The Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery
Thomas Herbert by John Greenhill
8th President of the Royal Society
In office
Preceded byJohn Vaughan
Succeeded byRobert Southwell
First Lord of the Admiralty
In office
MonarchsWilliam III and Mary II
Preceded byThe Earl of Torrington
Succeeded byThe Lord Cornwallis
Lord Privy Seal
In office
Preceded byIn Commission
Last held by Lord Halifax
Succeeded byThe Viscount Lonsdale
Lord President of the Council
In office
18 May 1699 – 29 January 1702
MonarchWilliam III
Preceded byThe Duke of Leeds
Succeeded byThe Duke of Somerset
In office
9 July 1702 – 25 November 1708
Preceded byThe Duke of Somerset
Succeeded byThe Lord Somers
Personal details
Born1656 (1656)
Died22 January 1733(1733-01-22) (aged 76–77)
  • Margaret Sawyer
    (m. 1684)
  • (m. 1708; died 1721)
  • Mary Howe
Quartered arms of Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke, 5th Earl of Montgomery

Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke and 5th Earl of Montgomery, KG, PC, PRS (c. 1656 – 22 January 1733), styled The Honourable Thomas Herbert until 1683, was an English and later British statesman during the reigns of William III and Anne.


Herbert was the third son of Philip Herbert, 5th Earl of Pembroke and his wife Catharine Villiers, daughter of Sir William Villiers, 1st Baronet who was the half-brother of the 1st Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers. Through his grandmother, Susan de Vere, he was a great-grandson of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, the Oxfordians' William Shakespeare. He was educated at Tonbridge School, Kent. Both of his brothers (the 6th Earl and the 7th Earl) having died without a male heir, he succeeded to the earldoms in 1683. Through them, he would inherit the family seat of the Earls of Pembroke, Wilton House in Wiltshire.

Wilton House, Family seat of the Earls of Pembroke

Public life

Herbert was returned unopposed as Member of Parliament for Wilton at the two general elections of 1679 and the general election of 1681. He was no longer able to sit in the House of Commons after assuming the peerage in 1683.[1]

As Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Pembroke commanded the Wiltshire Militia against the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685. They mustered at Salisbury on 17 June and marched to Bath. Hearing that Frome had declared for the Duke of Monmouth, Pembroke marched out with a squadron of Militia Horse carrying some musketeers behind their saddles. On arrival he found a large number of rebel recruits, some armed with pistols or pikes, others with scythes and clubs. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Pembroke entered the town at the head of his musketeers, followed by the horse. A shot was fired at him, but the rebels soon broke and ran before the advancing militia, who then captured the bridge after some fighting. Afterwards Pembroke with his Wiltshire Militia and some Hampshire Militia blocked Monmouth's advance into Wiltshire. The Wiltshire Militia then accompanied the Royal army to Bridgwater in pursuit of the rebels. When Monmouth attempted a night attack on the Royal army camped on Sedgemoor, Pembroke quickly rode from his quarters at Weston Court in Westonzoyland and roused his men; they formed the reserve during the Battle of Sedgemoor. Afterwards they took part in the pursuit and clearing-up operations.[2][3][4]

From 1690 to 1692 as Lord Pembroke, he was First Lord of the Admiralty. He then served as Lord Privy Seal until 1699, being in 1697 the first plenipotentiary of Great Britain at the congress of Ryswick. On two occasions he was Lord High Admiral for a short period; he was also Lord President of the Council and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, while he acted as one of the Lords Justices seven times; and he was President of the Royal Society in 1689–1690.[5] He is the dedicatee of John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Thomas Greenhill's The Art of Embalming.

Marriages and progeny

He married three times:

See also


  1. ^ "HERBERT, Hon. Thomas (c.1656-1733), of Wilton, Wilts". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  2. ^ Chandler, pp. 29, 37–8.
  3. ^ Drummer Adam Wheeler, Iter Bellicosum, in Chandler, pp. 130–7.
  4. ^ Scott, pp. 97, 103, 200, 252–5, 259–61, 263–4, 288–9, 367; Tables 2.2.2, 2.2.3.
  5. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pembroke, Earls of". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 21 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 80.
  6. ^ Pedigree of Arundell of Trerice, Vivian, J.L., ed. (1887). The Visitations of Cornwall: comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1530, 1573 & 1620; with additions by J.L. Vivian. Exeter: W. Pollard, p. 14 [1] Archived 5 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Walpole, Horace (1837). "Correspondence of H. W. With G. Montagu, Esq. Hon. H. S. Conway, Rev. W. Cole, Lady Hervey ... New Edition, ... With Numerous Illustrative Notes, Now First Added".


Parliament of England Preceded byThomas MompessonJohn Berkenhead Member of Parliament for Wilton 1679–1683 With: Thomas Penruddocke 1679Sir John Nicholas 1679–1683 Succeeded bySir John NicholasOliver Nicholas Political offices Preceded byThe Earl of Torrington First Lord of the Admiralty 1690–1692 Succeeded byThe Lord Cornwallis Preceded byIn Commission Lord Privy Seal 1692–1699 Succeeded byThe Viscount Lonsdale Preceded byThe Duke of Leeds Lord President of the Council 1699–1702 Succeeded byThe Duke of Somerset Preceded byThe Earl of Bridgewater(First Lord of the Admiralty) Lord High Admiral 1701–1702 Succeeded byPrince George of Denmark Preceded byThe Duke of Somerset Lord President of the Council 1702–1708 Succeeded byThe Lord Somers Preceded byThe Duke of Ormonde Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1707–1708 Succeeded byThe Earl of Wharton Preceded byQueen Anne Lord High Admiral 1708–1709 Succeeded byThe Earl of Orford(First Lord of the Admiralty) Military offices New regiment Colonel of the 2nd Maritime Regiment 1690–1691 Succeeded byHenry Killigrew Honorary titles Preceded byThe Earl of Pembroke Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshirejointly with The Earl of Yarmouth 1688–1689 1683–1733 Succeeded byThe Earl of Pembroke Custos Rotulorum of Glamorgan 1683–1728 Succeeded byThe Duke of Bolton Custos Rotulorum of Pembrokeshire 1683–1715 Succeeded bySir Arthur Owen, Bt Preceded byThe Earl of Macclesfield Lord Lieutenant of Pembrokeshire 1694–1715 Lord Lieutenant of Brecknockshire and Monmouthshire 1694–1715 Succeeded byJohn Morgan Lord Lieutenant of Cardiganshire 1694–1715 Succeeded byThe Viscount Lisburne Lord Lieutenant of Carmarthenshire 1694–1715 VacantTitle next held byGeorge Rice Lord Lieutenant of Glamorgan 1694–1715 VacantTitle next held byThe Duke of Bolton Lord Lieutenant of Radnorshire 1694–1715 Succeeded byThe Lord Coningsby Peerage of England Preceded byPhilip Herbert Earl of PembrokeEarl of Montgomery 1683–1733 Succeeded byHenry Herbert Professional and academic associations Preceded byJohn Vaughan 8th President of the Royal Society 1689–1690 Succeeded byRobert Southwell