Godfrey Benson, 1st Baron Charnwood

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Godfrey Rathbone Benson, 1st Baron Charnwood (6 November 1864 – 3 February 1945) was a British author, academic, Liberal politician and philanthropist.

Benson was born in Alresford, Hampshire, the son of William Benson, a barrister, and Elizabeth Soulsby Smith. He was educated at Winchester and Balliol College, Oxford. He graduated in 1887, and would later become a philosophy lecturer at Balliol. He was involved in politics and represented Woodstock in the House of Commons from 1892 to 1895 and served as Mayor of Lichfield between 1909 and 1911. In the latter year Benson was raised to the peerage as Baron Charnwood, of Castle Donington in the County of Leicester.

Lord Charnwood was the author of many works. These include Abraham Lincoln, which he published in 1916 as an accurate biography, and Theodore Roosevelt in 1923, another historical biography. He was also involved in charitable work with the deaf and disabled, becoming the first President of the National Institute for the Deaf from 1924 until 1935.


He married Dorothea Mary Roby Thorpe, daughter of Roby Thorpe, in 1897. She died in 1942. Charnwood died in London in February 1945, aged 80, and was succeeded in the barony by his second but only surviving son John.


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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Morrell
Member of Parliament for Woodstock
Succeeded by
George Morrell
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Charnwood
Succeeded by
John Roby Benson