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Clan Bennet


Account of the Clan provided by James Pringle Weavers
BENNET, BENNETT, BENET etc. Although there is no clan as such the name has long been established in Scotland. It is the diminutive of BENEDICT. The fame of St. Benedict (480-543), the patriarch of Western monks, made the name popular and it first appears in old Scottish records when Benedictus, son of Walter de Sancto Edmundo, witnessed a charter for the sale of land in Perth in 1219. Again in religious context, Benedictus, a Dean, witnessed the gift of a mill to the Hospital of Soltre in 1249. John Benet, a Scotsman became liegeman of Henry IV of England. Richard Bennat is mentioned as being a Chaplain in 1459. Thereafter the name appears frequently throughout Scottish history; Robert Bennet was one of the first bailies of Culross in 1588 and the name was very common in Edinburgh in the 17th century. A family of this name in Chesters were ranked among the "landit men " of Roxburgh in the early 16th century and the Bennets of Grubbet were already recognised as an old family in the same county. The form of Bennet tends to be more common in Scotland whereas the -ett ending is more prevalent south of the Border. Evidence of this may be seen in the many coats of arms quoted in Burke's Armorial Bearings where the -ett appears frequently along the south of England, into the west country, Wales and also Ireland. The Bennets of Grubbet are shown as "a hand out of a cloud, holding forth a cross"and the motto is "Benedictus qui tollet crucem". One famous Scot to carry the name abroad was James Gordon Bennett (1795-1872), the founder of The New York Herald. He was born and educated in Keith, studied for the priesthood but suddenly emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1819. He became a correspondent for several newspapers and then editor of the Courier until starting the Herald in 1835. By the time he retired in 1876 the annual profits were over $400,000. The Herald then passed to his son, as did his flair and fortune. 


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