This article written by Glenda Moore.
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John Augustus Bonney

The Tower of LondonThe cat Citizen lived in the Tower of London and is buried on the grounds at Beauchamp Tower. John Augustus Bonney, who was incarcerated at the tower on May 19, 1794, for his political views (charged with high treason), dedicated a poem to the cat and recorded its death in his diary on Aug. 22, 1794: "Citizen died at 6 o'clock; ill all day; buried in the Tower Wall." 

Bonney (1763-1813), is recorded as the 8th of 9 children of Rev. Thomas Bonney and Grace Kaye of Westminster ENG, was a lawyer and poet, was married to a woman named Elizabeth (maiden surname Taylor) who gave birth to at least one child (a son named Thomas).  He was a member of the London Corresponding Society (LCS) and the Society for  Constitutional Information (SCI).  He was committed to the Tower in 1794, together with John Home Toole, John Thelwall, and several others.   He was acquitted in December that year, when the Attorney-General declared he had no intention to offer evidence against them.  (Note that the Tower of London is seen behind Bonney in the above portrait; it was done in November, while he was still incarcerated.)


IF, led by fancy o'er this sent of woe
In search of secrets hid within these walls,
Thine eye, kind reader, thou should'st chance to
On the small spot where my poor dwelling falls;
Think not, within this cell there there is compress'd
Aught which the world could envy, nor could fear;
Nor stars, nor ribbons deck'd my honest breast?
An humble Citizen lies burled here.
A friend, that could my lowly talents prize,
(At his fond kindness, reader, do not laugh)
Sooth'd my last moments, clos'd my dying eyes.
Dug here my grave, and wrote my epitaph.
But lest these lines thy fancy should deceive,
And thou should'st think some patriot claims a tear,
Thy rising anguish let me now relieve:
'Tis only Puss, the Citizen, lies here.

Buried in the Tower Wall, 22d August 1794. J.A.B

Tower of London cats:
    - Henry Wriothesley and his cat Trixie
    - Sir Henry Wyatt and the Caterer Cat
    - John Augustus Bonney and Citizen

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