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Mason: the papers of William Mason

Reference Code: GBR/1058/MAS


  • Creation: 1735 - 2001

Biographical / Historical

William Mason was born in 1725 and attended Hull Grammar School before coming up to St. John's College, Cambridge in 1742. He graduated with a B.A. in 1746, and moved to Pembroke, gaining his M.A. in 1749 and being elected a Fellow in 1749. He was ordained in 1754, and was then presented to the living of Aston, Yorkshire, where he remained rector for 43 years. Mason had a wide circle of friends in Cambridge, including Thomas Gray, William Whitehead, Richard Stonhewer, and Richard Hurd. He was also active with the anti-slavery campaign and was friends with William Wilberforce. In 1765 Mason married Mary Sherman but she was to die shortly afterwards in 1767. Mason had begun to write poetry as a student and continued to write throughout his life. Mason was also a very competent amateur musician and worked with a number of leading composers and performers. As well as his poetry, music and art, Mason also designed gardens for a number of his friends, perhaps most notably for the second Earl Harcourt. It is the only one of Mason's gardens that has survived, having been restored in the 1970s. Mason died after a leg injury in 1797.


0.003 cubic metre(s)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

For material relating to Thomas Gray, see GBR/1058/GRA. The College Library also holds a number of early printed editions of Mason's works. Please contact the Librarian for access.

September 2021
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Repository Details

Part of the Pembroke College Library Repository

Pembroke College
Cambridge CB2 1RF United Kingdom
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