MASTER, Thomas (1690-1770), of Cirencester Abbey, Glos.
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Family and Education
bap. 12 July 1690, 1st s. of Thomas Master† of Cirencester Abbey by Elizabeth, da. and h. of John Driver of Aston, Glos. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1706. m. Apr. 1709, Joanna, da. and h. of Jasper Chapman of Stratton, Glos., 1s. suc. fa. 1710.1
Master’s family had acquired the site of the abbey of Cirencester in the mid-16th century, and their strong electoral interest in the borough had frequently enabled them to secure one of the parliamentary seats. His father had sat as a Tory in the Parliaments of 1685 and 1689 and although he did not stand again after 1690, he remained an important Tory influence in the town’s civic and electoral affairs, and entertained the Queen at his residence during her visit in August 1702. Master himself gave vent to a youthful enthusiasm for High Tory politics in April 1710 when upon news of Dr Sacheverell’s sentence he led Cirencester’s Tory faction in a round of drinking and celebration. He entered Parliament for the town at the first opportunity after his coming of age, being returned on his own interest at a by-election in 1712, and at the general election of 1713 he came top of the poll. He made no mark in those early years but his Tory identity was noted by the compilers of three analyses of the 1713 Parliament. After the accession of George I he retained his place on Gloucestershire’s magisterial bench and represented Cirencester for another 32 years, voting consistently with the Tories. He died on 5 Feb. 1770.2