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MASHAM, BARON—MASKELYNE

on the 1st of August, and Lady Masham then retired into private life. She died on the 6th of December 1734.

Lady Masham was by no means the vulgar, ill-educated person she was represented to have been by her defeated rival, the duchess of Marlborough; her extant letters, showing not a little refinement of literary style, prove the reverse. Swift, with whom both she and her husband were intimate, describes Lady Masham as “a person of a plain sound understanding, of great truth and sincerity, without the least mixture of falsehood or disguise.” The barony of Masham became extinct when Lady Masham’s son, Samuel, the 2nd baron, died in June 1776.

Authorities.—Gilbert Burnet, History of My Own Time, vol. vi. (2nd ed., 6 vols., Oxford, 1833); F. W. Wyon, History of Great Britain during the Reign of Queen Anne (2 vols., London, 1876); Earl Stanhope, History of England, comprising the Reign of Queen Anne until the Peace of Utrecht (London, 1870), and History of England from the Peace of Utrecht, vol. i. (7 vols., London, 1836–1854); Justin McCarthy, The Reign of Queen Anne (2 vols., London, 1902); An Account of the Conduct of the Dowager Duchess of Marlborough from first coming to Court to 1710, edited by Nathaniel Hooke, with an anonymous reply entitled A Review of a Late Treatise (London, 1842); Private Correspondence of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (2 vols., London, 1838); Letters of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (London, 1875); Mrs Arthur Colville, Duchess Sarah (London, 1904). Numerous references to Lady Masham will also be found scattered through Swift’s Works (2nd ed., 19 vols., Edinburgh, 1824). (R. J. M.) 


MASHAM, SAMUEL CUNLIFFE LISTER, 1st Baron (1815–1906), English inventor, born at Calverley Hall, near Bradford, on the 1st of January 1815, was the fourth son of Ellis Cunliffe (1774–1853), who successively took the names of Lister and Lister-Kay, and was the first member of parliament elected for Bradford after the Reform Act of 1832. It was at first proposed that he should take orders, but he preferred a business career and became a clerk at Liverpool. In 1838 he and his elder brother John started as worsted spinners and manufacturers in a new mill which their father built for them at Manningham, and about five years later he turned his attention to the problem of mechanical wool-combing, which, in spite of the efforts of E. Cartwright and numerous other inventors, still awaited a satisfactory solution. Two years of hard work spent in modifying and improving existing devices enabled him to produce a machine which worked well, and subsequently he consolidated his position by buying up rival patents, as well as by taking out additional ones of his own. His combing machines came into such demand that though they were made for only £200 apiece he was able to sell them for £1200, and the saving they effected in the cost of production not only brought about a reduction in the price of clothing, but in consequence of the increase in the sales created the necessity for new supplies of wool, and thus contributed to the development of Australian sheep-farming. In 1855 he was sent a sample of silk waste (the refuse left in reeling silk from the cocoons) and asked whether he could find a way of utilizing the fibre it contained. The task occupied his time for many years and brought him to the verge of bankruptcy, but at last he succeeded in perfecting silk-combing appliances which enabled him to make yarn that in one year sold for 23s. a pound, though produced from raw material costing only 6d. or 1s. a pound. Another important and lucrative invention in connexion with silk manufacture was his velvet loom for piled fabrics; and this, with the silk comb worked at his Manningham mill, yielded him an annual income of £200,000 for many years. But the business was seriously affected by the prohibitory duties imposed by America, and this was one reason why he was an early and determined critic of the British policy of free imports. In 1891 he was made a peer; he took his title from the little Yorkshire town of Masham, close to which is Swinton Park, purchased by him in 1888. In 1886 an Albert medal was awarded him for his inventions, which were mostly related to the textile industries, though he occasionally diverged to other subjects, such as an air-brake for railways. He was fond of outdoor sports, especially coursing and shooting, and was a keen patron of the fine arts. He died at Swinton Park on the 2nd of February 1906, and was succeeded in the title by his son.


MASHONA, a Bantu-negro people, inhabitants of Mashonaland, Southern Rhodesia. The name Mashona has been derived from the contemptuous term Amashuina applied by the Matabele to the aborigines owing to the habit of the latter of taking refuge in the rocky hills with which the country abounds. Before the Matabele invasion about 1840 most of Southern Rhodesia was occupied by the Makalanga, the Makorikori and the Banyai, all closely related. Most of them became subject to the Matabele, but although they suffered severely from their attacks, the Mashona preserved a certain national unity. In 1890 the Mashona came under British protection (see Rhodesia). They are in general a peaceful, mild-mannered people, industrious and successful farmers, skilful potters, and weavers of bark cloth.

The crafts, however, in which they excel are the smelting and forging of iron and wood-carving. They are also great hunters; and they are very fond of music, the most usual instrument being the “piano” with iron keys. Bows and arrows, assegais and axes are the native weapons, but all who can get them now use guns. Up to their conquest by the Matabele the Mashona worked the gold diggings which are scattered over their country; indeed as late as 1870 certain Mashona were still extracting gold from quartz (Geog. Jour. April 1906).

For the possible connexion of these people with the builders of the ruins at Zimbabwe and elsewhere, see Rhodesia: Archaeology; and Zimbabwe.


MASK (Fr. masque, apparently from med. Lat. mascus, masca, spectre, through Ital. maschera, Span. mascara), a covering for the face, taking various forms, used either as a protective screen or as a disguise. In the latter sense masks are mostly associated with the artificial faces worn by actors in dramatic representations, or assumed for exciting terror (e.g. in savage rites). The spelling “masque,” representing the same word, is now in English used more specially for certain varieties of drama in which masks were originally worn (see Drama); so also “masquerade,” particularly in the sense of a masked ball or an entertainment where the personages arc disguised. Both “mask” and “masquerade” have naturally passed into figurative and technical meanings, the former especially for various senses of face and head (head of a fox, grotesque faces in sculpture), or as equivalent to “cloak” or “screen” (as in fortification or other military uses, fencing, &c.). And in the case of “death-masks” the term is employed for the portrait-casts, generally of plaster or metallic foil, taken from the face of a dead person (also similarly from the living), an ancient practice of considerable interest in art. An interesting collection made by Laurence Hutton (see his Portraits in Plaster, 1894), is at Princeton University in the United States. (For the historical mystery of the “man in the iron mask,” see Iron Mask.)

The ancient Greek and Roman masks worn by their actors—hollow figures of heads—had the double object of identifying the performers with the characters assumed, and of increasing the power of the voice by means of metallic mouthpieces. They were derived like the drama from the rural religious festivities, the wearing of mock faces or beards being a primitive custom, connected no doubt with many early types of folk-lore and religion. The use of the dramatic mask was evolved in the later theatre through the mimes and the Italian popular comedy into pantomime; and the masquerade similarly came from Italy, where the domino was introduced from Venice. The domino (originally apparently an ecclesiastical garment) was a loose cloak with a small half-mask worn at masquerades and costume-balls by persons not otherwise dressed in character; and the word is applied also to the person wearing it.

See generally Altmann, Die Masken der Schauspieler (1875; new ed., 1896); and Dale, Masks, Labrets and Certain Aboriginal Customs (1885); also Drama.


MASKELYNE, NEVIL (1732–1811), English astronomer-royal, was born in London on the 6th of October 1732. The