Benjamin Greene

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Benjamin Greene (5 April 1780 – 26 November 1860) was the founder of Greene King, one of the United Kingdom's largest brewing businesses.


Born in Oundle and apprenticed at Whitbread, Benjamin Greene initially founded a brewing business in 1801 with John Clark in Bury St Edmunds.[1] Then in 1806 he dissolved that partnership and established a new venture with William Buck at the Westgate Brewery.[1] It was this venture that became Greene King.[1]

On the death of Sir Patrick Blake, 2nd Baronet he became the executor and, on the subsequent death of Sir Patrick's widow, the owner of some estates in the West Indies.[1]

He was a supporter of the arts and in 1819 lent £5,000 to William Wilkins to build the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds.[2]

He acquired the Bury and Suffolk Herald in 1828 and as proprietor took an ultra-conservative position opposing both the Reform Bill and the Slavery Abolition Bill.[1] This position attracted much criticism and three libel actions.[1] He left Bury St Edmunds in 1836 and established with his son, Benjamin Greene & Son, West India merchants and shipowners, at 11 Mincing Lane, London.[1]

He died at Russell Square in London in 1860 and is buried at Highgate Cemetery.[1]


He was married twice: first in 1803 to Mary Maling and then in 1805 to Catherine Smith with whom he went on to have seven sons and six daughters[1] including: