Frances M. Jones Bannerman was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1855. She was the youngest daughter of Lt. Governor A. G. Jones and grew up in what is now the Waegwoltic Club. She was an oil painter and a watercolourist, as well as an illustrator in black and white. She married, in 1886, in Halifax, to Hamlet Bannerman, a London painter, and that year they moved to Great Marlowe, England.
In Halifax, Jones had studied under Forshaw Day and in Paris she was a pupil of the popular Salon artist François Nicolas Auguste Feyen-Perrin. Her paintings testify to the attention she paid to Manet and the Impressionists while a student in Paris. After exhibiting in the 1881 Royal Canadian Academy Exhibition in Halifax, she became the first woman elected to Associate status in the Royal Canadian Academy. She began exhibiting her work in London, England in 1882 and was a regular contributor to shows, including those of the Royal Academy, until 1892. She was part of a select group of female artists exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1883 and 1884.
Arthritis, the lingering aftereffects of repeated bouts of influenza and the illness, and subsequent death, of her husband, in 1895, ended her painting career. She turned to poetry, and in 1899 a volume of her verse, entitled “Milestones” was published.
In 1901 she moved to Italy where she remained until World War II forced her to return to England, where she died, in Torquay, in 1944.