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British Industrial History

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John Barran

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Sir John Barran, 1st Baronet (1821 – 3 May 1905) was a British clothing manufacturer and Liberal Party politician and founded the firm of John Barran and Sons, clothing manufacturers, of Leeds.

1821 August 3rd. Born the son of John Barran and his wife Elizabeth (née Fletcher)

He was a Justice of the Peace for Leeds and the West Riding of Yorkshire and served as Mayor of Leeds from 1870 to 1871.

In 1876 he was returned to Parliament as one of three representatives for Leeds, a seat he held until 1885, and later sat for Otley from 1886 to 1895. The latter year he was created a baronet, of Chapel Allerton Hall in Chapel Allerton in the West Riding of the County of York and Queen's Gate, St Mary Abbots parish, in Kensington in the County of London.

1842 Married Ann Hirst (died 1874).

1878 Married secondly, to Eliza Bilton, née Brown. He had six sons and four daughters. His youngest son Rowland also became a Member of Parliament.

John Barran was a pioneer in the manufacture of ready-to-wear clothing.

1842 He moved to Leeds, and soon opened his own tailoring shop at 30 Bridge End South.

By 1851 he had moved to Briggate and in 1856 he had a factory with 20-30 sewing machines. After seeing a bandsaw being used to cut wood veneers in 1858 he introduced its use for cutting cloth, a major innovation.

By the 1870s he had 2,000 machines, and in 1904 he employed 3,000 people.

His son Charles took over as chairman of the company in 1903, and another son Rowland became chairman in 1918.

1905 May 3rd. Died.

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