Jonathan Peel was born in 1799, and was the younger brother of the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel.
Jonathan Peel was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade two days before Waterloo and consequently never saw service. By the 1826 election he had entered politics, standing as a Tory for Norwich. In 1831 he transferred to the more secure seat of Huntingdon, in which he remained until retiring in 1868.
His brother’s second administration saw the appointment of Jonathan Peel as Surveyor General of the Ordnance from 1841 to 1846. Though not given a position during Lord Derby’s first administration, Peel was appointed Secretary for War in the second from 1858, and then Secretary of State for War in Derby’s third administration from 1866, though he resigned in 1867. Jonathan Peel was also known for his role in horse racing, which continued after his political retirement.
Peel died in Twickenham in 1879.