The Friends' School

William Benson Scholarship

The William Benson Scholarship (Merit) is awarded each year to a Year 7 student.William Benson

William Benson is remembered as a member of the First School Committee for The Friends’ School. He was born in England in 1848 and educated at Bootham School, York. A clear thinker and a fine public speaker, he loved literature, science and natural history, especially botany and geology. From 1866 to 1868 young William Benson travelled widely in Australia, reportedly for his health.

In 1885 William Benson married Emma Elizabeth Mather, daughter of Joseph and Maggie Mather of Hobart. The couple settled in Hobart and William became a member of the first Committee of The Friends’ School.

He remained an active member of the Committee even after relocating to Melbourne in 1890 and later to Sydney in 1903, travelling to Tasmania for School Committee meetings. William not only served as a School Committee member and advisor, he provided the School library with many books, and his three children, Dorothea, Noel and Margaret attended Friends’ as boarders between 1896 and 1904.

Following his death in 1927, a benefaction provided for the establishment of the William Benson Scholarship. The William Benson Scholarship was first awarded in 1928.

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