Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

Search the Guide

To find information in this Guide please select one of the green coloured options.

To Select a Page Group when displayed, right click and select 'Open'.

Copyright Conditions Apply.

BONSEY, Henry Dawes (1849-1919)

BONSEY, Henry Dawes (1849-1919)

Henry Dawes Bonsey, County Court Judge in the Midlands of England, was a student at Geelong College from about 1865 to 1867. Geelong Grammarians records him as a student at Geelong Grammar in 1858. He entered St John’s College, Cambridge University in 1869 and was noted as the 3rd son of William Henry Bonsey born at Slough, Buckinghamshire County on 23 July, 1849. Although he applied to matriculate in November, 1866 and February, 1867 The Cambridge Alumni entry notes his matriculation in 1870. He graduated BA in 1874. He had been admitted to the Inner Temple 22 January, 1872 and was called to the Bar in 1875. He practised as a barrister in the Midlands, reporting for the Law Times. From 1910 to 1912 he was Recorder of Bedford and from 1911 to his death in 1919 was a Judge of the County Courts. He was born in the parish of Upton cum Chalvey, Slough in Buckinghamshire and married Helen Jane nee Dymock in 1898. He died 13 May, 1919, aged 68 at 9 Windsor Crescent, Newcastle-on-Tyne a few months after the death of his wife there on 13 February, 1919.

Although no Enrolment Record exists for Henry Bonsey he does appear in the Annual Prize Lists of 1865 and 1866. In 1865, Henry Bonsey of Geelong was placed 2nd in English in the 5th Class and in 1866, Henry Bonsey of Barrabool Hills came 2nd in Physical Geography in the 3rd Class. A possible brother, C Bonsey appears in the 1868 successful matriculant list. It is possible that this is one of Henry’s brothers Edward (1847-) or William (1845-1909).

Henry Bonsey’s father William Henry Bonsey (1818-1900) had married the Naples born Mary Caroline nee Price (1819-1902) at St Nicholas’ Church Brighton, Sussex on 12 Nov, 1844. He was the police magistrate in Geelong from 1853 to 1869 and was notable as a cricketer with the Marylebone Cricket Club in 1839. He was a member of the Geelong and Western District Team that played the first English Visiting Cricket XI in January, 1862. W H Brownbill in describing the celebrations for the marriage of the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra mentions that ‘the home at Highton of W H Bonsey, the Police Magistrate might be mentioned. A hundred wax lights were used to illuminate the windows.’ William Henry Bonsey bought Block 4, Section 22 in the Parish of Bellarine (now Ocean Grove) later endeavouring unsuccessfully to sell allotments in a subdivision called Kingston on the Sea.

Henry’s brothers, Edward and William are recorded as attending Geelong Grammar School and are both described in Geelong Grammarians.

Sources: Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900; Brownbill, W H The History of Geelong and Corio Bay Melb, Wilke & Co, 1955 p513, p528. Corfield, J & Persse, M C Geelong Grammarians Vol 1 Geelong: Geelong Grammar, 1996 p65, p66.
© The Geelong College. Unless otherwise attributed, The Geelong College asserts its creative and commercial rights over all images and text used in this publication. No images or text material may be copied, reproduced or published without the written authorisation of The College.