Herbert family of Powis Castle papers,

Scope and Content

Records and correspondence, 1622-1808, accumulated by the Herbert family of Powis Castle. Included is material relating to the family’s political activities, estate and household business, and personal affairs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Within 90 years of purchasing Powis Castle and its lordship from Edward Grey in 1587, the Herberts of Powis Castle had risen to the peerage, only to be dispossessed and then reinstated. This turbulent career owed much to their devotion to Roman Catholicism at a time of considerable religious conflict.
In 1616, William Herbert (d. 1656) secured a grant from James I which included the borough and castle of Montgomery. Although he lost Montgomery soon afterwards, his family’s position in Montgomeryshire and the adjoining counties was now formidable, and he was created first baron Powis in 1629. Herbert’s support for the king during the civil war led to the sequestration of his estates after the fall of Powis Castle in 1644, and his son, Percy Herbert (d. 1667), was unable to recover them until the Restoration. Both father and son were members of the Council in Wales and the Marches. This loyalty to the Stuart dynasty brought William Herbert (d. 1696) a peerage in 1674, as well as many other honours, but it was to prove his downfall. Already imprisoned for seven years after his implication in the ‘Popish Plot’ in 1678, Herbert was finally dispossessed and outlawed for high treason in 1689, and fled the country with James II. William Herbert’s only son, William Herbert (d. 1745), was similarly imprisoned, outlawed, and eventually dispossessed after the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, but the family’s estates were all restored by 1722. The Herberts now became involved in mining in Cardiganshire, and Lady Mary Herbert also acquired an interest in a silver mine in Spain through her marriage to the speculator Joseph Gage.

Arrangement

Arranged into three series: Politics; Business, Personal and Estates in Wales and England; and Mines in Spain.

Note

Within 90 years of purchasing Powis Castle and its lordship from Edward Grey in 1587, the Herberts of Powis Castle had risen to the peerage, only to be dispossessed and then reinstated. This turbulent career owed much to their devotion to Roman Catholicism at a time of considerable religious conflict.
In 1616, William Herbert (d. 1656) secured a grant from James I which included the borough and castle of Montgomery. Although he lost Montgomery soon afterwards, his family’s position in Montgomeryshire and the adjoining counties was now formidable, and he was created first baron Powis in 1629. Herbert’s support for the king during the civil war led to the sequestration of his estates after the fall of Powis Castle in 1644, and his son, Percy Herbert (d. 1667), was unable to recover them until the Restoration. Both father and son were members of the Council in Wales and the Marches. This loyalty to the Stuart dynasty brought William Herbert (d. 1696) a peerage in 1674, as well as many other honours, but it was to prove his downfall. Already imprisoned for seven years after his implication in the ‘Popish Plot’ in 1678, Herbert was finally dispossessed and outlawed for high treason in 1689, and fled the country with James II. William Herbert’s only son, William Herbert (d. 1745), was similarly imprisoned, outlawed, and eventually dispossessed after the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, but the family’s estates were all restored by 1722. The Herberts now became involved in mining in Cardiganshire, and Lady Mary Herbert also acquired an interest in a silver mine in Spain through her marriage to the speculator Joseph Gage.

Preferred citation: P.

Related Material

XXI 25 is now TNA 30/53/9/18, and there are some fragments relating to the Herberts of Powis Castle in E4/10 in this archive. In addition, the bulk of the Powis Castle archive, including extensive records of both the family and the estate, is held separately at the National Library of Wales.

Additional Information

Published