George Herbert, 11th Earl of Pembroke

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George Herbert of Pembroke.jpg

General George Augustus Herbert, 11th Earl of Pembroke and 8th Earl of Montgomery KG PC (10 September 1759 – 26 October 1827) was an English peer, army officer and politician.

Early life[edit]

Born Lord Herbert at the family home, Wilton House in Wilton, he was the only son of Henry Herbert, 10th Earl of Pembroke and 7th Earl of Montgomery and his wife, Elizabeth, the second daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough.[1] He had a younger sister Charlotte, who died at the age of 10. He was educated at home and then Harrow School from 1770 to 1775. Through his grandmother Mary FitzWilliam, daughter of the 5th Viscount FitzWilliam, he inherited the substantial FitzWilliam estates in Dublin.

Military career[edit]

After leaving Harrow, Herbert was appointed an ensign in the 12th Regiment of Foot in 1775 and travelled the continent over the next five years, visiting France, Austria, Eastern Europe, Russia and Italy with Rev. William Coxe and Capt. John Floyd.

Herbert was promoted to a lieutenant in 1777 and became a captain in the 75th Regiment of Foot in 1778, before transferring to 1st The Royal Dragoons later that year. In 1781, he transferred to the 22nd Light Dragoons and the following year was promoted to a lieutenant-colonel in the 2nd Dragoon Guards.

At the start of the French Revolutionary Wars, Herbert saw action in Flanders, where he commanded the 2nd and 3rd Dragoon Guards and liaised with Prussian and Austrian forces. He was also active in the Siege of Valenciennes (1793) and captured an enemy post at Hundssluyt, near Dunkirk, later that year.


At the general election of 1780, Herbert became Member of Parliament for the family borough of Wilton and sided with the Whig opposition. He held the seat until 1784 when he was appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household and sworn of the Privy Council. He held the seat for Wilton again from 1788 to 1794, the year he inherited his father's titles and estate and also succeeded him as Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire.


On 8 April 1787, Lord Pembroke married his first cousin, Elizabeth Beauclerk (d. 1793), the daughter of Topham Beauclerk and his wife, Diana.

After the death of his wife in 1793, Pembroke married Countess Catherine Semyonovna Vorontsova, on 25 January 1808. Catherine was the daughter of the prominent Russian aristocrat and diplomat Semyon Romanovich Vorontsov.[2]


Name Birth Death Notes Mother
George Herbert 1788 1793 Elizabeth Beauclerk
Lady Diana Herbert 1790 1841 married Welbore Agar, 2nd Earl of Normanton Elizabeth Beauclerk
Robert Henry, styled Viscount Herbert 19 September 1791 25 April 1862 married Ottavia Spinelli had no issue; Alexina Sophia Gallot (mistress) had illegitimate issue Elizabeth Beauclerk
Hon. Charles Herbert 1793 1798 Elizabeth Beauclerk
Lady Elizabeth Herbert 1809 1858 married Richard Meade, 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam had issue Countess Catherine Semyonovna Vorontsova
Hon. Sidney Herbert 16 September 1810 2 August 1861 Caroline Norton (affair) had no issue; married Lady Elizabeth Herbert of Lea had issue Countess Catherine Semyonovna Vorontsova
Lady Mary Herbert [3] 1813 1892 married George Brudenell-Bruce, 2nd Marquess of Ailesbury had no issue Countess Catherine Semyonovna Vorontsova
Lady Catherine Herbert 31 October 1814 12 February 1886 married Alexander Murray, 6th Earl of Dunmore had issue Countess Catherine Semyonovna Vorontsova
Lady Georgiana Herbert 1817 1841 married Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 4th Marquess of Lansdowne had no issue; she is Henry's 1st wife Countess Catherine Semyonovna Vorontsova
Lady Emma Herbert 1819 1884 married Thomas Vesey, 3rd Viscount de Vesci had issue Countess Catherine Semyonovna Vorontsova

Later life[edit]

In 1795, Pembroke was promoted to a major-general and became colonel of the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons in 1797. He was further promoted to a lieutenant-general in 1802 and appointed a Knight of the Garter in 1805. After serving as a plenipotentiary on a special mission to Austria in 1807, he was also appointed Governor of Guernsey and finally promoted to a general in 1812.

Lord Pembroke died on 26 October 1827 at his London home, Pembroke House and was buried at Wilton on 12 November. After having previously quarreled with his eldest surviving son, Robert, over the latter's marriage to the widowed Italian princess, Octavia Spinelli de Rubari, Pembroke left the bulk of his unentailed and personal estate to his only son by his second wife, Sidney (later created Baron Herbert of Lea).



Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Hon. Henry Herbert
Charles Herbert
Member of Parliament for Wilton
With: William Gerard Hamilton
Succeeded by
William Gerard Hamilton
Philip Goldsworthy
Preceded by
William Gerard Hamilton
Philip Goldsworthy
Member of Parliament for Wilton
With: William Gerard Hamilton 1788–1790
The Viscount FitzWilliam 1790–1794
Succeeded by
The Viscount FitzWilliam
Philip Goldsworthy
Political offices
Preceded by
Viscount Chewton
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
Succeeded by
Hon. Charles Greville
Military offices
Preceded by
James Johnston
Colonel of the 6th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Dragoons
Succeeded by
Sir William Lumley
Preceded by
The Earl Grey
Governor of Guernsey
Succeeded by
Sir William Keppel
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Lansdowne
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Henry Herbert
Earl of Pembroke
Succeeded by
Robert Herbert