Magnus Manson

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Magnus Laurence Manson (b. 26 June 1879, Fladdabister, Cunningsburgh, d. 23 October 1943, Schoolhouse, Fetlar), son of Capt. James Manson and Jean Halcrow. He became a law apprentice with J.B. Anderson, solicitor, and remained with him for many years. He was much more interested in politics than the law, however, and spent much of his spare time reading socialist literature. In 1905 he and his friend Frank Pottinger formed a branch of the Social Democratic Federation in Lerwick.

Manson was a fine public speaker, and played an active part in the Lerwick Literary and Debating Society. ‘His discerning criticism and weighty arguments often completely disarmed his opponents’, said The Shetland News in an obituary, ‘and his broadsides were periodically interlarded with shafts of irony or sarcasm’. At election meetings he was noted for his trenchant heckling.

He became a member of Lerwick School Board in 1906, and was eventually chairman of it. He was a member of Lerwick Town Council from 1916-1934.

Manson married Harriet Helen Wallace, a teacher, in 1918, and moved to Fetlar when she became headmistress there in 1929. He died on 23 October 1943.

He unsuccessfully contested the 1916 Lerwick Town Council by-election, but was appointed in a by-election in the following month. He also unsuccessfully contested the 1936 Unst South County Council by-election, the 1937 Fetlar County Council by-election, the Cunningsburgh seat at the 1938 County Council election, the same seat for the 1940 Cunningsburgh by-election, the 1934 Lerwick Town Council election, the 1935 Lerwick Town Council election and the 1937 Lerwick Town Council election.

Political Career

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