Benton Road, IG2

Place name

Thought to be a corruption of the name of the family who held the land from the first half of the 18thCentury until 1854. In 1747, Richard Benyon (November 26, 1698 – 1774) returned from India where he had been a merchant and administrator for the East India Company overseeing the expansion of Madras, where he had served as Governor of Fort St George. Little is known of Benyon’s early life but his time in India was successful allowing him to make a £75,000 fortune (approximately £9m) in the process, unlike many of the early governors he appeared not to have been corrupt. Back in the UK, he bought large swathes of land including Newbury Park and Gidea Hall both of which had once been owned by the Crown but were sold to a Bartholomew Barnes some 200 years earlier. Benyon’s son, Richard, whose election as a Conservative MP began a dynasty that remarkably continues to this day, inherited the properties. That in turn was passed to his son also called Richard who adopted the surname Powlett-Wrighte in 1814, and later that of Benyon de Beauvoir in 1822. In 1854, he sold the estate to a J H Mitchell. Building had started by 1900 and this street was laid out along the course of a former footpath.

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