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An archbishop’s widow

29 June 2018

June 28th, 1918.

IT HAS been granted to few people to compel the love of so wide and varied a circle of friends as was granted in such abundant measure to Mrs Benson. There are many in all parts of the world who are thanking God to-day for the closer knowledge of Himself which came to them through her who passed, so swiftly and painlessly into the larger life on the morning of Sunday, the 16th of June. . .

Mrs Benson’s was one of those rare natures which, because of the very completeness of the love and understanding in their home life, reach out to draw into the circle of their affection all that they can touch in other lives. Her son has told the world something of the beauty of that home, and how from first to last her whole life and energy were devoted to the Archbishop. Through all the great years at Wellington, Lincoln, Truro, and Lambeth, her companionship was, as Dr Arthur Benson says, “the central fact of my father’s life”. Each son and daughter had his or her own individual friendship, and she followed step by step the brilliant career of each with the most intimate sympathy and sureness of touch, and she always pointed with pride to a bookcase at Tremans filled only with her children’s published books. . .

Impatient of all shallowness and unreality, and by nature intensely critical, she sometimes seemed too quick and unsparing in her judgments, but her delicious sense of humour and rare keen wit touched all her criticism with insight, and endowed her with an infinite capacity to understand and to forgive. . . (E. L. A. H.)

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