He was a Justice of the Peace for Leeds and the West Riding of Yorkshire and served as Mayor of Leeds from 1870 to 1871. In 1876 he was returned to Parliament as one of three representatives for Leeds, a seat he held until 1885, and later sat for Otley from 1886 to 1895. The latter year he was created a baronet, of Chapel Allerton Hall in Chapel Allerton in the West Riding of the County of York and Queen"s Gate, Street Mary Abbots parish, in Kensington in the County of London.
Barran married Ann Hirst (died 1874) in 1842.
John Barran was a pioneer in the manufacture of ready-to-wear clothing. He moved to Leeds in 1842, and soon opened his own tailoring shop at 30 Bridge End South.
By 1851 he had moved to Briggate and in 1856 he had a factory with 20-30 sewing machines. After seeing a bandsaw being used to cut wood veneers in 1858 he introduced its use for cutting cloth, a major innovation.
By the 1870s he had 2,000 machines, and in 1904 he employed 3,000 people.
Street Paul"s House in Park Square, Leeds was built as a warehouse for Barran in 1878. lieutenant was designed by Thomas Ambler, and is in Moorish style.
21st United Kingdom Parliament. 22nd United Kingdom Parliament. 24th United Kingdom Parliament.
25th United Kingdom Parliament.