Mason, Thomas (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 36
Mason, Thomas

by Bertha Porter
The ODNB identifies the two Masons; apparently wrongly.

MASON, THOMAS (1580–1619?), divine, states in his works that his father was heir to Sir John Mason [q. v.], and may have been Thomas, second son of Anthony Mason, alias Wikes (whose mother was half-sister to Sir John), and of Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Islay (whose sister was wife to Sir John). Anthony Wikes died in 1597 (Wikes's pedigree in College of Arms, Philpot, 1, 81, fol. 17). Mason was admitted at Magdalen College, Oxford, on 29 Nov. 1594, matriculated on 7 Jan. 1594–5, and left apparently without taking any degree. From 1614 to 1619 he held the vicarage of Odiham in Hampshire, and probably died about the latter year; for on 13 April 1621 his widow, Helen Mason, obtained a license for twenty-one years to reprint his works for the benefit of herself and her children (Rymer, Fœdera, 1742, vol. vii. pt. iii. p. 197).

He published: 1. ‘Christ's Victorie over Sathan's Tyrannie,’ London, 1615; a condensed version of Foxe's ‘Book of Martyrs,’ with extracts from other works. The running title is ‘The Acts of the Church.’ An enlarged edition appeared in 1747–8 in 2 vols. London, 8vo. 2. ‘A Revelation of the Revelation … whereby the Pope is most plainly declared and proved to be Anti-Christ,’ London, 1619.

Another Thomas Mason (d. 1660), also of Magdalen College, Oxford, was demy in 1596. He graduated B.A. on 13 Dec. 1602, was fellow of Magdalen College from 1603 to 1614, M.A. on 8 July 1605, B.D. on 1 Dec. 1613, and D.D. on 18 May 1631. He was in 1621 ‘attendant in ordinary’ in the family of the Earl of Hertford (cf. his Nobile Par). In 1623 he became rector of North Waltham, Hampshire, and of Weyhill, Hampshire, in 1624, and he obtained the prebend of South Alton in the cathedral church of Salisbury on 25 Aug. 1624. In 1626 the king recommended him to be pre-elected a supernumerary resident at Salisbury, and later on also recommended Dr. Humphrey Henchman [q. v.] in the same way. Difficulties arose in consequence. Frances Stuart, dowager duchess of Richmond and Lennox, whose chaplain Mason was, interceded with the dean on his behalf in 1633, and Henchman having been granted a residence before him, Mason also petitioned the king for redress of his wrongs. On 13 Aug. 1633 the king wrote to the dean and chapter, instructing them to preserve Mason's rights, he never having intended that his letters for Dr. Henchman should be used to Mason's injury. The incident occasioned much bitterness in the chapter. Mason was ejected from his prebend during the rebellion, and died early in September 1660. He was the author of some Latin verses on William Grey in ‘Beatæ Mariæ Magdalenæ Lachrymæ,’ Oxford, 1606, and probably of ‘Nobile Par,’ two sermons preached to the memory of Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford, who died in April 1621, and of his sister, the Lady Mary, wife to Sir Henry Peyton, who died in January 1619.

[Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), vol. ii. cols. 275–6; Reg. Univ. Oxon. (Oxford Hist. Soc.), vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 208; Foster's Alumni, 1500–1714; Bloxam's Reg. of Magd. Coll. iv. 242; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1633–4, pp. 85, 93–4, 113, 122, 144–5, 177, 181, 190, 198–9, 227, 239, 241, 246, 248–9, 376, 400, 455–6; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, pt. ii. p. 65; Hunter's Chorus Vatum (Addit. MS. 24491, f. 482).]

B. P.