William Ponsonby, 1st Baron de Mauley

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William Francis Spencer Ponsonby, 1st Baron de Mauley (31 July 1787 – 16 May 1855) was an English Whig and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1826 and 1837. He was raised to the Peerage in 1838.

Life[edit]

Ponsonby was the youngest child of 3rd Earl of Bessborough and his wife Henrietta Ponsonby, Countess of Bessborough.[1]

Ponsonby was elected Member of Parliament for Poole in 1826 and held the seat until 1831, when he lost it in a by-election to Lord Ashley.[2][3] He was then MP for Knaresborough between June and December 1832.[4] At the 1832 UK general election he was elected MP for Dorset and held the seat until 1837.[5] In 1838 he was created Baron de Mauley. Whilst an MP for Poole, Ponsonby and Benjamin Lester opened Poole's first public library in 1830.[3]

When the marriage of his sister Lady Caroline to William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, began to break up, he strongly supported Caroline.[6] Unfortunately he was not noted for tact or intelligence—Melbourne's sister Emily Lamb, Countess Cowper, described him as being universally regarded as "an ass and a jackanapes".[6] Ponsonby reminded Melbourne that the Lamb family were socially parvenu, and that his sister had married beneath her; although arguably true, these remarks were so tactless that Melbourne broke off any further dealings with him.[6]

Family[edit]

On 8 August 1814, Ponsonby married Lady Barbara Ashley-Cooper (the only daughter and heir of the 5th Earl of Shaftesbury and a co-heir of the medieval Barony of Mauley, 1789–1844). They had three children:[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Burke, John Bernard (1845). A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. H. Colburn. p. 284. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  2. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "P" (part 2)
  3. ^ a b Legg, Rodney (2005). The Book of Poole: Harbour and Town. Halsgrove. p. 55. ISBN 1841144118.
  4. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "K" (part 2)
  5. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 2)
  6. ^ a b c Lord David Cecil, Melbourne, Pan Books edition 1965, p. 151.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Benjamin Lester
John Dent
Member of Parliament for Poole
1826–1831
With: Benjamin Lester
Succeeded by
Benjamin Lester
Sir John Byng
Preceded by
Hon. Henry Cavendish
George Tierney
Member of Parliament for Knaresborough
June–December 1832
With: Hon. Henry Cavendish
Succeeded by
John Richards
Benjamin Rotch
Preceded by
Edward Portman
Lord Ashley
Member of Parliament for Dorset
1832–1837
Served alongside: Lord Ashley
William Bankes to 1835
Henry Sturt from 1835
Succeeded by
Lord Ashley
John Fox-Strangways
Henry Sturt
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron de Mauley
1838–1855
Succeeded by
Charles Ponsonby