Benning Wentworth. The first of this name is William Wentworth, one of the first settlers in Exeter. After the breaking up of the Wheelwright compact in 1642, he removed to Dover, and became the ruling Elder in the Church there. In 1689, he was the means of saving Heard's Garrison (Dover). After this, he officiated several years as preacher at Exeter and other places, and died in Dover in 1697.
John Wentworth, Lieut. Governor, who signed the Charter of Gilmanton, was son of Samuel, and grandson of Elder William Wentworth, and was born at Portsmouth, June 16, 1672. He was a religious turn of mind; early went to sea, and when commander of a vessel, he always maintained the worship of God, by morning and evening prayer. He acquired a handsome fortune, and was appointed one of the Council in 1712. His administration as Governor was very popular. He died of lethargy, Dec. 12, 1730, in his 59th year. He had 16 children; 14 survived him.
Gov. Benning Wentworth, son of the Lieut. Gov. John Wentworth, graduated at H.C. 1715; was several years Representative in the General Assembly, and was one of the Council in 1734. He was appointed Governor of New Hampshire, 1740, and was then in England. He landed in Boston, and arrived at Portsmouth, Dec. 12, amidst the acclamations of the citizens, assembled to welcome him. He continued Governor 25 years, a much longer term than any other Governor in New Hampshire, or even America. He gave Dartmouth college 500 acres of land, including that on which the College stands. He departed this life Oct. 14, 1770, in his 75th year of age. John Wentworth, Esq., only son of his Excellency Gov. Beinning Wentworth, died Nov. 8, 1759, greatly lamented.
Hon. Mark Hunking Wentworth, son of Lieut. Gov. John Wentworth, and father of Sir John Wentworth, was bred a merchant; had the agency of procuring masts and spars for the British Navy; was one of his Majesty's Council and one of the original purchasers of Mason's patent. He died 19th of Dec., 1785.
Gov. John Wentworth, the younger, son of Mark Hunking Wentworth, and the fifth descent from Elder William Wentworth, was born 1736; graduated at H.C. 1753; and was appointed Governor 1767, then at the age of 31. On the 11th of November, 1769, he m. Lady Frances Deering Atkinson, who had been a widow about one fortnight, and after whom the towns of Francestown and Deering were named. After leaving New Hampshire in 1775, he was appointed Governor of Nova Scotia, and resided at Halifax, where he died April 8, 1820, aged 84. He received the title of Baronet from George III, and LL.D. from Oxford, Aberdeen, and Dartmouth Colleges. Dr. Dwight describes him as " a man of sound understanding, fine taste, enlarged views, and a dignified spirit, and as retiring from the Chair with a higher reputation than any other man, who held the same office in the country."