Facts and Events
"The English Home of Capt. Hugh Mason of Watertown, Mass.", by Charles Frances Mason, NEHGS Register, Volume 78, p. 256-257: provides clues to his British Origins:
"Public Records Office, London; from Chancery Proceedings 19 June 1702. To the right honorable Sir Nathan Wright, Knight, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England. Humbly complaining shew unto your Lordships your orators, John and Joseph Mason, sons of Hugh Mason, later of Water Towne in New England, in parts beyond the seas, yeoman, and of Hester his wife, both deceased, which Hester was one of the daughters of and devisees of Thomas Welles, the elder, deceased, and one of the sisters and coheirs of Thomas Wells, son and heir of the aforesaid Thomas Wells, late of Maulden in the county of Essex, yeoman, likewise deceased, and Benjamin Franckling of London dyer, administrator not only of all the goods, chattels, rights and credits which were of and did belong to the said Hugh Mason at the time of his death but also of all the goods, chattels, rights and credits which were of and did belong to her, the said Hester, who survived the said Hugh Mason, at the time of her death, that the said Thomas Wells, the father, in his lifetime, that is to say, on or about the seventeenth day of December, which was in the year of our lord 1625, being seised in fee or of some other estate of inheritance of and in all that piece of parcel of measow or pasture land called or known by the name of Little Portland, containing by estimation four acres and a half, more or less, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Maulden aforesaid, and which was then in the tenure or occupation of Michael Cooper or his assigns, and for default of such issue of his body, then I will the one half of the said parcel of meadow or pasture, with the appurtenances, to remain unto Hellen, my daughter, now wife of Moses Catmer, shoemaker and to her heirs and the other moeity of the same to remain unto Hester Wells, my youngest daughter, and to her heirs for ever. Item, I do devise and give the messuage in which I dwell and the houses, buildings, stable yards, garens, and orchards thereunto belonging or therewith need as part of parcel thereof, with the appurtencnes, in manner follwoing, that is to say, the one half of the said messuage, gardens, orchards, and premices thereunto belonging, with the appurtenances, unto the said Hellen, my daughter, and to the heirs of her body lawfuly begotten, and the other moiety of the said messuage and premises, with the appurtenances, unto the said Hester Wells and the the heirs of her body lawfully to be begotten; and if both my said daughtesr happen to die without issue lawfully begotten, then I will the said messuage and premises, with the appurtenances, shall remain to the said Thomas, my son, and to his heirs and assigns for ever. And your orators further shew that the said Tho. Wells, the father, also in his said will devised the care and educatino of his said younger children, HEster and THmoas, unto his brother-in-law, simon Raye, until they and either fo them should be of competent age and years and of ability of body to be put forth and placed in service, as by the said will, had your orators the same to produce to this Honorable Court, more fully might and would appear. Soon arfter the making of which said will, that is to say, about the end of the month of December, in the year of oUr Lord 1624, aforesaid he, the said Tho. Wells, the father, departed this life, eing then unmarried, and leaving issue, the said Hellene, Hester, and Tho. Wells, his only children, and after whose death, about the third day of February following, the said Simon Raye proved the said will, whereof he was therein made executor, in due form of law, and took onhim the burthen and execution thereof, and afterwards, that is to say about the month of December, in the year of our Lord 1631, he, the said Tho. Wells, the son, departed this life, being then under the age of twenty-one years and unmarried and leaving no issu e of his body andwithout making any disposition of his estate, the said Hellen and Hester surviving him, whereby the estate devised and that pertained to him as aforesaid, by the said will or by descent, came to them, the said Hellen and HEster, as devisees by the said will or as sisters and coheris of him, the said Tho. Wells, the son. And the said Hellene and Hester or those who were intrusted to do the same on their behalf, entered into and becaem seised of said premises. And afterwards, that is to say about the month of January, in the year of our Lord 1632, she, the said Hester, intermarried with Hugh Mason, then of Maldon aforesaid, tanner, and since of Water Towne in New England, in parts beyond the seas. And your orators further shew that the said Hugh Mason and Hester, sometime after their marriage, that is to say about the year of our Lord 1633 or the year of Our Lord 1634, went out of this Kingdom of England into New England in America, in parts beyonmd the seas, aforesaid, and afterwads, that is to say, the 29th day of September, in the eyar of Our Lord 1654, being then in England, the said Hugh Mason, by his deed then dated, demised and granted unto one Giles Cole of Maldon aforesaid all that his moeity of the said piece or parcel of land called Little Portland for the term of the natural life of him the said Huh Mason (in case she, the said Hester, should so long live), at the yearly rent of three pounds per annum, which rent the said Giles Cole in his deed then made and duly executied did for himself and his assigns covenant and agree with the said Hugh Mason well and faithfully to pay to the said Hugh Mason accordingly... .Afterwads, that is to say, in the year of our Lord 1655, she, the said Hellene, wife of the said Moses Catmer and one of the daughters of the said Thomas Wells, the father, departed this life without making any dispositionof her share of the said premises or any part thereof and without issue of her body, the said Hester surviving her, whereby her share of thes aid premises did descend unto her, the said Hester, according to the said will or as next heir at law to her, the said, Hellen, after whose dath the said Hugh and HEster Mason entered and became seised of all thes adi premises in righ tof her, the said Hester, in fee, etc.
"The answer of Nejamin Smith, one of the defendants to the bill of complaint of John Mason and Jsoeph Mason, etc. The said defendant saith that John Cole of Swilland in the county of Suffolk, yeoman, being seised and in peaceable possession of a moeity of a certain close of land called Portlands, containing by estimation four acres, more or less, in the parish of St. Peter's in Maldon, of an estate of inheritance in fee simple, being, as this defendant blieves, part of the lands and tenements in the complanants said bill of complainte mentioned, in the tenture of occupration of John Paine, gardener, or his assigns, abutting on a parcel of land called Beau Meade towards the north, etc."
No record of the birth or marriage of Hugh mason is to be found in the registers of the Maldon parishes, but the folowing entry in the register of the paris h of St. Mary, in Maldon, may refer to a kindsman of the Watertown settler:
1631: J oseph Mason and Mary Houatt married 1 November.