Pembroke, William Herbert, 3d earl of

Pembroke, William Herbert, 3d earl of, 1580–1630, English courtier and patron of letters. Son of Mary Herbert, countess of Pembroke, and nephew of Sir Philip Sidney, he was tutored by the poet Samuel Daniel and succeeded his father to the earldom in 1601. Prominent at court, he became (1611) a privy councilor and served as lord chamberlain of the royal household (1615–25) and lord steward (1626–30). He also furthered the exploration and colonization of America. Shakespeare's First Folio (1623) was dedicated to him and his brother, and he has been doubtfully identified with the “Mr. W. H.” mentioned in the publisher's dedication of the 1609 edition of the Sonnets. Pembroke College, Oxford, was named in his honor while he was chancellor of the university (1617–30).

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