Wednesday, March 26, 2014

52 Ancestors: Richard Boniwell Loses Everyting to his Creditors in 1849

52 Ancestors: Richard Boniwell Loses Everyting to his Creditors in 1849
I'm writing about my 4th great-grandpa Richard Rufus Boniwell or Bonewell, as part of Amy Crow's Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Richard was born in 1809 in Southwold, Suffolk England, the son of Richard Rufus Boniwell. Richard Jr. was well-established in the little community and is written about in James Magg's Diary on 

Luckily for me, his marriage to Harriet, daughter of James Martin who owned The Red Lion Inn in Southwold, is mentioned in the diary. That gave me his wife's maiden name and her father's name. 

A carpenter by trade, Richard was the owner of The White Swan Inn and in 1841 he was living at Cliff's End with his wife Harriet Martin and 4 young children. A prominent man in the small community, he was elected a Councillor of Southwold in 1845. Then his luck changed.

1849 finds Richard bankrupt. A notice appeared in the Ipswich Journal dated February 1849 for an auction of all his posessions in order to pay his creditors - carpentry equipment, tools, household effects and so on. You name it, he lost it. There were 4 feather beds and all bedding listed in the effects to be auctioned for his creditors. He and his wife were given 3 months to gather all their possessions together for the auctioneers. 

Then in October yet another blow struck Richard. His inn, The White Swan, was repossessed and sold to pay his creditors. 

1851 finds Richard and his family living in much poorer conditions in the town of Southwold itself. I have to wonder how Harriet coped!   

In the end Richard and Harriet had 8 children, the last born in 1856. In 1886 Richard died. 

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