Richard Meux Benson (1824-1915) was a priest in the Church of England and the founder of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, the first religious order of monks in the Anglican Communion since the Reformation. After his degree at Christ Church, Oxford, and ordination and a curacy at Surbiton, in 1850 he became vicar of Cowley, Oxford. In 1859, he erected a new parish church dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. In 1865 two priests joined Benson in Cowley to begin community life under the name of Mission Priests of St. John the Evangelist with Benson as Superior. From 1870 to 1883 the Society spread to the United States, India, and South Africa. Benson himself made an American mission tour. In 1884 the society adopted a Constitution and Rule drafted by Benson. During the creation of the Society, Benson had maintained his duties as a parish vicar. In 1886 he resigned this charge to devote all his attention to the Society and its mission.