Thomas Bennett was related to Sir Simon Bennet, University College’s great benefactor of the 17th century, and matriculated at the College in 1674, aged 15.
He became a Fellow, and was Proctor of the University in 1687, when James II visited (he is mentioned several times in Wood’s account of the event). Bennet was elected Master of the College early in 1691, on the death of Edward Farrer, but only held the position for just over a year before his own early death in May 1692 “of an apoplexy”, according to Anthony Wood (see Wood’s Life and Times, ed. A. Clark. Vol. III, p.390 [Oxford Historical Society, Vol. 26, 1894]).
The only item specifically concerning Bennet in the archives of University College is the original paper recording his election.
Catalogued in October 1996.
UC:MA32/L1/1 30 Mar 1690 (sic - recte 1691?)
Original election paper (signed by all the Fellows, the Vice-Chancellor and other senior figures in the University) for the election of Thomas Bennett as Master of University College. The election was unanimous.
The date deserves some note; the document is dated 30 March 1690, but in fact Edward Farrer, Bennet's predecessor, had died in February 1690/1. Almost certainly the date on the document is a slip for 1691, as the new year had only started five days earlier.