Mancherjee Bhownaggree was born in Bombay, India, on 15th August, 1851. The son of a merchant, he was educated at Elphinstone College and the University of Bombay, before becoming a journalist.
In 1872 Bhownaggree replaced his father as head of the Bombay State Agency. He later became Judicial Councillor of Behavnager, before moving to England in 1882, where he worked as a lawyer.
A member of the Conservative Party, Bhownaggree was chosen as Bethnel Green candidate for the 1895 General Election. He won the seat and therefore became the second Asian to be elected to the House of Commons. The Liberal Party MP, Dadabhai Naoroji, had represented Finsbury Central between 1892-95. Bhownaggree, unlike Naoroji, was a strong supporter of British rule in India.
Bhownaggree retired from politics after being defeated in the 1906 General Election. He gave generously to local charities and in memory of his dead sister, donated the Bhownagree Gallery in the Commonwealth Institute.
Mancherjee Bhownaggree died on 14th November, 1933.