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Sir John Barran, 1st Baronet (3 August 1821 – 3 May 1905) was a British clothing manufacturer and Liberal Party politician.

Barran was the son of John Barran and his wife Elizabeth (née Fletcher), and founded the firm of John Barran and Sons, clothing manufacturers, of Leeds. 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, in Kensington in the County of London.

Barran married Ann Hirst (died 1874) in 1842. He married Eliza Bilton, née Brown, in 1878. He had six sons and four daughters. His youngest son Rowland also became a Member of Parliament. Barran died in May 1905, aged 83, and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his grandson John, his eldest son John Barran having predeceased him.

Clothing manufacture

St Paul's House, Leeds, built as a warehouse for Barran in 1878

John Barran was a pioneer in the manufacture of ready-to-wear clothing. He moved to Leeds in 1842, 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.

St Paul's House in Park Square, Leeds was built as a warehouse for Barran in 1878. It was designed by Thomas Ambler, and is in Moorish style.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Meek Carter
William St James Wheelhouse
Robert Tennant
Member of Parliament for Leeds
1876 – 1885
With: William St James Wheelhouse 1876–1880
Robert Tennant 1876–1880
William Ewart Gladstone 1880
William Jackson 1880–1885
Herbert Gladstone 1880–1885
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Sir Andrew Fairbairn
Member of Parliament for Otley
1886 – 1895
Succeeded by
Marmaduke D'Arcy Wyvill
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Chapel Allerton Hall and Queen's Gate)
1895 – 1905
Succeeded by
John Nicholson Barran


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