Open main menu

Henry Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Powis PC (before 9 April 1703[1] – 10 September 1772), known as Henry Herbert until 1743 and as The Lord Herbert of Chirbury between 1743 and 1748, was a British peer and politician.

The Earl of Powis

The Earl and Countess of Powis with their family.jpg
The Earl and Countess of Powis with their two children in 1760
Comptroller of the Household
In office
Preceded byThe Lord Edgcumbe
Succeeded byLord George Cavendish
Personal details
Born9 April 1703
Died10 September 1772 (aged 69)



A member of the Herbert family, he was the son of Francis Herbert, of Oakly Park near Ludlow, Shropshire,[2] son of Richard Herbert by his wife and second cousin once removed, the Honourable Florence, daughter of Richard Herbert, 2nd Baron Herbert of Chirbury. His mother was Dorothy, daughter of John Oldbury, a merchant of London.[2] He was baptised at the parish church of Bromfield near Oakly Park.[1]

In 1751 he married the fifteen-year-old Barbara Herbert, posthumous daughter and heiress of Lord Edward Herbert, younger son of William Herbert, 2nd Marquess of Powis and brother of William Herbert, 3rd Marquess of Powis.[3]

Oakly Park was his main country home until 1771, when he sold it to Lord Clive ('Clive of India') and moved into Powis Castle, the seat of his Earldom, near Welshpool, Montgomeryshire.[4]

Political careerEdit

Herbert was returned to parliament as a Whig for Bletchingley in 1724, a seat he held until 1727,[5] and then represented Ludlow until 1743.[6] In 1735 he became Custos Rotulorum of Montgomeryshire and Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, and was Treasurer to the Prince of Wales (father of George III) from 1737 to 1738.[2] In 1743 he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Herbert of Chirbury, in the County of Shropshire,[7] a revival of the title (spelt "Cherbury") which had been held in his family from 1629 until becoming extinct on the death of a son of his great-grandfather in 1691. Five years later he was created Baron Powis, of Powis Castle in the County of Montgomery, Viscount Ludlow, in the County of Shropshire, and Earl of Powis, in the County of Montgomery,[8] a revival of the Powis title which had become extinct on the death of the third Marquess of Powis the same year. The following year he was also made Baron Herbert of Chirbury and Ludlow, with remainder to firstly his brother Richard Herbert and secondly to his kinsman Francis Herbert, of Ludlow.[9]

In 1761 Lord Powis relinquished his position as Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire and was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Montgomeryshire instead,[10] but he was reinstated to the Lord-Lieutenancy of Shropshire in 1764 and held both posts until his death eight years later. Also in 1761 he was appointed Comptroller of the Household and sworn of the Privy Council.[11] He was promoted to Treasurer of the Household later the same year, a post he held until 1765.[12]

Military positionsEdit

During the time of the Jacobite rising of 1745, when Prince Charles Edward Stuart's Scots army was about to invade England, Powis was commissioned as Colonel on 1 October that year to raise a regiment of fusiliers in Shropshire to counter the invasion.[2] They were ordered to march into Staffordshire but, being insufficiently disciplined and manned, they fell back without joining battle against the Jacobite troops who were feared to be heading for Wales[13] but diverted towards Derby instead.

Powis never saw active service but he was given further promotions as Major-General in 1755,[2] Lieutenant-General in 1759, and full General in 1772, the year of his death.[14]


Lord Powis died at Bath, Somerset, in September 1772 aged 69, and was buried in Welshpool's St Mary's Church.[14] He was succeeded by his son, George (who also succeeded in the barony of Herbert of Chirbury and Ludlow as the persons in special remainder to that peerage had died before Lord Powis). The earldom became extinct on the latter's death in 1801. Lady Henrietta, daughter of the 1st Earl, married Edward Clive, 2nd Baron Clive, son of Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive ("Clive of India"). In 1804 the Earldom of Powis was revived in favour of Edward Clive. Barbara, Countess of Powis, died in March 1786, aged 50.[3]


  1. ^ a b Shropshire Parish Registers, Hereford Diocese, Volume V - Bromfield Registers 1559-1812. Shropshire Parish Register Society. 1909. p. 76.Baptism date.
  2. ^ a b c d e The Complete Peerage, Volume X. St Catherine's Press. 1945. p. 650.The work incorrectly places Oakly Park in Montgomeryshire.
  3. ^ a b Henry Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Powis
  4. ^ Powis Castle, Powys. The National Trust. 1996. p. 58.Powis Castle guidebook.
  5. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 3)
  6. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 4)
  7. ^ "No. 8286". The London Gazette. 20 December 1743. p. 3.
  8. ^ "No. 8744". The London Gazette. 10 May 1748. p. 4.
  9. ^ "No. 8890". The London Gazette. 3 October 1749. p. 1.
  10. ^ "No. 10115". The London Gazette. 20 June 1761. p. 1.
  11. ^ "No. 10116". The London Gazette. 23 May 1761. p. 1.
  12. ^ Bucholz, R.O. (2006). "Index of officers: P". Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (revised): Court Officers, 1660-1837. pp. 1327–1384.
  13. ^ "Herbertiana". Montgomeryshire Collections, Volume VIII. Powysland Club. 1875. p. 3.
  14. ^ a b The Complete Peerage, Volume X. p. 651.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Evelyn
William Clayton
Member of Parliament for Bletchingley
With: William Clayton
Succeeded by
William Clayton
Sir Orlando Bridgeman, Bt
Preceded by
Abel Ketelby
Richard Herbert
Member of Parliament for Ludlow
With: Richard Herbert 1727–1741
Sir William Corbet, Bt 1741–1743
Succeeded by
Sir William Corbet, Bt
Richard Herbert
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Edgcumbe
Comptroller of the Household
Succeeded by
Lord George Cavendish
Preceded by
The Earl of Thomond
Treasurer of the Household
Succeeded by
The Lord Edgcumbe
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Bradford
Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Bath
Custos Rotulorum of Montgomeryshire
Succeeded by
The Lord Clive
Preceded by
The Earl of Cholmondeley
Lord-Lieutenant of Montgomeryshire
Preceded by
The Earl of Bath
Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Baron Herbert of Chirbury and Ludlow
Succeeded by
George Herbert
Earl of Powis
Baron Herbert of Chirbury