Anne Mason 1667/8-1753

From Book Owners Online

Anne MASON or GERARD or BRETT 1667/8-1753

Mason's bookplate (British Museum Franks Collection *324)

Biographical Note

Born in Shropshire, the younger daughter of Sir Richard Mason and Anna Margaretta Long. In 1683 she married Charles Gerard, Viscount Brandon, becoming Countess of Macclesfield when her husband inherited the title of Earl in 1694. Their bitter separation culminated in a divorce in 1698 which was a public sensation. The poet Richard Savage later claimed to be her illegitimate son. Lady-in-waiting to Princess Anne. Subsequently married Henry Brett in 1700, whom she outlived.


She had an armorial bookplate (Franks *324), dated 1698: ‘Mrs. Anne Mason of Bishops Castle in the county of Salop late Countess of Macclesfeild and one of the Daughters and Coheires of Sr. Richard Mason Kt’. This was probably engraved in the workshop of William Jackson together with bookplates dated the same year of her sister Dorothy Brownlow, her sister’s husband Sir William Brownlow 4th bart., and his mother-in-law Alice Brownlow. Along with theirs, some if not all of her books became absorbed within the expanding library at Belton House, Lincolnshire, built for her brother-in-law, which came to be inherited by her nephew Sir John Brownlow to whom she had acted as a guardian after her sister’s death.

Examples of books inscribed by her: Belton House NT 3025723, NT 3047830.