Maurice Bonham-Carter

  (Redirected from Maurice Bonham Carter)

Sir Maurice Bonham-Carter KCB KCVO (11 October 1880 – 7 June 1960)[1] was an English Liberal politician, civil servant and first-class cricketer. He was H. H. Asquith's Principal Private Secretary during Asquith's time as Prime Minister from 1910 to 1916 and later served in other government posts. He played cricket for Oxford University Cricket Club in the early 20th century. The actress Helena Bonham Carter is his granddaughter.

Sir Maurice Bonham-Carter

Sir Maurice Bonham-Carter.jpg
Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
In office
Prime MinisterH. H. Asquith
Personal details
Born(1880-10-11)11 October 1880
Kensington, London, England
Died7 June 1960(1960-06-07) (aged 79)
Resting placeSt Andrew's Church, Mells
Political partyLiberal
Violet Asquith (m. 1915)
RelationsBonham Carter family
Alma mater

Early lifeEdit

Bonham-Carter, who was widely known by the nickname "Bongie,"[2] was born in Kensington, London, on 11 October 1880.[3] He was the eleventh child born to Sibella Charlotte (née Norman) and Henry Bonham-Carter. His brothers included General Sir Charles Bonham-Carter and the lawyer Sir Edgar Bonham-Carter.[2]

He was educated at Winchester College and Balliol College, Oxford.[4] He was a right-handed batsman and wicket-keeper for Oxford University Cricket Club, playing thirteen times for the side in first-class cricket matches between 1901 and 1902.[5] He was awarded his cricket Blue in 1902.[4] His highest score in first-class cricket was 86 for Oxford versus H.D.G. Leveson Gower's XI at the Parks in 1902. Bonham-Carter also played one first-class match for Kent County Cricket Club in 1902.[6]


He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1909.[6] Between 1910 and 1916, Bonham-Carter served as the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister H. H. Asquith during Asquith's tenure as Prime Minister. He travelled around the country with Asquith at the start of World War I and accompanied the Prime Minister when he visited the frontline at Ypres in 1915.[7] He also visited Italy and, following the Easter Rising, Ireland with Asquith in 1916. When Asquith was replaced as Prime Minister by David Lloyd George in 1916, Bonham-Carter moved to become Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Reconstruction and then, in 1918, joined the Air Ministry and Road Transport Board.[6][7]

He became a leading figure in the British Liberal Party and was a "keen supporter of new ideas and imaginative personalities."[2] He was a partner in a firm of stockbrokers.[6] He also held a number of business directorships with companies including: Aero Engine Ltd, Alpha Cement Ltd, Earls Court Ltd, Blackburn and General Aircraft, Hanworth Securities Ltd, Scophony Ltd, Power Jets Ltd[8] and was a partner with merchant bankers O.T. Falk and Partners, and stockbrokers Buckmaster & Moore.[9]


Bonham-Carter was made Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in 1916 in Asquith's resignation honours[10] and in the 1917 Birthday Honours was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO).[7]

Personal lifeEdit

On 30 November 1915, he was married to Violet Asquith. As she was later made a life peeress, he and his wife were one of the few couples both of whom held titles in their own right. Together, they had four children:[2]

He died in 1960 aged 79 and is buried in the churchyard at St Andrew's Church, Mells in Somerset.


Through his eldest daughter Cressida, he was a grandfather to Sir Adam Ridley. Through his eldest son Mark, he was a grandfather of three girls, including: Jane Bonham Carter, Baroness Bonham Carter of Yarnbury, wife of Tim Razzall, Baron Razzall. Through his youngest son Raymond, he was a grandfather to three including: Helena Bonham Carter and Edward Bonham Carter.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
  2. ^ a b c d "Sir Maurice Bonham Carter – Private Secretary to H. H. Asquith". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 8 June 1960. p. 15.
  3. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
  4. ^ a b Bonham-Carter, Sir Maurice, Obituaries in 1960. Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1961. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  5. ^ Maurice Bonham-Carter, CricInfo. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  6. ^ a b c d Maurice Bonham-Carter, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  7. ^ a b c Lewis P (2014) For Kent and Country, p.96. Brighton: Reveille Press.
  8. ^ British Library MS61931
  10. ^ "Five New Peers. List of Resignation Honours". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 22 December 1916. p. 8.

External linksEdit