Benjamin Kenton

1719 - 1800


London wine merchant with an entry in the ODNB as 'wine merchant and philanthropist'. Benjamin Kenton of London merchant appears as one of more than a dozen London merchants in the recitation of a deed of 08/06/1771 whereby William Byam of St Vincent sold annuities totalling £1010 p.a. secured on his estate and named enslaved people in St George on St Vincent in exchange for £10,040. The schedule specifying the annuitants referred to in the deed is missing, but the narrative suggests that Benjamin Kenton and others grouped together in the third part of the deed were the purchasers of the annuities.

  1. The will of Benjamin Kenton of Gower Street proved 31/05/1800 indicates very significance personalty. He left £8000 in trust for Charles Smith, described as the son of Mrs Ann Coles son of his friend John Coles then in America, as well as leasehold property in London to Charles Smith's children; he left over £37,000 in a series of charitable gifts to London charities, and an additional £20,000 to the Governors of Christ's Hospital to be applied to Hetherington's Charity for the Blind; he left £20,000 to John Coles among a long series of monetary legacies to individuals. His residuary legatee was David Pike Watts, who had been his clerk and became his partner.


Moore, Norman, and Christine Clark. "Kenton, Benjamin (1719–1800), wine merchant and philanthropist." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 23 Sep. 2004; Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.; EAP 668 Deed Book 1785, British Library, EAP688/1/1/1, pp. 371-389. The deed of 1785 deals with the efforts of the trustees Harry and Isaac Thompson to better secure the annuities by increasing their control of the estate.

  1. PROB 11/1342/314.

Further Information

Married but no further details
Oxford DNB Entry

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

Vintners Company...... 

Physical (1)

Kenton Street 
description →
Bloomsbury street named after Benjamin Kenton, developed 1806-9 after his death....

Addresses (1)

Gower Street, London, Middlesex, London, England