Madame Marguerite de Bonneville met Thomas Paine (writer, Common Sense) during the time he spent in Paris after the Revolutionary War. She was his landlady and they became close friends. Her husband, Nicholas, was devoted to the same principles of freedom of speech and freedom of the press as was Paine. Ms. Bonneville was a disciple of the radical feminist, Etta Palm d’Aelders, an outspoken Dutch Feminist.
When Paine came back to America, she and her 3 sons (Benjamin, Louis, and Thomas, of whom Paine was godfather), accompanied him. She was his caretaker, moving him from Washington DC, to New Rochelle New York where he had been given a farm and eventually to his final home in the West Village of NYC. She attended to Paine throughout his illness and final days, renting him a home in her name on Grove Street. Rumors often circulated that she was the mistress of Paine, but was devoted to her husband and the causes they believed in. Her husband joined the group in New Rochelle after the death of Napoleon and unfortunately Paine. Paine sued the newspaper for libel that accused them of the affair and won.
Madame Bonneville assisted Paine with keeping religious fanatics from his deathbed and was one of 8 people at his graveside along with her sons.