HERBERT, Charles (1644-91), of Aston, Mont.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1690 - 12 July 1691

Family and Education

b. Aug. 1644, 1st s. of Sir Edward Herbert, and bro. of Arthur Herbert and Sir Edward Herbert. unm. suc. fa. 1657.1

Offices Held

J.p. Mont. 1676-Mar. 1688, Oct. 1688-d., commr. for assessment, Mont. 1679-80, 1689-90, Salop 1690.

Capt. of ft. Admiralty Regt. 1678-9, lt. 1680-3, capt. 1683-7 (Prince George’s Ft. 1685); col. (later 23 Ft.) 1689-d.

Auditor of land revenues, Wales 1690-d.2


Herbert’s father, first cousin to the 1st Lord Herbert of Chirbury, sat in the Long Parliament as royalist Member for Old Sarum until appointed attorney-general, in which capacity he prepared the impeachment of the Five Members. He was excluded from pardon by Parliament, and went into exile, dying in Paris, poor and friendless, in 1657. Clarendon wrote of him as an evil influence on Prince Rupert. Herbert’s mother was described as one of the two ‘great trumpeters of the Duke of York’. At the Restoration she obtained a grant for three years of all the King’s new year presents, less £1,000. Herbert’s own estate was small and he was unfortunate with his first army commission in 1678, as his company was promptly disbanded. But probably his younger brother persuaded the Duke of York to re-commission him in his regiment in 1680, though in a lower rank. He is said to have paid 800 guineas for a company three years later, and stood for Montgomery Boroughs at the general election of 1685, but was defeated by the Whig William Williams. On his petition the election was declared void because the out-boroughs had not been polled. The return for the by-election does not survive, but Herbert took his seat in the House in the second session. During the debate on the army he asserted that ‘the regiment he was of had not to his knowledge been guilty of any disorders’. But he was appointed to no committees. He lost his commission in 1687 without compensation for opposing the introduction of Roman Catholic officers, and was absent when the questions on the Test Act and Penal Laws were put to the Montgomeryshire magistrates.3

Herbert was appointed governor of Ludlow by his cousin the Hon. Henry Herbert during the Revolution, and re-elected to the Convention. He was probably an inactive Member, though as ‘Captain Herbert’ he was named to the committee to draw up the bill of rights, and was probably also appointed to the committees to prevent the education of Papists’ children abroad, and to consider Lord Peterborough’s estate bill. As a trustee for Peterborough’s young nephew he gave evidence of his removal to France. He was in touch with the Hanoverian minister, and on 18 May 1689 he spoke in support of Princess Sophia’s interest in the succession:

I saw a letter of a sister of Prince Rupert’s wherein she was complaining of great hardship done her children, that they were not regarded in the entail of the crown; therefore I move that they may be mentioned.

In August Herbert crossed over to Ireland with his regiment. At a review two months later William’s Dutch experts commented: ‘Colonel very assiduous, but too easy to the officers. Often he is the only officer present with his regiment, which he never quits, yet the regiment is in a bad condition.’ The last comment applied only to the arms, since the clothing of the men was found to be good. Herbert was re-elected in 1690, but his regiment suffered severely at the battle of Aughrim, where he himself was captured by the Irish and murdered. By his will drawn up on the eve of the battle, he left Aston to his brother Arthur.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Leonard Naylor


  • 1. R. B. Gardiner, Wadham Coll. Reg. 159; C. J. Feret, Fulham Old and New, ii. 138.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 615, 1523.
  • 3. Keeler, Long Parl. 211; CSP Dom. 1651-2, p. 423; 1657-8, p. 288; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 79; Verney Mems. ii. 461; CJ, ix. 715-16, 732; Christ Church Oxf. Evelyn mss; HMC Downshire, i. 242.
  • 4. Eg. 2621, f. 77; CJ, x. 207; Grey, ix. 239; Mont. Colls. v. 485; xliii. 119-21; PCC 128 Vere.