HERBERT, Charles (1644-91), of Aston, Mont.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1689 - 12 July 1691

Family and Education

b. Aug. 1644, 1st s. of Sir Edward Herbert† of Aston, solicitor-gen. 1640, attorney-gen. 1641, ld. keeper to Charles II in exile, by Margaret, da. and h. of Sir Thomas Smith†, master of requests 1608–9, of Abingdon, Berks. and Parson’s Green, Fulham, Mdx. and wid. of Thomas Carey; bro. of Arthur Herbert†, 1st Earl of Torrington, and Sir Edward Herbert†. unmsuc. fa. 1657.1

Offices Held

Capt. of ft. Admiralty regt. 1678–9, lt. 1680–3, capt. 1683–7 (Prince George’s regt. 1685–7); col. of ft. Ld. Herbert’s regt. (later 23 Ft.) Apr. 1689–d.2

Freeman, Welshpool 1678.3

Auditor of Exchequer for crown revenues in Wales 1690–d.


Herbert’s family was divided by the Revolution of 1688, one of his brothers commanding the Prince of Orange’s invasion fleet, the other following King James into exile. Herbert himself declared for the Prince and was appointed by his cousin Henry Herbert* as governor of Ludlow. In return for his own efforts, and partly perhaps as a favour to his Williamite brother, he was given in April 1689 the regiment raised by another, more distant cousin, the 4th Lord Herbert of Chirbury, on whose interest he had been returned to the Convention for Montgomery Boroughs. At the same time he petitioned for the post of Welsh auditor of the Exchequer, and despite strong competition secured the King’s blessing, although a dispute over the legality of the vacancy prevented his admission until June 1690.4

Despite his regiment’s involvement in the Irish campaigns, Herbert was put up for re-election in February 1690. The freemen of Montgomery were reassured by Lord Herbert that their outgoing representative ‘makes no doubt of the King’s leave to attend this Parliament’. Herbert was, indeed, granted leave to attend the election, though he seems to have spent his time in London rather than in Wales, and it seems unlikely that he took his seat: in neither the first nor the second session of the Parliament was he recorded as making a speech. Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) had found it impossible to classify him by party in March 1690, but, probably because of his commission, reckoned him a supporter of the Court. By April 1691, however, Robert Harley* was listing him among the Country opposition. While in Ireland he left ‘his power of officiating’ as auditor with his cousin Henry*. Herbert was killed at the battle of Aughrim, 12 July 1691. He was, it would appear, taken prisoner by the Jacobite forces and ‘barbarously murdered when on the point of being rescued’. His will, drawn up on the eve of the engagement, appointed his brother Arthur heir to the Aston estate.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Wadham Coll. Reg. 1613–1719, p. 159; C. J. Feret, Fulham Old and New, ii. 137–8.
  • 2. HMC Downshire, i. 242.
  • 3. Mont. Colls. xii. 320.
  • 4. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 400–1, 543, 615, 729; CSP Dom. 1690–1, p. 507.
  • 5. Mont. Colls. xlviii. 118–21; v. 485; Cal. Herbert Corresp. ed. W. J. Smith (Univ. of Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xxi), 352–5; Epistolary Curiosities ed. Warner, i. 247–8.