Edward Herbert, 2nd Earl of Powis

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Powis
Edward Herbert, 2nd Earl of Powis, by Francis Grant.jpg
Powis in 1845, portrait by Francis Grant
Lord Lieutenant of Montgomeryshire
In office
Monarch William IV
Preceded by The Earl of Powis
Succeeded by The Lord Sudeley
Member of Parliament for Ludlow
In office
Personal details
Born (1785-03-22)22 March 1785
Died 17 January 1848(1848-01-17) (aged 62)
Political party Tory
Alma mater University of Cambridge

Edward Herbert, 2nd Earl of Powis KG (22 March 1785 – 17 January 1848), styled Viscount Clive between 1804 and 1839, was a British peer and Tory politician. He was the son of Edward Clive, 1st Earl of Powis, and his wife Henrietta née Herbert.

He was educated at Eton and St John's College, Cambridge, graduating as M.A. in 1806 and being awarded LL.D. by the same university in 1835. He also became an honorary D.C.L. from Oxford University in 1844, the year he also became a Knight of the Garter[1]

After 1804, when his father was created Earl of Powis, he was known by the courtesy title of Viscount Clive, his father's second title. In 1806, he became a Member of Parliament for Ludlow, retaining the seat until he inherited the earldom and entered the House of Lords. He was also heir to his uncle George Herbert, 2nd Earl of Powis, who had died unmarried in 1801, and inherited the Powis Castle estates on condition that he assume the name and arms of Herbert only in lieu of those of Clive, which he did by Royal licence on 9 March 1807; other conditions were that he should settle his uncle's large gambling debts and that his father should leave the Clive estates to his younger son, the Hon. Robert Henry Clive.

A defender of Church of England interests in Wales, in the Lords he led a successful opposition over 1843 to 1847 to a proposal to unite the sees of Bangor and St Asaph. He was ultimately appointed to a Royal Commission on English and Welsh bishoprics. A sum of £5,000 raised in testimonial to him was devoted to found the Powis Exhibitions to assist Welsh students at Oxford and Cambridge Universities intending to take holy orders.[2]

Powis had long service in the yeomanry within Shropshire. In 1807 he was appointed major in command of a troop raised from Ludlow and Bishop's Castle towns, which merged into a larger South Shropshire Yeomanry Cavalry regiment in 1814.[3] He continued under command within the new regiment, to which he succeeded as lieutenant-colonel in 1827.[4] Succeeding his father as Lord-Lieutenant of Montgomeryshire in 1830, Powis played a leading role in the suppression of the Chartist riots of 1839, himself deploying four troops of his own regiment to disperse rioters from Newtown and apprehend some ringleaders while the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry were deployed in other parts of the same county.[5] In addition to his yeomanry regiment, he was colonel commanding the Royal Montgomeryshire Militia from 1846 to his death.[6]

The Earl was a bibliophile who built up by 1816 a book collection in Powis Castle sourced from travels in France, purchased partly from booksellers and partly from an auction of Empress Joséphine's library at Malmaison.[7] He was elected to the Roxburghe Club in 1828 and became President in 1835, the year he sponsored their publication of The Lyvys of Seyntys (i.e. The Lives of Saints).[2]

In 1847, he stood for election as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, but was defeated by only 120 votes by Albert, Prince Consort.

An encourager of canal building in Shropshire and into Montgomeryshire, he was at the time of his death Chairman of the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company.[8]

On 9 February 1818, Powis married Lady Lucy Graham, the daughter of James Graham, 3rd Duke of Montrose, and they had seven children.

The Earl of Powis died on 17 January 1848 at Powis Castle after being accidentally shot during a pheasant hunt by one of his sons, the Hon. Robert Charles Herbert. He was buried at St Mary's Parish Church, Welshpool.


  1. ^ "Herbert (formerly Clive), the Hon. Edward (HRBT803E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ a b The Complete Peerage, Volume X. St Catherine's Press. 1945. p. 653. 
  3. ^ Gladstone, E.W. (1953). The Shropshire Yeomanry 1795-1945, The Story of a Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. The Whitethorn Press. pp. 16–17. 
  4. ^ Gladstone, E.W. The Shropshire Yeomanry. p. 24. 
  5. ^ Gladstone, E.W. The Shropshire Yeomanry. pp. 42–43. 
  6. ^ The Complete Peerage, Volume X. p. 654. 
  7. ^ Powis Castle, Powys. The National Trust. 1996. pp. 61–62. Powis Castle guidebook.
  8. ^ "Death of the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Powis, K.G.". Eddowes' Journal: and General Advertiser for Shropshire, etc. 19 January 1848. p. 2. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Payne Knight
Hon. Robert Clive
Member of Parliament for Ludlow
With: Hon. Robert Clive 1806–1807
Henry Clive 1807–1818
Robert Clive 1818–1832
Edward Romilly 1832–1835
Edmund Lechmere Charlton 1835–1837
Henry Salwey 1837–1839
Succeeded by
Henry Salwey
Thomas Alcock
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Powis
Lord Lieutenant of Montgomeryshire
Succeeded by
The Lord Sudeley
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward Clive
Earl of Powis
Succeeded by
Edward James Herbert