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Sir Vere Brabazon Ponsonby, 9th Earl of Bessborough

Governor General:
Sworn In: April 4, 1931
Born: October 27, 1880, London, England
Died: March 10, 1956


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The 9th Earl Bessborough, a soldier, politician and businessman, because Canada's fourteenth Governor General.

Born Vere Brabazon Ponsonby, on October 27th 1880, he received his education at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. Though trained for the legal profession and a member of the Bar, he chose politics as a career at 26, but suffered a number of defeats. He sat in the House of Commons for a total of approximately seven years then went to the House of Lords in 1920, when he succeeded to the Earldom on the death of his father. He fought at Gallipoli and in France and after the was became a wealthy and powerful figure in the business world.

Appointed to the vice-regal post in 1931, like many of his predecessors, he was sworn in at Halifax. For the first time, the swearing in ceremony was broadcast over a Canadian and United States radio network.

Lady Bessborough, nee Roberte de Neuflize, was a member of a wealthy, titled French banking family. A beautiful women, she was a welcome chatelaine in a country with some 3,000,000 French speaking people.

The Bessborough hobby was amateur theatrics and they had frequently written and presented shows in the theatre of their English home. In Canada, they fostered the organization of the Dominion Drama Festival which continues to influence the Canadian stage.

The Bessborough tenure covered the worst part of the world economic depression, and he insisted on sharing in the general reduction of salaries in the public service. The Bessboroughs travelled widely throughout Canada and talked intimately with all classes and all ages.

Lord and Lady Bessborough returned to England late in 1935, taking with them a son, George St Lawrence Neuflize, born a few months after their arrival in Canada. Bessborough re-entered the business world and had interests in many countries, but still carried out important public services.

He died in Hampshire, England on March 10th, 1956

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