Henry Herbert, 10th Earl of Pembroke

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Earl of Pembroke
Henry Herbert earl of Pembroke by Joshua Reynolds.jpg
Lord Pembroke
Lord of the Bedchamber
In office
MonarchGeorge III
Preceded byThe Earl of Hyndford
Succeeded byThe Earl of Pomfret
Personal details
Born(1734-07-03)3 July 1734
Died26 January 1794 (1794-01-27) (aged 59)
Spouse(s)Lady Elizabeth Spencer
ChildrenGeorge Augustus Herbert, 11th Earl of Pembroke, 8th Earl of Montgomery
Charlotte Herbert
Augustus Retnuh Reebkomp (illegitimate)
Caroline Medkaff (illegitimate)
ParentsHenry Herbert, 9th Earl of Pembroke
EducationEton College
OccupationCavalry officer

Henry Herbert, 10th Earl of Pembroke, 7th Earl of Montgomery (3 July 1734 – 26 January 1794) was an English peer and politician. He was the son of Henry Herbert, 9th Earl of Pembroke, and was named after his father. His mother was Mary FitzWilliam, daughter of Richard FitzWilliam, 5th Viscount FitzWilliam and Frances Shelley.[1] Through this marriage the Herberts in time inherited the substantial FitzWilliam properties in Dublin.


He was educated at Eton College, and was styled Lord Herbert until he succeeded to his earldoms in 1750. He then became Lieutenant-General in the Army, with the Colonelcy of the 1st Regiment of Dragoons, coming to be an authority on breaking cavalry horses (in 1755 building an indoor Riding School at Wilton House and commissioning 55 paintings of military riding exercises which now hang in the Large Smoking Room, Wilton).

On 23 March 1756 he married the 19-year-old Lady Elizabeth Spencer (January/March 1737-30 April 1831), daughter of Charles Spencer and Elizabeth Trevor.

He bought 40 Queen Anne St, Marylebone (near Oxford Street), London, using "it as a London town-house only during the Season". This must have been before 1760, since early that year he was despatched with his regiment to Germany to take part in the Seven Years' War as Major-General in command of the Cavalry Brigade in Germany until the following year. In 1761 he wrote the British Army's manual on riding, Military Equitation: or A Method of Breaking Horses, and Teaching Soldiers to Ride - this had already reached a 4th edition by 1793, and his methods were adopted throughout the British cavalry.

He returned to England in January 1762, immediately meeting Kitty Hunter, leaving a note for his wife, disguising himself as a sailor and eloping to the Low Countries with Kitty. Horace Walpole commented that "As Pembroke a horseman by most is accounted, /'Tis not strange that his Lordship a [Kitty] Hunter has mounted." Henry was however soon recalled to the Army in Germany, with the pregnant Kitty returning to England and on 23 November 1762 giving birth to their child Augustus Retnuh Reebkomp (later Montgomery - baptised on 25th, with a middle name as Hunter backwards and his surname an anagram of Pembroke). Henry returned to England February the following year and was reconciled to his wife that March.

Henry had another affair on the Continent, in Venice in 1768, apparently carrying the lady off on the very night of her wedding to someone else. She gave birth to their illegitimate child Caroline Medkaff that year or the next.

Henry was appointed a Lord of the Bedchamber to George III in 1769, and advanced to the rank of General in 1782. He died at Wilton at the age of 59.


Name Birth Death Notes
George Augustus Herbert, 11th Earl of Pembroke, 8th Earl of Montgomery 10 September 1759 26 October 1827 married firstly in 1787, Elizabeth Beauclerk and had issue; married secondly in 1808, Countess Catherine Romanovitch and had issue.
Augustus Retnuh Reebkomp (later changed his surname to Montgomery) 23 November 1762 6 February 1797 illegitimate son by Kitty Hunter.
Charlotte Herbert 14 July 1773 21 April 1784 died from consumption at age 10.
Caroline Medkaff c. 1768/1769 illegitimate (apparently the 10th Earl carried Caroline's mother off the night of her wedding to someone else)
Possibly Kitty Hunter, the painting is inscribed on the back :For Lord Pembroke at Whitehall, or Mary FitzWilliam, wife of 9th earl of Pembroke.


  • 40 Queen Anne St, London W1G 9EL, is now offices of Lewis Golden and Co.
  • Captain Cook's famous ship, HMS Endeavour, was formerly MS Earl of Pembroke, launched 1765 and so named after this earl.


  1. ^ Lundy, Darryl. Lt.-Gen. Henry Herbert, 10th Earl of Pembroke, ThePeerage.com, accessed 23 May 2012


  • Images of Kitty Hunter
  • Henry, Elizabeth and George: Letters and Diaries of Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke and his Circle (1734–80), 16th Earl, 1939, repub as: The Pembroke Papers vol. I (1734–80), 1942-50.
  • The Pembroke Papers vol. II (1780–94), 16th Earl, 1950, [EUL] 9(42073) Pem.
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Hyndford
Lord of the Bedchamber
Succeeded by
The Earl of Pomfret
Military offices
Preceded by
Hon. Henry Seymour Conway
Colonel of the 1st (Royal) Regiment of Dragoons
Succeeded by
Philip Goldsworthy
Preceded by
Robert Monckton
Governor of Portsmouth
Succeeded by
William Augustus Pitt
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Robert Sawyer Herbert
Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Ailesbury
Preceded by
The Earl of Ailesbury
Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Henry Herbert
Earl of Pembroke
Succeeded by
George Herbert