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John Mason

Birthplace: England
Death: Died in Maine
Immediate Family:

Husband of Mary Allen
Father of Mary Manning and James Mason

Occupation: Land speculator, fisherman
Managed by: Erica "the Disconnectrix" Howton
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Mason

"John Mason, born in 1619, arrived in the Philip, which sailed from Gravesend, England June 20, 1635; married Mary, daughter of John and Elizabeth Gent.  Planter on Mason's Neck, which he bought from Robinhood, 1652, died 1665; widow married John Allen of Charlestown.  Children James and Mary (Manning)"  (Spencer's Pioneers on Maine Rivers)

HIST: John (5), Sheepscot, bought from the Indians 20 Jan. 1652-3. Court was held at his house in Sept. 1665; living 17 Sept. 1666. List 12. Nathaniel Draper who witnessed his Indian deed swore to it 15 Mar. 1666-7 and testified in June 1669 that Mason intended his upper plantation for his son, his lower one for his wife Mary (Gent 2). She married 2d John Allen (5) and in 17__ claimed at Sheepscot for self and Mason children.

"In the summmer of 1636 Purchase (Thomas) appeared at the house at Newichawannock, then occupied by agents of the widow of Captain John Mason..."

owned half of Maine

The years following Smith's voyage brought a halting movement toward English settlement in Maine. The earliest colonies were semi-permanent fishing stations under the nominal authority of Ferdinando Gorges, who had been granted a monopoly over the region by the Council for New England. By 1623 some 400 vessels plied the banks between Cape Ann and Monhegan, working mostly out of year-round fishing stations on the islands and peninsulas of the central coast.

In 1622 Gorges and his partner John Mason divided northern New England, with Gorges taking the land east of the Piscataqua, and for more than 40 years Gorges directed the colony's development as "Lord Palatinate" of Maine. Fishing and trading colonies appeared at Damariscove in 1622, Piscataqua, Cape Newagen, and Monhegan in 1623; Pejepscot in 1625-1630, and Richmond Island in 1628.

By the 1630s Pemaquid was the center of commercial activity on the New England coast. English, Abenaki, and French traders rubbed elbows on its cobblestone streets, and its merchants sent fur, fish, grains, corn, timber, and livestock to other provincial ports or England.

Markets changed abruptly and the fishing stations frequently disappeared when a scarcity of bait or timber undercut the operation. Still, the little hamlets gradually acquired the fundamentals of stable communities, holding informal "combinations" to elect local leaders, enforce moral codes, and settle land disputes.

"That tract of land which is formed by the dividing of the Sheepscot River at the South, and the branching of the Dyer's River at the North, with the Sheepscot on the West, was anciently called "The Little Necke", in opposition to "The Great Necke" already spoken of, as being formed by, and lying between, "Mill River" and "Crumbies Reach".  After the purchase of Mason in 1652, it was called "Masons Necke", and afterwards the "town necke".  It is a beautiful place.  It is more than a mile long, and its mean width is one-third of a mile.  Its surface is nearly level, quite free from ledges and stones, and with its loamy soil forms excellent land for cultivation.  Towards the North, between "Garrison Hill" and "The Falls," is a rising ground, where during the early days of this settlement, was a fort, and where is now the "Burying ground" in which the inhabitants, since the year 1630, have been accustomed to inter their dead."


  • Boothbay, Maine: The first European presence was a British fishing station on Cape Newagen in 1623. By the 1630s, there were a few families. Henry Curtis purchased from the sachem Mowhotiwormet (commonly known as Chief Robinhood) the right to settle here in 1666. The inhabitants fled in 1676 during King Philip's War and returned in 1677. In 1689 during King William's War, they were driven out again, and the village remained a desolate waste for 40 years.,_Maine
  • John Mason, Nicholas Manning and Madam Gent at Sheepscot, bought all the lands between Sheepscot and Mill Rivers, and from Winnisittico Falls, the present Match factory, down, so as to include the upper end of Cape Newaggan Island. (The History of Ancient Sheepscot and Newcastle - Rev. David Quimby Cushman)


  1. Collections of the Maine Historical Society. 1st Ser.̈, Volume 2  By Maine Historical Society. Page 234. "in 1736 Mary Mulford conveyed to David Cargill of New Castle all her her interest in the same neck of land, and thus described herself: "Mary Mulford, the present wife of Elias Mulford. Daughter of James Mason of East Hampton, deceased, Which said he was the only son & heir Of John Mason, Who was formerly an inhabitant of a place formerly called New Dartmouth, In the county of Cornwall."
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John Mason's Timeline

March 5, 1666
Age 47
Newcastle, Lincoln, Maine