Benson, Charles William (1836–1919), clergyman and schoolmaster, was born 12 July 1836, eldest son of Dr John Benson of Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Capt. Fitzgerald, RN, of Waterford. Educated at Dr Price's school, he entered TCD in 1852, aged 16 (graduating BA 1859, MA 1862, and LLD 1865). He was ordained deacon in the diocese of Down (1860) and priest in the diocese of Dublin (1871). He served in several curacies in Dublin, but is remembered chiefly for his headmastership of Rathmines School, which he founded and presided over from 1859 to 1899. In the course of this period almost 3,000 pupils were on roll, many of them to attain considerable distinction; they remembered him as a stimulating teacher, whose enthusiasm for his subjects – natural history in particular – enlivened his classes. His ‘Reminiscences of a clerical schoolmaster’ were included with records of the school that were published by his former pupils in 1932. He retired from the school in 1899, becoming rector of Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, in 1903. He died there 6 February 1919 and is buried in Mount Jerome cemetery. He married first Frances Harden (they had eight sons and three daughters), and second Louisa Carey, who survived him.
Ir. Times, 11 Feb. 1919; Irish Ecclesiastical Gazette, 14 Feb. 1919; The Rathmines School roll (1932)