Papers of John Augustus Bonney (d 1813), and Bonney family papers

Scope and Content

The collection consists of a bundle of manuscript notes and drafts forming Bonney's history of the Tower of London, as well as miscellaneous notes on the Tower, diary kept while Bonney was in the Tower, a list of papers seized by the King's messenger at J. A. Bonney's in Percy Street on 15 May 1794, correspondence including letters 1807-1808 to Spencer Perceval the Chancellor of the Exchequer with suggestions for the regulation of taxes, documents, wills, and family portraits. There are also other miscellaneous family items such as an election account book for 1802, a diary of Francis Augustus Burdett Bonney 1827-1836, and correspondence and documents.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1794, the solicitor and author John Augustus Bonney was held as a political prisoner in the Beauchamp Tower, Tower of London, while awaiting trial. Papers of his had been seized from his business in Percy (Percey) Street, St. Pancras on 15 May 1794. Bonney, described as a 'money scrivener', was subsequently noted as bankrupt in the London Gazette, 22 November 1800. John Augustus Bonney died in 1813.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Material purchased 1964, Accession no. E64.19.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the collection indexes and material from the collection: (1) Bankruptcy noted in London Gazette. The Times. 24 November 1800. London: The Times, 1800.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: poems, 1777-1794, British Library, Manuscript Collections, Ref. Add MS 46870 ff8-49.