Of Welsh descent, John Owen was born in the village of Stadhampton in Oxfordshire. His parents were Rev Henry and Hester Owen. The month and exact date of his birth is unknown.
Andrew Fuller was born to dairy farmers Robert and Philippa on 6 February 1754 in Wicken, Cambridgeshire.
In 1874, the University of Edinburgh conferred on Bonar a Doctor of Divinity degree.
In 1863, Bonar edited a collection of Samuel Rutherford's letters and published it with a brief biographical sketch. The collection is still widely circulated today.