Sir Horace Mann, 1st Baronet

Sir Horace (Horatio) Mann, 1st Baronet KB (c. 25 August 1706 – 6 November 1786), was a long-standing British resident and diplomat in Florence.

Sir Horace Mann, 1st Baronet
Venus with a Satyr and Cupids by Annibale CarracciRaphael, Madonna della Sedia (Madonna of the Chair), c.1514Guido Reni, Charity, 1607Raphael, St John the BaptistReni, MadonnaMadonna della seggiolaCorreggio, Madonna and ChildJustus Sustermans, GalileoRaphael, Madonna of the GoldfinchFranciabigio - Madonna of the WellGuido Reni, Cleopatra, 1635–40Holy Family, then attributed to PeruginoRubens, Justus Lipsius with his Pupils, c.1615Portrait of Leo X with two Cardinals by RaphaelTribute Money? by Carravagio?Rubens, Justus Lipsius with his Pupils, c.1615Raphael, Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de’ Medici and Luigi de’ Rossi, 1518Niccolini-Cowper Madonna by RaphaelLarge central paintingHolbein, Sir Richard Southwell, 1536Cristofano Allori, Miracle of St JulianHoly Family, attributed to Niccolò Soggiummm Raphael, Niccolini-Cowper Madonna, 1508, then in Lord Cowper’s possession, having bought it from Zoffany, now National Gallery of Art, Washington, DCTitian, Venus of Urbino, 1538Cupid and Psyche, Roman copy of a Greek original of the 1st or 2nd century BCThe ‘Arrotino’ (Knife-Grinder), a Pergamene original of 2nd or 3rd century BCDancing Faun, marble replica of a bronze of the circle of Praxiteles, 4th century BCThe Infant Hercules Strangling the SerpentsThe Wrestlers, marble copy of a bronze Permamene original, 2nd or 3rd century BCSouth Indian craterEtruscan helmetChimera - Etruscan art8 Oil lampsEgyptian ptahmose, 18th dynastyGreek bronze torsoBust of Julius CaeserRoman silver shieldHead of AntinousSouth Italian craterEtruscan jugOctagonal table with pietra dura top made for the Tribuna, designed by Jacopo Ligozzi and Bernardino Poccetti.Charles Loraine Smith (1751–1835)Richard Edgcumbe, later 2nd Earl of Mount Edgcumbe (1764–1839)George, 3rd Earl Cowper (1738–89)Sir John Dick (1720–1804), British Consul at LeghornOther Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth (1751–99)Johann ZoffanyMr Stevenson, companion to the Lord LewishamGeorge Legge, Lord Lewisham, later 3rd Earl of Dartmouth (1755–1810)unknown young manValentine Knightley of Fawsley (1744–96)Pietro Bastianelli, the custodian of the galleryMr GordonHon. Felton Hervey (1712–73)Thomas Patch (1725-82), PainterSir John Taylor Bt., (d. 1786)Sir Horace Mann (1706–86), British Consul in FlorenceGeorge Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilseaprob. Roger Wilbraham (1743-1829)Mr WattsMr Doughty, travelling with Charles Loraine SmithProbably Thomas Wilbraham (b. 1751), brother of RogerThe Medici Venus, Roman copy of a Greek original of the 2nd century BCJames Bruce (1730–94), African explorerUse a cursor to explore or press button for larger image & copyright
Tribuna of the Uffizi by Johann Zoffany. Place cursor over artworks or persons to identify them.

Life and careerEdit

Mann 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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] As Great Britain had no diplomatic representation at Rome, Mann's duties included reporting on the activities of the exiled Stuarts, the Old Pretender and the Young Pretender.[2]

Palazzo Manetti, Florence, Italy
British Gentlemen at Sir Thomas Mann's's Home in Florence (circa 1765), including John Tylney, 2nd Earl Tylney, by Thomas Patch[4]

Mann kept an open house for British visitors at Palazzo Manetti, Florence, inviting them for conversazione when there was no performance at the theatre. His generosity and kindness was well known,[5] although his close friendship with the painter Thomas Patch (expelled from Rome after a homosexual incident) reflected on his reputation.[6] He met Horace Walpole (to whom he was distantly related[7]) 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.[2]

In recognition of his service he was created a baronet on 3 March 1755.[8] and made a Knight of the Bath on 26 October 1768.[2] (when his nephew Horace stood proxy).[6] 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.[2]

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.[3]



  1. ^ "Mann, Horace (MN720H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ a b c d e Seccombe 1893.
  3. ^ a b D. B. Horn, British Diplomatic Representatives 1689-1789 (Camden 3rd Ser. 46, 1932)
  4. ^ "The Owners of Wanstead Park Part 9: 1750-1784". The Friends of Wanstead Park. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  5. ^ "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
  6. ^ a b Hugh Belsey, ‘Mann, Sir Horatio, first baronet (bap. 1706, d. 1786)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ Leigh Rayment's list of baronets


External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Charles Fane
British Envoy to Tuscany
Succeeded by
Sir Horace Mann
as Chargé d'affaires
Baronetage of Great Britain
New creation Baronet
(of Linton, Kent)
Succeeded by
Horace Mann