Francis Robert Bonham was born in London in 1785.
Bonham started his career in politics as a Tory assistant whip in 1830 when he was elected as MP for Rye. From 1832 he started to help manage general elections and replaced William Holmes as the Conservative Party’s electoral expert.
During Peel’s first brief ministry Bonham was appointed Principal Storekeeper of the Ordnance in 1834, and then again in Peel’s second ministry in 1841. However, he had to resign the post in 1845 due to a parliamentary inquiry into to alleged improper acquisition of railway shares. Despite this he continued to be involved with the party and eventually received another appointment in Lord Aberdeen’s ministry as commissioner of income tax.
Bonham retired from this post due to ill-health shortly before his death in 1863.