John Ponsonby, 4th Earl of Bessborough

John William Ponsonby, 4th Earl of Bessborough PC (31 August 178116 May 1847) was an English politician, known as Viscount Duncannon from 1793 to 1844. He hailed from the prominent Ponsonby family of Cumberland. Lady Caroline Lamb was his younger sister. He was First Commissioner of Works under Lord Melbourne (1831–1834), briefly Home Secretary (1834), and Lord Privy Seal (1835–1839). Later, he was briefly Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1846 to 1847 under Lord John Russell. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1831.

Ponsonby's wife was Lady Henrietta-Frances Spencer. She was Lord Granville's lover prior to his marriage to Lady Harriet Cavendish, the Countess of Bessborough's niece. Lord Granville fathered two illegitimate children through her: Harriette Stewart and George Stewart.

Bessborough Gardens in London SW1 is named after him."The London Encyclopaedia", Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, Macmillan, 1995, ISBN 0-333-57688-8]

John Ponsonby married Lady Maria Fane, daughter of John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland and Sarah Anne Child, on 16 November 1805 at Berkeley Square, London. The Henrietta Frances Spencer listed above was in fact his mother, wife of Frederick Ponsonby.Source:



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  • Henrietta Ponsonby, Countess of Bessborough — Infobox Person name = Henrietta Frances Spencer caption = Portrait by George Romney birth date = birth date|1761|6|16 birth place = Wimbledon, London death date = death date and age|1821|11|11|1761|6|16 death place = Florence spouse = Frederick… …   Wikipedia

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