George Ponsonby

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Hon. George Ponsonby (1773–1863), Junior Lord of the Treasury, see George Ponsonby (politician).
The Right Honourable
George Ponsonby
GeorgePonsonby.jpg
George Ponsonby.
Lord Chancellor of Ireland
In office
1806–1807
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Lord Grenville
Preceded by The Lord Redesdale
Succeeded by The Lord Manners
Personal details
Born 5 March 1755
Died 8 July 1817
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

George Ponsonby PC (5 March 1755 – 8 July 1817), was a British lawyer and Whig politician. He served as Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1806 to 1807 in the Ministry of All the Talents.

Background and education[edit]

Ponsonby was the second surviving son of the Honourable John Ponsonby, speaker of the Irish House of Commons (1756–71), and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Cavendish (1723–1796), daughter of William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire. He was educated at Kilkenny College and at Trinity College, Cambridge.[1]

Legal and political career[edit]

A barrister, Ponsonby became a member of the Irish Parliament in 1776. He sat for Wicklow Borough between 1778 and 1783 and subsequently for Inistioge between 1783 and 1797. From 1798 until the Act of Union in 1801, he represented Galway Borough. Ponsonby was chancellor of the Irish exchequer in 1782, afterwards taking a prominent part in the debates on the question of Roman Catholic relief, and leading the opposition to the union of the parliaments.

After 1801 Ponsonby represented Wicklow and then Tavistock in the Parliament of the United Kingdom; in 1806 to 1807 he was Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and from 1808 to 1817 he was the recognised leader of the opposition in the British House of Commons.

Ponsonby had been selected as the first recognised leader of the opposition, rather than leader of an opposition, when the two leading Whig peers Lord Grenville and Earl Grey, proposed him to Whig MPs. Ponsonby was described by Foorde as "a little known mediocrity who was related to Lady Grey". He proved to be a weak leader, but was unwilling to resign and so retained the leadership of the party in the House of Commons until his death. He was succeeded as party leader by George Tierney.

Personal life[edit]

In Dublin, he was a member of Daly's Club.[2]

He married Mary Butler, the daughter of the Earl of Lanesborough. He left an only daughter when he died in London on 8 July 1817, who went on to marry Francis Aldborough Prittie, MP.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ponsonby, George (PNSY773G)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ T. H. S. Escott, Club Makers and Club Members (1913), pp. 329–333
  • Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801–1922, edited by B. M. Walker (Royal Irish Academy 1978)
  • His Majesty's Opposition 1714–1830, by Archibald S. Foorde (Oxford University Press 1964)
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Hon. Robert Ward
Sir William Fownes, Bt
Member of Parliament for Wicklow Borough
1778–1783
With: Hon. Robert Ward
Succeeded by
John Lloyd
Edward Tighe
Preceded by
John Flood
Sir John Parnell, Bt
Member of Parliament for Inistioge
1783–1797
With: John Ussher 1783–1790
John Lloyd 1790–1797
Succeeded by
Henry Tighe
John Lloyd
Preceded by
Peter Daly
Sir Skeffington Smyth, Bt
Member of Parliament for Galway Borough
1798 – 1801
With: St George Daly
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Hoare Hume
Vacant
Member of Parliament for Wicklow
18011806
With: William Hoare Hume
Succeeded by
William Hoare Hume
William Tighe
Preceded by
Lord William Russell
Viscount Howick
Member of Parliament for Tavistock
1808 – 1812
With: Lord William Russell
Succeeded by
Lord William Russell
Hon. Richard FitzPatrick
Preceded by
William Elliot
Marquess of Tavistock
Member of Parliament for Peterborough
1812–1816
With: William Elliot
Succeeded by
William Elliot)
Hon. William Lamb
Preceded by
William Tighe
Hon. Granville Proby
Member of Parliament for Wicklow
1816–1817
With: Hon. Granville Proby
Succeeded by
Hon. Granville Proby
William Hayes Parnell
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Redesdale
Lord Chancellor of Ireland
1806–1807
Succeeded by
The Lord Manners
Preceded by
new office
Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons
1808–1817
Succeeded by
George Tierney
Party political offices
Preceded by
new office
Leader of the Whig Party in the House of Commons
1808–1817
Succeeded by
George Tierney