Masham, Lady Damahis

, a lady distinguished by her piety and extraordinary accomplishments, was the daughter of Dr. Ralph Cudworth, and born at Cambridge on the 18th of January, 1658. Her father, perceiving the bent of her genius, took such particular care of her education, that she quickly became remarkable for her uncommon learning and piety. She was the second wife of sir Francis Masham, of Gates in the county of Essex, bart. by whom she had an only son, the late Francis Cudworth Masham, esq. one of the masters in chancery, accomptant-general of that court, and foreign opposer in the court of exchequer. She was well skilled in arithmetic, geography, chronology, history, philosophy, and divinity; and owed a great part of her improvement to the care of the famous Mr. Locke, who lived many years in her family, and at length died in her house at Gates; and whom she treated with the utmost generosity and respect. She wrote “A Discourse concerning the Love of God,” published at London in 1696; and “Gccasional Thoughts in reference to a virtuous and Christian Life.” This amiable lady died in 1708, and was interred in the cathedral church of Bath, where a monument is erected to her memory, with the following inscription “Near this place lies Dame Damans | Masham, daughter of Ralph Cudworth, D. D. and second wife of sir Francis Masham, of Gates, in the county of Essex, bart. who, to the softness and elegancy of her own sex, added several of the noblest accomplishments and qualities of the other. She possessed these advantages in a great degree unusual to either, and tempered them with an exactness peculiar to herself. Her learning, judgment, sagacity, and penetration, together with her candour and love of truth, were very observable to all that conversed with her, or were acquainted with those small treatises she published in her life-time, though she industriously concealed her name. Being mother of an only son, she applied all her natural and acquired endowments to the care of his education. She was a strict observer of all the virtues belonging to every station of life, and only wanted opportunities to make those talents shine in the world, which were the admiration of her friends. She was born on the 18th of January, 1658, and died on the 20th of April, 1708.1


Ballard’s Memoirs.