Ponsonby Place, SW1P

Place Name

John William Ponsonby, 4th Earl of Bessborough (August 31, 1781 – May 16, 1847), known as Viscount Duncannon from 1793 to 1844, was a Whig politician who served as Home Secretary in 1834 and later as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland between 1846 and 1847, the first years of the Great Famine. However, it was not for either of these roles that he has several streets named after him but as First Commissioner of Woods and Forests (note not the first ever) between 1831 and 1834. The Commissioners of Woods, Forests and Land Revenues were established in 1810 by merging the former offices of Surveyor General of Woods, Forests, Parks, and Chases and Surveyor General of the Land Revenues of the Crown into a three-man commission. The name of the commission was changed in 1832 to the Commissioners of Woods, Forests, Land Revenues, Works and Buildings. It was in this remit that he was responsible for improvements and developments taking part in London at the time (which incidentally included the designs of the Houses of Parliament).

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