Judge Benbow

Character Key Number: 
Display Name: 
Judge Benbow
Sort Name: 
Benbow, Judge
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 

As a family the Benbows are one of the oldest and most prominent in Jefferson, but the fictions don't provide much detail about the first several generations in town. "Judge Benbow" is mentioned in three fictions from the middle of Faulkner's career. In Absalom! he is mentioned twice: first as a paragon of genteel manners (35), and later as the unofficial executor of the (non-existent) "Estate of Goodhue Coldfield" who chivalrously takes care of Rosa over the years (172); he also has a son named Percy. In The Unvanquished Judge Benbow dissolves the business partnership between Ben Redmond and John Sartoris. In The Hamlet he is cited as the source of an epigram about Will Varner: "Judge Benbow of Jefferson once said of him that "a milder mannered man never bled a mule or stuffed a ballot box" (6). Presumably this is the same Judge Benbow in each case, but that's an assumption.