Herbert family, Earls of Powis

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Herbert family, Earls of Powis

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Sir Edward Herbert (d. 1595) was the second son of William Herbert (c. 1501-1570), 1st earl of Pembroke of the second creation. In 1587 Sir Edward bought Powis Castle (Y Castell Coch ym Mhowys) and the lordship of Powys from Edward Grey, the illegitimate son of Edward Grey (d. 1551), 4th baron Grey de Powis, and feudal lord of Powys.

His son, William Herbert (1573-1656), was created 1st baron Powis. His grandson, William Herbert (c. 1629-1696), 3rd baron Powis, was created Marquis of Powis, whilst his own grandson, William Herbert (c. 1698-1748), the 3rd Marquis, died unmarried, when all his honours became extinct. The estate passed to his heir, Barbara Herbert (1735-c. 1786), being the posthumous daughter and heir of Lord Edward Herbert, the 3rd marquis's only brother. She married Henry Arthur Herbert (c. 1703-1772) of Oakley Park, Montgomeryshire, in 1751. He was only remotely related to the late marquis (their common ancestor being Sir William ap Thomas, eight generations previously), but had already been created Earl of Powis in 1748, only two months after the death of the late marquis (and earl) of Powis, and three years before he married the marquis's heiress.

Henry and Barbara were succeeded by their son, George Edward Henry Arthur Herbert (1755-1801), 2nd earl of Powis, who also died unmarried, when all his honours became extinct. His estates passed to his sister and sole surviving heir, Henrietta Antonia (1758-1830), the wife of Edward Clive (1754-1839), 2nd baron Clive of Plassey, the son and heir of Robert Clive (1725-1774), (Clive of India). Their son, another Edward (1785-1848), 2nd earl Powis, took the surname Herbert in lieu of that of Clive, in accordance with his maternal uncle's will. His descendants continued until at least 1988, when George William Herbert (b. 1925), 7th earl, succeeded in 1988. Powis Castle was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1952, although it remained in part a private home until 1988.

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