Governor-General Bessborough

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Governor-General Bessborough

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27 Oct. 1880-10 Mar. 1956


Vere Brabazon Ponsonby, 9th Earl of Bessborough, was an Anglo-Irish businessman and politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 14th since Canadian Confederation.
Born and educated in England into 'the Ascendancy', the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, he graduated with a law degree from Cambridge University before entering politics as a member of the London County Council and then, in 1910, as a member of the British House of Commons. Upon the death of his grandfather 10 years later, Ponsonby succeeded as Earl of Bessborough and took his seat in the House of Lords. He was in 1931 appointed as Governor General by King George V, on the recommendation of British prime minister Ramsay MacDonald, to replace The Earl of Willingdon as viceroy, and occupied that post until succeeded by The Lord Tweedsmuir in 1935. Lord Bessborough is remembered for promoting new communication technologies as well as giving support to the Canadian population during the Great Depression.
After the end of his viceregal tenure, he returned to London, where he continued in business and also work with the Dominions Office and the Foreign Office before his death in March 1956.
The 9th Lord Bessborough was the last Earl of Bessborough to own Bessborough House, the Ponsonby family's ancestral seat near the village of Piltown in the south of County Kilkenny in Ireland. The country house was largely built in the 1740s for the 1st Earl. It was gutted by fire during the Irish Civil War in February 1923. The 9th Lord Bessborough had the house rebuilt in the late 1920s. However, he sold the house in the late 1930s as he largely lived in Britain. The house now forms the main part of Kildalton Agricultural College.


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Buchan, John (26 Aug. 1875-11 Feb. 1940)

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CA QUA00639

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Buchan, John

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Governor-General Bessborough

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CA QUA09276

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  • English



Biographical sketch from Wikipedia entry on Governor-General Bessborough at,_9th_Earl_of_Bessborough (accessed on 2019-08-28).

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