Grimshaw was born in September 1708 in the Ribble Valley in Lancashire. After a grammar school education in Blackburn he went up to Cambridge in 1726 and was ordained into the Church of England ministry in 1732.
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.