Said to be delicate and lovely, history reveals that Henrietta Ponsonby (English, 1761–1821) lived a life of lustful conquests and personal intrigue.
Younger sister to the infamous and enticing Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, Henrietta’s life similarly included a series of extramarital lovers, excessive gambling, and controversial political involvement.

Outlandishly for high society women of her era, Henrietta actively participated in politics for the Whig party.


  • Title: Henrietta Ponsonby, Countess of Bessborough
  • Creator: Anne Mee
  • Creator Lifespan: 1770-1851
  • Creator Nationality: English
  • Date Created: c. 1795
  • Location Created: England
  • Physical Dimensions: oval: 2 5/8 x 2 in.
  • Type: Portrait Miniatures
  • Medium: Watercolor on ivory, frame with pearls
  • Credit Line: The Latter-Schlesinger Collection, Gift of Shirley Latter Kaufmann in memory of Harry and Anna Latter
  • Accession Number: 74.654

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