#10, (1751 - 1821)
|Father||John Bonnycastle1,2 (1727 - 1781)|
|Mother||Mary Toogood1 (s 1725 - 1779)|
|Bridget Newell (1754 - 1825)|
|Occupation||John Bonnycastle was a Professor of Mathematics at the Royal Military Academy and an author.|
|Baptism||He was baptized on 29 Dec 1751 in Hardwick, Buckinghamshire.1|
|Education||He was educated in Hardwick, attending the local school run by Dr. Bridle. At his death in 1792 at 85 years of age, Revd John Bridle, rector for 33 years, was noted as having endowed two schools viz 1 for 18 boys and 1 for 12 girls.3,4|
|Occupation||He taught a couple of days a week at the school run by Rev. Dr. James of the Greenwich Academy and at a school at Chiswick run by Dr. Crawford in 1769.5 |
|Marriage||He married Elizabeth Rolt on 21 Feb 1772 in Chesham, Buckinghamshire.|
John was a bachelor of Bromley, Middlesex. Elizabeth was a spinster of Chesham and signed with an X. The witnesses were Mary Bonnycastle [likely John's mother] & John Holder. They married by license [it has not yet been found].6
|Item.||In October 1774, the London Magazine added a mathematical department which was a series of questions with responses published two months later, mainly from members of the London Mathematical Society. A frequent correspondent was John Bonnycastle.7|
|Item.||In 1776, Mr. Bonnycastle was noted to be "Master of the Academy at Hackney," and in 1777 as "Teacher of the Mathematics, Leman-street, London."7|
|Item||In 1777, John Bonnycastle noticed a letter in the London Magazine with solutions to some problems. The writer was George Anderson, a young labourer from Buckinghamshire. Bonnycastle was "not less pleased than surprised at this attempt of a young man from the same county with himself, of whom he had never heard. Mr. Bonnycastle, accordingly, on his next visit in Buckinghamshire, procured an interview with the young genius, whom he found threshing in a barn, the walls of which were covered with triangles and parallelograms. Such was young Anderson's bashfulness, however, that Mr. Bonnycastle could not draw him into conversation, until he won his heart by the loan of Simpson's Fluxions, and two or three other books."8|
|(Heir) Will||He was named an heir in the will of his father John Bonnycastle dated 13 Jan 1781 in Weedon, Hardwick, Buckinghamshire. He was to inherit a legacy of £50.2|
|Occupation||John Bonnycastle was a tutor to the Second Earl of Pomfret's children for 6 months in 1782 at Easton Neston in Northamptonshire.5|
|Occupation||In Dec 1782 John Bonnycastle took the post of Mathematical Master to the Drawing Room in the Tower at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. He was paid 100 pounds per annum.5,9|
|Item||On 5 Dec 1782 John Bonnycastle wrote a letter from Woolwich to his brother [Robert] in Hardwick.10|
|Item||In 1784 John's sister Mary and her two children went to London to live with him after her marriage broke up.3|
|Marriage License||He obtained a marriage license on 6 Oct 1786 in Archbishop Court of Canterbury Faculty Office. Information from the license: John of the Parish of Woolwich, Widower; Bridget of the Parish of St Martin Ludgate London, spinster age 30 and upwards; to be married in the Parish Church of St Martin Ludgate London.11|
|Marriage||He married Bridget Newell, daughter of William Newell and Hephzibah Apletree, on 7 Oct 1786 in St Martin Ludgate, London.|
Information from the certificate: John Bonnycastle of parish of Woolwich, Kent, widower & Bridgett Newell of this parish [St Martin Ludgate], spinster, married in this church by licence by Nathl Moore, Curate. Witnesses were David Henry [Bridget's stepfather], Mary Cave, J Johnson [John's publisher], Wm Wilson Parish Clerk.12
|Newspaper|| Published Oct 1786. |
Marriages: "Mr. Bonnycastle, of the Royal Academy at Woolwich, and author of some valuable publications, to Miss Newell, of Lewisham.13
|Research Note||**Some sources have his second wife as Bridget JOHNSTONE, an aunt of their son Richard Henry's wife, Frances. I have found no supporting evidence for this.|
|Item||John Bonnycastle and Matthew Thomas Francis Hommey conducted a school at Woolwich for young gentlemen preparing for the Army. The attached advertisement describes the course of study.14|
|(Witness) Marriage||John Bonnycastle witnessed the marriage of Matthew Thomas Francis Hommey to his wife Bridget's half-sister Hephzibah Henry on 19 Jul 1806 in St Mary's Church, Lewisham, Kent.15|
|Associate||John Bonnycastle was an associate of Leigh Hunt, a critic, essayist, poet and writer.9|
|Associate||He was an associate of Joseph Johnson. Johnson was his publisher and at Johnson's dinner table John met with many of the famous men of his period; among them were Joseph Priestly, W. Cowper, Erasmus Darwin, and Henry Fuseli. Johnson was one of the witnesses at John's marriage in 1786 in 72 St. Paul's Churchyard, London.3,12|
|Associate||He was an associate of Dr Charles Hutton, an English mathematician who also taught at the Royal Military Academy. Hutton was buried in the same churchyard as John Bonnycastle on 4 Feb 1823.5,16|
|Note.||In his journal, Joseph John Gurney, an evangelical Minister of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), records meeting Dr Olinthus Gregory "a most agreeable and instructive companion." From his journal, "Dr Gregory gave us an interesting account of Hutton and Bonnycastle, his two predecessors in the mathematical chair at Woolwich; awful instances, especially the latter, of the danger of permitting science to exclude religion."17|
|Associate||He was an associate of Henry Fuseli, a British painter, draughtsman, and writer on art.9|
|Item|| On 3 Mar 1810, John Bonnycastle and Matthew Thomas Francis Hommey dissolved their partnership in the Firm of Bonnycastle and Hommey, which conducted an Academy at Charlton, Kent for boarding, lodging, and instructing young Noblemen and Gentlemen. Hommey intended to continue it on his own.18|
|Will||John Bonnycastle wrote a will dated 17 Aug 1816.19|
|Death||John died on 15 May 1821.20|
|Burial||He was buried on 22 May 1821 in St. Luke's, Charlton, Kent.20|
|Gravestone|| The gravestone inscription reads:|
Sacred to the memory of John Bonnycastle, Esq., late Professor of Mathematics at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, born Janry., 1752, died May 15, 1821.
Also the body of Bridget, his wife, who departed this life Oct 19th, 1825, aged 73 years.
|Probate||His estate was proved on 27 Sep 1821 in Prerogative Court of Canterbury. By the oaths of Francis Baily & John Knowles Esquire two of the executors to whom administration was granted having first sworn duly to administer power reserved to Bridget Bonnycastle widow the Relict the other Executor.19|
|Obituary||His obituary was published in 1822 in the The Annual Biography and Obituary for the Year 1822.21|
|Last Edited||30 Sep 2013|
- Microfilm of the Parish Register of Hardwick-with-Weedon, Buckinghamshire, 1558-1900 (Family History Library, 0919230), John Bonnycastle baptism, 1751.
- Will and Administration of John Bonnycastle of Weedon in the parish of Hardwick, 13 January 1781, proved in the Archdeaconry of Buckinghamshire, 25 August 1781 (Family History Library, 0088527).
- Letter from V Finch, England, to D Ledbetter, dated October 1977,.
- Microfilm of the Parish Register of Hardwick-with-Weedon, Buckinghamshire, 1558-1900 (Family History Library, 0919230).
- Letter from V Finch, London, England, to J Kolthammer, dated 23 March 1993.
- W.P.W. Phillimore and F.W. Ragg Buckinghamshire parish registers, marriages, Phillimore, London (1902-1923).
- T.T. Wilkinson 'Notae Mathematicae', The Mechanics Magazine, LXI, July-Dec 1854, page 122 , viewed on Google Books.
- Alexander Chalmers, The General Biographical Dictionary (London: J Nichols and Son, 1812), viewed on Google Books, page 180.
- Sir Leslie Stephen ed. Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, London(1921-22) (http://www.ancestry.com, digital images), Bonnycastle, John p 824.
- Letter from John Bonnycastle, Woolwich, to his brother, dated Dec 5, 1782 (J Kolthammer, unsourced photocopy p1).
- Allegation for John Bonnycastle and Bridget Newell, Archbishop Court of Canterbury Faculty Office, 6 October 1786 (Family History Library, Film #355,536).
- Microfilm of the Parish Registers of St Martin Ludgate, 1558-1812 (Family History Library, 374477).
- Edward Cave and others, "Gentleman's Magazine" (publication, London, 1731-), Oct 1786, p.995.
- The London Gazette, online at www.gazettes-online.co.uk, Issue 15589, 31 May 1803, page 9.
- Microfilm of the Bishop's Transcripts of St Mary's Lewisham, 1801-1809 (Family History Library, 288425), No. 992.
- Microfilm of the Parish Register of St. Luke's Church, Charlton next Woolwich, Kent, 1815-1872 (Family History Library, 0254596), Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1815-1837; baptisms and burials, 1838-1839; baptisms, 1867-1871; burials, 1860-1861, 1865-1871; baptisms, 1872.
The parish church of St. Luke's Charlton next Woolwich became Old Charlton in 1908.
- Memoirs of Joseph John Gurney: With Selections From His Journal and Correspondence. Edited by Joseph Bevan Braithwaite. 4th Edition. Philadelphia: J B Lippincott & Co., 1857. Digitized copy accessed on Google Books.
- The London Gazette, online at www.gazettes-online.co.uk, Legal Notice re Bonnycastle and Hommey, Issue 16347, 3 March 1810, page 7.
- Will and Administration of John Bonnycastle, Professor of Mathematics in the Royal Military Academy Woolwich, 17 August 1816, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 27 September 1821.
- Leonard Morgan May Charlton: Near Woolwich, Kent: Full & Complete copies of all Inscriptions in the Old Parish Church & Churchyard...", Blackbeath Press, London (1908) (Family History Library, 477361).
- The Annual Biography and Obituary for the Year 1822 (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1822), viewed on Google Books, No. XVI, John Bonnycastle, Esq. obituary, page 437.
- Letter from Humphrey Bonnycastle (Philadelphia) to a friend in England, 1838; University of Virginia Library (Charlottesville, Virginia).
- Baptisms of St Mary Magdalene Woolwich, Kent. Registers from London Metropolitan Archives. Image viewed at Ancestry.com, Charlotte Bonnycastle, 1788.
- Baptisms of St Mary Magdalene Woolwich, Kent. Registers from London Metropolitan Archives. Image viewed at Ancestry.com, Mary Bonnycastle, 1790.
- Baptisms of St Mary Magdalene Woolwich, Kent. Registers from London Metropolitan Archives. Image viewed at Ancestry.com, Richard Henry Bonnycastle, 1791.
- Baptisms of St Mary Magdalene Woolwich, Kent. Registers from London Metropolitan Archives. Image viewed at Ancestry.com, William Joseph Bonnycastle, 1793.
- Baptisms of St Mary Magdalene Woolwich, Kent. Registers from London Metropolitan Archives. Image viewed at Ancestry.com, Humphrey Bonnycastle, 1795.
- Baptisms of St Mary Magdalene Woolwich, Kent. Registers from London Metropolitan Archives. Image viewed at Ancestry.com, Charles Bonnycastle, 1796.