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James Bonnell Efq;
Ames Bonnell, Efq; was born at Genoa the Mr. Bonnell's 14th of November 1653. He was Son Birth and (by Rebecca Daughter of Thomas Sayer Family. near Norwich, Efq;) to Samuel Bonnell, Merchant, who refided some time at Genoa,
and many Years at Leghorn, where the great Trade he carry'd on, his Sweet and Obliging Behaviour, but especially the Piety and Integrity of his Life, procur'd him great Credit and Efteem. His Grandfather was Daniel Bonnell of London, Merchant, His Great Grandfather Thomas Bonnell, A Gentleman of a Good Family near Ipres in Flanders, who to avoid Duke D' Alva's Fury then cruelly Per fecuting the Proteftants in the Low Countries, Transported Himself and his Family into England, and fettled at Norwich; where he was fo well Receiv'd, and fo much Efteem'd, as to be afterwards chofen Mayor of that City : Thus a Zeal for Religion profeffed in its greateft Purity, was Mr. Bonnell's Hereditary Virtue; what he deriv'd from his Ancestors, and conftantly maintain'd himself in times of greateft Difficulty and Danger.
Samuel Bonnell, Father of James Bonnell, after being Bred up under Sir William Courteen, Knight, one of the greatest Merchants of his Time, and for fome time Entrufted with the fole Management of his Affairs, apply'd himself to the Italian Trade at Leghorn, which he did with fuch Succefs, that about the Year 1649, he was worth at leaft Ten Thoufand Pounds, and his Credit much greater than his Fortune: But both were foon Impair'd by feveral Accidents, by great Loffes at Sea, but particularly by his Zeal for the Royal Family, of whofe Sufferings he ever had a moft Tender Senfe, and whom he privately fupplied with confiderable Sums of Money. And there
yet remain Letters to him from the then Queen Mother, King Charles the Second, and his Brother the Duke of York, Acknowledging his faft Friendship to them, and the Supplies they had jo feasonably receiv'd from him, and recommending Mr. Killigrew to him, whom they sent to promote their Interefts in thofe Parts. All the Loffes and Misfortunes which befel him, he bore with great Submiffion to the Will of God; and Compos'd many Devout Meditations upon thofe Melancholly Occafions, which yet remain among his Sons Papers; moft of which were for his Wife's Ufe, and fent to her when he was forc'd to be Abfent from her: And. both those Papers, and the Informations of fome who knew him,particularly, the Reverend Mr. Strype, Minifter of Low-Leyton, near London, Nephew to Samuel Bonnell, and his Son's conftant Friend, do all concur in this, That he was a Man of great Sweetnefs of Temper, Sincere Virtue, and Exemplary Piety.
About the Year 1655, Samuel Bonnell Re- His Father mov'd with his Family into England; and up- Settles in on the Restoration of the Royal Family, the England, and Services he had done them, and his known is made AcAbilities for fuch an Employment, procur'd comptant neral in Ire him a Patent to be Accomptant General of the land. Revenue of Ireland, his Son's Life being Included in the Patent with his own. But this he was not long poffefs'd of, for he Dy'd in the Dies Year 1664, leaving his Son James Bonnell and One Daughter to the Care of his Wife, a Wo man of fingular Piety and Prudence, both, which the employed in the Education of her Son
Son, chiefly in giving a right Tincture to his Mind, and feasoning it with the Love of Virtue and Religion.
After he had been Inftructed in the first Rudiments of Learning in Dublin, he was fent to Trym-School, and committed to the Care of the Reverend Doctor Tenifon, now Lord Bishop of Meath; by whofe Inftructions he equally Improv'd in Learning and Religion; and fo great Senfe had he of his Masters Kindnefs and Care, that he mentions it more than once in his private Papers, with very grateful Acknowledgments: And his Lordship doth ftill remember with Pleasure, Mr. Bonnell's early Accomplishments, and was pleas'd lately thus to exprefs himself to me by Letter concerning him; He then fignaliz'd himself for Sweetness of Humour and Good Nature, and was from a Child of a most Innocent and Gentile Behaviour, never inclin'd to any Vice, but strictly Religious, and extraordinary Ingenious: And made fuch great Progress in his Studies, that he went early to the University, and acquired a great deal of Learning in a fhort time, as I found when he return'd to this Kingdom and came to Vifit
But as Mr. Bonnell, through the whole courfe of his Life, was chiefly remarkable for his great Piety; fo it is the Hiftory of his Piety the Reader is here chiefly to expect; and tho' I fhan't omit any of the Material Paflages of his Life, yet I fhall principally enlarge upon his Piety: And that took very early Poffeffion of his Heart, and prevented the Suggeftions of Satan, and Temptations of the World.
Care of his Pa
Bless'd by the betimes in the
The First Books he read with Pleasure, were
And that Mr. Bonnell's Piety was of this early Growth, I fhall fhew by inferting here at large, his own Account of it, which I find among his Private Papers.
Second Year of
From the Beginning of my Life (fays he) 'I had a great Sense of Piety. Lord! My Cor- Written An'ruptions I had from Nature, I brought them no 1675. in 'with me into the World; this was thy the Twenty Grace, thy Gift, thy Undeferv'd Favour. I remember the great Delight I took in Reading Books of Devotion at Ten Years Old, and faid then to my Mother, If we were as Hely as David how Happy fhou'd we be? At Eleven 'Years Old, I us'd to get up from my Bed-fel'lows on Sunday Mornings, to fay the Prayers 'for that Day,out of the Practice of Piety,(which was fent me as a Token from a Friend, and 'which I was pleas'd with, as an Invaluable 'Present.) At Twelve I remember I found it
Difficult at Waking to begin with God, (as the Practice of Piety directs) and therefore I Writ out the Words which are there propos'd to be faid, and put them under my Pillow, to have them ready at Waking. At Thirteen I had read feveral Books of Piety ' and Devotion. In the Perufal of the PraEtice of Piety, I was pleas'd with the Propofal of a Methodical courfe of Religion, and