Captain James Benwick is a character in Persuasion. He was affianced to Fanny Harville, the sister of Captain Harville, before her untimely death[1]. Benwick became engaged to Louisa Musgrove[2].


Naval careerEdit

He served for a time as first lieutenant of the Laconia, a frigate, under Captain Frederick Wentworth. He met Captain Harville, another naval captain, during his career.

He became acquainted with Frances Harville, the sister of Captain Harville. They developed a very strong attachment and friendship with each other. Benwick was devoted to Fanny, and she to him.

Fanny's deathEdit

Fanny Harville's death broke him and made him incredibly melancholy. Fanny's death shook Benwick and the Harvilles, who began to consider him as a brother and husband of Harville's sister. They became an even tighter family even though they were not related by marriage. Benwick lived with the Harvilles[1].

New romanceEdit

Benwick became acquainted with Louisa Musgrove when she and her family went on holiday in Lyme, and he saw her near fatal accident. Benwick also developed a friendship with Anne Elliot, who recommended books to him and brought him out of his melancholy. She left for Bath, however. He and Louisa Musgrove then fostered an affection for each other after a few months. He obtained consent to pursue Louisa from her father and proceeded with his plans. Mary Musgrove informed Anne of this in a letter, expressing some annoyance that both Louisa and Henrietta were marrying beneath them. Louisa did better than Henrietta, however, and Mary found this commendable. Since Louisa and Captain Wentworth were courting while Anne was staying with the Musgroves, this also heralded Wentworth as a free man once again, delighting Anne[2].

Character traitsEdit

Benwick is described as an excellent young man and officer, and was valued very highly by any who know him[1].

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Persuasion, Chapter 11
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chapter 18