Masson, John

, a reformed minister, who died in Holland about 1750, was originally of France, but fled into England to enjoy that liberty in religion which his country refused him, and was employed as tutor in bishop Burnet’s family. In 1710 he travelled with his pupils, through Holland, and thence to France and Italy, according to Saxius, though we doubt whether the bishop had at that time any sons so young as to be only beginning their education. Be this as it may, he soon became known in. the literary world, and we should suppose must have often resided in Holland, as most of his publications were printed there. The first we can trace with certainty is his “Jani templum Christo nascente reseratum, seu Tractatus Chronologico-historicus vulgarem refellens opinionem existimantium, pacem toto terrarum orbe sub tempus Servatoris natale stabilitam fuisse,” &c. Rotterdam, 1700, 4to and 8vo. We are also indebted to him for, 1. “Histoire critique de la Republique des Lettres, from 1712 to 17 17,” in 15 vols. 12mo. 2. “Vitae Horatii, Oviciii, et Plinii junioris,” 3 vols. small 8vo, and printed abroad, though dedicated to Englishmen of rank: the first at Leyden, 1708, to lord Harvey; the second at Amsterdam, 1708, to sir Justinian Isham; the third at Amsterdam, 1709, to the bishop of Worcester. These lives are drawn up in a | chronological order, very learnedly and very critically; and serve to illustrate the history, not only of these particular persons, but of the times also in which they lived. In the “Life of Horace,” Masson found occasion to interfere with M. Dacier; who, however, defended his own opinions, and prefixed his defence to the second edition of his Horace. 3. “Histoire de Pierre Bayle & de ses ouvrages,Amsterdam, 1716, 12mo. This at least is supposed to be his, though at first it was given to M. la Monnoye. Many other critical dissertations by Masson are enumerated by Saxius. 1


Dict. Hist. Saxii Oaomasticon.