John Marshall Mason, 65, (1868-1954), financier, may well have been a significant financial backer of this whole enterprise, perhaps commissioning the portrait and backing the dinner. He is a brother of Margaret Eadie Mason (Mrs William Liddle Gledstone) and the uncle of both Margaret Gledstone, the dinner’s organiser (at least for tickets) and of Mrs C. R. Niven.
What’s On His Mind?
Having been a member of the Sound Money Association (1920-28) and with prices falling in 1933 he probably was going to be one of the last to admit that Keynesian stimulus as being advocated by Harold Macmillan and others was going to revive the economy. If he had been the backer of the dinner I suspect he was interested to see if his money had been well spent.
John’s Story So Far
John was born on 27th January 1868 in Scotland to Martha Marshall of Machan in Lanarkshire and Stephen Mason, M.P. and was a career-long money man. He was a financial bill agent in 1901 (at the time of the census a visitor in the Guildford home of the Gledstones, i.e. at his sister’s home), and a dealer in US securities in the 1911 census. Alongside his work he was the Treasurer of the Sound Money Association from the early 1920s to 1928, his brother and Liberal M.P. David Marshall Mason being in the Chair. The latter organisation was designed to combat inflation and pushed, successfully, for Britain to go back onto the Gold Standard (which it did in 1925). Not that it turned out to be a good idea and Britain came back off in 1931 in the face of the Depression.
What John Did Next
On May 5th 1937 he attended his sister-in-law Mrs David Marshall Mason’s reception at 34 Queen’s Gate Gardens, Kensington, SW (as did other Masons including his father Stephen and Mrs C.R. Niven and the Gledstones). By 1939 John, by then styling himself a retired accountant, was living with his sister Margaret’s family in Guildford. He died in 1954.
We welcome more information to enable us to extend this portrait and that of other guests from the Gledstone/Mason family.
Was the Mason/Gledstone family one of the driving forces behind the commissioning of the Rhondda portrait? Young Margaret was selling the tickets. Perhaps she just thought her family would like to take a table.
 The Times, 6.5.1937 p19