Laurence just sent me the following data on the 4th Earl of
Bessborough who is mentioned in the 1842 Statement of John
When in Carlow the Earl lived at Garryhill House.
John William Ponsonby, 4th Earl of Bessborough -1781 -
1847), known as Viscount Duncannon from 1793 to 1844, was a
British Whig politician.
He was notably Home Secretary in 1834 and served as Lord
Lieutenant of Ireland between 1846 and 1847.
A member of the prominent Ponsonby family of Cumberland, he
was the eldest son of Frederick Ponsonby, 3rd Earl of
Bessborough, and Lady Henrietta Frances, daughter of John
Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer. Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby
and William Ponsonby, 1st Baron de Mauley were his younger
brothers while Lady Caroline Lamb was his younger sister.
Ponsonby's mother was Lord Granville's lover prior to his
marriage to Lady Harriet Cavendish, the Countess of
Lord Granville fathered two illegitimate children through
her: Harriette Stewart and George Stewart.
Lord Bessborough was educated at Harrow and Christ Church,
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 and in 1834, ten
years before he succeeded his father, he was created Baron
Duncannon, of Bessborough in the County of Kilkenny.
He was Lord Lieutenant of Kilkenny from November 1838 until
16 May 1847.
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.
They had eight sons and three daughters.
The Countess of Bessborough died in March 1834, aged 46.
Lord Bessborough survived her by thirteen years and died in
May 1847, aged 65. He was succeeded in the earldom by his
eldest son, John. Bessborough Gardens in London is named
after Lord Bessborough.