Benjamin Buck Greene

1808 - 3rd Apr 1902

Immediate descendant of a claimant or beneficiary


Eldest of seven sons and six daughters of Benjamin Greene (1780–1860) (q.v.), brewer and planation owner, and his second wife, Catherine (1783–1855).

Greene was sent to St Kitts in 1829 to manage his father's interests (acquired in 1823) which proved to highly profitable. The family also owned ships carrying sugar exports. Greene remained in St Kitts until 1837.

Benjamin senior established with his son Benjamin Greene & Son, West India merchants and shipowners, at 11 Mincing Lane. Benjamin Buck married (1837) Isabella Elizabeth (d. 1888), only daughter of Thomas Blyth of Limehouse, London, a wealthy ship chandler. They had three sons and three daughters.

1846: through his wife's family connections, formed a partnership with James and Henry Blyth, who controlled much of the external trade and sugar production of Mauritius. Blyths and Greene, merchants and shipowners, became one of London's largest colonial merchants and shipowners. Imported sugar from Mauritius, the East and West Indies, India and France; exported British manufactures to Mauritius.

Elected a Bank of England director (1850–1900), deputy governor (1871–3), governor (1873–5).

‘Greene emerged from relatively modest circumstances to become an important West Indies sugar planter and, later, one of London's leading colonial merchants. This led him to a directorship of the Bank of England, where he proved to be one of the ablest governors of his generation.’ (Orbell)

One of his brothers, Edward, was Conservative MP for Bury St Edmunds (1865-1885) and Stowmarket (1886–91).

Great-uncle of Graham Greene (1904–1991), the novelist, and Sir Hugh Carleton Greene (1910–1987), director-general of the BBC.


John Orbell, ‘Greene, Benjamin Buck (1808–1902)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004 online edition, accessed 10/08/2012; R. G. Wilson, ‘Greene family (per. 1801–1920)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online edition, accessed 10/08/2012.

Further Information

Wealth at death
£466,171 14S 10D
King Edward VI Grammar School, Bury St Edmunds
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Estates (4)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1833 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Attorney

Attorney of Henry Charles Blake

1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Attorney
1834 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Attorney
1832 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Attorney

Legacies Summary

Commercial (5)

Name partner
Blyth and Greene
East India merchant  
Name partner
B & B.B. Greene
West India merchant  
Atlas Insurance Co.
East India merchant  
Bank of England
Bank of England

Relationships (4)

Business partners
Business partners
Son → Father
Executor → Testator

Addresses (3)

25 Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, London, Middlesex, London, England
52 Woburn Place, London, Middlesex, London, England
Midgham House, near Woolhampton, Berkshire, Central England, England