Sir Horace Mann, 1st Baronet
He was the second son of Robert Mann (1678–1751), a successful London merchant, and his wife. He was brought up at Chelsea, and educated at Eton College and later, briefly, at Clare College, Cambridge.
Suffering from poor health, he travelled on the continent in the 1730s. In February 1737, he was appointed as secretary to Charles Fane, the British Minister at Florence. He then served as British diplomatic representative there to the Grand Dukes of Tuscany for the rest of his life. In the course of his long diplomatic career, he was Chargé d'affaires in 1738-1740; Minister between 1740 and 1765; Envoy Extraordinary from 1767; and finally Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from 1782 until his death.
He kept an open house for British visitors at Florence, inviting them for conversazione when there was no performance at the theatre. His generosity and kindness was universally acknowledged, although his close friendship with the painter Thomas Patch (expelled from Rome after a homosexual incident) reflected on his reputation. He met Horace Walpole (to whom he was distantly related) in 1739, and conducted a now-renowned correspondence with him over forty years, though they last met in 1741. The correspondence was published by Lord Dover in 1833.
In recognition of his service he was created a baronet on 3 March 1755. and made a Knight of the Bath on 26 October 1768. (when his nephew Horace stood proxy). In 1775, on the death of his elder brother, Edward Louisa Mann, he inherited the Linton Park estate which his father had bought at Linton, Kent.
He died unmarried in Florence on 6 November 1786. His nephew Horace inherited his baronetcy by special remainder and also acted as Chargé d'affaires until the arrival of his replacement.
- "Mann, Horace (MN720H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Seccombe 1893.
- D. B. Horn, British Diplomatic Representatives 1689-1789 (Camden 3rd Ser. 46, 1932)
- "he does honour to our nation. He lives elegantly and generously. He never fails in any point of civility and kindness to his countrymen. The politeness of his manners, and the prudence of his conduct, are shining examples both to the Britons and Italians. He is the only person I have ever known, whom all Englishmen agree in praising. He has the art of conquering our prejudices, and taming our fierceness." John Boyle, 5th Earl of Cork and Orrery, in Letters from Italy in the Years 1754 and 1755, 1773, 107–8
- Hugh Belsey, ‘Mann, Sir Horatio, first baronet (bap. 1706, d. 1786)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004
- Mann's great-great-grandmother was the sister of an ancestress of Walpole: Hugh Belsey, ‘Mann, Sir Horatio, first baronet (bap. 1706, d. 1786)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004
- Leigh Rayment's list of baronets
- Hugh Belsey, ‘Mann, Sir Horatio, first baronet (bap. 1706, d. 1786)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2009, accessed 1 Nov 2009
|British Envoy to Tuscany
| Succeeded by|
Sir Horace Mann
as Chargé d'affaires
|Baronetage of England|
|New creation||Baronet (of Linton, Kent)
| Succeeded by|