Benedict Arnold b. 1614, the Govr’s son


Photo at Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Commission

Benedict the 2nd born about 1641 has this headstone with the family crest, three shells, a center star and (not shown) a rose in each corner. This is gorgeous and indexed at the Rhode Island Historic Cemetery Commission : the stone was “carved by John Stevens II and lettered by his brother Philip”. Benedict, other Arnolds and Arnold in laws are at the Governor Arnold Burying Ground in Newport, Rhode Island, in a residential area, a tiny cemetery with less than 70 memorials. On Google maps it appears next to a private home with a bike parked on the side fence and a Starbuck’s within 100 feet or so.

There were five Benedict Arnolds in this family in the early days of America.

Benjamin 1- born 1615, son of William and Christiana Peake Arnold, married Damaris Westcott. He became President then Governor of Rhode Island. Father of

Benjamin 2- born about 1641 married Mary Turner, then Sarah Mumford. Parents of

Benjamin 3- born 1683 married Patience Coggleshall. Parents  of

Benedict 4- born 1719 married Hannah Waterman. Parents of

Benedict 5- born 1741 married Margret Shippen. This Benedict is the one of the American Revolution, labeled a traitor. He is buried in London, at St. Mary’s of Battersea, where William Blake was married, near the river Thames. Changes in Longitude has a full article and a comment section with many opinions about Benedict 5s actual crimes and intentions.

Benjamin 5s mom Hannah Waterman is buried at Old Norwichtown Cemetery in Norwich, Connecticut. This family suffered. From 1738-1755 four of six children died of yellow fever. For some reason, maybe the death of four children, the dad Benedict 4 drank, a lot. By 1756 the life planned for great-grandson of the Govr Benedict 5, private schools then Yale, was dashed, the money was gone, the family somewhat scorned by their community because of the dad’s drinking. Hannah the mom died in 1759, the dad drank more and died soon after. Benedict 5 got an apprenticeship with his mom’s side of the family, then the rest is history.

Hannah’s grave has an anonymous admirer who decorates the grave about once each year, 2011 story here: An anonymous admirer has once again shown devotion to the mother of one of history’s most infamous figures with a gift of flowers and light.