Benjamin Travers was born on 3 April 1783 at Cheapside, London, the second of the ten children of Benjamin Travers, a London sugar broker, and his wife Mary Spilsbury. After Cheshunt Grammar School, he was educated privately before joining his father's counting house in 1799.
In August, 1800 Travers was articled for six years to surgeon Astley Cooper. In 1807 he set up his own London practice and was appointed Demonstrator of Anatomy at Guy's Hospital. In 1810 he was appointed Surgeon to the London Infirmary for Diseases of the Eye, afterwards the Moorfields Ophthalmic Hospital, where he was later joined by William Lawrence. In May 1815, he was elected a Surgeon to St Thomas' Hospital where he served until his retirement in 1841. He also obtained the lucrative post of Surgeon to the East India Company’s warehouses and brigade,
On the formation of the medical establishment of Queen Victoria he was appointed a Surgeon Extraordinary, afterwards becoming a Surgeon in Ordinary to the Prince Consort. He was appointed Serjeant Surgeon in 1857. 
He married three times: firstly in 1807 Sarah, daughter of William Morgan, FRS, secondly in 1813 a daughter of G. Millet, an East India director and thirdly in 1831, the youngest daughter of Colonel Stevens. He had a large family, the eldest of whom was Benjamin. He died at his house in Green Street, Grosvenor Square, on 6 March 1858, and was buried at Hendon, Middlesex.
- An Inquiry into the Process of Nature in Repairing Injuries of the Intestine, 8vo, London, 1812.
- A Synopsis of Diseases of the Eye and their Treatment, 8vo, London, 1820; 3rd ed., 1824; issued in New York, 1825.
- An Enquiry into that Disturbed State of the Vital Functions usually denominated Constitutional Irritation, 8vo, London, 1824.
- A Further Enquiry respecting Constitutional Irritation and the Pathology of the Nervous System, London, 1834