Georgian Society for East Yorkshire

William Mason, Hull Poet

William Mason

William Mason

William Mason was born in Hull in 1724. He was educated at Hull Grammar School, and later went to St John's College, Cambridge.

His poem "Musaeus, a Monody on the Death of Mr. Pope" was published in 1747. Mason makes poets from history, such as Chaucer and Spenser, mourn Alexander Pope's death in imitations of their own styles. The work was instantly popular and several editions were made.

Other works include Elfrida, and Caractacus, historical tragedies written in the 1750s, both of which were used as libretti for operas. He published a three-volume poetic work on gardening, The English Garden, over ten years from 1772.

Mason was ordained in 1754, and held several posts in the church. He was Pitt the Younger's preferred choice to become poet laureate in 1785, but he declined the honour. He died in 1797.

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