William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1551 creation)

William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1551 creation)

William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke KG (c. 1501 – March 17, 1570) was a Tudor noble and courtier.

His father, Sir Richard Herbert, was an illegitimate son of another William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1423-1469) of an older, extinct creation.

Herbert's first wife, Anne Parr, was a sister of Catherine Parr, who married King Henry VIII. He rose with the Parrs after his sister-in-law's marriage and was knighted in 1544. He had been granted Wilton Abbey and other land by Henry VIII by 1544. He pulled down the abbey, and built the first Wilton House in the 1540s. Herbert was a guardian of the young King Edward VI after the death of Henry VIII in 1547. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1549, and created Baron Herbert of Cardiff on October 10, 1551, and 1st Earl of Pembroke the following day by Edward VI. Herbert made significant improvements and alterations to Cardiff Castle to make it a more appropriate residence for a rising statesman, of which only the Herbert Tower now remains. His wife Anne died on February 20, 1552, and later that year Herbert married Anne, daughter of George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury, and widow of Peter Compton. He had no children by his second wife, but three by Anne Parr:

*Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (aft. 1538–1601)
*Sir Edward Herbert (1547–1593), married Mary Stanley and had issue, including William Herbert, 1st Baron Powis
*Anne Herbert (c. 1550–1592)

Herbert married his son Henry to Lady Catherine Grey in May 1553 while John Dudley married his son, Guilford Dudley to Lady Jane Grey. Herbert initially supported Jane Grey's claim to the throne, however when it became clear that Mary I would take the throne he cast Catherine out of his house and had the marriage annulled. He managed to distance himself from Grey family after their fall and obtained the new queen's favour by crushing Wyatt's rebellion.

William died on March 17, 1570, in Hampton Court.


*G. E. Cokayne, Complete Peerage, 1910-59
*cite book | title=The Official Baronage of England: showing the succession, dignities, and offices of every peer from 1066 to 1885, Vol. III | first=James William Edmund | last=Doyle | publisher=Longmans, Green & Co. | place=London | year=1886 | url=http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC14464012&id=DO8IAAAAIAAJ&dq | accessdate=2007-01-25

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