Dynasty Guardian

The Manchester Guardian is unusual in that it has been principally linked, from its launch to the present day, to two related families, the Taylors and the Scotts.

Founded by John Edward Taylor in 1821, the paper passed down to his sons when he died.  Russell Scott Taylor, the eldest son, ran the paper briefly before he died an early age in 1844. The paper was then edited by Jeremiah Garnett, joint proprietor, until 1861, helped by Taylor’s other son, John Edward Taylor. In 1861, Taylor assumed the joint role of editor and proprietor of the paper, a position he held until he passed on the editorship in 1872 to C. P. Scott.

The Taylor family were linked to the Scotts by marriage. John Edward Taylor’s father married Mary Scott, and Taylor himself married his cousin Sophie Russell Scott.  Sophie had a brother, Russell Scott (son of Russell Scott!), who married Isabella Prestwich and they had a family of eight children, four daughters and four sons.  One of the sons, Charles Prestwich Scott (1836-1932), became the most celebrated editor, owner and proprietor of the Guardian, having joined the paper in 1871 and become editor 1872 on the invitation of his cousin John Edward Taylor.  He remained in that position for 57 years.

C. P. Scott’s son Edward Taylor Scott became editor of the paper in 1929 and co-owner with his brother John on his father’s death in 1932.  Tragically, Edward died in a sailing accident four months after his father and his brother John assumed full ownership. In 1936, John Scott set up the Scott Trust to ensure the long-term viability and independence of the paper.  The Trust continues to own the paper to this day.

We are delighted that both the Taylors and the Scotts have been involved in the College, either as students or trustees or through other groups, throughout our history and through numerous generations.​​​​​


Generations of Taylors & Scotts Involved with Harris Manchester:



  • John Edward Taylor (1791-1844) – Founder of The Guardian, in his younger years he was taught Mathematics by John Dalton who had been tutor at the Manchester Academy.  Subscriber to Manchester College from 1824, Member of the Committee and then Executive Member of the Committee of Manchester New College when it returned to Manchester. (See Figure 1)
john edward taylor

Figure 1: Page from College Minutes with list of members of the General Committee (including J. E. Taylor indicated as a Member of the Executive Committee)


  • Russell Scott Taylor (1825-1848) – Lay Student at Manchester New College 1840-43, later a member of the General Committee of the College. (See Figure 2)
russell scott taylor small

Figure 2: Russell Scott Taylor listed as Regular Lay Student 1841-2


  •  John Edward Taylor (1830-1905) – While never an official student, J. E. Taylor attended lectures on philosophy by James Martineau and on history and literature by William Gaskell while the college was based in London. He later became a trustee of the college. (See Figure 3)
letter guardian

Figure 3: Letter from John Edward Taylor to W. R. Wood thanking him for the College’s condolences on his brother’s death (Wood 4 (folio 154))

  • Russell Scott (1837-1880) – elder brother of C. P. Scott, member of the college’s Committee
  • Reverend Lawrence Scott (d. 1908) – younger brother of C. P. Scott, alumnus of Manchester College 1879 (See Figure 4)
lawrence scott

Figure 4: Lawrence Scott listed in the Annual College Report


  • C. P. Scott – nephew of the better-known C. P. Scott, alumnus of MCO 1911-14 (See Figure 5)
c p scott

Figure 5: C. P. Scott listed in the Annual College Report


  • Mrs Amy Howarth - the great, great, great granddaughter of John Edward Taylor’s (The Guardian founder) father’s brother – President of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (1968-9), Chapel Society secretary for many years as well as Lay Secretary of the College from 1963-81 (See Figure 6)
  • Mr Miles Howarth, the great, great, great, great Grandson of John Edward Taylor’s brother, son of Mrs Amy Howarth, and Honorary Governor of the College to this day.
mrs amy howarth

Figure 6: Mrs Amy Howarth (nee Simpson) photographed wearing the chain of office as President of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (1968-9)