Herbert, Edward (1785-1848) (DNB00)

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HERBERT, EDWARD, second Earl of Powis (1785–1848), born on 22 March 1785, was eldest son of Edward Clive, first earl of Powis, by Lady Henrietta Antonin Herbert, only surviving daughter of Henry, first earl of Powis (created 1748), and was grandson of Robert Clive, first Baron Clive of Plassey [q.v.] He was educated at Eton and St. John's College, Cambridge, becoming M.A. 1806. At the general election in November of the same year he was elected M.P. for Ludlow, for which borough he continued to sit in eleven successive parliaments till his succession to the peerage in 1839. He was constant in his attendance at the House of Commons, and, though taking no prominent part in the debates, moved the address in 1812 and 1829 (Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, xxiii. 222, new ser. xx. 48). He was a consistent supporter of the tory party. He took the arms and surname of Herbert only in lieu of Clive by royal license 9 March 1807 in accordance with the will of his maternal uncle, George, earl of Powis (London Gazette, 1807, p. 379). In 1828 he was elected a member of the Roxburghe Club, of which he became president 16 May 1835. In that year he contributed to the club ‘The Lyvys of Seyntys; translatyd into Englys be a Doctour of Dyuynite clepyd Osbern Bokenam, Frer Austyn of the Convent of Stokclare,’ London, 1835.

On 7 April 1830 he succeeded his father as lord-lieutenant of Montgomeryshire. For the active part which he took in suppressing the Chartist riots in that county (Times, 10 May 1839) he received a letter of thanks from Lord John Russell, the home secretary. On the death of his father, 16 May 1839, he succeeded to the earldom, and took his seat in the House of Lords 14 June following (House of Lords' Journals, 1839, p. 384). He strenuously opposed the scheme for the creation of a bishopric of Manchester by the union of the sees of Bangor and St. Asaph, which after a struggle lasting over four sessions (1843-6), and the appointment of a royal commission in January 1847, of which he was a member (Parliamentary Papers, 1847 (324), xxxiii. 115), he succeeded in defeating. For these exertions he acquired great popularity with the clergy and at the universities. A subscription, amounting to over 5,000l., was collected as a testimonial to him, which was expended in the institution of ‘Powis Exhibitions’ for the maintenance at Oxford or Cambridge of Welsh students acquainted with the Welsh language, and intending to enter holy orders (Narrative of the Foundation of the Powis Exhibitions, London, 1847). On the death of the Duke of Northumberland, Powis, at the invitation from the master and fellows of St. John's College, was a candidate for the chancellorship of the university of Cambridge in opposition to Prince Albert. The prince, after a contest arousing considerable ill-feeling, a reflection of which may be found in the pages of ‘Punch’ of the day, was elected by 953 votes to 837 on 27 Feb. 1847 (Annual Register, 1847, Chron. p. 31). Powis died on 17 Jan. 1848 at Powis Castle, Montgomeryshire, being accidentally shot by one of his sons while pheasant-shooting, and was buried in Welshpool Church. He married, on 9 Feb. 1818, Lady Lucy Graham, third daughter of James, third duke of Montrose, by whom he had five sons and four daughters. His widow died 16 Sept. 1875. Powis was created an LL.D. of Cambridge 6 July 1835, and a D.C.L. of Oxford 20 June 1844, and on 12 Dec. 1844 was installed a K.G. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward James, now (1891) earl of Powis.

A portrait of Powis by Sir F. Grant belongs to the present earl. It has been engraved by Cousins. His speech, ‘on moving the second reading of a bill for preventing the union of the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor,’ was published in 1843 (London, 12mo).

[Gent. Mag. 1848, pt. i. pp. 428-32; Annual Register, 1848, pp. 205-6; Dr. Dibdin's Reminiscences of a Literary Life, pt. i. p. 403; Martin's Life of the Prince Consort, i. 385-9; Official Ruturn of Members of Parliament, ii. 234, 248, 263, 277, 290, 305. 319, 332, 344, 355, 369; Stapylton's Eton School Lists, 1863, pp. 32, 38 ; Graduati Cantabr. 1856, p.80; Oxford Graduates, 1851, p. 315; Doyle's Official Baronage, iii. 87-8; Dod's Peerage, 1847, pp. 326-7; Times, 19 Jan. 1848; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. F. R. B.