Gunston Hall, Home of George Mason

George Mason Manuscript Collection
Indenture with William Buckland, August 4, 1755


In 1755 George Mason requested that his brother Thomson Mason, who was then in London, secure the services of a carpenter/ joiner to work on the construction of Gunston Hall. Thomson Mason selected 21-year-old William Buckland who had just completed his term of service under a previous indenture. Mason agreed to pay Buckland 20 pounds per year and require his service for four years. This level of pay and term of service indicates Buckland's status as a skill craftsman. On the back of this indenture is an endorsement of completion by George Mason that gives his former servant an excellant recommendation.


Indenture of William Buckland

Four years after he began his term of service with George Mason, Buckland gained his freedom and received an excellant recommendation. Buckland would go on to become a prominent local architect, dying in 1774 when he was 41-years-old and at the height of his career.

The endorsement reads: "The within named William Buckland came into Virginia with my brother Thomson Mason who engaged him in London & had a very good character of him there; during the time he lived with me he had the entire Direction of the Carpenters and Joiners work of a large House; and having behaved very faithfully in my service, I can with great justice recommend him as an honest sober diligent man & I think a complete Master of the Carpenter's and Joiner's Business both in theory and practice."


Indenture of William Buckland

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