgow having been born in Jamaica Street in 1827. His father, also a Glasgow man, born in the then new suburb of Tradeston in 1797, had been a promising artist, but died early. Mr. Mann's own early memories are of the old College in High Street, of the comings and goings of the stage coaches, and the bread riots of the middle of the century. The accountants' firm which he joined was one of the earliest, and had seen the initiation of several of the most important Glasgow enterprises of the time. It had carried out the feuing of Blythswood Square, and from about 1816 onwards, till the Corporation itself took up the work, it had made up and issued the periodical Bills of Mortality for the city. Soon after his entering that office Mr. Mann found himself in practical control of the business, and a few years later it was his in name as well as fact. Since then it has largely expanded, till it is now one of the largest of its kind, dealing with nearly every department of finance. In 1886, upon the assumption of Mr. John Mann, jun., as a partner, it became the firm of John Mann & Son, and in 1900 the members of the staff presented Mr. Mann with an address and other mementoes, to celebrate his completion of fifty years' professional practice on his own account.
Mr. Mann is the present President, and the only original surviving member, of the Institute of Accountants and Actuaries in Glasgow, which was founded in 1853, and became "Chartered" two years later. Of the Western Friendly Society, founded in 1832, he was Manager from 1867 to 1909. Of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow he has been Honorary Treasurer since 1866. He is a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and of the Archaeological Society of Glasgow. His name now stands near the top of the rolls of the Incorporation of Hammermen and the Merchants' House.
Of a somewhat retiring disposition, Mr. Mann has never sought municipal honours, but he has borne a fair share in parochial work, and with a mind always alive to the value of reform and improvement, he has taken a strong interest in many of the educational and benevolent movements of his time. He was for many years the Treasurer, and is the surviving original founder of the Abstainers' Union. He was a Director of the Athenaeum in its old Ingram Street days, and took a part in its enterprise of bringing the most famous men of the time to lecture in the city. When the Pitman Phonetic movement was started in 1846, for the promotion of shorthand writing and spelling reform, he took up the enterprise enthusiastically.
The tastes and occupations of Mr. Mann's leisure have been mainly of an indoor character. There are few subjects of local knowledge of which he is not a past master, with stores of out of the way information at command.
In 1862 Mr. Mann married Miss Mary Newton Harrington, who within recent years has become the authoress of two graceful works of fiction, "Marion Emery," and "The Wooing o' Mysie." Of their four sons the eldest is actively engaged in the business, and a prominent Glasgow citizen; the second, Mr. Harrington Mann, is the well-known portrait painter; the third carries on an estancia in Argentina; and the fourth, Mr. Ludovic McLellan Mann, has become known of late as a painstaking archaeologist. Of the two daughters, the elder, Miss Katherine Mann, has developed high poetic talent, her "Replies to Elizabethan Lyrics," and "Stray Stanzas," being among the most promising and delightful first volumes of verse published in recent years.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)