John Benbow[1]

Male 1681 - 1708


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  • Born  1681 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  17 Nov 1708  Deptford, County Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried  St. Nicholas, Deptford, County Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • John joined the Royal Navy as a volunteer in 1695, and served on the Northumberland. He was recommissioned as a Volunteer in 1697. In April of that year, he joined the crew of the Shrewsbury, which had been his father's flagship the preceding winter. In 1700, John was commissioned as a lieutenant. He chose to be employed on an East Indies merchant ship. In 1702, the same year his father died in the West Indies, John was shipwrecked on the coast of Madagascar, where he had to live with the natives for quite some time. He was finally picked up and returned to England by a Dutch captain. He wrote an account of the series of events, but apparently this has been lost. Defoe's "Madagascar", published in 1729, may have been based in part on Benbow's account.

      John's health and spirits seem to have been broken by the ordeal, and he died unmarried in 1708, and is buried at Deptford in the family tomb at St. Nicholas. His will, dated 10 November 1708, left 1700 pounds to his sister Martha, her husband Thomas Stringer, their daughter Martha Stringer, his sister Katherine Benbow, and his brothers William Benbow and Richard Benbow. Katherine, William, and Richard were all under 21 at the time the will was drawn up, as demonstrated by its content. He left the residue of his estate to his mother, who proved the will on 10 November 1709.

      The family tomb in the Church of St. Nicholas Deptford is next to the altar, and John's tombstone inscription reads:

      Here lyeth ye Body of / John Benbow Elder Son / of Adm. John Benbow / viz. Admiral of Ye White / By Martha His wife / He died November ye 17, 1708 / In ye 27th Year of His Age.

    Person ID  I1230  Benbow Family and Allied Lines
    Last Modified  19 Sep 2008 

    Father  John Benbow,   b. 1650 - 1653, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Nov 1702, Port Royal, Jamaica Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Martha,   d. 14 Dec 1722, Deptford, County Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F477  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Admiral Benbow's son John Benbow -- 'Shipwreck of the Degrave'
    Admiral Benbow's son John Benbow -- "Shipwreck of the Degrave"
    engraving for Drury's Adventures, an account of the shipwreck by another sailor aboard the ship, who escaped after John Benbow returned home to England

  • Sources 
    1. [S2] "Brave Benbow", William A. Benbow, (Bredah Press, Victoria, B.C., Canada), 0-9692991-0-9., pp. 186-87.


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