Law Bill, and warned the house that 'it would be the wisest policy to treat the people of Ireland like the people of England' (Parl. Hist. xxxv. 1037-8). He was created Baron Ponsonby of Imokilly in the county of York on 13 March 1806. He took his seat in the House of Lords on 25 April (Journals of the House of Lords, xlv. 574), but never took any part in the debates. He died in Seymour Street, Hyde Park, London, on 5 Nov. 1806.
Ponsonby was a staunch whig and a steady adherent of Charles James Fox. He is said to have kept 'the best hunting establishment in Ireland,' at Bishop's Court, co. Kildare, where he lived 'in the most hospitable and princely style' (Gent, Mag, 1806, pt. ii. p. 1084). He married, in December 1709, Louisa, fourth daughter of Richard, third viscount Molesworth, by whom he had five sons—viz.: (1) John Ponsonby, viscount Ponsonby [q. v.]; (2) Sir William Ponsonby [q. v.]; (3) Richard Ponsonby [see under Ponsonby, John, Viscount Ponsonby]; (4) George Ponsonby of Woolbeding, near Midhurst, Sussex, sometime a lord of the treasury, who died on 5 June 1863; and (5) Frederick, who died unmarried in 1849 — and one daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who married, on 17 Nov. 1794, Charles Grey (afterwards second Earl Grey), and died on 26 Nov. 1861, aged 86. Lady Ponsonby married, secondly, on 21 July 1823, William, fourth earl Fitzwilliam, and dies on 1 Sept. 1824.
[Authorities cited in text; Hardy's Memoirs of the Earl of Charlemont, 1812, ii. 186, 214–15; Lodge's Irish Peerage, 1789, ii. 279; Collins's Peerage, 1812, ix. 343–4; Foster's Peerage, 1883, pp. 77–8; Burke's Extinct Peerage, 1883, p. 617; Gent. Mag. 1794 pt. ii. p. 1054, 1806 pt. ii. pp. 1248–9, 1823 pt. ii. p. 368, 1853 pt. ii. pp. 630–1, 1862 pt. i. p. 105; Official Return of Lists of Members of Parliament, pt. ii.; Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1890, p. 564.]
PONT, KYLPONT, or KYNPONT, ROBERT (1524–1606), Scottish reformer, born in 1524 at or near Culross, Perthshire (Buchanan, De Scriptoribus Scotis Illustribus), was the son of John Pont of Shyresmill and Catherine Murray, said to be a daughter of Murray of Tullibardine (Blackadder's manuscript memoirs in Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, quoted in App. A to Wodrow's (Collections upon the Lives of the Reformers), The statement of Dr. Andrew Crichton (note in Life of the Rev, John Blackadder) that the father was a Venetian, who, having been banished for his adherence to the protestant faith, arrived in Scotland in the train of Mary of Guise, is essentially improbable, as well as inconsistent with well-known facts; and the evidence for the statement has not been adduced. The son received his early education in the school of Culross, and in 1543 was incorporated in the college of St. Leonards in the university of St. Andrews. On completing the course of philosophy there he is supposed to have studied law at one of the universities on the continent. Nothing, however, is definitely known of his career until 1559, when he was settled in St. Andrews, and acted as an elder of the kirk session there. As a commissioner from St. Andrews he was present at a meeting of the first general assembly of the reformers at Edinburgh on 20 Dec. 1560 (Calderwood, Hist, of the Kirk of Scotland, ii. 44), and he was one of twenty within the bounds of St. Andrews declared by this assembly to be qualified for ministry and teaching (ib. p. 46). The estimation in which he was held was evidenced by his being chosen one of a committee to 'sight' or revise the 'Book of Discipline,' printed in 1561 (ib. p. 94). At a meeting of the general assembly in July 1562 Pont was appointed to minister the word and sacraments at Dunblane, and in December of the same year he was appointed minister of Dunkeld. He was also the same year nominated, along with Alexander Gordon (1516?-1575) [q. v.], bishop of Galloway; but the election was not proceeded with (Knox, ii. 375; Calderwood, ii. 207). On 26 June 1563 he was appointed commissioner of Moray, Inverness, and Banff. After visiting these districts he confessed his inability, on account of his ignorance of Gaelic, properly to discharge his duties, and desired another to be appointed; but, on the understanding that he was not to be burdened 'with kirks speaking the Irish tongue,' he accepted a renewal commission (ib. ii. 244-5). To the general assembly in 1564, and printed in 1565, Pont contributed metrical versions of six of the Psalms; and at a meeting of the general assembly in December 1566 his 'Translation and Explanation of the Helvetian Confession' was ordered to be printed (ib. ii. 332; Book of the Universal Kirk, i. 90). On 13 Jan. 1 567 he was presented to the parsonage and vicarage of Birnie, Banffshire. By the assembly which met in December 1567 he was commissioned to execute sentence of excommunication against Adam Bothwell, bishop of Orkney, for performing the marriage ceremony between the Earl of Bothwell and Queen Mary; by that which met in July 1568 he was appointed one of a committee to revise the 'Treatise of Excommunication' originally