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Benson, Robert (1797-1844) (DNB00)


BENSON, ROBERT (1797–1844), recorder of Salisbury, was the youngest son of the Rev. Edmund Benson, priest-vicar of Salisbury Cathedral, and was born in that city on 6 Feb. 1797. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. 1818, M.A. 1821), was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1821, and practised in the courts of equity. In 1823 he went to Corsica as one of the commissioners to carry into effect the bequests of General Paoli, and on his return he published 'Sketches of Corsica; or a Journal written during a visit to that island in 1823, with an outline of its history and specimens of the language and poetry of the people,' London, 1825, 8vo. He was elected deputy recorder of Salisbury in 1829, and became recorder in 1836. In 1837 he published his best work, 'Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Rev. Arthur Collier,' the contemporary expounder of Berkeley's metaphysical doctrine. In 1848 there appeared the 'History of Salisbury,' a large folio volume, forming part of Sir Richard Colt Hoare's 'History of Modern Wiltshire,' with the joint names of Robert Benson and Henry Hatcher, of Salisbury, as the authors. A controversy took place between those two gentlemen with reference to this work, of which it appears Benson wrote only a very insignificant portion. Benson died unmarried at the house of his only surviving sister in the Close, Salisbury, on 21 June 1844, and was buried in the cathedral with the other members of his family.

[Gent. Mag. N. S. xxii. 323; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Graduati Cantab. (1873), 33.]

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