Pomfret was born as William Pomfret Burra, the son of William Burra of Ashford, Kent and his wife Mary Catharine Pomfret, only child of John Butler Pomfret of Tenterden, Kent. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and Tonbridge School. On 2 October 1882 Burra was granted a Royal Licence allowing him to assume the surname Pomfret in lieu of Burra, and to quarter the Pomfret arms with his own.
Pomfret married firstly in 1853, Isabella Nottidge, daughter of George Nottidge of Yardley Lodge, Tunbridge, Kent and secondly in 1878, Flora Rose Hore, daughter of Charles Frederick Hore of Hilden, Beckenham.
- "Obituary". The Times. 14 August 1902. p. 3.
- "No. 25153". The London Gazette. 6 October 1882. pp. 4507–4508.
- Debretts House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1886
- "Biographies of Candidates". The Times. 26 November 1885. p. 6.
- National Archives
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "A" (part 3)
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Pomfret
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