Willen People

Rev. John Benthall

His final years

1867 was the turning point for John, not only did he gain his first grandchild, Henry, but he himself remarried the same year. His second wife was Frances, a widowed daughter of William Levi of Moulsoe. She was twelve years younger than John but died not long after him in 1890. John's son William was a great cricketer, so it's not hard to imagine some keen games of family cricket being played on the vicarage lawn when the grandchildren came to visit.

His happier homelife must have helped rekindle a love of scholarship in John. He wrote several books in his later years, including some poetry which prompted a reviewer to comment, '...from the sweetness and simplicity of the language, and the piety of the thought expressed, it would be welcomed in many families'.

Indeed, John was in the process of preparing a paper on the history of Willen for the Bucks Archaeological and Architectural Society in 1888 when he died.