by Joan Borrowscale


Home Page



Sarah Benton was born c1777 a daughter of James Benton and Sarah Cobb. She was baptised at the Old Meeting House, Presbyterian Chapel in Birmingham, Warwickshire. James Benton and Sarah Cobb married at Banbury, Oxfordshire on the 5 April 1774.

In the Liverpool Mercury newspaper for Friday 14th January 1820 an advertisement is published :-

Miss Benton respectfully informs her friends and the public
her school will re-open on the 19th instant.
Gateacre 3 January 1820

A further advertisement of the 4th January 1822 :-

Preparatory Boarding School for Young Gentlemen
at Gateacre, nr. Liverpool
Miss Benton respectfully informs her friends and the public
her school will re-open January 1822.
Gateacre, 4th January 1822

We have now found that Sarah Benton was in Gateacre 10 years before Mary Hunt and her sisters. In the Land Tax records for Little Woolton, 1821-1825, Sarah Benton is occupying the house of Thomas Nicholson of Gateacre, a member of the well-known family of Unitarians who belonged to Gateacre chapel. Her name then disappears from the Land Tax.

A Will for Sarah Benton was found in an index of wills at the Lancashire Record Office. Her Will was made 1840. A copy of this was ordered, and received. It states that she was formerly of Gateacre, and afterwards of Leamington Priors in Warwickshire. She died at Kenilworth, Warwickshire August 1841. She leaves items to her friends and family, but most interesting is an item
'I give and bequeath One Hundred Pounds to my late partner Miss Mary Hunt of Gateacre.' She also left £20 to Miss Sarah Lawrence of Leamington. More about Sarah Lawrence in another story.

Also she states 'I wish my funeral to be plain, and not to take place until six or seven days after my decease, and to be buried in the nearest Unitarian Burying Ground to where I die'. At this point her burying place has not been found.

The 1841 census finds her living in Gloster St. Leamington:-
William Benton 60 Victualler Not born in the County
Sarah Benton 65 Born in the County
Sarah Benton 15 Born in the County

This ends the story of Sarah Benton who came to Gateacre, in the early 19th century and commenced her school in the house of Thomas Nicholson at the
'Nook' or perhaps it was known as 'The Shrubbery' . From her Will it is now known her partner was Mary Hunt. We also know that she came from a prominent Unitarian family of Banbury, Oxfordshire, and of Leamington, Warwickshire.

J.B. 2007

Other Gateacre Academies

Next page          Previous page          Home page          Contact us

Page created 1 October 2007 by MRC