|Administrative / biographical background:
Manorial records, deeds and other documents of the MASTER family (Cirencester Abbey Estate), 1350-1824.
The families of Chester and Master were joined in 1742 by the marriage of Elizabeth Chester Cann to Thomas Master the younger, M.P. for Cirencester. Her mother was the daughter of Thomas Chester (IV) of Knole, and the wife of Sir Wm. Cann, Bt. Thomas Master, born 1744, son of this marriage, inherited the Chester estates in 1799 from Mrs. Bromley Chester, his cousin.
The Master family.
Richard Master, M.D., died in London 1588. Physician, younger son of Robert Master of Streetend, Willesborough, Kent. By patent 26 June 1559, constituted physician to Q. Elizabeth with a yearly fee of £100. Received a Crown grant of the site of Cirencester Abbey in 6 Elizabeth. Fellow of Royal College of Physicians, 1553, President 1561. Prebendary of York, 1562/3. Married Elizabeth, eldest dau. of Jn. Fulnetby of Fulnetby, Lincs. and had seven sons, of whom
George (eldest s.) b. ?1556; of St. John's College Oxford and Lincoln's Inn. M.P. for Cirencester 1586, 1588. Married Bridget dau. of Jn. Cornwall of Marlborough.
Thomas, 1560-1628, B.D., Master of the Temple 1601, Canon of Litchfield 1613, Archdeacon of Salop 1614.
Robert, 1565-1625, D.C.L. Chancellor of Rochester and Lichfield, M.P. for Cricklade 1601.
Henry, b. 1556, M.A. Principal of Alban Hall 1603-1614.
Sir William Master, s. of George Master. Knighted by James I, 1622. M. Alice, dau. of (? Sir) Edward Eastcourt of Salisbury. M.P. for Cirencester 1624. High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, 1627, d. 1662, aged 61. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Sir William was favourable to the Parliament, but in 1642, Princes Rupert and Maurice were quartered in his house when Royalists took the town, and he was forced to sign contributions to the Royal Garrison. In August 1642 the King spent the night at his house on his way from Oxford to Bristol, again in 1644 on his way from Oxford to Bath, although Sir William had submitted to all the Parliamentary Ordinances. His estate was sequestered, and in 1646-7 he begged to compound. He was still in difficulties in 1652, when he was the father of 12 children.
[Sources: (nos. 1-3) D.N.B.]
Thomas Master of the Abbey, Cirencester, and Lincoln's Inn, eldest son of Sir Wm., baptized 1624, and sat for Cirencester 1660. Marriage settlement dated 1661, his wife being Eliz., sister of Sir Thomas Dyke, of Shoreham, Sussex. One of II for the intended Order of the Royal Oak, in 1660, his estate being computed as £1000 a year. D. 1680, aged 56.
Thomas Master, of the Abbey, Cirencester, eldest son of the preceding Thomas. B. 1663, and m. Eliz. dau. and heiress of John Driver of Aston, Gloucs. (marriage settlement 1688). M.P. for Cirencester 1685-7, 1689-90. Buried at Cirencester 1710, aged 47.
Thomas Master, of the Abbey, Cirencester. Eldest son of the preceding Thomas. Baptized 1690, married Joanna (who brought him the manor of Stratton, dau. and heir of Jasper Chapman of Stratton co. Gloucs. Their marriage settlement dated 1709. M.P. for Cirencester 1712 (at the age of 21) until 1747, when his son took his place. Died at Cowley, Hillingdon, Middlesex, in 1769.
Thomas Master, jun. Eldest son of the preceding Thomas, baptized 1717, married at Almondsbury 1742 Eliz. Chester, dau. and heiress of Sir Wm. Cann. Bt. (by Eliz. his wife, dau. of Thomas Chester the elder of Knole Park). She inherited her father's estates at Brislington and Brean, afterwards alienated by her son Thomas. Thomas Master represented Cirencester from 1747 until his death in 1749, aged 32. His younger son, Richard (1746-1800), who m. Isabella Frances Egerton, was M.P. for Cirencester 1785-92, and Governor of Tobago from 1799 until his death in the following year. Richard's son William succeeded the estates (see below).
[Source nos. 4-7, Williams: Parl. Hist. Gloucs.]
Thomas Master. Eldest son of the preceding Thomas Master, jun. B. 1744, married 1769, Mary (d. 1819) dau. of James Lennox Dutton and sister of 1st. Lord Sherborne. High Sheriff of Gloucestershire 1771, 1784, M.P. for the County, 1784-96. Inherited Cann estates 1782, (manors of Brislington and Brean, Somersetshire), and succeeded in 1770, to the Abbey, Cirencester, and to family estates of the Masters at Baunton, Preston, and Stratton. In 1799 he succeeded under the will of his cousin, Mrs. Bromley Chester, to the manors of Almondsbury, Barton Regis, and Brimsham, and the whole inheritance of the Chesters in Gloucestershire. Died 1823. Outlived his only son, and was succeeded by his nephew, Lt. Col. William Chester-Master.
[Sources: Williams: Parl. Hist. Gloucs; Chester-Waters: Genealogy of Chesters.
William Chester Master. Son and heir of Richard Master, younger s. of Thomas Master jun. [1717-49]. Inherited Knole Park, 1823, and the Abbey, Cirencester, 1863. Born 1785. Gentleman Usher of the Privy Chamber to George III, George IV, William IV, and Q. Victoria. Married 1814 Isabella Margaret, dau. of Colonel the Hon. Stephen Digby (Vice Chamberlain to Q. Charlotte; grandson of William, 5th Lord Digby). Died 1868.
[Sources, Chester Waters: Genealogy of Chesters]
Thomas William Chester Master, of Knole Park and the Abbey, Cirencester, eldest son of Lt. Col. Wm. Chester Master. Born 1815, married 1840, Catherine Elizabeth, eldest dau. of Sir George Cornewall, 3rd. Bart., of Moccas, co. Hereford. M.P. for Cirencester 1837-1844. J.P. and D.L. for co. Glouc., High Sheriff 1878.
Thomas William Chester-Master. Son of T.W. Chester Master born 1841. M.P. for Cirencester 1878, 1880.
Married 1866 Georgina Emily, 5th. dau. of John E.W. Rolls of the Hendre, co. Monmouth, sister of Lord Langattock. Unsuccessfully contested the Cirencester division 1892, but represented it 1892-3. J.P. for cos. Gloucester and Monmouth.
[Sources: Williams, Parl. Hist. Glouc.]
Richard Chester-Master, eldest son of the preceding Thomas William. B. 1870, m. 1901 Geraldine M.B., dau. of John H. Arkwright of Hampton Court, Herefs. Served in S.A. War, 1899-1902, Resident Commissioner in S. Rhodesia, 1905-8, Chief Constable of Gloucestershire, 1910-17. Served in European War, 1914-17 (Lt. Colonel, D.S.O.). Killed in action, 1917.
William Alfred Chester-Master, eldest son of the preceding. Born 1903, married 1927 Patience Mary, eldest dau. of George S. Streeter, J.P., of Thorley Place, Herts. Lt. Colonel R. Glos. Hussars. T.D. 1945, D.L. 1950. Of Norcote House, Cirencester.
[Sources for 12 and 13: Who's Who and Kelly's Handbook]