PONSONBY, Frederick, Visct. Duncannon (1758-1844).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1780 - 11 Mar. 1793

Family and Education

b. 24 Jan. 1758, o. surv. s. of William Ponsonby, 2nd Earl of Bessborough [I] and 2nd Baron Ponsonby [GB], by Lady Caroline Cavendish, da. of William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1774; Grand Tour. m. 27 Nov. 1780, Lady Henrietta Frances Spencer, da. of John Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer, 3s. 1da. suc. fa. as 3rd Earl of Bessborough [I] and 3rd Baron Ponsonby [GB] 11 Mar. 1793.

Offices Held

Ld. of Admiralty Apr.-July 1782, Apr.-Dec. 1783.

Capt. commdt. R. Putney and Roehampton vols. 1803, maj. commdt. 1803.


A member by family connexion of the Devonshire House circle, Duncannon was returned in 1790 on the 5th Duke of Devonshire’s interest for Knaresborough and by his wife’s brother-in-law, Earl Fitzwilliam, for Higham Ferrers. He continued to sit for the former. A Whig Club member since 1785, he voted with the opposition for Grey’s motion on Oczakov, 12 Apr. 1791, and was listed a supporter of repeal of the Test Act in Scotland the same month, but cannot have attended the House during the two subsequent sessions, when he accompanied his convalescent wife abroad. He was listed in December 1792 among the Portland Whigs and seconded the address in the Lords, 30 Dec. 1794.

A man of little political consequence, he declined office under the Grenville ministry. He died 3 Feb. 1844.

Lady Bessborough and her Family Circle, 61; Leveson Gower, ii. 180.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: J. M. Collinge