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Bonneville, Nicolas De

A bookseller and man of letters, born at Evreux, in France, March 13, 1760. He was the author of a work, published in 1788, entitled Les Jsuites chasss de la Maonnerie et leur poignard bris par les Maons, meaning The Jesuits driven from Freemasonry and their weapon broken by the Freemasons, a book divided into two parts, of the first of which the subtitle was La Maonnerie cossaise compare avec les trois professions et le Secret des Templiers du 14e Sicle, meaning Scottish Freemasonry compared with the three professions and the Secret of the Templars of the Fourteenth Century, and of the second, Mmet des quatre voeux de la Compagnie de S. Ignace, et des quatre grades de la Maonnerie de S. Jean, meaning the Identity of the four pledges of the Society of Saint Ignace, and of the four steps of the Freemasonry of Saint John. He also translated into French, Thomas Paine's Essay on the Origin of Freemasonry; a work, by the way, which was hardly worth the trouble of translation.

De Bonneville had an exalted idea of the difficulties attendant upon writing a history of Freemasonry, for he says that, to compose such a work, supported by dates and authentic facts, it would require a period equal to ten times the age of man; a statement which, although exaggerated, undoubtedly contains an element of truth. His Masonic theory was that the Jesuits had introduced into the symbolic Degrees the history of the life and death of the Templars, and the doctrine of vengeance for the political and religious crime of their destruction; and that they had imposed upon four of the higher Degrees the four vows of their congregation. De Bonneville was imprisoned as a Girondist in 1793. The Girondists or Girondins were members of a political party during the French Revolution of 1791 to 1793, getting their name from twelve Deputies from the Gironde, a Department of Southwestern France. He was the author of a History of Modern Europe, in three volumes, published in 1792. He died in 1828.

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