Benjamin Bennet’s Assistants
Nathaniel Fancourt 1710 – 1719
Very little is known about Nathaniel Fancourt. He began assisting Bennet in 1710 , before he was ordained in Newcastle on October 8 1712 and left Newcastle for Salisbury in 1719, where he died two years later. It is believed he was either the brother or some other relative of Rev. Samuel Fancourt, a Dissenting Minister in Salisbury and the reputed founder of circulating libraries.
William Wilson 1720 – 1751
William Wilson is a bit of an enigma. It is not certain whether or not he was formally ordained, yet he assisted Benjamin Bennet from time to time. Wilson was a schoolmaster of some note in Newcastle. It was Wilson who educated Mark Akenside to fit him for study at Edinburgh University for the Nonconformist ministry.
Whether ordained or not, William Wilson performed valuable service under Benjamin Bennet and his service to the church continued under Bennet’s successors. He preached at the funeral service of Joseph Airey, an eminent and well-to-do member of the congregation, and he had published a sermon, preached on November 22 1733 on the subject of “Charity as a Rule of Conduct in the Affairs of a Religious Society”.
Wilson died in January 1751, after over 30 years of service. He was buried at St. Nicholas, where he is described as “Minister of the Gospel” in the register.