HERBERT, Sir James (c.1644-1709), of Coldbrook Park, Mon.

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



12 June 1685

Family and Education

b. c.1644, 2nd but o. surv. s. of Henry Herbert of Coldbrook by Mary, da. of James Rudyard, Grocer, of London. m. 2 Dec. 1669, Judith, da. of Edward Mouse, Goldsmith, of Foster Lane, London, wid. of John Godden, laceman, of Stoke Newington, Mdx., 1da. suc. fa. 1656; kntd. 1 Aug. 1680.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Mon. 1664-80, 1689-90, j.p. 1667-96, 1700-d., commr. for recusants 1675, sheriff 1678-9, dep. lt. 1685-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-9, by 1701-d.


Herbert was descended from a younger brother of the 1st Herbert Earl of Pembroke. The head of the Coldbrook branch had regularly sat for either county or borough since 1558. Herbert’s father, thanks to his City connexions, was one of the few South Wales gentry to support Parliament consistently through the Civil War; during the Interregnum he sat on the Council of State and the high court of justice. But Herbert himself from his first appearance on the political scene supported the court party in Monmouthshire. He was proposed as a candidate for the county by-election of 1667 by the Marquess of Worcester (Henry Somerset), but was defeated by Sir Trevor Williams. As returning officer in 1679 Worcester relied on him to secure the return of his son (Charles Somerset). Herbert took the lead in opposing the petitioning activities of John Arnold, and on 18 Nov. 1680 was reprimanded by the House of Lords for his lack of zeal in prosecuting Papists, though with the qualification that his loyalty and protestantism were not impugned. Herbert is said to have been returned for the borough at a by-election in 1685 after Charles Somerset had opted for another seat, but he left no trace in the records of James II’s Parliament. He was severely rebuked by the Treasury in 1687 for oppressive use of his position on the bench to enforce feudal rights over his tenants. A secret correspondent of William of Orange, he gave negative replies on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, and was removed from the lieutenancy. Nevertheless he was approved as a court candidate for Monmouth in 1688. Refusing the Association in 1696, he is not known to have stood for Parliament again. He died on 6 June 1709, aged 65, leaving his estates to his only daughter, who married Sir Thomas Powell, MP for Monmouth from 1705 to 1708.2

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Bradney, Mon. i. 185-9; Soc. of Genealogists, Boyd’s London Units 25022; Inhabitants of London in 1638 ed. Dale, 92.
  • 2. A. H. Dodd, Studies in Stuart Wales, 112; CSP Dom. 1678-9, p. 74; CJ, ix. 658; HMC Finch, ii. 77; HMC Lords, ii. 207-9; Cal. Treas. Bks. vii. 786; viii. 1396-7; LJ, xiii. 621, 675; Cobbett, Parl. Hist. iv. 1346; J. R. Jones, Revolution of 1688, 235; PC2/76/256; Bodl. Carte 130, f. 124.