Francis Masterton (1684-1718)

Francis Masterton (1684-1718)


The National Library of Scotland (NLS) holds a copy of a broadsheet entitled 'An Elegy on the much to be Lamented Death of Francis Masterton Apothecary'. It is listed as having a probable date of publication of 1721. He was clearly a much-loved and respected figure in 18th Century Edinburgh.


Francis Masterton was a member of the family of Mastertons that had their family seat at Parkmill near Alloa in Clackmannan. Francis Masterton (1684-1718), the son of Francis Masterton (1643-1719) sheriff-depute of Clackmannan and author of "Remarques", was an Apothecary Burgess in Edinburgh. He died on 14th July 1718, and his Testament Dative and Inventory, which confirms his profession, survives. This suggests that the Broadsheet may have been published at an earlier date than surmised in the NLS Archives.

A fuller genealogy of the notable and extended family of Francis Masterton can be found by clicking on his name.



On the much to be Lamented Death


Francis Masterton

Come thou my mournful Muse to his great Name,
Doubly inscribe that thence the purer Flame,
To Heaven so offered may more greatful rise,
The grosser parts be wood for the Sacrifice.
Doubles the grief that's in the Nation spread
Since he whom Edinburgh did Love is Dead
For every Tear that with our Eye's most shed,
Even on a Languishing a Sickly Bed,
They will into a Stream amongst us turn,
And every on will have just cause to mourn,
For who can cease to shed a thousand Tears,
Whilest he is dead and Edinburgh's loss appears,
Tho' in the grave or in the mounted Sky,
What ever Mansions doth his Dust Survie,
Still on our Hearts he shall for ever live,
We indispos'd he did always relive.
When bussie Cares did oft oppress our Mind
He was the only Comfort we did find,
In his good Medicines we found Repose,
For they with pleasant sweets did us Dispose,
But now he's gone Death's rapt him from our Sight
And cruely Rob'd us of our only Right,
He though no Surgeon yet did understand,
His Bussiness in what he took in Hand,
How Nimbly he his Patients did Survey,
Twice, Thrice and sometimes oftener in a Day.
To every one that call'd him he with Speed
Did run, to the Poor a helper in their need,
Who can unconquer'd Death withstand?
A furrowed brow old Age at Hand.
For Death a little after this we all must feel.
It's so Decreed by the Fatal wheel,
And all the numerous Ofspring of the Earth,
That always feed on her who gave them Birth,
Must every one it's birth it's Funeral,
The Womb and Tome being alike to all,
To Dust they must return their Breath resign,
Thus being Heavens highest great Design.

probable date published 1721
National Library of Scotland
Shelfmark: Ry.111.c. 36(110)