Abraham was baptised in Taxal, Derbyshire, the son of another Abraham Bennet, a schoolmaster, and his wife Ann née Fallowes. There is no record of him having attended university but he is recorded as a teacher at Wirksworth Grammar School as "MA". He was ordained in London in 1775 and appointed curate at Tideswell and, one year later, additionally at Wirksworth, with a combined annual stipend of £60. He further became rector of Fenny Bentley, domestic chaplain to the Duke of Devonshire, perpetual curate of Woburn and librarian to the Duke of Bedford. Bennet had broad interests in natural philosophy and was associated with, though not a member of, the Lunar Society and the Derby Philosophical Society. He was particularly close to Erasmus Darwin. Darwin suggested that Bennet make electrical measurements as part of an investigation into electricity and weather. Bennet then worked assiduously establishing his expertise in electricity, achieving sufficient reputatation to be part of a meeting with Tiberius Cavallo, William Nicholson and Volta in London in 1782.
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