Benjamin Gonson

Benjamin Gonson (c. 1525–1577) was an English Naval Administrator, and the first Surveyor of the Royal Navy.[1] He was a founding member of England's Navy Board during the Tudor period.

Benjamin Gonson
Parish of St Dunstan-in-the-East, London, England
London, England
St Dunstan-in-the-East
Allegiance England
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service1540–1577
Commands heldSurveyor and Rigger of the Navy
Treasurer of the Navy


Benjamin Gonson began his career as a private shipwright. He began his government work when he was appointed to the new Council of the Marine established by Henry VIII on 24 April 1546 as Surveyor and Rigger of the Navy.[2] He held this post until 1549 when he was succeeded by Admiral William Wynter. On 8 April 1549 he was appointed Treasurer of Marine Causes[3] which he first held alone (until 18 November 1577), and then jointly with Admiral John Hawkins (until 26 November 1577).


The son of Vice-Admiral William Gonson, he followed his father into government service. He married Ursula, daughter of Anthony Hussey (an Admiralty Court judge under Henry VIII) on 8 April 1546.[4] He had fourteen children with Ursula all born between the years 1547–67;[2] he died in December 1577.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ranft, Bryan (2002). The Oxford Illustrated History of the Royal Navy. Oxford University Press. p. 32. ISBN 9780198605270.
  2. ^ a b Bennell, John (2004). "Gonson, William (d. 1544)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/47400. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Knighton, C. S.; Loades, David (2016). Elizabethan Naval Administration. Routledge. p. 516. ISBN 9781317145035.
  4. ^ R.J.W. Swales (1982). "'Hussey, Anthony (1496/97-1560), of London', in S.T. Bindoff (ed.), The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1509-1558". United Kingdom: Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  5. ^ Childs, David (2009). Tudor Sea Power: The Foundation of Greatness. Seaforth Publishing. p. 264. ISBN 9781473819924.