Geoffrey Mander

Geoffrey Mander

Infobox Person
name = Sir Geoffrey Le Mesurier Mander

caption =
birth_date = 1882
birth_place = Wolverhampton, England
dead = dead
death_date = 1962
death_place = Wightwick Manor, England
occupation = Liberal Politician (Member of Parliament); industrialist; art patron
spouse = Rosalind Florence Caverhill; Mary Rosalie Glynn Grylls
parents = Samuel Theodore Mander and Flora St Clair Paint
children = Mervyn Caverhill Mander, Mavis Flora Rosalind Mander, Elizabeth Brehaut Mander; (by 2nd wife) John Geoffrey Grylls Mander, Anthea Loveday Veronica Mander

Sir Geoffrey Le Mesurier Mander KB (6 March 1882 – 9 September 1962), was a Midland industrialist and chairman of Mander Brothers Ltd., paint and varnish manufacturers in Wolverhampton, England, an art collector and radical parliamentarian.

He was the elder son of Samuel Theodore Mander, of a cadet branch of the prominent Mander family of Midland industrialists and public servants. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, served in the Royal Flying Corps in World War I, and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple (1921).


He entered the House of Commons as the Liberal Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Wolverhampton East at the general election in May 1929. He was the Liberal specialist on foreign policy between the wars, who was one of the first to take a strong stand against the Appeasement of the fascist dictators, and was a crusader on behalf of the League of Nations. During World War II, he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Sir Archibald Sinclair (later first viscount Thurso), the Secretary of State for Air. He won a reputation in Parliament for his determined use of parliamentary questions.

Wolverhampton East was one of the last urban constituencies which the Liberals managed to hold against both Labour Party and Conservative Party opposition up to 1945. Mander was expected to be nominated Chief Whip for the Liberals in the House of Commons, but he lost his seat at the 1945 general election, in the post-war Labour landslide.

Among many public offices, he was high sheriff of Staffordshire (1921), a county councillor, justice of the peace, and was made a Knight Bachelor (1945) for his public services on his retirement from Parliament.


He was chairman of Mander Brothers (established in 1773) for a generation, one of the principal local employers and a major manufacturer of paints, inks and varnishes in the British Empire. As an industrialist, he led many progressive initiatives in the field of labour relations and employment welfare between the Wars. Under his direction, Mander Brothers was the first British company to introduce the 40-hour week through an historic agreement signed and mediated by Ernest Bevin, general secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, in September 1931.

Art patron

He was an early conservationist. He offered to buy for the nation William Morris's Red House (London), if a suitable tenant could be found. He did present the family house, Wightwick Manor, in Staffordshire, with its outstanding collections of Victorian art and objects associated with William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement to the National Trust in 1937. It was the first country house to be so presented during the lifetime of its donor. His second wife, Rosalie Glynn Grylls, was a noted biographer of writers and artists of the romantic period and an early connoisseur of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Together they were influential in the overdue reassessment of the artists and writers of the Victorian period.

ee also

*Mander family
*Wightwick Manor
*Mander Brothers


*Sir Geoffrey Le Mesurier Mander (ed), "The History of Mander Brothers" (Wolverhampton. 1955)
*C. Nicholas Mander, "Varnished Leaves: a biography of the Mander Family of Wolverhampton, 1750-1950" (Owlpen Press, 2004)
*Patricia Pegg, "A Very Private Heritage: the private papers of Samuel Theodore Mander, 1853-1900" (Malvern, 1996)
*Nicholas Mander, "Last of the Midland Radicals; biography of Sir Geoffrey Mander, Liberal MP for Wolverhampton East, 1929-45" in Journal of Liberal History, Issue 53, Winter 2006-07

External links

* [ “Sir Geoffrey Mander: the last of the Midland Radicals”]
* [ Brief history of the Mander family]
* [ Wightwick Manor information at the National Trust]
* [ Wightwick Manor]
* [ Wightwick Manor Garden — a Gardens Guide review]

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