HERBERT, Richard I (c.1557-96), of Llysyn, Blackhall and Montgomery Castle.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1557, 1st s. of Edward Herbert I, and bro. of Matthew Herbert II. educ. M. Temple 1576. m. Magdalen (d.1627), da of (Sir) Richard Newport of High Ercall and Eyton, Salop by Margaret, da. of Sir Thomas Bromley, 7s. inc. Edward III 3 da. suc. fa. 1593.2

Offices Held

J.p. Mont. from c.1573, dep. lt. 1593, custos rot. c.1594; j.p. Brec. from c.1582; steward of lordship of Powis 1589.3


‘My father’, Edward, Lord Herbert of Chirbury recalled, was ‘black-haired and bearded ... of a manly or somewhat stern look, but withal very handsome and well compact in his limbs, and of a great courage’. A member—and for three years the head—of the most important Montgomeryshire family, Richard Herbert exercised his power as much in the pursuit of private vendettas as upon malefactors. Twice the Privy Council intervened to restrain him from bullying his neighbours, using his ‘great alliance to most of the chief gentlemen which are of credit and authority in that shire’ against, in one case, Roger Kynaston and Howel Vaughan. The highly coloured, undated account given by his son of his almost single-handed combat with marauders in Llanerful churchyard probably refers to this case. He brought his assailants before the Star Chamber in 1589, and further incidents arising out of the same feud were the subject of litigation in the following year.4

On 19 Jan. 1581 it was reported Herbert had been returned for Montgomery Boroughs in place of Rowland Pugh, ‘supposed to be dead, but yet known to be in plain life’, as the Journal put it 18 Mar., when the House belatedly ordered Herbert to be removed from his place. He was elected to a county seat in the next Parliament, and is not named in the surviving records, although as knight of the shire he may have attended the subsidy committee appointed on 24 Feb. 1585.5

Herbert appears to have resided at Llysyn from about 1586 until his father’s death. He himself died intestate some three years later, being buried in Montgomery church 15 Oct. 1596. Effigies of his seven sons—among them Lord Herbert and the poet, George Herbert—appear on the altar tomb. Lord Herbert credited his father with skill in Latin and history. An inquisition post mortem, taken 15 Nov. 1596, gave details of his Shropshire lands; another, drawn up 30 Dec. 1597, listed his properties of Blackhall and Llysyn, together with lands in the parishes of Montgomery, Llangadfan and Llanerful, all in Montgomeryshire. Administration of his goods was granted to the widow and his son and heir on 3 May 1597.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A.H.D.


  • 1. Served as substitute in 1581 session.
  • 2. Dwnn, Vis. Wales, ed. Meyrick, i. 293, 312; Autobiog of Lord Herbert of Chirbury, ed. Lee 2-3, 18-20; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 373-4; Mont. Colls. vi. 409-15; Mont. Recs. ed Morris (Mont. Colls. supp.), 331.
  • 3. Mont. Colls. iii. 310, 313, 315; iv. 249; Lee, 5; APC, xxiii. 261; xxiv. 277.
  • 4. APC, xvi. 419-20; xxv. 242; Exchequer, ed. E. G. Jones (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. iv), 281, 283; Star Chamber, ed. Edwards (same ser. i), 120, 127, 129; Lee, 3-4; Mont. Colls. iii. 365.
  • 5. Lansd. 43, anon. jnl. f. 171.
  • 6. Lee, 2-5; Mont. Colls. iii. 322; vi. 410; xxii. 247; Mont. Recs. 332-3, 403, 405; C142/247/84; 249/62; PCC admon. act bk. 1597 f. 206.