Mander family

Mander family

The Mander family has held for over 200 years a prominent position in the Midland counties of England, both in the family business and public life. In the early industrial revolution, the Mander family entered the vanguard of the expansion of Wolverhampton, on the edge of the largest manufacturing conurbation in the British Isles. Mander Brothers was a major employer in the city of Wolverhampton, a progressive company which became the Number One manufacturers of varnish, paint and later printing ink in the British Empire. The family became distinguished for public service, art patronage and philanthropy. Charles Tertius Mander (1852-1929) was created the first baronet of The Mount in the baronetage of the United Kingdom in the Coronation honours of George V, on 8 July 1911.


Early history

The family were yeoman farmers, settled since about 1291 at Tredington on the Warwickshire/Worcestershire borders of Midland England. The Wolverhampton family descends from Henry Mander (1601-72), of Aston Cantlow, whose son, Samuel Mander, migrated about 1695 to Lapworth Hall (also known as 'Irelands'], where the family remained for about 200 years. In 1742, his grandson Thomas Mander (1720–1764), a younger son, migrated a few miles north to Wolverhampton, then a market town of just 7,500 people. There he settled as a merchant, maltster and manufacturer, and in due course inherited property from the family of his wife, Elizabeth Clemson, in John Street, which today forms the core of the modern city.

Family members

  • Benjamin (1752–1819) and John Mander (1754-1827) were Thomas's sons. By 1773, they were setting up a cluster of loosely-integrated businesses in Wolverhampton, including one of the largest chemical manufacturing works in the country, together with businesses in baking, japanning and tin-plate working, canals and gas manufacture. Benjamin Mander was chairman of the Wolverhampton Union Flour and Bread Company, a milling co-operative company set up for charitable purposes in order to provide subsidised bread and flour in the period of social distress following the Napoleonic Wars. The two brothers campaigned actively against the slave trade, founded chapels, libraries and schools, and entered into local politics as town commissioners, four Manders sitting at one time for the Georgian borough.

Hereafter, the eldest sons of the senior line of the family have been given the first name Charles:

  • Charles Mander (1780–1853), the eldest son of Benjamin, founded a varnish works in 1803 which was to prosper though the 19th century. He was a penal reformer who campaigned against the Blood Money Act, successfully petitioning with others for its repeal in 1818. The romantic story of how he rescued two soldiers from the gallows accused of stealing just 1s.1d. became the subject of a novel by the jurist Samuel Warren, Now and Then (1848). He was a noted nonconformist, whose exertions for the tenure of endowments by a 23-year Chancery case led to the Dissenters' Chapels Act 1844.
  • Charles Benjamin Mander JP (1819–1878) was the eldest son of Charles. He established the first publicly-funded institution for art education in Britain in 1852. As a town councillor, he campaigned for clean drinking water fountains, and for the free library in Wolverhampton. With the rise of the railways, he greatly expanded the business of Mander Brothers, forming a partnership with his brother Samuel in 1845.
  • Sir Charles Tertius Mander JP, DL (1852–1929), the eldest son of Benjamin, among many public offices was uniquely four times mayor of Wolverhampton 1892-6, an alderman, was awarded an honorary freedom of the borough; he was a colonel in the Staffordshire Yeomanry (Queen's Own Royal Regiment), and the first of the family to serve as high sheriff of the county of Staffordshire. He was a progressive industrialist and manufacturer as the first chairman of Mander Brothers (1923), the family paint and varnish works, but also in many other companies, including a Midland electrical company credited with the invention of the spark plug. He was created the first baronet of the Mount, Tettenhall Wood, for his public services on 8 July 1911.
  • Sir Charles Marcus Mander (1921–2006), the third baronet, was the only son of Charles Arthur by Monica Neame, of Kent. He fought with the Coldstream Guards in World War II in North Africa, Germany and Italy, where following the Salerno landings he was gravely wounded in the fierce fighting at Calabritto, on the slopes of Monte Camino, in October 1943. He was a director of Mander Brothers, responsible for its property portfolio, and redeveloped the centre of Wolverhampton, from 1968 establishing the Mander Shopping Centre and Mander Square on the site of the early family works. Sir Charles was High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 1962-63 before two City posts, first as chairman of Arlington Securities (sold to British Aerospace) and then as chairman of another property group, London & Cambridge Investments, which went bust in 1991. He developed a township for 11,500 people at Perton outside Wolverhampton on the family agricultural estate, which had been requisitioned as an airfield during World War II. His wife sustained underwriting losses as a Name in the Lloyd's insurance market in the 1990s. The Times newspaper reported on June 24, 2000 that Lady Mander, having refused a settlement offered to her by Lloyd's, was declared bankrupt. In due course, the mansion house at Little Barrow, Donnington, near Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, was sold in order to meet a debt believed to be well over one million pounds.
  • (Charles) Marcus Septimus Gustav Mander (born 1976) is the eldest son of Charles Nicholas by Karin Margareta Norin, of Stockholm. He is heir apparent to the baronetcy. He is a barrister of the Middle Temple.

Other members of the family

  • Jane Mander (1877–1949) (descended from Henry Mander of Aston Cantlow), was one of the foremost New Zealand novelists of the early twentieth century. Her most successful novels were The Story of a New Zealand River (1920) and Allen Adair (1925). She was the daughter of the Hon. Francis Mander, pioneer sawmiller and owner of The Northern Advocate, a popular newspaper for which she wrote; he was a member of the Parliament of New Zealand and of the Legislative Council.
  • Miles Mander (1888–1946), younger brother of Geoffrey, broke away from the mould of public service and industry, and became a well-known character actor of the Hollywood cinema of the 1930s and 1940s, and film director, playwright and novelist. He was an early aviator and racing car enthusiast, who spent his 20s in New Zealand farming sheep. He achieved success in films with The First Born which he directed and acted in, and which was based on his own novel and play. He is better remembered for his character portrayals of oily types, many of them upper-crust villains - such as Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers (1939). In his Hollywood debut, he had portrayed King Louis XIII in the 1935 version of that same Alexandre Dumas, père classic. Other films credits included Wuthering Heights with Lawrence Olivier and Merle Oberon. His first wife was an Indian princess, Princess Prativa Devi, the daughter of the Maharajah Nripendra Narayan of Cooch Behar. His youngest brother Alan married her sister, Princess Sudhira.
  • Richard Mander (1950–), son of Theodore Mander, grandson of Miles Mander, Richard was born in New York City November 26, 1950. In 1985 Richard married his now wife Helena Carratala a fashion designer from Spain, and in 1985 the couple gave birth to Theodore C. Mander. After years of experience renovating New York City's top real estate and creating top quality custom furniture, in 2006 Richard and wife Helena developed a private island resort in the Philippines called Mangenguey.
  • Theodore C. Mander (1985–), son of Richard Mander, was born in New York City on October 29, 1985. In 2007 Theodore founded NevaeH Jewelry, a fine designer jewelry brand and custom jewelry manufacturer, after studying Gemology and Jewelry Design at the Gemological Institute of America. Theodore married Jazmine Rodriguez on November 18, 2007, and on August 27, 2008 gave birth to Miles E. Mander.


  • Geoffrey Le Mesurier Mander (ed), The History of Mander Brothers (Wolverhampton, n.d. [1955])
  • C. Nicholas Mander, Varnished Leaves: a biography of the Mander Family of Wolverhampton, 1750-1950 (Owlpen Press, 2004) ISBN 0-9546056-0-8 [contains detailed bibliography]
  • Patricia Pegg, A Very Private Heritage: the private papers of Samuel Theodore Mander, 1853-1900 (Malvern: Images Publishing, 1996)

See also

External links

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