MASON, Robert I (by 1527-91), of Ludlow, Salop.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. by 1527 1st s. of William Mason by Joyce, da. of George Langford, registrar of Hereford diocese. m. (1) Alice Cox; (2) Jane.1

Offices Held

Churchwarden, Ludlow by 1551, bailiff 1555-6, 1563-4, 1571-2, alnager in 1558; ?steward of household in council in the marches of Wales 1567-9.2


It is uncertain whether Mason, a burgess of Ludlow, probably a cloth merchant, was also the steward in the council in the marches. Ludlow bailiffs—for example William Poughmill, Mason’s co-Member in 1572 —sometimes filled council offices, but the junior Member for the borough (and Mason never achieved the senior seat) was often a local merchant unconnected with the council. The known genealogical facts are equally inconclusive. The relevant section of the pedigree of Mason of Minton and of Diddlebury, near Ludlow, gives their recent descent from a London merchant, while their relatives by marriage, the Langfords, were prominent Ludlow burgesses. The steward of the household was styled ‘esquire’ or ‘servant to Sir Henry Sidney’, whereas the Ludlow bailiff and MP was described as ‘gentleman’ or simply as ‘of this town’. On the whole it is likely that there were two men. If so, the steward was probably son of William, and husband of Alice Cox only: no Jane appears in the Visitation pedigree of Mason of Minton. The bailiff is known to have married Jane, whose maiden name is not given in his will.3

There is no reasonable doubt that the Ludlow bailiff was the MP in 1558, 1559 and 1571, but a namesake of his, a tanner, was returned in 1572. Mason’s will, made 12 Oct. 1591, was proved as Nov., nearly a fortnight after his burial, according to his wish, in Ludlow parish church. Personal property and two houses in Broad Street were bequeathed to the widow. No children were mentioned, but Mason left small legacies to nephews John and William Mason, and to his sister Ancaret Cooke. One of the overseers and witnesses was William Croft.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. NLW, will of Robert Mason; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 353-5.
  • 2. Ludlow Churchwardens’ Accts. (Cam. Soc. cii), 45; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), vii. 15; C219/28/99; Bodl. Gough Salop ms, i. f. 277v; Salop RO, Ludlow bailiffs’ accts. 1558; HMC De L’Isle and Dudley, i. 357-9; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 128; T. Wright, Hist. Ludlow, 493-4, gives the bailiff for 1571-2 in error as Richard Mason.
  • 3. Vis. Salop; Williams, 128; HMC De L’Isle and Dudley, i. 359; C219/25/89, 26/78; de Tabley list of 1571 MPs.
  • 4. CJ, i. 49; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), vii. 15; NLW, probate recs. Hereford diocese.