|Charles James Monk was born at Peterborough on 30 November 1824, the son of the Rt. Rev. James Henry Monk, Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol. His mother was Jane Smart née Hughes, daughter of Rev. Hugh Hughes of Huneaton, Warwickshire. He was educated at Eton College and at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1850 he was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn.
In 1857 Monk stood for parliament unsuccessfully at Cricklade. He was elected MP for Gloucester in 1859 but was unseated on petition. He was re-elected for Gloucester in 1865 and held the seat until 1885. He was author of the Revenue Officers' Disabilities Removal Act, 1868.
In 1853 he married Julia Pandia Ralli, daughter of Pantia Stephen Ralli of London. She died in 1870.
The couple appear on the 1861 census, living at Everleigh in Wiltshire, with their four daughters: Marietta (6), Alice (5), Constance (3) and Julia (8 months). All the girls were born in Paddington. Also present on the night of the census were 11 live-in servants.
Charles James Monk died at Bedwell Park near Hatfield in Hertfordshire on 10 November 1900.
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