Show ContentsBonython History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Bonython family

The surname Bonython was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Bonithon and Carelew.

"Bonython or Bonithon, was for many years a seat of an ancient family of this name. It was sold about the year 1720 by Charles Bonithon, Esq. to Humphrey Carpenter, Esq. who possessed it in the days of Hals." [1]

Early History of the Bonython family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonython research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1079, 1149, 1162, 1898, 1580, 1650, 1580, 1630, 1631, 1650, 1705, 1671 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Bonython History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bonython Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Bonithon, Bonnithon, Boniton, Bonniton, Bonitton, Bonython and many more.

Early Notables of the Bonython family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Richard Bonython (1580-1650?), an early American settler, the second son of John Bonython of Bonython, and was baptised at St. Columb Major on 3 April 1580. "His title of 'captain,' and a passage in the 'Winthrop Papers' (Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser. vii.), seem to prove that he served in the French wars with Sir Ferdinando Gorges, who like himself was a west-country man. In 1630 he received a grant of a large tract of land on the east side of the Saco river, in Maine, or, as it was then called, New...
Another 104 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bonython Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bonython migration to the United States +

In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Bonython were found:

Bonython Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Bonython who settled in Maine in 1629

Australia Bonython migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bonython Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Bonython, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [2]
  • Ann Bonython, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [2]
  • Caroline Bonython, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [2]
  • Robert Langdon Bonython, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [2]
  • George Bonython, aged 33, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Ostrich" [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bonython (post 1700) +

  • Hugh Bonython (b. 1879), Australian Art Gallery Director, Australian Hydroplane Champion, and national Speedway champion
  • Sir John Langdon Bonython, Australian politician and journalist, member of the First Australian Parliament
  • Charles Warren Bonython (b. 1916), Australian conservationist and chemical engineer
  • John Lavington Bonython (1875-1960), Australian publisher and Lord Mayor of Adelaide
  • Charles Bonython Borlase (1820-1875), India-born of Cornish extraction immigrant to New Zealand aboard the Victory in 1848 and rose to become Mayor of Wellington in 1874
  • William Bonython Moffatt (1812-1887), English architect, partner with Sir George Gilbert Scott at Spring Gardens, London

  1. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  2. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FAIRLIE/FAIRLEE 1840. Retrieved from
  3. South Australian Register Saturday 22nd July 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Ostrich 1854. Retrieved on Facebook