Born: Established: 8 Jul 1817 Lingfield ; Died: 6 Feb 1906 Southwick
A teacher, Bonwick was the author of numerous works covering many fields, including some of the earliest Australian textbooks. One of these textbooks, Reader for Australian Youth Part 1 according to the catalogue entry in The Davidson Collection 'comprised verse and prose extracts, these largely by Bonwick'.
Bonwick travelled from South Australia to the Victorian gold fields in 1852 but stayed only a few months before going to Melbourne. There he 'engaged in the only slightly more lucrative occupation of author and publisher' (The Davidson Collection, no.412) beginning with Notes of a Gold Digger and Gold Digger's Guide (1852) and including many works on the history of the Port Phillip area and John Batman in particular.Bonwick wrote, and it is thought self published, the first Australian school text book, Geography for the Use of Australian Youth in 1845. Sold through Samuel A. Tegg in Hobart, the content begins with a Tasmanian perspective. The reader then crosses Bass Strait where the geography of Port Phillip expands north to cover the unexplored region of northern Australia, across to Asia and Europe.