Benjamin was born on 9 April 1874 in Bethnal Green.
His parents were George Mason and Elizabeth (née McTaggart). They were married on 30 June 1867 at St. James Church Bermondsey. He was a butcher living at 45 Ernest Road, Bermondsey. They were both of “full age” i.e. over 21.
In the 1871 Census, at 416 Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green, the occupants were George Mason, 27 a master butcher, born Bermondsey, Elizabeth, his wife aged 27 who was born in Manchester, George son 1 year old and Henry son 20 months old. Both children were born in Bethnal Green.
Benjamin Albert Mason was christened on 3 May 1874, at St. Mathews’s church, Bethnal Green. His parents are confirmed as George a butcher and Elizabeth of 416 Bethnal Green Road.
In the 1881 Census, still at 416 Bethnal Green Road, those present were Elizabeth Mason, the head of the household who is stated as married and aged 37. She is a butcher, born in Manchester. Also there are George J. son 11, Robert son 8, Benjamin son 6, and 3 others described as servants with occupations as butchers.
Author’s Comment: The children are all scholars and are shown incorrectly as being born in Manchester. Although Elizabeth is shown as married, I found a death in the June quarter of 1878 of a George Mason, age 35 born in 1843 (reference Bethnal Green 1c 179).
In the 1891 Kelly’s Post Office London Directory there is a listing for Mrs. Elizabeth Mason, a butcher in 416 Bethnal Green Road. It is possible that the occupants probably lived above the butcher’s shop.
In the 1891 Census, again at 416 Bethnal Green Road, the occupants were Fred Ferry head, aged 43, a butcher, and Eliza his wife aged 46. Also there are R. Mason (Robert), stepson aged 18, a butcher, B. Mason (Benjamin), stepson aged 17, a butcher and E. Cook, a servant aged 16, born in Bow. All members of the household are shown as being born in Bethnal Green, apart from the servant.
For the 1901 Census, at 416 Bethnal Green Road, those present were Elizabeth Ferry (mis-transcribed as Surry) head and widow aged 56, born Manchester, Benjamin Mason, stepson aged 26 who is a retail butcher, born in Bethnal Green and Mary A. Ager, a servant aged 16, born in Bow.
Comment: Another error in the census, as Benjamin is the son of Elizabeth.
The 1911 Census was taken on 2/3 April. For 1 Tredegar Terrace, Bow, the occupants were John Slater, the head aged 52 and a cabinet maker, Maria Eleanor, his wife aged 53, and Benjamin Mason, a boarder aged 36, whose occupation was “private means”. Under infirmity for him was written “epilepsy”.
Into the Asylum
On 6 September 1911 Benjamin was admitted to the Mile End Workhouse, Stepney.
He was discharged on 13 September to Ewell Asylum.
The Lunacy Patients Admission Register recorded that Benjamin Albert Mason was admitted on 13 September 1911 to Ep. Col. (Epileptic Colony). He was subsequently transferred to Long Grove Asylum . He died there on 15 January 1918.
His death was registered in the March of 1918 quarter (reference 1918 Epsom 2a 74).