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Herbert, William (fl.1604) (DNB00)


HERBERT or HARBERT, WILLIAM (fl. 1604), poet, probably son of William Herbert of Glamorgan, seems to have matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, on 17 Oct. 1600, aged 17. He was apparently in attendance on Prince Henry soon after James I's accession. A William Herbert or Harbert was a volunteer in Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition to Guiana in 1618, and he may be identical with the poet. Raleigh calls him his ‘cousin,’ and describes him as ‘a very valiant and honest gentleman’(Edwards, Life of Ralegh, i. 567, ii. 353, 358, 372, 494). In 1604 Herbert published, as the fruit of his ‘infant labours’ and ‘unripened years,’ a long poem—now very rare—entitled ‘A Prophesie of Cadwallader, last King of the Britaines, containing a comparison of the English kings with many worthy Romanes, from William Rufus till Henry the Fift. Henry the Fift his life and death. Foure Battels betweene the two houses of York and Lancaster. The Field of Banbury. The losse of Elizabeth. The praise of King Iames, and lastly a poeme to the young Prince, London (by Thomas Creede for Roger Iackson), 1604.’ In a dedication to Sir Philip Herbert, K.B., afterwards Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery [q. v.], the author bids him follow the guidance of Sir Philip Sidney, and at the close of the volume other verses to Sir Philip Herbert precede ‘the poem to the young prince.’ The section dealing with the battle of Banbury supplies a speech of William Herbert, earl of Pembroke (d. 1469) [q. v.] after being condemned to death, but the poet does not appear to claim relationship with the Pembroke family. The address to James I includes enthusiastic praises of Sidney and Spenser. The poem is, with rare exceptions, in seven-line stanzas, rhyming ababbcc, and is promising as the work of a young man. It has been reprinted in Dr. Grosart's ‘Fuller Worthies' Miscellany,’ vol. i. Imperfect copies are in the British Museum and Bodleian Libraries; perfect copies are in the Huth and Britwell collections.

The author of 'Cadwallader' contributed verses 'in laudem authoris' to Peter Erondelle's 'French Garden,' 1608, and lines by him addressed 'to his worthily-affected friend, Mr. W. Browne,' precede Browne's 'Britannia's Pastorals,' 1625. An epigram on him appears in Carnage's 'Linsie Woolsie,' 1613.

Care must be taken to distinguish the poet from Sir William Herbert (d. 1593) [q. v.], with whom Ritson and others have confused him. There seems little doubt, too, that he is to be distinguished from William Herbert (fl. 1634-1662), a voluminous author of pious manuals and French conversation-books. This author lived for some years at Pointington, Somerset, where he married Frances Sedgwicke,! 27 April 1635 (parish register). In 1640 he was tutor to the sons of Montague Bertie, second earl of Lindsey [q. v.], and seems to have travelled abroad with them. He had a perfect knowledge of French, calls himself Guillaume Herbert when translating Daniel Featley's 'Ancilla Pietatis' into English, and spent much time abroad. He was a zealous opponent of Roman Catholicism, and took so much interest in the French and Dutch protestants in London as to suggest that, he joined their congregation. In his 'Reponse aux Questions de Mr. Despagne adressées à l'Eglise Française de Londres,' London, 1657, he charges Jean d'Espagne [q. v.], a French protestant minister in London, with blasphemy and immorality, and quotes information obtained from the Hague. In 1662 he published, while living at the Charterhouse, London, 'Considerations in the behalf of Foreigners which reside in England, and of the English who are out of their own Country,' and pleaded earnestly for universal toleration in matters of religion and politics. In the dedication of his 'Careful Father' to Philip Herbert, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, he addresses the earl as 'the chiefe Herbert,' but claims no near relationship. By his wife Frances (d. 10 March 1644-5) (cf. Herbert, Childbearing Woman) he had a son, Benjamin (b. 18 Feb. 1644-5), and a daughter, Elizabeth (b. 1639).

His works, besides those mentioned, are: 1. ‘Herbert's Beleefe and Confession of Faith made in clx articles for the instruction of his wife and children,’ London, 1646, 12mo, dedicated to his son Benjamin; 2nd edit. London, 1648, ‘with scripture proofes and some words and lines for illustrations,’ dedicated to Montague Bertie, earl of Lindsey. 2. ‘Herbert's Careful Father and Pious Child, lively represented in Teaching and Learning. A Catechisme made in all Questions.… For th'instruction of his daughter,’ London, 1648, 12mo, dedicated to Philip Herbert, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, with an ‘appended’ catalogue of 210 Popish errors. 3. ‘Herbert's Childbearing Woman from the Conception to the Weaning of the Child, made in a Devotion containing above clx Meditations, Prayers, and Songs for the use of Mrs. Frances Herbert,’ London, 1648, 8vo, dedicated to his wife from Pointington in 1638. The verse includes lullabies and songs to be sung while the children are being dressed, carried into the fields, and the like. 4. ‘Herbert's Quadripartit Devotion for the Day, Week, Month, and Year,’ London, 1646, 8vo, 4 pts.; dedicated to the pastors, elders, and deacons of all the French and Dutch congregations in Great Britain. 5. ‘Herbert's French and English Dialogues,’ London, 1660, 8vo; a projected grammar is stated in the advertisement to have been delayed by the writer's illness.

A book by Herbert, entitled ‘La Mallette de David,’ was licensed for publication to N. Bourne on 2 March 1634-5. In 1658 Herbert edited the fourth edition of Paul Cogneau's ‘Sure Guide to the French Tongue.’

[For the poet see Dr. Grosart's reprint noticed above; Corser's Collectanea Anglo-Poetica, vii. 152 sq.; Ritson's Bibliogrnphia Anglo-Poetica; Collier's Bibliographical Cat. i. 361. For William Herbert the prose writer see his works enumerated above.]

S. L. L.