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Thomson Bonar

(died 1813), Russian merchant and bank director

Sitter associated with 1 portrait

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Thomson Bonar, by Henry Bone, after  John Hoppner - NPG D17712

Thomson Bonar

by Henry Bone, after John Hoppner
pencil drawing squared in ink for transfer, after May 1813
NPG D17712

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Angela Hatton: House and Heritage Committee Chislehurst Golf Club

19 February 2021, 15:09

Thomson Bonar was a wealthy merchant who owned the mansion and farm at Elmstead. In 1805 he purchased Camden Estate. (later the home and death place of Napoleon lll) He and his wife Anne had two sons and a grandson. They were a close couple who would live and die together in Camden Place.
On Sunday 31 May 1813, a footman in the house, Irish-born Philip Nicholson, brutally murdered Anne and Thomson Bonar in their beds. The murders were apparently motiveless but Nicholson admitted them and was tried at Maidstone assizes. He was found guilty and sentenced to hang at Penenden Heath. It seems he had a hard death.

The Bonar’s tomb inscription near the lych-gate in St Nicholas’ churchyard, describes their deaths as ‘a signal reward for such virtues as have rarely been united’ and in accord with ‘their fervent wish, so frequently expressed and so mysteriously fulfilled, that they might leave this world together’.

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