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Benbow Family CrestThe English surname Benbow, chiefly found in Shropshire,  is of occupational origin. The name Benbow is derived from the  Middle English term bend(en) meaning “to bend” and  bowe meaning “ a bow,’ hence an occupational name for an archer. The two famous name bearers listed in the National Biography are father and son, John (senior) 1653 - 1702, vice admiral who began his career as masters mate in the Mediterranean in 1678, was master a year later in the merchant service, and captain in 1689. After many battles from France to the West Indies he died of wounds in Port Royal. His son, John (1681 - 1708), also served as second mate in the merchant navy, was shipwrecked off Madagascar, captured by natives, but escaped and returned to England. Examples of the name recordings include: Agnes Benbowe, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, on June 27th 1543, and in the West Country, Ann Benbow, who married Richard Hooper at Kenn, Exeter, Devonshire, on April 18th 1710. 

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