Pembroke, Thomas Herbert, 8th earl of

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Pembroke, Thomas Herbert, 8th earl of (1656–1733). Pembroke had a long and distinguished political career, was sword-bearer at five coronations, and was a keen patron of the arts. He succeeded to the title in 1683 and was appointed lord-lieutenant of Wiltshire, but fell into disfavour with James II after refusing to discipline boroughs and was dismissed in 1687. He supported William of Orange, though, as a Tory, he favoured a regency. He was 1st lord of the Admiralty 1690–2, lord privy seal 1692–9, lord president of the council 1699–1708, viceroy of Ireland 1707–8, and lord high admiral 1708–9. He served frequently as a lord justice (regent), was a commissioner to negotiate union with Scotland, and a strong supporter of the Hanoverian succession. Holmes described him as ‘a man of mild Tory sympathies and the centre of any coalition ministry’. Locke dedicated to him the Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), and Berkeley his Principles of Human Knowledge (1710).

J. A. Cannon