Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 26.djvu/188

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Herbert
Herbert
182

of Commons (viz. Hollis, Hesilrige, Pym, Hampden, and Strode) who had been most active in securing the passing of the Grand Remonstrance. Accordingly, Herbert charged them the same day before the House of Lords with traitorously conspiring to subvert the fundamental laws, and other offences amounting to high treason. He then proceeded to have their houses searched and sealed up. On 12 Jan., after a strong protest from parliament, a royal message to both houses intimated that the impeachment would not be proceeded with. On 14 Feb. the commons impeached Herbert of high crimes and misdemeanors for his part in the affair. He pleaded (22 Feb.) that what he had done he had done by the express authority of the king, by whom the articles of impeachment had been furnished to him ready drawn, and Charles himself on 8 March sent a letter to the house to the same effect. The impeachment, however, was proceeded with, and ended in a verdict of guilty, the house at the same time refusing to inflict any punishment. On 23 April, however, in deference to the representations of the House of Commons, he was declared incapable of sitting in either house of parliament or holding any office but that of attorney-general, and was committed to the Fleet during the pleasure of the house. On 11 May he was enlarged, and had leave to reside in one of his houses within a day's journey of London, but was prohibited from coming either to London or Westminster without further order of the house. On the outbreak of the civil war he escaped and joined the king. In 1643, on the failure of the negotiations of Oxford, Herbert drafted by the king's direction a proclamation dissolving parliament. The king was dissatisfied with Herbert's draft, and protested ‘that he no more understood what the meaning of it was than if it were in Welsh.’ The design was abandoned. Nevertheless Charles offered Herbert the lord-keepership in 1645, which he declined, and was thereupon removed from office on 1 Nov. 1645. In July 1646 he was placed by parliament in the list of delinquents ‘incapable of pardon,’ and his estates were sequestered. In 1648 he went to sea with Rupert, over whom, according to Clarendon, he had a great and pernicious influence, ‘all his faculties being resolved into a spirit of contradicting, disputing, and wrangling upon anything that was proposed.’

After the death of Charles I, Herbert repaired to the Hague, and was made attorney-general by the new king. He thereupon proceeded to Brussels, where, with Sir George Ratcliffe, he attached himself to the Duke of York, undertook to form his household for him, excited his military ambition, and intrigued to marry him to a daughter of the Duke of Lorraine. Herbert thus rendered himself very obnoxious to the queen-mother. In 1651 he accompanied James to Paris, and took up his quarters at the Luxembourg. On 6 April 1653 he was appointed lord keeper of the great seal, and removed to the Palais Royal. Charles II refused to take him with him to Germany in June of the following year, whereupon Herbert resigned the seal, and retired from the palace. He never saw Charles again, dying suddenly at Paris of a gangrened wound in December 1657. He was buried in the cemetery of the Huguenots in the Faubourg St. Germain, the cost of the funeral being defrayed by his friend Richard Mason. Clarendon, who had a rooted antipathy for him, nevertheless gives him credit for ‘a very good natural wit improved by conversation with learned men but not at all by study and industry.’ He adds that he was ‘the proudest man living,’ and that ‘his greatest faculty was, and in which he was a master, to make difficult matters more intricate and perplexed, and very easy things to seem more hard than they were.’

Herbert married, between 1635 and 1652 Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Smith, master of requests, and relict of the Hon. Thomas Carey, second son of Robert, first earl of Monmouth (Herald and Genealogist, pt. xix. p. 45; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1635–6 p. 5, 1651–2 p. 423). She survived him, and obtained at the Restoration a grant of the king's new-year's presents less 1,000l. for three years, in consideration of her husband's services, losses, and sufferings in the royal cause (Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. x. 425; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1651–2 p. 423, 1660 p. 274). By her Herbert had three sons (Arthur, earl of Torrington, admiral [q. v.]; Charles, slain on the side of King William at the battle of Aughrim in 1691; and Edward [q. v.], lord chief justice in the reign of James II) and three daughters.

[The Lives of all the Lords Chancellors, 1712, i. 129 et seq.; Peerage of England, 1710, ‘Herbert, Earl of Torrington;’ Foss's Lives of the Judges; Clarendon's Rebellion; Clarendon's Life, i. 210–12; Lord Herbert of Cherbury's Autobiography, ed. S. L. Lee, and Genealogical Table; Inner Temple Books; Official Lists of Members of Parliament; Whitelocke's Mem. pp. 6, 19; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1628–9 p. 556, 1629–31 p. 281, 1633–4 p. 3, 1634–5 p. 470; Hacket's Scrinia Reserata, pp. 101 et seq.; Cobbett's State Trials, iii. 719; Dugdale's Orig. pp. 168, 171; Chron. Ser. p. 109; Rymer's Fœdera, ed. Sanderson, xix. 606, xx. 380, 448; Metcalfe's Book of Knights; Nicholas Papers (Camd. Soc.); Parl. Hist. ii. 1005, 1036; Verney's-