Francis Robert Bonham

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Francis Robert Bonham (6 September 1785 – 26 April 1863) was a British party agent and politician.

Early life[edit]

He was the only surviving son (another two died in infancy) of Francis Warren Bonham, a landowner from Kildare who had moved to London with his wife Dorothea. After home schooling Bonham was accepted into Corpus Christi College, Oxford where he finished his BA in 1807, joining Lincoln's Inn in 1808 and being called to the bar (although he never practised law) in 1814.

Political career[edit]

In August 1830 he was elected a Member of Parliament for Rye and served as assistant Tory Party whip until 1831, when he was defeated in the general election. After his defeat he continued to work in Rye as a party agent for the 1832 election, and until 1837 acted as the Tory Party's chief electoral expert (replacing William Holmes). He served as Storekeeper of the Ordnance in Robert Peel's first government from 1834 and in 1835 was again returned to parliament, this time for Harwich where he served until 1837 and again also served as assistant whip.

Later life[edit]

Despite being out of parliament in 1841 Peel again appointed him Storekeeper of the Ordnance, a position he resigned in 1845 after a scandal involving improperly-bought railway shares.[1] He remained as an unpaid volunteer until 1853, when he was appointed as a Commissioner for Income Tax to prevent him from becoming bankrupt.

He died on 26 April 1863 at home, with many of his papers having been collected by Peel and destroyed apart from a few texts now in the Peel papers of the British Library.


  1. ^ Gash, Norman. "Bonham, Francis Robert". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37207. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Storekeeper of the Ordnance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Storekeeper of the Ordnance
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Rye
With: Hugh Duncan Baillie
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Harwich
With: John Charles Herries
Succeeded by