James Bentham 1709-1794
James BENTHAM 1709-1794
Born at Ely, Cambridgeshire, third son of Rev. Samuel Bentham, registrar of Ely Cathedral, and Philippa Willen. He attended Ely grammar school c.1718-26, and was admitted as a sizar at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1727; BA 1731; MA 1738. He was ordained in 1733 and in the course of his career held a series of clerical preferments in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and Bedfordshire, but remained based in Ely, where he was a minor canon in 1737, and prebendary in 1779, spending much of his time researching medieval architecture and working on his magnum opus on the Cathedral’s history, printed by Cambridge University Press in 1771. He was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1767. He married 1. Elisabeth Sutton; 2. Mary Dickens.
The extent and disposition of his library are not yet established.
He had a printed book label (‘James Bentham, Ely, A.D. 17 ’) with the year to be added by hand (Lee 479). Example (undated): Cambridge University Library, Ely.c.186-.
- Cocke, T. H. ‘Bentham, James (1709–1794), antiquary and Church of England clergyman’. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
- Lee, B. N. Early printed book labels. Pinner, 1976.