William Richard Benyon (born 17 January 1930) is a
retired British Conservative Party politician,
Berkshire landowner and former High Sheriff.
- For the rugby league footballer of the 1960s and '70s for
St Helens RLFC, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, England, and Great
Britain, see William "Billy"
At least in his political
persona, he generally preferred the familiar Bill
form of his name.
He was born William Richard Shelley
, the son of
Vice-Admiral Richard Shelley
(grandson of Richard Fellowes
) and his wife, Eve
, the daughter of the Right Reverend
, Bishop of
. His father changed his name to Benyon after
inheriting the Englefield
estate from his second cousin, Sir Henry Benyon in 1959.
joined the Conservative Monday
Club prior to 1970, when he was elected as Member of Parliament for Buckingham at the 1970 general election,
and retained his seat at the next three elections.
he stood instead in the new Milton Keynes
where he was re-elected until he retired at the 1992 general election
Due to its
increased population, the Milton Keynes seat was then divided into
two new constituencies: Milton Keynes North East and Milton Keynes South West.
This was the only division of a
constituency at the 1992 general election.
Benyon never held government office, but served as an Opposition
whip from 1974 to 1976. He served as a member of the University of Reading
1967 to 2002, was a member of Berkshire County Council
to 1974 and High Sheriff of
in 1995. He lives at Englefield House and is a
director of the Englefield Charitable Trust. His son, Richard Benyon
, is the Conservative MP
1993 Benyon was awarded an honorary
degree by the Open
University as Doctor of
Although Conservative, he gained respect from members of all
parties, for being an excellent, hard working constituency
- Times Guide to the House of Commons, 1987 and 1992