Maurice Bonham Carter

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Sir Maurice Bonham-Carter KCB KCVO (11 October 1880 – 7 June 1960) 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. Bonham-Carter was widely known by the nickname 'Bongie'.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Bonham-Carter was the eleventh child of Sibella Charlotte (née Norman) and Henry Bonham-Carter. He was born in London and educated at Winchester College and Balliol College, Oxford.[2] He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1909.[3]

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.[4] He was awarded his cricket Blue in 1902.[2] 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.[3]

Bonham-Carter served as the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister H. H. Asquith between 1910 and 1916 during Asquith's tenure as Prime Minister.[1] 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.[5] 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.[3][5]

He became a leading figure in the British Liberal Party[citation needed] and was a partner in a firm of stockbrokers.[3] 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[6] and was a partner with merchant bankers O.T. Falk and Partners, and stockbrokers Buckmaster & Moore.[7]

Bonham-Carter was made Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in 1916 as Asquith resigned as Prime Minister and in the 1917 Birthday Honours was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO).[5] He died in 1960 aged 79 and is buried in the churchyard at St Andrew's Church, Mells in Somerset. The actress Helena Bonham Carter is his granddaughter.


He married Violet Asquith on 30 November 1915. 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. They had four children:[1]

His brothers included General Sir Charles Bonham-Carter and the lawyer Sir Edgar Bonham-Carter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Sir Maurice Bonham Carter, The Peerage. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  2. ^ a b Bonham-Carter, Sir Maurice, Obituaries in 1960. Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1961. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  3. ^ a b c d Maurice Bonham-Carter, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  4. ^ Maurice Bonham-Carter, CricInfo. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  5. ^ a b c Lewis P (2014) For Kent and Country, p.96. Brighton: Reveille Press.
  6. ^ British Library MS61931

External links[edit]