Two Gentle Men: The Lives of George Herbert and Robert Herrick

By Marchette Chute | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT

NOW THAT GEORGE HERBERT HAD EMBARKED UPON A POLITICAL career, it was natural for him to follow in the footsteps of other members of his family and serve in Parliament. His grandfather, his father and his elder brother had all represented Montgomeryshire in the House of Commons, and interlocking members of the clan had served from other parts of Wales.

In theory, a member of the gentry was sent from each Welsh county and a local burgess from the chief county town, but in practice the gentry had been moving into both positions. It was common for the head of a prominent local family to represent the shire while one of his sons represented the town; and it would have caused little surprise in Montgomery on a winter's day early in 1624 when the votes were counted and it was found that George Herbert had been elected to represent the town in the next Parliament.

There was intense competition for seats in this election of 1624, since King James had attempted to interfere with the voting on an earlier occasion and the gentlemen of the shires were determined to have no more of such practices. They were taking their political responsibilities with increasing seriousness, and it was a sober and conscientious group of men-no age "afforded a better pack" -- who met in Westminster early in February.

George Herbert was a newcomer in Parliament but he could not have felt himself a stranger. His grandfather had served there before Queen Elizabeth came to the throne and the members of his family ever since. Moreover, he had many friends there, and some of them had been serving in the House of Commons for a long time. It was the fourth Parliament for his stepfather,

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Two Gentle Men: The Lives of George Herbert and Robert Herrick
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Part One - George Herbert 9
  • Chapter One 11
  • Chapter Two 22
  • Chapter Three 35
  • Chapter Four 47
  • Chapter Five 57
  • Chapter Six 68
  • Chapter Seven 77
  • Chapter Eight 85
  • Chapter Nine 93
  • Chapter Ten 107
  • Chapter Eleven 116
  • Chapter Twelve 123
  • Chapter Thirteen 134
  • Chapter Fourteen 148
  • Part Two - Robert Herrick 153
  • Chapter Fifteen 155
  • Chapter Sixteen 161
  • Chapter Seventeen 170
  • Chapter Eighteen 178
  • Chapter Nineteen 184
  • Chapter Twenty 192
  • Chapter Twenty-One 203
  • Chapter Twenty-Two 211
  • Chapter Twenty-Three 219
  • Chapter Twenty-Four 226
  • Chapter Twenty-Five 235
  • Chapter Twenty-Six 244
  • Chapter Twenty-Seven 255
  • Chapter Twenty-Eight 265
  • Appendix - Walton's Biography of Herbert 277
  • Selected Bibliography 283
  • Index 299
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