A son of Protector John II, Benjamin was the heir apparent to the Protectorship when the Faithful launched their attempted coup against the Grayson government in the opening act of the Civil War. While Protector John, fifty-three Steadholders and their heirs were killed in the surprise attack, Benjamin managed to escape the Steadholder's Hall, covered by the last living armsmen of the murdered leaders of Grayson, who fought alongside Protector John himself to the last man.
As Mayhew Steading was immediately occupied by the Faithful, Benjamin was left both without his Steading and without the support of the Mayhew Guard. Instead, he fled to Mackenzie Steading, where he would rally the Moderates under his leadership and begin to assemble an army which would fight the Faithful for control of Grayson for fourteen years. (HH4, HH5)
During the Civil War, Isaiah Mackenzie served as captain-general of Benjamin's army, and for his leadership in combat he was awarded the Star of Grayson more than once. As the war progressed, the Moderates gained the upper hand, making the Faithful willing to use a "doomsday device" against them. That plan, however, was foiled by Barbara Bancroft, the wife of one of the Faithful leaders: she defected to Benjamin's side and helped him win the Civil War.
Benjamin had sworn over his father's memory that he would not assume the Protectorship until the Faithful were defeated, and when the armistice and subsequent exile of the Faithful to Masada ended the war, Benjamin took over as Planetary Protector under the reigning name of Benjamin Mayhew IV. (HH5)
Apart from exiling the surviving Faithful to Masada, Benjamin IV's rule saw the first massive transformation of the government of Grayson, a process epitomized by the constitution he himself put into effect. The constitution created an elected Conclave of Steaders which would share legislative power with the Conclave of Steadholders, established a secular judiciary branch separate from the Sacristy of the Church of Humanity Unchained, created a planetary Army and Navy under his personal command, forbade the Steadholders to arm and equip military forces other than personal armsmen under penalty of death, and, most importantly, it transformed the Protectorship into a hereditary office which concentrated into itself the functions of head of state, head of government and commander-in-chief of the Grayson military.
He also replaced the patriarch's key of the Steadholders with a Bible and sword as the symbols of the Protectorate, symbolizing his God-given authority, and the implacable willingness to uphold it. (HH5, HH9)
Partly as a way of reconciliation, Protector Benjamin married Barbara Bancroft. When she was assassinated by an extremist, he used the public outrage to track down and crush the last pockets of Faithful extremism on Grayson. (Companion)
As one of Grayson's most important Protectors, Benjamin was given the honorary title "the Great", as was common among humans for millenia to honor their greatest leaders.
|Protector of Grayson
(1337 - 1397 PD)