© National Portrait Gallery

July 14, 1829, Birmingham, England.

October 11, 1896, Hawarden, Flintshire, England.

Canterbury Cathedral, England.


Benson was educated at King Edward’s School in Birmingham, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. At Cambridge he earned his degree in 1852 as senior optime and first class Classical Tripos, also winning the distinction of Senior Chancellor’s Classical Medalist. He subsequently became a fellow of Trinity College. In 1852, he passed from Cambridge to Rugby as assistant master; in 1859 from Rugby to Wellington College, where he was headmaster for 14 years; in 1872 from Wellington College to Lincoln, as chancellor of the cathedral; in 1877 from Lincoln to Truro, as first bishop of that diocese. He left Truro in 1883 to become Archbishop of Canterbury. He also served as Pre­ben­da­ry of Lincoln and Chaplain to the Queen.

Benson contributed to the Dictionary of Christian Biography; co-edited the 1856 edition of the Rugby School Hymn-book; edited the Wellington College Chapel Hymn Book, 1860, 1863 & 1873; translated various Latin and Greek hymns; and wrote:

  1. O Throned, O Crowned with All Renown
  2. Spake the Glorious Lord in Heaven
  1. Angulare Fundamentum
  2. Tristes erant Apostoli
  3. Dies Irae
  4. O Luce Qui mortalibus
  5. Te lucis ante terminum