Burton, Benjamin (a.1665–1728), banker and politician, was third son of Samuel Burton of Buncraggy, Co. Clare, and Margery Burton (née Harris). He was attainted by the Jacobites in 1689, was appointed sheriff of Dublin 19 October 1694, and in 1700 founded ‘Burton's bank’ in Castle St., Dublin, in partnership with Francis Harrison. A committed whig, he sat for Dublin city in the Irish parliament (1703–27). Supported in 1712–13 by the Anti-Tory Monitor newspaper, he was nominated for many committees, and introduced two acts for cleansing and regulating Dublin city and harbour. He and Harrison were appointed (1713) commissioners for rebuilding St Werburgh's church, Dublin. Burton was lord mayor of the city for the year beginning 24 March 1706, but in 1709 he was disfranchised from the corporations of Dublin and Sligo for refusing to take an oath excluding dissenters. Having bought land in Co. Limerick in 1702–3, in 1712 he bought estates in Co. Carlow from the trustees for forfeited estates and began building Burton Hall (demolished 1930), near Hacketstown.
The bank, which handled pay to army units on the Irish establishment and profited from the currency exchange that was involved, survived the 1720 panic; Burton opposed a 1721 proposal for a national bank, and joined the refusal to handle ‘Wood's halfpence’ (1724). ‘As safe as Ben Burton’ became a Dublin saying. However, on Harrison's death (3 July 1725), the bank had substantial debts. Burton's eldest son, Samuel (MP for Sligo borough, 1713–27; for Dublin city, 1727–33; high sheriff of Co. Carlow, 1724), and Daniel Falkiner joined him as partners, but could not sustain public confidence after Burton's death (13 May 1728). In the largest Irish bank failure of the eighteenth century, the bank closed 25 June 1733, and was wound up by a series of acts of parliament (1733–57).
Burton married (22 May 1686) Grace Stratford (d. July 1721) of Belan, Co. Kildare; they had six daughters – two of whom married into the Hoare banking family – and six sons, several of whom were MPs and officeholders. His fifth son, Charles (MP for Dublin city, 1749–60; lord mayor, 1752–3), was knighted by the viceroy (1750) and became a baronet (1758); and his grandson Benjamin (qv) (1709–67) became a privy councillor and revenue commissioner. Burton's elder brother Francis (1659–1714) was MP for Ennis 1692–3, 1695–9, and 1703–14.