William Herbert, 1st Baron Powis

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William Herbert, 1st Baron Powis (c.1573[1] – 7 March 1655[2]) was a Welsh politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1597 and 1629.

Herbert was born in Powis Castle, the son of Sir Edward Herbert (c. 1542– 23 March 1595[3]) and his wife Mary Stanley, daughter of Sir Thomas Stanley, Under-Treasurer of the Royal Mint.[1][2] His paternal grandparents were William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke and Anne Parr, sister of Queen Catherine Parr.[1][2] He was a nephew of Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke.

Herbert was High Steward to Elizabeth I of England. In 1597, he was elected Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire. He served as Custos Rotulorum of Montgomeryshire from 1602 to 1641. Upon the coronation of James I in 1603, Herbert was made a Knight of the Bath.[1][2] In 1604, he was elected MP for Montgomeryshire again. He was appointed High Sheriff of Montgomeryshire in 1613. In 1614, he was re-elected MP for Montgomeryshire and was re-elected in 1624, 1625, 1626 and 1628. He was created Baron Powis (a new creation) of Powis Castle on 2 April 1629.[1][2]

Before 1600, Lord Powis married Lady Eleanor Percy, third daughter of Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland and his wife, Hon. Katherine Neville.[1][2] They had several children including:

He was succeeded by his son Percy Herbert, 2nd Baron Powis.

Herbert was buried at St. Mary's Church in Hendon, Middlesex, London.[1]

Herbert is a candidate for "Mr WH", the dedicatee of Shakespeare's sonnets.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h George Edward Cokayne. Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, Or Dormant , Volume 6. G. Bell & sons, 1895. pg 295.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bernard Burke. A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire, Harrison, 1866. pg 275.
  3. ^ http://wbo.llgc.org.uk/en/s-POWY-HER-1674.html
  4. ^ The Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature, Volume 1. John Wiley & Sons, Feb 7, 2012. pg 416. Google eBook
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Reginald Williams
Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire
Succeeded by
Edward Herbert
Preceded by
Edward Herbert
Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Broughton
Custos Rotulorum of Montgomeryshire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Peerage of England
New creation Baron Powis
Succeeded by
Percy Herbert