Capt. Hugh Mason

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Hugh Mason, Capt.

Birthplace: Dorking, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
Place of Burial: Old Burying Place, Watertown, Middlesex, Ma
Immediate Family:

Son of Daniel Mason and Dorothy Mason
Husband of Hester B. Mason
Father of Hannah Brooks; Elizabeth Mason; Mary Esterbrook; Ruth Mason; John Mason and 3 others
Brother of Major John Mason

Occupation: tanner (p 17)
Managed by: Scott David Hibbard
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Capt. Hugh Mason

Capt. Hugh Mason. Born Maldon, Co. Essex, England, abt 1605. Died Watertown, Mass., on 10 Oct 1678 (Data from Mason), the progenitor of many bearing that name and who are widely scattered over the United States.

Capt. HUGH MASON, a tanner, one of the very first settlers of Watertown, was adm. freeman, Mar. 4, 1634-5; Rep. 1644, 145, 160, 161, 164, '71, 274, 175. 176, and 177; Selectman, 29 years, between 1639 and 1678, inclusive; a Lieut. as early as 1649, and made Captain, May 5, 1652. He was I for many years, one of the three Commissioners appointed by the County Court to determine small cases. [This was before the appointment of Justices of the Peace.] Oct. 30, 1657, he was appointed by the Court, one of a Committee to attend to the defects in several bridges in the County. Dec. 18, 1660, he was appointed on a Committee to take account of John Steadman, County Treasurer, and make a levy, &c. It has been conjectured that he was a brother of Capt. John Mason, the distinguished Pequot warrior. He d. October 10, 1678, aged 73. By wife ESTHER, who d. May 1, 1692, he had 7 chil. [See Barry, p. 298.]

Hugh Mason, aged 28, and wife Esther, aged 22, embarked in the Francis, of Ipswich, John Cutting. master, the last of Ap., 1634. Lieut. Hugh Mason was accepted as Captain by the Court, in Ap. 1652. He was, by the General Court, first appointed Commissioner to end small causes in May, 1643; and in May, 1658, upon the request of the inhabitants of Watertown, he was "empowered to solemnize marriages at Watertown." This was very soon after the removal of Elder Richard Browne to Charlestown. Ap. 1658, he was, by the County Court, made one of the committee on the house of correction. Wid. Hester d. May 21, 1692. (Bond).

He married Hester Wells, daughter of Thomas 'The Glover' Wells & Helen Siday, on 13 Jan 1632 in St. Peter's Parish, Maldon. Baptized Maldon, Co. Essex, England, on 21 Jul 1611. Died Watertown, Mass., on 21 May 1692. Data from Mason.

Youngest daughter of Thomas and Helen (Siday) Wells.

They had the following children:

i. Hannah (1636-)

ii. Elizabeth. Born Watertown, Mass., on 3 Sep 1638. Died young. Data from Mason. Bond's Info: Elizabeth (2d child), b. Sept. 3, 1638, d. young.

iii. Ruth (Twin). Born Watertown, Mass., on 17 Dec 1640. Died young. Data from Mason. Bond's Info: RUTH, d. Dec. 17, 1640.

iv. Mary (Twin) (1640-)

v. John (1644-1730)

vi. Joseph (1646-1702)

vii. Daniel. Born Watertown, Mass., on 19 Feb 1648. Died in 1698. Data from Mason. Graduated Harvard College, 1666. He was a physician and in that capacity sailed from Charlestown, Mass., 1679, James Ellison, Mr., of vessel. He was captured by a Barbary Corsair and carried into Algiers and is supposed to have died in slavery, 1698. Bond's Info: DANIEL, b. Feb. 19, 1648-9; grad. Harv. Coll., 1666.

viii. Sarah (1651-)

From: Captain Hugh Mason Genealogy, who cites two sources, Mason and Bond. That author notes that a genealogy of the descendants of Capt. Hugh Mason by Dr. Thaddeus William Harris, Librarian of Harvard University may provide considerably more detail.

Second version:

Captain Hugh Mason, immigrant ancestor, was born in

England in 1606. He embarked for this country, April 30, 1634, at age of twenty-eight, with his wife Esther (Hester), aged twenty-two, in the ship "Francis" of Ipswich, John Cutter, master.

He was one of the early settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, and was admitted a freeman March 4, 1634-35. He was a tanner by trade and was also called yeoman in the records. He was perhaps a brother of Captain John Mason, the redoubtable Indian fighter. Hugh was also a captain .and fought in King Philip's war. He was deputy to the general court in 1644-45-60-6164-71-74-75-76-77, and was selectman twentynine years, between 1639 and 1678 inclusive. He was a lieutenant as early as 1649 and was made a captain May 5, 1652. He was one of the three commissioners to end small causes before the office of justice of the peace was instituted. He was selected on a committee to attend to defects in bridges in the county, October 30, 1657. He was appointed to take account of John Steadman, county treasurer, December 8, 1660,

He died October 10, 1678, aged seventy-three years. His wife Esther died May 1, 1692.

Seven Children born 1636- 1651 and two more:

1. Hannah, born September 23, 1636, married, October 17, 1653, Captain Joshua Brooks, of Concord.

2. Ruth, died December 17, 1640.

3. Mary, born December 18, 1640, married. May 20, 1668, Rev. Joseph Estabrook, of Concord.

4. John, born January 1, 1644-45, mentioned below.

5. Joseph, born August 10, 1646, married, February 5, 1684-85, Mary Fiske; died July 22, 1702.

6. Daniel, born February 19, 1648-49, graduate of Harvard, 1666.

7. Sarah, born September 25, 1651, married, May 20, 1668, Captain Andrew Gardner, of Brookline.

Two others.

Source: p. 588, Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, Volume 2. George Thomas Little, Ed. ;Authors, Henry Sweetser Burrage, Albert Roscoe Stubbs. Lewis historical publishing company, 1909. Original from Harvard University. Digitized Sep 18, 2006.

Capt. Hugh/1 Mason was born circa 1606, calculated from his reported age (28) at emigration.1 A tanner of Maldon, Essex, there he married, 13 Jan 1632 in St. Peter's Parish, Hester/1 Wells of Maldon, daughter of Thomas/a Wells and Helen Siday.2 "Of Maldon, Essex," Hugh Mason, tanner, 28, and wife Hester, 22, sailed from Ipswich, Apr 1634, in the Francis, John Cutting, master, for New England.1 They settled at Watertown, MA.1 There he was admitted a freeman 4 Mar 1634/35.3
    Hugh Mason was a grantee of six lots and purchaser of two lots at Watertown. His homestall of 21 acres, of which the original three were granted and the rest purchased, was bounded by School Street. At his death he had acquired more than 150 acres by subsequent grants and purchases and also owned land in Newton and Cambridge.4 10 Dec 1638, Hugh Mason was one of 11 freemen chosen selectmen to "order the Civill affaires of ye towne for this yeare following," an office to which he would be reelected 28 times. He also served as town clerk and treasurer.4 5 Jul 1642, it was "ordered, that Hugh Mason, Thomas Hastings and John Sherman are appointed to set up a sufficient (fence) about the Burying-place with a five foot pale, and two rails well nailed, by the 15th, of 2d (7) month and the town to pay them for it."5
    Hugh Mason was deputy from Watertown to the General Court in 1643, 45, 60, 61, 64, 71, 74, 75, 76, and 77, represented Watertown at a Court election, May 1644, and was lieutenant of the Watertown company, 1645-1652. 10 Jan 1647/8, Mr. Bisco, Lt. Mason and Isaac Stearns were appointed a committee "to determine the borders in laying out the Remote Meadows. At the same time a committee of seven was appointed, Lt. Mason among them, to consider the disputes "about lands in lieu of township." When Daniel Pierce brought suit in Salem against the town of Watertown in 1648, Lt. Mason was sent there to answer for the town. He was appointed commissioner to end small cases (under 20 shillings) by the County Court, 1650, 52, 53, 54, 57, 58, 59, 61.6
    At a town meeting, 17 Nov 1656, it was agreed that "Capt. Mason, Left. Beeres, Ensign Shearman, Michael Bearsto, with ye three deacons should have the ordering of the sitting of the persons in the meeting house. Ould Goodman Hamond and Goodman Stratton are joyned to the same business, and the rules are, 1, office; 2, age; 3, state; 4, gifts."At a selectmen's meeting 3 Feb 1656, "it is ordered yt Captain Mason with Brother Bearsto doe goe to Sister Baall and there to acquaint her yt it is in the mind of the selectmen yt she should sett herself to the carding of two skaines of cotton or sheeps wool, and her daughter to spin it, with other business of the family; and this to be her daily taske, the which if she refuse she must expect to be sent to the house of correction."7
    1652, Thomas Boyson [Boylston] makes Hugh Mason and J. Stedman feoffees in trust of ½ of £40 per annum in hands of Richard Boyson of London, his kinsman, and ½ of house in Watertown, and ½ of his boyes wages for keeping cattle.8 The General Court, 5 Apr 1653, appointed him captain of the Foote Companie (the "train band") in Water Towne, a position he held until his death, the training field being at the junction of Mt. Auburn and Arlington Streets.9
    29 Sep 1654, Hugh Mason, then in England, demised and granted, unto Giles Cole of Maldon, Hester's inherited half (her sister Helen being still living) of the Little Portland meadow in Maldon, at the rent of £3 annually, for the term of Hugh Mason's natural life.10
    He was appointed by the Court, 30 Oct 1657, one of a committee to attend to the defects in several bridges in the county, and upon the request of the inhabitants of Watertown, he was "empowered to solemnize marriages at Watertown," May 1658. Capt. Mason and Thomas Hastings made the inventory of William Hammond's estate, 16 Dec 1662.9 In 1664 the Newtowne (Cambridge) selectmen, upon the suggestion of Capt. Mason, consented that the "Watertown pond heard [herd] might pass by the side of our bounds, not prejudicing our Cow Common and Ri: Eccles and Daniel Cleaves are nominated to view the place and make returne to the Selectmen."11 He was appointed, Aug 1664, captain of a volunteer foot company, to be raised "by beate of drume or drumes in each of the townes & plantations within this jurisdiction of the Massachusetts," for the purpose of reducing the Dutch at the Monhatoes unto obedience to the English Crown.12
    "At a meeting of the selectmen at Capt. Mason's 12-10-1665, the selectmen agreed that they would go two and two together to go through the towne to examine how the children are taught to reade and instructed in the grounds of religion and the capital law. Agreed Capt. Mason and John Livermore together, John Coolidge, Senior, and Joseph Tayntor together, Corporall Bond and John Sherman together."13 11 Feb 1666, Capt. Mason and Ens. Sherman were nominated, with the mutual consent of Elder Wiswall and neighbors, to view the necessity of a highway through the Elder's land, to the lands beyond towards Dedham.11
    At the election in Boston, 27 May 1674, Capt. Samuel Torrey of Weymouth preached the sermon, which the General Court ordered printed, and Capt. Mason was appointed one of a committee to give the Court's thanks to the author.11 23 Feb 1674/75, Capt. Mason and Simon Stone were appointed to treat with Mr. William Goddard to keep school, and he was employed at a salary of £30, to begin 5 Apr 1675.11
    Hugh Mason clearly was a man of great stamina and vigor throughout his life, as the following account of "Sudbury Fight," which occurred during King Philip's War, when he was about 70 years of age, will indicate.
    "On the night of April 20 [1676], the Indians came over from Mount Wachusett and hid in the woods around Sudbury. Instead of the dawn's early light on the morning of the 21st, the people who had spent the night in the garrisons looked out upon a conflagration. The enemy had crept in and had promptly set fire to the unoccupied dwellings, and the flames were now leaping skyward.
    "News of the attack on Sudbury soon reached Boston, Watertown, and Concord. And the first outside help came from a rashly brave handful of armed men who hurried down from Concord. They were slain by the Indians who lay concealed in the tall grass of Sudbury's river meadow.
    "Captain Edward Cowell, returning to Boston with 18 troopers, was attacked a short distance from Sudbury, and four of his men were killed. The rest of the force reached the town, and soon afterward Captain Hugh Mason and his company marched in safely from Watertown, and with Cowell's troopers succeeded in driving the enemy back to the western side of the river. But the ominous sound of firing from the west could be heard. When Captain Mason led the troops across the river to give the assistance that seemed to be needed, he was compelled to retreat. It was well that he did, for otherwise the losses suffered by the English that day would probably have been heavier."14,15 Subsequently, Hugh Mason was one of three men tasked with examining losses of Sudbury's residents. They determined to allow £44, 10s in abatements to their last "Ten Country Rates [tax levies] by Reason of their losses in Estates by the Common Enemy, as result of Sudbury Fight with the Indians."11
    Hugh Mason's first will was dated 3 Feb 1677/78. He bequeathed his wife a third part of his housing and land, garden, orchard, etc., £20 of her choice of moveables, and an annual payment of £3 while she remained a widow. To son John he left land, houses, and barnes in Cambridge purchased of Daniel Hudson, and to daughters Hannah, Mary and Sarah £20 each. To son Daniel, "in regard of the liberal education I have given him, as also a deed of som land in England" (perhaps the Little Portland meadow in Maldon his wife had inherited), "I doe judg it an equal portion," provided that if Daniel could not gain that land in England, then he should have instead £20. Son Joseph was named sole executor and left all my housing and lands after his mother's decease, and the remainder of the estate after his mother's death.16
    Five days later, on 8 Feb 1677/78, Hugh Mason drew a second will, which he did not sign. This document increased his wife's portion of the moveables to £30 and her annuity to £4 per annum. Joseph's portion was clarified as the other halfe of housing and lands for present and after his mother's decease all my housing lands with the remayning goods and debts having first discharged all my just debts.17
    Hugh Mason died at Watertown 10 Oct 1678.18 A probate deposition by the widow, undated and signed by mark, states that her husband told her that he would alter his initial will to do more for her comfort during her life. He subsequently read aloud to her this "2nd draft," and said that he made it by ye advise of his son Esterbrook. She asked her husband "if his will was firme that there might be no trouble." His response was, "Wife dost thou think that any child that I have will rise up against what I have done."19
    Untotalled inventories of his estate were dated 28 Oct 1678, by John Sherman, William Bond, and Walter Hastings, and 29 March 1679 by his son Joseph Mason. That he was still active in his trade of tanning is shown by the presence of tanfats, valued at £11, and "the leather in the tanfats," worth £120-1-8.20
    Hugh Mason's widow Hester died 21 May 1692.21 They are buried in Arlington St. Cemetery, where his headstone reads, Here Lieth ye Body of Capt. Hugh Mason Who Deceased October ye Xth 1678 Anno Aetatis 73 He that thus thought of Death In Lifes Uncertentie Hath Doubtless Now a Life That Bringeth Eternitie. His footstone is inscribed, Mr. Hugh Mason Capt. of ye Train Band In this Town Aged 73 Years Died October The Xth 1678. He Or Her Yt Looks Here On Live for to Learne That Die Thou Must, And After Come To Judgement Just.22

Family Hester/1 Wells b. 21 Jul 1611, d. 21 May 1692 Children

   * Hannah/2 Mason+23 b. 23 Sep 1636
   * Elizabeth/2 Mason24 b. 3 Sep 1638
   * Ruth/2 Mason25 b. say 1639, d. Dec 1640
   * Mary/2 Mason26 b. 18 Dec 1640, d. after 30 Dec 1677
   * John/2 Mason24 b. 1 Jan 1645, d. 10 Mar 1666/67
   * Joseph/2 Mason27 b. 10 Aug 1646
   * Daniel/2 Mason28 b. 19 Feb 1649
   * Sarah/2 Mason29 b. 25 Sep 1651

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S97] Banks, Planters, 123, Hugh Mason family.
  2. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 1-4, quoting Chancery proceedings of John and Joseph Mason, 19 Jun 1702; 17.
  3. [S222] Paige, "Massachusetts Freemen", 13, Hugh Mason.
  4. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 12, 17.
  5. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 17.
  6. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 17-18.
  7. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 12-13.
  8. [S318] Wyman, Charlestown, 1:105, Boylston.
  9. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 18.
 10. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 1-4, quoting Chancery proceedings of John and Joseph Mason, 19 Jun 1702.
 11. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 19.
 12. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 18-19.
 13. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 12.
 14. [S36] Savage, 3:167, citing Drake's Hist. Boston, 418.
 15. [S55] Hall-Quest, Flames Over New England, 143–44.
 16. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 20-21.
 17. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 21.
 18. [S254] Watertown Records, 45, Captaine Hugh Mafon d.
 19. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 21-24.
 20. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 22-24.
 21. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 1.
 22. [S1304] Edna Warren Mason, Descs. Capt. Hugh Mason, 13, 19-20.
 23. [S254] Watertown Records, 4, Hannah Mafon b.
 24. [S36] Savage, 3:167.
 25. [S254] Watertown Records, 8, Ruth Mafon bur.
 26. [S254] Watertown Records, 8, Mary Mafon b.
 27. [S254] Watertown Records, 13, Joseph Mafon b.
 28. [S254] Watertown Records, 14, Danill Mafon b.
 29. [S254] Watertown Records, 15, Sarah Mafon b.

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Capt. Hugh Mason's Timeline

March 23, 1606
Dorking, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
March 23, 1606
Dorking, UK
July 21, 1611
Age 5
Maldon, Essex, England
January 13, 1632
Age 25
St Peters,Malden,Essex,England

In April 30,1634 Hugh Mason, age 28, and his wife Hester, age 22, sailed from England in the ship "Francis of Ipswich", John Cutter, Master, to the American colonies. So, we know that they were married before the April 30 voyage in 1634.

September 23, 1636
Age 30
Watertown, Middlesex County, MA, USA
September 3, 1638
Age 32
Watertown, (Present Middlesex County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
December 17, 1640
Age 34
Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
December 17, 1640
Age 34
Watertown, (Present Middlesex County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
January 1, 1644
Age 37
Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
August 10, 1646
Age 40
Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony