Queer Places:
University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, UK
St James's Palace, Marlborough Rd, St. James's, London SW1A 1BS, UK
Shulbrede Priory, Linchmere, Chichester, West Sussex, GU27, UK

Matthew Henry Herbert Ponsonby, 2nd Baron Ponsonby of Shulbrede (1904 – 1976) was a British peer.

Ponsonby was the son of Arthur Ponsonby, by his marriage to Dorothea Parry. He was educated at Leighton Park School and Balliol College, Oxford, and became a member of the council of the Royal College of Music. In 1930, his father was created Baron Ponsonby of Shulbrede, to which he succeeded on the death of his father in March 1946, giving him a seat in the House of Lords. In 1955 he became a Justice of the Peace for West Sussex.[1]

Ponsonby had some difficulty with the Responsions to get into Oxford and had to be tutored for them, not arriving at Balliol until 1923, when he was nineteen.[2] At the University, he became a friend of Evelyn Waugh, with whom in 1925 he was arrested by the police, while the two of them were on a pub crawl and Ponsonby was driving the wrong way along Oxford Street while drunk. Ponsonby later lost his driving license and was fined £23 9s, then a large sum.[3] [4] Another university friend, Anthony Powell, recalled of Ponsonby's sister Elizabeth Ponsonby that she was "something of a gossip-column heroine of what came later to be looked on as the Vile Bodies world."[5] Unlike his sister, he remained fond of their parents' country house, Shulbrede Priory, and enthusiastically took part in the archaeological digs there of his father and Charles Strachey.[2] At Oxford he was friend of Arden Hilliard, the son of the Bursar of Balliol College, Oxford.[6]

Ponsonby married the Hon. Elizabeth Mary Bigham, and they had five children: Thomas Arthur Ponsonby, later 3rd Baron (1930–1990); William Nicholas Ponsonby (1933–1942); Laura Mary Ponsonby (1935–2016); Rose Magdalen Ponsonby (born 1940) and Catherine Virginia Ponsonby (born 1944).[1]


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/queerplaces/images/Matthew_Ponsonby,_2nd_Baron_Ponsonby_of_Shulbrede