HERBERT, Edward (c.1513-93), of Chirbury, Salop and Montgomery.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Family and Education

b. c.1513, 1st s. of Sir Richard Herbert (d.1539) of Montgomery Castle by 2nd w. Anne, da. of David ab Ifan ap Llywelyn Fychan of Trefeglwys, Mont.; bro. of John and half-bro. of William Herbert II. m. Elizabeth (d.1588), da. of Matthew Price of Newtown, Mont., 4s. inc. Matthew and Richard 7da.; at least 3s. illegit. inc. Richard.1

Offices Held

Dep. constable, Aberystwyth castle, Card. 16 Mar. 1544; rhingyll (bailiff), Egville, Kerry, Llanllwchaian and Tairtref, Mont. by 1546; receiver, Mont. by 1546; sheriff, Card. 1546-7, Brec. 1549-50, Mont. 1551-2, 1556-7, 1567-8; steward and constable, Montgomery castle by 1549-?89; commr. relief, Mont. 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553, armour 1569, musters 1570, victuals 1574, tanneries 1574, subsidy 1585; steward, lordship of Powys by 1553-89; j.p. Mont. by 1553-8, q. 1558/59-91; custos rot. by 1559-91; collector for loan 1562; keeper, Holt castle, Denb. 15 May 1570; bailiff, Montgomery 1574, 1582; esquire of the body temp. Eliz.2


Although the Herbert family came to dominate the new county of Montgomery, it was not of long standing there. Sir Richard Herbert, a nephew of William, Earl of Pembroke of the first creation, had settled there early in the reign of Henry VII: a follower of Sir Charles Somerset, later 1st Earl of Worcester, and an advocate of the Union, by the time of his death in 1539 he was the acknowledged leader of Montgomeryshire society.

It was on his eldest son by his second marriage that Sir Richard Herbert’s mantle was to fall. First making his way to court, where according to his grandson Edward Herbert, Lord Herbert of Chirbury, he lived gaily and expensively, Edward Herbert then saw service in the field. He helped his cousin (Sir) William Herbert I, later 1st Earl of Pembroke, to put down the western rebellion of 1549, took part against the followers of Sir Thomas Wyatt II and shared in the capture of St. Quentin in 1557, again under the command of Pembroke. It was from the earl, in association with William Clerke, that in June 1553 he had a grant of the hundred of Chirbury, just over the Shropshire border. Montgomery, however, remained his county, although his deputy-constableship of Aberystwyth led to his being pricked sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1546 and he also served a term in Breconshire. By the beginning of Mary’s reign Herbert had become steward to Sir Edward Grey in his barony of Powis, and he retained the position when the barony passed to Sir Edward Herbert, son of the 1st Earl of Pembroke. With another local magnate, Sir Henry Stafford, lord of Cause, Herbert was not on good terms: during 1556-7, while Herbert was sheriff of Montgomeryshire, an affray took place at Shrewsbury between him and Stafford in which the bailiffs of the town had to intervene to restore order.3

While sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1547 Herbert returned Gruffydd Done to Parliament. His own parliamentary career began in 1553, when at both elections he enjoyed the advantage of having as sheriff his half-brother William Herbert of Park. In 1559 he was returned by his brother John, but thereafter his re-election evidently became automatic: he sat in every Parliament save one between 1553 and 1571 and may have done so in all of them, as the return for 1555 is missing. It is possible, however, that he stayed away from that Parliament because of what had befallen him in and after the previous one. He had then been one of the Members, over 100 in all and including six Welshmen, who being found absent when the House was called early in January 1555 were prosecuted in the King’s bench in the following Easter term. Styled Edward Herbert armiger of ‘Stawley’ (?Stalloe near Chirbury) in Shropshire, he alone of the Welshmen was proceeded against and he was fined 53s.4d. in Michaelmas term 1557, when two yeomen from ‘Stawley’ stood surety for him. In 1574 Herbert was to be adjudged a Catholic by an adherent of Mary Stuart. His religious sympathies did not prevent him from continuing to dominate Montgomeryshire until the rise of his kinsman Edward Herbert of Powis a few years before his own death on 30 Apr. 1593.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. DWB (Berbert fam.) gives birth as 1513. Dwnn, Vis. Wales, i. 293, 312; G. T. Clark, Limbus Patrum Morganiae, 296; The Autobiography of Edward Lord Herbert, ed. Lee, 3.
  • 2. Autobiography , 7n; SC6/Hen. VIII, 5249, mm. 3v, 4v, 5v, 8; Mont. Colls. ii. 191; iii. 118, 128, 137, 145, 157, 303, 329, 359, 360, 362-4; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 376; R. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 60, 69, 109, 127, 212; CPR, 1550-3, p. 364; 1553, pp. 363, 419; 1560-3, p. 446; SP11/5/6; 12/93/9; Osborn coll. Yale Univ. Lib. 71.6.41.
  • 3. Autobiography, 3-7; CPR, 1553, p. 114; Mont. Colls. iii. 355-68; HMC Foljambe, 6; C1/1219/13-14; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. iii. 264.
  • 4. KB27/1184; 29/188,r.48; Cath. Rec. Soc. xiii. 110.