BY THE sudden death of Mgr R. H. Benson a strange career has
ended. A son of the late Archbishop Benson, he followed his
father's steps to Trinity College, Cambridge. Having taken his
degree, he became one of Dean Vaughan's "doves", studying with him
at Llandaff. On being admitted to Holy Orders he served at the Eton
Mission, Hackney Wick, and, later, at Kemsing, in Kent. In 1898 he
joined himself to the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield.
His power as a mission preacher, at this period of his career, is
borne testimony to by a writer in another column. Doubts of the
Catholicity of the English Church had assailed him for some years,
it appears. In 1903, he took his departure from it; in due course
the Sacraments he had once for all received were repeated, and he
became a priest of what his father described as the "new Italian
Mission". With his later ecclesiastical career we are not
concerned, but as a writer and novelist he was known to everyone.
His earlier works, as a whole, are those on which his literary
reputation will, we think, rest. The Light Invisible, a
mystical book full of charm, is worthy of an enduring life. . .
The Confessions of a Convict (sic), in which, according to
the Westminster Gazette, "his apologia was
embodied", is a work which we do not recognize under that exact
title, but The Confessions of a Convert certainly may be
numbered among his literary remains. In private life, Mgr Benson
was an agreeable personage, and his death at an early age will be
mourned by a host of friends.
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