Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Mason, Charles (1616-1677)

1443371Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 36 — Mason, Charles (1616-1677)1893Bertha Porter

MASON, CHARLES (1616–1677), royalist divine, was born at Bury in Suffolk at Christmas time 1616, and may have been the Charles, son of Pomfit Mason, who was baptised in St. Mary's Church, Bury, on 9 Sept. 1617 (par. reg.) He was educated first at Eton College, and was admitted a scholar of King's College, Cambridge, on 10 March 1631-2. He graduated B.A. in 1635, and was chosen fellow on 10 March 1634-5. He was a lecturer in the college from Christmas 1636 to Michaelmas 1639. On 1 Nov. 1642 he was created D.D. of Oxford. Mason was one of the five fellows of King's College who were ejected by the parliament in 1644. He was apparently not then in priest's orders, as the college books contain no mention of his receiving the customary quarterly allowance as 'pro ordine Presbyt.' He was chosen by the college rector of Stower Provost in Dorset in 1646, and was ordered by the lords to be instituted to the living on 1 March 1646-7. He seems to have retained Stower Provost till his death. On the Restoration he was created D.D. of Cambridge (1660), was presented by the king to the rectory of St. Mary Woolchurch in London on 15 June 1661, and given the prebend of Portpool in St. Paul's Cathedral on 31 Dec. 1663. In September 1662 he petitioned the king for the rectory of Chipping Barnet in Hertfordshire, and a warrant for a grant of it to him was drawn up at. Whitehall, but he does not appear to have enjoyed the living. His church of St. Mary Woolchurch being burnt down in 1666, he was presented on 14 May 1669 to the rectory of St. Peter-le-Poor, Broad Street, which he held till his death. On 15 July 1671 he was installed in the prebend of Beminster Prima, in the cathedral church of Salisbury. He died in the winter of 1677. The exact date is unknown. There is a gap in the burial registers of St. Peter-le-Poor between 1673 and 1678. James Fleetwood [q. v.] was consecrated bishop of Worcester in his church of St. Peter-le-Poor in 1675, when Mason procured for him the use of a neighbouring hall for the consecration feast. Another Eton friend, Henry Bard [q. v.], entrusted him with the manuscript account of his travels. In his will (P. C. C. Reeve, 6), proved in London on 5 Jan. 1677-8, he leaves all his property to his wife Barbara, both his daughters being married.

Mason published several sermons. He contributed Latin verses, 'Ad Serenissimam Reginam,' to the Cambridge verses, 'Carmen Natalitium,' on the birth of the Princess Elizabeth in 1635; and on Edward King (1612-1637) [q. v.] in ' Justa Edovardo King naufrago ab amicis moerentibus amoris et fj.veias xdpivj p. 18, Cambridge, 1638; also the English verses, 'On Ovid's Festivalls translated,' prefixed to the translation of the 'Fasti' into English verse by John Gower of Jesus College, Cambridge, London, 1640.

The Harleian collection in the British Museum contains a letter from Mason to Sancroft (Harl. 3785, f. 85), dated from Stower Provost in January 1665, begging for preferment, and complaining of poverty and ill health. Four other letters, also to Sancroft, written from Broad Street, London, in 1669 and 1674, are among the Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian Library (xli. 47, xliv. 168, cxlv. 214, 215).

[Harwood's Alumni Eton. p. 232; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, pt. ii. p. 150; Newcourt's Repertorium, i. 429, 460, 461; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1661-2, p. 478; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), ii. 428, 659; Lords' Journals, ix. 44 a; Coxe's Cat. of Tanner MSS. (Hackman); Hunter's Chorus Vatum (Addit. MS. 24491, f. 308); Wood's Fasti (Bliss), ii. cols. 50, 51, 66; Cat. of Library at Sion College; college records, kindly communicated by the provost of King's Coll. Cambridge; Cambridge Univ. Reg. per J. W. Clark, esq.]

B. P.