Born: Ap­ril 3, 1593, Mont­gom­ery Cas­tle, Eng­land.

Died: March 1, 1632, Be­mer­ton, Wilt­shire, Eng­land.

Buried: Bem­er­ton, Eng­land.

Herbert at­tend­ed West­min­ster School and Trin­i­ty Coll­ege at Cam­bridge, Eng­land. When he was ap­point­ed the school’s Pub­lic Or­a­tor, it be­came his du­ty to give speech­es—in Latin—to vis­it­ing dig­ni­tar­ies, and to give thanks for books do­nat­ed to the school lib­rary. King James I was im­pressed with Her­bert, and it seemed for a while he might make Her­bert an am­bas­sador. When the king’s death dashed these hopes, Her­bert fell back on his orig­in­al ca­reer plans, and was or­dained in 1626. His first ap­point­ment was as vi­car, then rec­tor, of the par­ish of Bem­er­ton and Fug­gle­stone.

Shortly be­fore he died, Herbert en­trust­ed a man­u­script of po­et­ry to Ed­mond Dun­con, tell­ing him:

Sir, I pray de­liv­er this lit­tle book to my bro­ther [Ni­cho­las] Fer­rar [of Lit­tle Gid­ding, Ox­ford­shire], and tell him that he shall find in it a pic­ture of the ma­ny spir­it­u­al con­flicts that have passed be­twixt God and my soul, be­fore I could sub­ject mine to the will of Je­sus my mas­ter; in whose ser­vice I have now found per­fect free­dom; de­sire him to read it, and then, if he can think it may turn to the ad­van­tage of any de­ject­ed poor soul, let it be made pub­lic; if not let him burn it; for I and it are less than the least of God’s mer­cies.

The manuscript was pub­lished post­hu­mous­ly as The Tem­ple.



  1. Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life
  2. God of Love My Shepherd Is, The
  3. King of Glory, King of Peace
  4. Let All the World in Every Corner Sing
  5. Teach Me, My God and King