England Football Online
Unused Players Index Page Last Updated
12 August 2021

Robin Benson

Old Etonians FC



  Robert Henry Benson BA
Birth Tuesday, 24 September 1850 at Fairfield House, Fairfield, Manchester, Lancashire [registered in Ashton-under-Lyme, December 1850].
"On the 24th inst., at Fairfield, near Manchester, Mrs. Robert Benson, of a son." - Saturday, 28 September 1850, The Standard; also Monday, 30 September 1850, Morning Chronicle/Morning Herald
Attended Eton College, and Balliol College, Oxford
Baptism 1 November 1850 at St. Stephen Church in Audenshaw.

According to the 1851 census, Robert is the only child to Robert, a cotton spinner and manufacturer, and Eleanor Sara (née Moorsom). They have four female servants and they live on Manchester Road in Audenshaw.


According to the 1861 census, without the young Robert, his parents, along with younger siblings, Constantine William and Mary Constance, are living at 16 Craven Hill Gardens in Paddington, along with seven servants. His father is simply stated as being a 'merchant'.
Robert was probably at Eton College


According to the 1871 census, Robert, now an undergraduate at Oxford, his home with his father, a merchant, still at 16 Craven Hill Gardens.
unable to verify rest of the household as census record is missing


According to the 1881 census, Robert is now an American Merchant living at 18 Kensington Square in Chelsea with his brother, and his wife, and his sister, along with three female servants.

Marriage to Evelyn Holford at 2.30pm, Thursday, 7 July 1887, on St. George's Church, Hanover Square [registered in St George Hanover Square, September 1887].
"On Thursday afternoon a numerous and distinguished company assembled at Dorchester House, Park-lane, at the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Holford, on the occasion of the marriage of their second daughter, Miss Evelyn Holford, and Mr. Robert H. Benson. The bridegroom, Mr. Robert Henry Benson, is the eldest son of the late Mr. Robert Benson, and was born in 1850. He was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, and after graduating with honours read for a short time at the bar, till he went into business. He is now senior partner with his brother in the Old American banking house of Robert Benson and Co. in London. In the neighbourhood of Weston Birt, and indeed throughout the Tetbury district, where Mr. and Mrs. Holford and their family are held in universal esteem and affection, the happy event was looked forward to with great interest and pleasure. The ceremony took place at St. George's Church, Hanover-square, at 2.30. The Hon. Spencer Lyttelton was the best man, and the bride was attended by six bridesmaids, all children. The bride was accompanied by her father, who afterwards gave her away. Close behind the bride were two pages. The service was choral, the Rev. Edwyn Hoskyns, rector of Stepney, officiated, assisted by the Rev. Canon Capel Cure, rector of the parish. Mr. and Mrs. Holford afterwards received the wedding party at Dorchester House, Park-lane. At half-past four the newly married couple left for Overstone, Lord and Lady Wantage's seat in Northamptonshire, for the honeymoon."
Saturday, 9 July 1887, Wiltshire & Gloucestershire Standard.

According to the 1891 census, which cannot be found, Robert and Evelyn would have had two children, Guy Holford (b.23 May 1888) and Reginald Lindsay (b.20 August 1889).
However, Guy and Reginald were with their maternal grandparents, Robert and Mary Holford, at Westonbirt House in Tetbury.

According to the 1901 census, Robert, still married to Evelyn, a merchant and banker, living at 16 South Street in Westminster, along with three more children, Margaret Winifred (b.17 April 1892), Constantine Evelyn (b.10 April 1895) and Rosalind Frances (b.21 September 1899), and his brother and along with 21 servants.
According to Passenger Lists, 56 year old banker, Benson, arrived in New York on 23 October 1906 from Liverpool on board the SS Caronia, bound for Ottowa.

According to the 1911 census, Robert is living at Buckhurst in Withyham in Sussex with one of his sons, Guy, and ten servants. He is a merchant banker.

Death Sunday, 7 April 1929 at Walpole House, Chiswick Mall, aged 78 years 195 days [registered in Brentford, June 1929]. Buried in St. Catherine's churchyard in Westonbirt.


"MR. R. H. BENSON DEAD.—Banker and Well-known Art Collector.
"Mr. Robert Henry Benson, banker and art collector, died yesterday at this home, Walpole House, Chiswick Mall, London, aged 79. As the senior partner in the firm of Robert Benson and Co., Ltd., merchant bankers, Old Broad Street, London, Mr. Benson was well known in the banking world, but he was equally well known as an art collector. He was the owner of a valuable collection of pictures, chiefly of the early Italian period, and of early Chinese porcelain. Since 1912 he had served as a trustee of the National Gallery, and was a member of the Council of the Royal College of Music. In his younger days, Mr. Benson gained considerable prominence as an athlete at Eton and Oxford."
Monday, 8 April 1929, The Sheffield Daily Telegraph
Probate "BENSON Robert Henry of 24 Old Broad-street London and of Walpole House Chiswick Mall Chiswick Middlesex and of Buckhurst Withyham Middlesex died 7 April 1929 Probate London 26 June to Guy Holford Benson director and Reginald Lindsay Benson major H. M. Army."
Effects £116481 6s. 3d." [2020 equivalent: £7,567,339]


Playing Career

Club(s) Benson earned his blue at Oxford University in athletics between 1870 and 1873, becoming President of the Athletic Club in 1872. He played his football at Eton and at Oxford, and after leaving University, was also playing for the Wanderers FC.
Club honours FA Cup winner 1873-74, runners-up 1874-75;
Individual honours None
Height/Weight 5' 9" [1906]

England Career

Position(s) Forward

Beyond England

Admitted to the Inner Temple to read for The Bar in January 1873. Graduated from University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1874. In October of that year, Benson went to Boston to join the family merchant business, but returned at the turn of the new year following the death of his father, to set up ventures in merchant banking. Also a director in Telegraph and Electric companies. Became an art collector after his marriage.

The Numbers
parties reserve
1 1

Match History
 Club: Old Etonians F.C. - no full appearances

F.A. Committee - no full appearancesx

Age 24
4 6 March 1875 - England 2 Scotland 2, The Surrey Cricket Ground, Kennington Fr HD reserve