Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
NameMsgr Robert Hugh BENSON
Birth1871
Death1914
FatherRt Rev Edward White BENSON (1829-1896)
MotherMary SIDGWICK (1841-1918)
Notes for Msgr Robert Hugh BENSON
Robert Hugh Benson AFSC KC*SG KGCHS (18 November 1871 – 19 October 1914) was the youngest son of Edward White Benson (Archbishop of Canterbury) and his wife, Mary. He was also the younger brother of Edward Frederic Benson.

Life

Benson was educated at Eton College and then studied classics and theology at Trinity College, Cambridge from 1890 to 1893.

In 1895, he was ordained a priest in the Church of England by his father who was the then Archbishop of Canterbury.

Benson's father died suddenly in 1896 and he was sent on a trip to the Middle East to recover his own health. While there, he began to question the status of the Church of England and to consider the claims of the Catholic Church. His own piety began to tend toward the High Church variety and he started exploring religious life in various Anglican communities, eventually obtaining permission to join the Community of the Resurrection.

Benson made his profession as a member of the community in 1901, at which time he had no thoughts of leaving the Church of England. But as he continued his studies and began writing, he became more and more uneasy with his own doctrinal position and, on 11 September 1903, he was received into the Catholic Church. He was awarded the Dignitary of Honour of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

Benson was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1904 and sent to Cambridge. He continued his writing career along with his ministry as a priest.

Like both his brothers, Fred (Edward Fredrick/E.F.) Benson and Arthur (A.C.) Benson, Robert Hugh Benson wrote many ghost stories, collected in The Light Invisible (1903) and The Mirror of Shallott (1907). Seven of these stories are included in David Stuart Davies (ed) The Temple of Death: The Ghost Stories of A.C. and R.H. Benson (Wordsworth, 2007) along with nine by his brother A.C. Benson.

He was made a monsignor in 1911.

Robert Hugh Benson: Life and Works, a biography by Janet Grayson, was published in 1998.
Last Modified 7 Jul 2012Created 28 Jan 2018 using Reunion for Macintosh