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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Earls And Marquesses of Powis

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Before the Norman Conquest the Welsh principality of Powis, comprising the county of Montgomery and part of the counties of Brecknock, Radnor, Shropshire, Merioneth and Denbigh, was subject to the princes of North Wales. Early in the 12th century it was divided into upper and lower Powis. In 1283 Owen ap Griffin, prince of upper Powis, formally resigned his princely title (nomen et circulum principatus ) and his lands to the English king Edward I. at Shrewsbury, and received the lands again as an English barony. (See Montgomeryshire Collections, 1868, vol. i.). This barony of Powis passed through female inheritance to the family of Cherleton and in 1421 to that of Grey. It fell into abeyance in 1551.

In 1587 Sir Edward Herbert (d. 1594), a younger son of William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, purchased some of the lands of the barony, including Red castle, afterwards Powis castle, near Welshpool, and in 1629 his son William (c. 1573-1656) was created Baron Powis. William's grandson, William, the 3rd baron ( c. 1629-1696), was created earl of Powis in 1674 and Viscount Montgomery and marquess of Powis in 1687. The recognized head of the Roman Catholic aristocracy in England, Powis was suspected of complicity in some of the popish plots and was imprisoned in the Tower of London from 1678 to 1684. He followed James II. into exile and was created duke of Powis by the dethroned king. The English government deprived him of his estates, but these were restored to his son William, the 2nd marquess, in 1722. William, who had a somewhat chequered career as a Jacobite, died in October 1745, and when his son William, the 3rd marquess, died in 1748 the titles became extinct.

In 1748 Henry Arthur Herbert (d. 1772), who had been made Baron Herbert of Chirbury in 1743, was created Baron Powis and earl of Powis. He allied himself with the earlier holders of these titles, with which family he was distantly connected, by marrying Barbara, a niece of the 3rd marquess. The titles became extinct a second time when his son George Edward died in January 1801. George's sister and heiress, Henrietta Antonia (1758-1830), married Edward Clive ( 1754-1829 ), son and heir of the great Lord Clive. In 1794 he was made Baron Clive of Walcot, and in 1804, after serving as governor of Madras from 1798 to 1803, he was created Baron Powis and earl of Powis. His son Edward, the 2nd earl (1785-1848), took the name of Herbert in 1807 in lieu of that of Clive. He was a member of parliament from 1806 to 1839, and was elected in opposition to the Prince Consort, as chancellor of the university of Cambridge in 1847. His second son was Lieut.-General Sir Percy Egerton Herbert (1822-1876), who distinguished himself in the Crimean War, and Sir Percy's son, George Charles (b. 1862), became the 4th earl in 1891.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Earls And Marquesses of Powis'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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