MASON, Francis. York 2.4.1799 — Rangoon 3.3.1874. Rev. British Missionary in Burma, a Scholar of Pāli and Karen, lay Botanist. Son of Thomas M., a shoemaker and Baptist preacher, born in York “where his grandfather had founded a Baptist Society.” Worked himself as shoemaker with his father, but “in 1818 joined an uncle in the United States and went thence [in 1830] as a Missionary to India and Burma. For years laboured among the Karens.” Professor of Pali at Government High School in Rangoon. In 1873 living in Madras. Died after a journey to Bhamo. Married Ellen Huntly Bullard. Doctor of Divinity.
In 1854 Mason noted that Munda and Mon are related to each other and completely separate from Karen and Burmese.
Publications: “Hints on the introduction of Buddhism into Burmah”, JAOS 2, 1851, 334-337; “Mulamuli or the Buddhist Genesis of Eastern India, from the Shan, through the Talaing and Burman”, JAOS 4, 1854, 103-116; “The Pali Language from a Burmese Point of View”, JAOS 10, 1880, 177-184.
– A Pali Grammar on the Basis of Kachchayano, with Chrestomathy and Vocabulary. Translated and arranged on European models, with chrestomathy and vocabulary. 209 p. B.I. 59. Calcutta 1867-68.
– Grammars of the both dialects (Bghai and Sgau) of Karen language; translated the Bible into Karen (1853); “The Talaing Language”, JAOS 4, 1854, 277-289 (Mon compared with Munda); 11 articles in JASB on Karens and on plants.
– The natural products of Burmah, or notes on the fauna, flora and minerals of the Tenasserim provinces, and the Burman empire. Moulmein 1850, 2nd rev. ed. as Burmah, its People and Natural Productions. Rangoon 1860, 3rd 1882-83.
– The Story of a Working Man’s Life, Burma. N.Y. 1870 (autobiography).
Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; Wikipedia with picture (more details in German version).
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