ought not to have been there, and that we fell into the same error which we went down to correct, but I believe that this is an error almost inevitable after a successful charge, and it must always depend upon the steadiness of a good support to prevent serious consequences’ (Waterloo Letters, p. 112). His experiences as he lay on the battle-field were taken down from his oral account by the poet Rogers, and recorded in a letter to his mother which has been frequently quoted (e.g. Creasy, Decisive Battles). He was on the field all night, and had seven wounds; but he was ‘saved by excessive bleeding.’
He left his regiment on 26 Aug. 1820, exchanging to half-pay, and on 20 Jan. 1824 he was appointed inspecting field officer in the Ionian Islands. He became major-general on 27 May 1825, and on 22 Dec. of the following year he was made governor of Malta, where he remained till May 1835. On 4 Dec. of the latter year he was given the colonelcy of the 86th foot, from which he was transferred to the royal dragoons on 31 March 1836. In 1831 he was made a K.C.B. and a K.C.H.; he was also a G.C.M.G. (1828), a knight of the Tower and Sword of Portugal, and a knight of Maria Theresa of Austria. He kept up his interest in cavalry questions, and in the ‘Wellington Despatches’ (viii. 335) there is a letter from the duke, dated 7 Nov. 1834, in reply to one of his upon details of cavalry equipment and formations. When in Spain he had made an abridgment of some ‘Instructions for Cavalry on Outpost Duty,’ drawn up by Lieut.-colonel von Arentschildt, who commanded the hussar regiment which was to have charged with the 23rd at Talavera, and this abridgment was printed at Freneda in 1813. It was reprinted, together with the original instructions, London, 1844.
Ponsonby died near Basingstoke on 11 Jan. 1837. He married, 16 March 1825, Lady Emily Charlotte Bathurst, second daughter of the third Earl Bathurst, and left three sons and three daughters.
The eldest son, Sir Henry Frederick Ponsonby (1825–1895), born at Corfu on 10 Dec. 1825, entered the army on 27 Dec. 1842 as an ensign in the 49th regiment. Transferred to the grenadier guards, he became lieutenant on 16 Feb. 1844, captain on 18 July 1848, and major on 19 Oct. 1849. From 1847 to 1858 he was aide-de-camp to Lord Clarendon and Lord St. Germans, successively lord-lieutenants of Ireland. He served through the Crimean campaigns of 1855–6, becoming lieutenant-colonel on 31 Aug. 1855; for the action before Sebastopol he received a medal with clasp, the Turkish medal, and third order of the Mejidie. After the peace he was appointed equerry to the prince consort, who greatly valued his services. On 2 Aug. 1860 he became colonel, and in 1862, after the death of the prince, he was sent to Canada in command of a battalion of the grenadier guards which was stationed in the colony during the American civil war. On 6 March 1868 he became major-general. On 8 April 1870 Ponsonby was appointed private secretary to Queen Victoria. Energetic, ready and tactful, he commanded the confidence not only of his sovereign, but of all her ministers in turn. In October 1878 he added to his duties those of keeper of the privy purse. He was made a K.C.B. in 1879, a privy councillor in 1880, and a G.C.B. in 1887. On 6 Jan. 1895 he was attacked by paralysis; in May he retired from his offices, and on 21 Nov. died at East Cowes in the Isle of Wight. He was buried at Whippingham. He had married, on 30 April 1861, Mary Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Crocker Bulteel, M.P., of Flete or Fleet, Devonshire, one of the queen's maids of honour. He left three sons and two daughters (Times, 22 Nov. 1895; Men of the Time, vol. xii.; Burke, Peerage, s.v. ‘Bessborough;’ Army Lists).
[Gent. Mag. 1837, pt. i.; Royal Military Cal. iv. 239; Records of the 12th Light Dragoons; Wellington Despatches; Combermere's Memoirs; Napier's War in the Peninsula; Siborne's Waterloo Letters.]
PONSONBY, FREDERICK GEORGE BRABAZON, sixth Earl of Bessborough (1815–1895), second son of John William Ponsonby, fourth earl [q. v.], was born in London on 11 Sept. 1815. He was educated at Harrow from 1830 to 1833, and, proceeding to Trinity College, Cambridge, graduated M.A. in 1837. He studied for the law, and was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn on 16 June 1840. He was an enthusiastic cricketer, commencing his career in the Harrow eleven, when on 3 Aug. 1832 he played at Lord's in the match with Eton. At Cambridge he also played in the university eleven. Afterwards, when he was at the bar, he appeared in such important matches as Kent v. England and Gentlemen v. Players. After 1843, owing to an accident to his arm, he gave up playing at Lord's. In 1845, with J. L. Baldwin, he founded the I Zingari Club, and took part in their performances. He was a member of the committee of the Marylebone Club, and, having a great knowledge of the game, managed many of the matches at Lord's. He had a free and forward style of hitting, and also excelled at long-stop and mid-wicket. The Harrow eleven were for many years indebted to him for tuition, and many