?Surveyor, ct. augmentations, S. Wales by 1552-4; sheriff, Mont. 1558-9, 1574-5; j.p. ?Staffs. 1559, q. Mont. 1575-83.2
On his father’s death in 1539 John Herbert succeeded to some of Sir Richard Herbert’s responsibilities: in 1545 he was granted the lease of Montgomery castle, which some five years later he passed over to his elder brother Edward Herbert. Like his brother he was to benefit from the patronage of his cousin William Herbert I, 1st Earl of Pembroke, but whereas Edward Herbert remained in their native county John Herbert moved into Shropshire and even further afield. It was his second marriage, to the mistress of Edward, last Lord Grey of Powis, and the mother of a son Edward Grey, which established Herbert at Buildwas, part of Powis’s bequest to this son; the marriage also led him to contest the claim of Thomas Vernon to the barony of Powis. In 1551 Herbert was given wine by Shrewsbury ‘for the honour of the town’, and three years later, as ‘Mr. John Herbert of Buildwas’, he was joined with William Charlton and Richard Lawley in a commission from the council in the marches to survey the lands of the chantry in the parish church of Wenlock. Herbert’s return for Wenlock to Edward VI’s second Parliament he doubtless owed to the council and its president, his cousin Pembroke. The earl’s influence must also be presumed at New Romney in 1555, although there it was exercised through the lord warden of the Cinque Ports, Sir Thomas Cheyne. Herbert himself may have seen a seat in the Commons as an advantage in his dispute with Vernon. As a Member in 1555 he was not among the Members who opposed one of the government’s bills. In 1557 he joined his brother in the expedition which Pembroke led to France.
Under Elizabeth, Herbert confined his activities to the counties where his property lay: he is variously described as of Buildwas, of Powis and of Welshpool, and in proceedings against him for debt as late of London. He made little mark in Shropshire, and in Montgomeryshire he was overshadowed by his brother, whom as sheriff he returned to the first Parliament of the reign but whom he never supplanted in the Commons. In the absence of a will and an inquisition his death cannot be dated, but it appears from the continuing litigation over the Grey inheritance that he died not long after being named to the Montgomery bench for the last time in 1583." 2