Pelham Crescent, Kensington
Houses in Pelham Crescent built by James Bonnin

I’ve started this website to publish some of the results of my researches into the history of the Bonnin family. As the site grows, I’ll be adding the stories of some of the earlier family members. There was James Bonnin, the builder, who built a lot of very smart houses you can still see today in the London suburbs of Brompton, Kensington and Chelsea. You can see a portrait of him at the top of the page.

Then there was Goussé Bonnin the surgeon who attended the Governor of the Leeward Islands after he was shot in Antigua in 1710. (The Governor died, and Goussé was summoned to London to give evidence against the rioters.) There was John Bonnin the showman in eighteenth century New York. There was Henry Bonnin the slave trader in Antigua – and his son (another Goussé) who married a baronet’s daughter and set up the first American china factory, in Philadelphia.

One thing that they all seem to have in common: they (or their ancestors) had been forced to leave France because of religious persecution. So they picked themselves up and started all over again somewhere else – in some cases as far away as Australia. I’ve had fun researching them, I hope you enjoy reading about them.

Read about the Bonnin Family History