James Bonnell

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Bonnell, James, Accountant-General of Ireland, son of Samuel Bonnell, an English merchant, was born at Genoa, 14th November 1653. Two years after his birth, his father was appointed Accountant-General of Ireland, with reversion of the office to his son. His father died in 1664. The youth's education, which had been commenced at Trim, was completed at Cambridge University. He displayed a spirit of wonderful sweetness and piety; and none the less did he prosecute his studies with indefatigable diligence. For some time he acted as tutor, travelling with his charge in France and Holland. In 1684 he returned to Ireland, and took his employment of Accountant-General into his own hands, which had been since his father's death managed by others for his benefit. The toils of office were peculiarly irksome to him, and nothing but a sense of duty prevented him from throwing them off, and occupying himself with devotions and religious meditations. When upon the rumours of war in December 1688, multitudes hurried away to England, he stood firm at his post, regarding the sufferings of himself and fellow Protestants as a just chastisement for their many shortcomings in the past. His joy after the victory of the Boyne was abated by news from England of the death of his mother to whom he was tenderly attached. In 1693 he married a daughter of Sir Albert Cunningham. His desire to enter the Church was frustrated by ill health. He died in Dublin, 28th April 1699, aged 45, of a malignant fever, and his remains were interred in St. John's Church. See Notes and Queries, 2nd Series, for a rare poem by Swift upon Bonnell's life.

Sources

44a. Bonnell, James, Life: Rev. William Hamilton. London, 1807.

254. Notes and Queries. London, 1850-'78.
O'Callaghan, John C., see No. 186.

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