Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 26.djvu/235

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Herbert
Herbert
229

and was one of the councillors who had suggested the summoning of a parliament in the autumn of 1615 (Spedding, Bacon, v. 203). James then desired to conciliate his opponents. Somerset's fall in December of that year left the office of lord chamberlain vacant, and the appointment of Pembroke as Somerset's successor seemed to James a graceful concession to his opponents. Pembroke's amiability at the same time fitted him for the post. Although he never acted with much strength of will, his preferment made no impression on his political views. He distrusted Buckingham, and had difficulties with the favourite as soon as he assumed office concerning the chamberlain's rights of patronage to minor posts about the court. In 1616 he joined Ellesmere and Winwood in urging the despatch of Raleigh on his last expedition, undoubtedly in the expectation that Raleigh's action would compromise James's policy of peace with Spain; and there was some foundation for Raleigh's later charges that Pembroke and his friends had instigated his attack on the Mexico fleet, for which Raleigh suffered death. In 1619 Pembroke went to Scotland with Hamilton and Lennox. He used his personal influence to obtain the payment of the benevolence of 1620, and late in the summer James visited him at Wilton. It is said that while there the king visited Stonehenge, and that Pembroke directed Inigo Jones, whom he presented to James at the time, to prepare for the king his account of the monumental remains. Early next year Pembroke supported, in opposition to the king and Buckingham, the demand of the House of Commons for an inquiry into the monopoly-grants. In April 1621 charges of corruption were brought against Bacon, who offered to make his submission to the House of Lords. Pembroke took a prominent part in the debates that followed. He advocated further inquiry, supported Buckingham's motion to invite the chancellor to send a message to the house, and spoke strongly against the proposal to deprive Bacon of his peerage. He was a joint commissioner of the great seal on Bacon's retirement (3 May-10 July 1621). Memoranda made by Bacon after his degradation show that he intended writing to Pembroke to thank him for 'the moderation and affection his lordship showed in my business,' and to solicit his future favour 'for the furtherance of my private life and fortune' (Spedding, vii. 209).

At the end of 1621 Pembroke spoke with warmth in the council against the king's determination to dissolve parliament. The commons had just presented their famous protestation, and Pembroke was taunted by Buckingham with wishing to insult the king (cf. Court and Times of James I, ii. 287). Illness prevented Pembroke from attending the council when the oath was taken to the Spanish marriage treaty (26 July 1623), but in the following August James paid him a third visit at Wilton. After the failure of Buckingham's and Prince Charles's visit to Spain, Buckingham urged on James a declaration of war. Pembroke boldly denounced the favourite's counsel, and an open rupture between them took place. Prince Charles intervened to bring about a reconciliation, which Pembroke's affable manners made an easy task. On 2 Feb. 1624 Pembroke amiably defended Buckingham for his conduct in Spain, but tried to dissuade him from directly attacking Bristol, who was his own personal friend (April). In September 1624 Buckingham's subserviency to France in the French marriage negotiations excited Pembroke's distrust anew. In March 1625 Pembroke attended at Theobalds the deathbed of James I, who entreated him to testify publicly that he died a protestant.

On 9 April 1625 Pembroke was made a member of the committee of council appointed to advise the king on foreign affairs, and he took a prominent part in the negotiations for the surrender of those English ships to France which were employed against the French protestants (July 1625). He afterwards explained that he believed the ships were intended for employment against Genoa. Pembroke carried the crown at Charles I's coronation (2 Feb. 1625-6), and joined the permanent council of war (3 May 1626). But his misgivings of Buckingham's French policy soon revived. He expressed himself with sufficient freedom on the point to offend the king, and entered into communications with the parliamentary opposition. Pembroke was too rich and powerful for his support to be neglected. He had many seats in parliament at his disposal, and once again a reconciliation between him and Buckingham was patched up. It was arranged that Pembroke, who had no children, should make the eldest son of his brother Philip his heir, and should marry him to Buckingham's daughter (Court and Times of Charles I,i. 123-132). In July 1626 Pembroke was seriously ill of the stone, but on 18 Aug. 1626 he became lord steward. In September 1628 he recommended a peace with France as a needful preliminary to the despatch of assistance to the German protestants, whose cause he desired that England should actively support.

On 10 April 1630 Pembroke suddenly died at his London house, Baynard's Castle, 'of an apoplexy after a full and cheerful supper'