Bonar, John (1747-1807) (DNB00)

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BONAR, JOHN, the younger (1747–1807), solicitor of excise, eldest son of John Bonar the elder [q. v.], minister of Cockpen, was born on 22 Aug. 1747, and died 1 April 1807. He was educated at the university of Edinburgh, entered the government service, and became first solicitor of excise in Scotland. He, along with William Creech, John Bruce (afterwards professor of logic in Edinburgh University), Henry Mackenzie (author of the ‘Man of Feeling’), and Mr. Belcher Invermay, founded the Speculative Society, now the chief debating society in the Edinburgh University. Lord Melville had a high opinion of his abilities, and placed great confidence in his judgment on all revenue questions. He wrote ‘Considerations on the proposed Application to His Majesty and parliament for the Establishment of a Licensed Theatre in Edinburgh,’ 1767. He was joint editor of a volume entitled ‘Miscellaneous Pieces of Poetry selected from various Eminent Authors, among which are interspersed a few Originals,’ 1765.

[Family papers in possession of Horatius Bonar, W.S., Edinburgh; History of the Speculative Society (1845).]

H. B-r.