Gijsbertus Bonnet - Theologian

Personal data
Born December 02, 1723
in Naarden

Died February 03, 1805
in Utrecht
Gisbert Bonnet
Gijsbert Bonnet

A pupil of Johannes Horthemels (1698-1776), Gisbert Bonnet became Professor of Theology (Divinity) at Utrecht in 1760. According to sources, he was an outspoken orthodox professor who, among other things, was supervisor of Johannes Clarisse's Doctor of Divinity degree.1

Gisbert Bonnet was the son of Tijmen Bonnet and Lisbeth Hartsenburg, and he completed his studies in theology at Utrecht in 1748. On December 30, 1753, he became parson of the parish of Amersfoort before, in 1756, becoming a preacher in Rotterdam and in 1758 in Den Haag. Bonnet was appointed Professor of Theology at Utrecht in 1761, succeeding Willem van Irhoven who had died in November 1760.

On April 30, 1754, he married Anna Apollionia Wesseling (d. 1797), daughter of Professor Petrus Wesseling.

  • 1. According to Azn, Jasper (2000). The Dominating Theology Within the Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk after 1815 in its Relation to the Secession of 1834.
Life with Boswell

Boswell met him at Heer van Zuylen's on January 30 or February 6, 1764. Boswell "was very much surprised to find him a lively and cheerful man", and ended up borrowing the Professor's copy of Lambert ten Kate's Aenleiding tot de kennisse van het verhevene deel der Nederduitsche sprake - an early philological masterpiece, "in which the connection between the Low Dutch, the Old Saxon, the Icelandic, and the Latin languages is exhibited" (according to Boswell). Boswell went to one of his lectures on May 22.


Several of Bonnet's works are sometimes available via the AbeBooks used books search engine, including Orationes Duae, his thesis Specimen historicum de caussis superstitionum inter christianos, and Verklaaring van den Brief aan de Hebreen. Lambert ten Kate's Aenleiding tot de kennisse, the book that Boswell borrowed from Bonnet, is usually also available.