HERBERT, Thomas

HERBERT, Thomas. York 1606 — York 1.3.1682. Sir, First Baronet. British Traveller in Persia and India. Son of Christopher H., a merchant, and Jane Akroyd, of a Yorkshire family related to the Earls of Pembroke. Perhaps studied at both Oxford and Cambridge. In 1627 he joined the suite of Sir Dodmore Cotton, English Ambassador to Persia, and left with him and Sir Robert Sherley. They arrived at Surat in January 1628 and proceeded to Persia, where both Cotton and Sherley died. TH returned to India in spring 1629 and to England in December. In 1630-31 travelled in Europe. In the civil war he was on the side of Parliament and in 1647 attended the king until his execution. The next decade living in Ireland. In 1660 he was made Bart. for his services to Charles I. The later part of his life he devoted on antiquarian and literary pursuits. He belongs rather to the history of Persin studies, of India he saw very little. Married 1632 Lucia Alexander (d. 1671), six daughters and four sons (only 3+1 survived him), married 1672 Elizabeth Cutter.

Publications: A description of the Persian monarchy now beinge. L. 1634, new ed. Some Yeares Travels in divers parts of Asia and Afrique. L. 1638 (with many additions taken from de Laet), and many edd., Dutch tr. 1658, French 1663.

A book about the last years of Charles I.

Sources: *R.W. Ferrier, “The First English Guide Book to Persia: A Description of the Persian Monarchy [by T.H.]”, Iran 15, 1977, 75–88;; *R.H. Fritze, Oxford D.N.B.; Oaten 1909, 169f.; J.M.R[igg], D.N.B. 26, 1891, 215-217; Wikipedia with portrait.

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