Mason, William

(1725-1797)
   A clergyman poet, he was born at Kingstonupon-Hull, Humberside, and graduated M.A. from St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1749. Mason and Thomas Gray (see entry) became friends at Cambridge, and Mason published the Life of Gray in 1774, and his epitaph to Gray appears on their joint monument in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. In 1749 Mason wrote an ode to Thomas Holles Pelham, Duke of Newcastle, on his installation as chancellor of Cambridge University. From 1757 to 1773 he was one of the chaplains to George II, and then to George III. He died after what was a minor accident and was buried at Aston, Yorkshire. He also wrote poems under the pseudonym of Malcolm MacGregor. Some of his other publications: An Heroic Epistle to Sir William Chambers, 1774. An Heroic Postscript to the Public, 1774. Ode to Mr. Pinchbeck, 1776. The Dean and the Squire, 1782. King Stephen's Watch, 1782. Some of his other poems: "Anniversary," "Epistle to Sir Joshua Reynolds," "Ode to a Friend," "Ode to Memory," "Psalm 137," "Psalm 150," "The English Garden," "To a Gravel Walk."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). English Poetry: A Poetic Record, from Chaucer to Yeats. David Hopkins, ed. Routledge, 1990. Anniversary, poem by William Mason (http://www.sonnets.org/mason.htm). Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse. David Nichol Smith, ed. Oxford University Press, 1926. The Oxford Book of Garden Verse. John Dixon Hunt, ed. Oxford University Press, 1993. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. Westminster Abbey Official Guide (no date).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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