was regarded as a valuable contribution to the constitutional literature of the subject. During the debate on the king's illness on 10 Dec., he defended the course pursued by the Irish parliament in 1789, and moved for an address in almost the same words as had been adopted by the Irish parliament; while his statement that, if the method by address were followed, he should submit another motion, seems to show that he intended following the form, prescribed by Grattan, of passing an act reciting the deficiency in the personal exercise of the royal power, and of his royal highness's acceptance of the regency at the instance and desire of the lords and commons of the realm. On 7 March 1811 he animadverted strongly on Wellesley-Pole's circular letter, and moved for copies of papers connected with it; but his motion was defeated by 133 to 48. He still continued to take a lively and active interest in the catholic claims, but, like Grattan, he had drifted out of touch with Irish national feeling on the subject, and to O'Connell his exertions, based on securities of one sort and another, seemed worse than useless. On 4 March 1817 he moved for leave to bring in a bill to prevent the necessity of renewing certain civil and military commissions on the demise of the crown. The desirability of some such measure seems to have been generally admitted; but he did not live to fulfil his intention. The severe labours of parliamentary life, and the constant strain to which his position as leader of the opposition subjected him, broke down a constitution naturally robust. He was seized with paralysis in the house on 30 June, and died a few days later, on 8 July 1817, at his house in Curzon Street, Mayfair. He was buried beside his brother, Lord Imokilly, without ostentation or ceremony, at Kensington.
In moving a new writ for co. Wicklow, which he represented at the time of his death, the future Lord Melbourne spoke of ‘Ponsonby's manly and simple oratory’ as evidence of the ‘manliness and simplicity of his heart;’ and another contemporary characterised him as possessing, in the words of Cicero with regard to Catulus, ‘summa non vitæ solum atque naturæ, sed orationis etiam comitas’ (Brutus, 132).
Ponsonby married about 1780 Mary Butler, eldest daughter of Brinsley, second earl of Lanesborough. He left no surviving male issue. His only daughter, Martha, was married to the Hon. Francis Aldborough Prittie, second son of Lord Dunally, M.P. for co. Tipperary.
[Ryan's Biogr. Hibernica; Willis's Irish Nation; O'Flanagan's Lives of the Lord Chancellors; Smyth's Law Officers of Ireland, Annual Register, 1817, p. 145; Gent. Mag. 1817, pt. ii. pp. 83, 165, 261; Official List of Mem. of Parl.; Parliamentary Register (Ireland), passim; Grattan's Life of Henry Grattan; Hardy's Life of Charlemont; Beresford, Auckland, Cornwallis and Castlereagh Correspondence; Lecky's England in the Eighteenth Century; Parl. Debates 1801–1817 passim; Colchester's Diary and Correspondence; Hist. MSS. Comm. 10th Rep. pt. i. p. 426, pt. iv. p. 27, 13th Rep. App. viii. (Earl of Charlemont's MSS. vol. ii.)]
PONSONBY, HENRY (d. 1745), of Ashgrove, major-general, was the second son of Sir William Ponsonby by Mary, sister of Brabazon Moore, of the family of Charles, second viscount Moore of Drogheda [q. v.] His father, third son of Sir John Ponsonby, who accompanied Cromwell to Ireland in 1649 as colonel of a regiment of horse, sat in the Irish parliament as member for co. Kilkenny in Anne's reign, was called to the privy council in 1715, and was raised to the peerage of Ireland as Baron Bessborough in 1721. In the preamble of his patent his services as a soldier during the siege of Derry are particularly mentioned. He was made Viscount Duncannon in 1723, and died on 17 Nov. 1724 at the age of sixty-seven.
Henry Ponsonby was made a captain of foot on 2 Aug. 1705, and became colonel of a regiment (afterwards the 37th or North Hampshire) on 13 May 1735. He represented Fethard in the Irish parliament in November 1715, and afterwards sat for Clonmeen, Inistioge, and Newtown. In February 1742, when Great Britain was preparing to take part in the war of the Austrian succession, he was made brigadier, and in April he embarked for Flanders with the force under Lord Stair. He was present at Dettingen, and was promoted major-general in July 1743. At the battle of Fontenoy on 11 May 1745, as one of the major-generals of the first line, he was at the head of the first battalion of the 1st footguards, and therefore in the forefront of the famous charge made by the British and Hanoverian infantry. He was in the act of handing over his ring and watch to his son, Chambré-Brabazon, a lieutenant in his own regiment, when he was killed by a cannon-shot. By his wife, Lady Frances Brabazon, youngest daughter of the fifth Earl of Meath, he left one son and one daughter.
[Lodge's Peerage of Ireland; Gent. Mag. 1742–5; Campbell McLachlan's Duke of Cumberland, p. 183.]
PONSONBY, JOHN (1713–1789), speaker of the Irish House of Commons, born on 29 March 1713, was the second son of Brabazon Ponsonby, second viscount Duncan-