GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons
NameWilliam Benn
DenominationDissenter - Congregationalist
Livedb. ca. 1600-11-01 - d. ca. 1681-03-07 (old)
Linked Manuscripts
Linked Sermons1st sermon on Judgement -- preacher (autograph: no)2nd sermon on Judgement -- preacher (autograph: no)3rd sermon on Judgement -- preacher (autograph: no)4th sermon on Judgement -- preacher (autograph: no)5th sermon on Judgement -- preacher (autograph: no)On the Resurrection -- preacher (autograph: no)Sermon on 1 Corinthians 15:22 -- preacher (autograph: no)Sermon on 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 -- preacher (autograph: no)Sermon on 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 -- preacher (autograph: no)Sermon on Hebrews 10:34 -- preacher? (autograph: no)Sermon on Hebrews 12:23 -- preacher (autograph: no)Sermon on Luke 10:20 -- preacher? (autograph: no)Sermon on Matthew 25:34 -- preacher? (autograph: no)Sermon on Philippians 3:21 -- preacher (autograph: no)Sermon on Psalm 46:1-4 -- preacher (autograph: no)Sermon on Revelation 14:13 -- preacher (autograph: no)Sermon on unidentified text -- preacher (autograph: no)
Linked Reports
Associated PlacesEgremont -- HomeAll Saints -- ParishQueen's College -- Place of StudySt Bees' School -- Place of StudyLambeth -- PostWokingham -- Post
Source of DataCatherine Evans
Biographical Sources ConsultedODNB (ID: 2099)
Other NoteBenn was born in November 1600 in Egremont, Cumberland to John Benn (d. 1620) and Ann. He was educated at St Bees' School and Queen's College, Oxford but never gained a degree. In the 1620s, he was curate of Wokingham, Berkshire and chaplain to the marchioness of Northampton, Helena. He was chosen as the rector of All Saints', Dorchester. It is possible that he was invited to the town by John White, who somewhat overshadowed him at Dorchester. Benn would become known for his puritan views, with parishioners complaining about his exceedingly long sermons. He often neglected to use the Book of Common Prayer, and in 1634 refused to read the Book of Sports. He had three daughters with his first wife, and in 1641 married his second wife, Prothesy Pinney. He preached against the king during the Civil War, but fled to London in 1643 when Dorchester was threatened by the royalist troops. In London, he worked as an assistant to John White in Lambeth. He returned to Dorchester after the war. In 1650, when he was required to take the engagement to the Commonwealth, he modified this engagement until it was practically meaningless. He had moved away from mainstream Presbyterianism, forming instead a "gathered church" were only members were admitted to communion. He assisted in ejecting scandalous ministers during the protectorate. At the Restoration, he was imprisoned for not using the Book of Common Prayer. He was then ejected from his living as he refused the oaths of the 1662 Act of Uniformity. He preached around Dorset, sometimes illegally. In 1672, following the direction of indulgence, he was given license to preach as a congregationalist at the house of Philip Stansby. Following his death in early 1681, his friend Joshua Churchill oversaw the publication of a collection of his sermons, entitled "Soul Prosperity" (1683).
GEMMS record createdJune 13, 2019
GEMMS record last editedMarch 16, 2020