Robert Benson was born in Wakefield, the son of Robert Benson of Wrenthorpe. He went to school in London before studying at Christ's College, Cambridge. He served as an alderman of the city of York and was elected Lord Mayor of York for 1707. He was elected Member of Parliament for Thetford in Norfolk from 1702 to 1705, then becoming MP for York from 1705 to 1713.
In 1711, he was sworn of the Privy Council and became Chancellor of the Exchequer until 1713. He was a Director of the South Sea Company from July 1711 to February 1715. In 1713 he was ennobled as Baron Bingley, and became the British ambassador to Spain.Benson partially designed and built Bramham Park, in West Yorkshire in the late-17th century. He served as member of Parliament for Thetford in Norfolk from 1702 to 1705. Later, Benson was MP for York. In 1711, Benson was sworn of the Privy Council and became Chancellor of the Exchequer until 1713. In 1713 Benson became ennobled as Baron Bingley, and became the British ambassador to Spain.
When he died in 1731 he was buried in Westminster Abbey and the title Baron Bingley became extinct, although it was later re-created for his son-in-law. He had married Elizabeth, the daughter of Heneage Finch, and had a son (who predeceased him) and two daughters (one illegitimate). It has often been suggested that Bingley was also the real father of the British soldier, dramatist and politician John Burgoyne, whose debts he cancelled in his will. What was left of his estate, including Bramham Park, went to his daughter Harriet who had married George Fox.