Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
FatherHenry BONHAM CARTER (1827-1921)
MotherSibella Charlotte NORMAN (1837-1916)
SpouseViolet Asquith
FatherHerbert Henry ASQUITH (1852-1928)
MotherHelen Kelsall MELLAND (-1891)
Notes for Sir Maurice BONHAM CARTER KCB KCVO
Sir Maurice Bonham Carter, KCB, KCVO (11 October 1880 – 7 June 1960) was an English Liberal politician and cricketer.

Bonham Carter was the second son of Sibella Charlotte (née Norman) and Henry Bonham Carter. He was born in London and educated at Winchester College and Balliol College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1909.

He was a useful right-handed batsman and wicketkeeper for Kent and Oxford. He was awarded his blue in 1902. 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 served as the Principal Private Secretary to the politician Herbert Henry Asquith and he became a leading figure in the British Liberal Party. He also held a number of business directorships with companies such as Blackburn and General Aircraft, Hanworth Securities Ltd, Scophony Ltd and was a partner with merchant bankers O.T. Falk and Partners.

Bonham Carter is buried in the churchyard at Mells in Somerset.

Family life

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:
The Honourable (Helen Laura) Cressida Bonham Carter (22 April 1917-17 June 1997); married Jasper Ridley (one son: Sir Adam Nicholas Ridley)
The Honourable Laura Miranda Bonham Carter (born 13 October 1918); married Jo Grimond
The Honourable Mark Raymond Bonham Carter (11 February 1922-4 September 1994)
The Honourable Raymond Henry Bonham Carter (19 June 1929-17 January 2004)
His brothers included General Sir Charles Bonham Carter and the lawyer Sir Edgar Bonham Carter.
Notes for Violet Asquith
From Wikipedia

Helen Violet Bonham Carter, Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury, DBE (15 April 1887 – 19 February 1969) was a British politician and diarist. She was the daughter of H. H. Asquith, Prime Minister from 1908-1916, and later became active in Liberal politics herself, being a leading opponent of appeasement, standing for Parliament and being made a life peer. She was also involved in arts and literature. Her illuminating diaries cover her father's premiership before and during World War I and continue until the 1960s.
She was Winston Churchill's closest female friend, and also the grandmother of well-known actress Helena Bonham Carter.

She grew up in a heavily political environment, living in Downing Street at the time her father occupied it, and socialised with the key political figures of her day. She did not go to school, but was educated at home by governesses, and later sent to Paris and Dresden to improve her languages. Her mother, Helen Kelsall (née Melland), died of typhoid fever when Violet was four. Her stepmother was Margot Asquith.
As the Liberal Party fell on hard times in the 1920s, she became a tireless defender of her father and his reputation, beginning by campaigning for him at the 1920 Paisley by-election. She was particularly close to Winston Churchill, a leading light in the Liberals during her father's (and Lloyd George's) administration.


Violet Bonham Carter's family was strongly intertwined with the Liberal Party. Her father is generally considered one of the most successful of British Prime Ministers, especially during the peacetime portion of his premiership (1908–1914). He was Prime Minister at the beginning of World War I and then headed a coalition with the Conservative Party beginning in 1915 until turned out as head of the coalition by fellow Liberal Lloyd George in December 1916.

As well as having an illustrious father, she married her father's Principal Private Secretary, Sir Maurice Bonham Carter, nicknamed "Bongie", in 1915. They had four children together:
The Honourable Helen Laura Cressida, Mrs. Jasper Ridley
The Right Honourable Mark Bonham Carter, Baron Bonham Carter of Yarnbury (who became a Liberal MP later)
The Honourable Raymond Bonham Carter, father of actress Helena Bonham Carter.
The Honourable Laura Bonham Carter, Lady Grimond (she would marry Liberal leader Joseph Grimond, Baron Grimond of Firth)

Political career

Lady Violet lived in an age when women were uncommon in frontline British politics. She was nonetheless active as President of the Women's Liberal Federation 1923 - 1925, and 1939–1945, and was President of the Liberal Party 1945- 1947. In the 1945 general election she stood for Wells, coming third, while in 1951 she stood for the winnable seat of Colne Valley.
As an old friend, Churchill arranged for the Conservatives to refrain from nominating a candidate for the constituency, giving her a clear run against Labour. She was nonetheless narrowly defeated. She continued to be a popular and charismatic speaker for Liberal candidates, including for her son-in-law Jo Grimond, her son Mark, and the then-rising star Jeremy Thorpe, and she was a frequent broadcaster on current affairs programmes on radio and television.

Perhaps her greatest contribution, however, was as a much-esteemed orator and perceptive thinker on politics and policy issues, dedicated to classic Liberal politics in the mold of her father. She spoke on many platforms throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and along with Winston Churchill (and others), she very early on perceived the dangers of European fascism. In the cause to awake Britain and the world to the fascist danger, she joined and animated a number of anti-fascist groups (e.g., The Focus Group), often in concert with Churchill, and spoke at many of their gatherings.

In the non-political sphere, she was also active in the arts, being a Governor of the BBC 1941-1946, and a Governor of the Old Vic (1945–1969).
Additionally, she was an avid keeper of diaries, which now form an important original source of history of early 20th century Britain and contain many perceptive character sketches, as well as insights into contemporary events. Indeed, it was Lady Violet who supplied one of the most famous — and telling — anecdotes about Winston Churchill (in a book on Churchill published in 1965, the story not apparently having been recorded in her diaries or contemporaneous letters): how Churchill during the course of an intense and deep conversation at a dinner party at which they first met, concluded a thought by saying to the effect that "Of course, we are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow worm."

In 1964, she was created Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury, of Yarnbury in the County of Wiltshire,[1] one of the first new Liberal peers in several decades. She continued to be extremely active in the House of Lords.

Her previous title, Lady Violet, was a courtesy title from her father's elevation to the peerage as Earl of Oxford and Asquith in 1925, and her husband was a knight of the realm. She and her husband were one of the few couples who both held titles in their own right.
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