John Henshaw Britton was born in 1904. He was very musical and from a young age played the organ at Kingswood Methodist Church. He attended Bristol Grammar School and later, as the family boot- and shoe-making company G B Britton & Sons became increasingly more profitable, transferred to Clifton College. He wanted to read music at Oxford, but his father disagreed as he wanted him in the family business. So he read Greats (Classics) instead, then went into the business and was very successful with it, making the money which is now in the Trust.
He married Monica who was in the Foreign Office and was the first woman diplomat posted abroad – to Washington. She became a great support to Jack and very active in all his charitable initiatives. The J & M Britton Trust was set up by Jack and Monica in the 1960s.