The third son of Sir Christopher Willoughby, Bt., and his second wife, Martha Evans, John Pollard succeeded his brother, Sir Henry Pollard Willoughby, 3rd Bt., in 1865. He served as a member of Parliament, and on the Indian council. Sir John was for many years a distinguished member of the Bombay government, and worked toward the suppression of the practices of infanticide and suttee in Western India. In 1822, he married Elizabeth [d. 1852], only daughter of General Kennedy, E.I.C.S.; they had five daughters. In 1854 he married secondly, to Maria Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Hawkes (Member of Parliament for Dudley) of Himley House, Staffordshire. With her he had two sons and three more daughters; the eldest son, John Christopher, succeeded his father as 5th Bt.