Clement-Jones family - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family - Person Sheet
NameMary SIDGWICK, 8704
FatherRev William SIDGWICK , 8700 (1806-1841)
MotherMary CROFTS , 8699 (1807-1879)
FatherEdward White BENSON , 13966 (1802-1843)
ChildrenEdward Frederick , 8705 (1867-1940)
 Arthur Christopher , 8706 (1862-1925)
 Robert Hugh , 8707 (1871-1914)
 Margaret , 8708
Notes for Mary SIDGWICK
Mary Sidgwick Benson (1841, Skipton, Yorkshire - 1918, East Sussex) was an English hostess of the Victorian era. She was the wife of Edward Benson, who during their marriage became Archbishop of Canterbury, i.e. head of the Church of England. Their children included several prolific authors and cultural contributors. When she was widowed, she became involved with Lucy Tait, daughter of the previous Archbishop. She was described by Gladstone, the Prime Minister, as the 'cleverest woman in Europe'.


Born Mary and nicknamed Minnie,[1] she was the sister of the philosopher Henry Sidgwick.
She and Benson were married on 23 June 1859 at Rugby by Frederick Temple.

They had six children. Their fifth child was the novelist E. F. Benson, best remembvered for the Mapp and Lucia novels. Another son was A. C. Benson, the author of the lyrics to Elgar's "Land of Hope and Glory" and master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. Their sixth and youngest child, Robert Hugh Benson, became a minister of the Church of England before converting to Catholicism and writing many popular novels. Their daughter Margaret Benson was an artist, author, and amateur Egyptologist. None of the children married; and some of them appeared to suffer from mental illnesses, probably bipolar disorder.

After her husband's death in 1896, Mary set up household with Lucy Tait, daughter of the previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Archibald Campbell Tait, who had first moved in with the Bensons in 1889.

In 2011, a full-length biography of her was published, entitled As Good as God, As Clever as the Devil: The Impossible Life of Mary Benson.
Last Modified 1 Jul 2012Created 2 Apr 2024 using Reunion for Macintosh