Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Benton, Samuel

d. 1770

Samuel Benton, colonial official, was a native of England (probably Worcester County); he owned land in the part of Craven County that became Johnston County in 1746 and also in the part of Edgecombe that became Granville County the same year. At that time he was living on Tar River in Granville County. He was appointed a justice of the Granville County court in 1746 by Governor Gabriel Johnston, reappointed in 1753 by Acting Governor Matthew Rowan, and reappointed in 1755, 1760, and 1764 by Governor Arthur Dobbs. He was sheriff in 1764 and a member of the House of Commons from 1760 to 1768. He was registrar of the county from 1761 until his death in 1770 and clerk of the court of common pleas and quarter sessions from 1764 to 1770. He was a lieutenant colonel of the militia under Governor William Tryon in 1768 during some of the Regulator troubles.

Benton introduced the bill in the assembly that divided Granville County in 1764, creating Bute County of the eastern portion. The act directed that the new county seat for Granville County be established at Oxford Plantation, part of a thousand acres of land owned by Benton. He gave land for the courthouse. Some time prior to 1763, Benton is said to have been responsible for the erection of St. George's Chapel in the area that remained Granville County.

Benton was probably buried in a family cemetery at his plantation. He was survived by two sons, Jesse and Samuel, Jr.; Jesse was the father of Thomas Hart Benton.


William Nisbet Chambers, Old Bullion Benton (1956).

Elizabeth H. Hummel, Hicks History of Granville County (1965).

Additional Resources:

City Planning and Architectural Associates (Chapel Hill, N.C.). Land development plan, Oxford, North Carolina. Chapel Hill, N.C. [N.C.]: The Associates, 1966. (accessed April 9, 2013).

Oxford History:

Elizabeth H. Hummel, Hicks History of Granville County (1965):

N.C. Office of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources. Some eighteenth century tracts concerning North Carolina. Raleigh [N.C.] [N.C.]: Edwards & Broughton Co.,1927. 1927. (accessed April 9, 2013).

Tryon, William, 1729-1788. Correspondence of William Tryon and other selected papers: Volume 2. Raleigh [N.C.]: Division of Archives and History, Dept. of Cultural Resources,1980-. 1981. (accessed April 9, 2013).

Origin - location: