George Herbert was born 3 April 1593 in Montgomery, Powys, Wales, the son of Richard Herbert, Lord of Cherbury (d. 1596) and his wife Magdalen née Newport, the daughter of Sir Richard Newport (1511–70). He was one of ten children. The Herbert family was wealthy and powerful in both national and local government, and George was descended from the same stock as the Earls of Pembroke. His father was a Member of Parliament, a justice of the peace, and later served for several years as high sheriff and later custos rotulorum (keeper of the rolls) of Montgomeryshire. His mother, Magdalen, was a patron and friend of clergyman and poet John Donne and other poets, writers and artists. Donne would stand in as George's godfather after Lord Herbert's death when George was three years old. In later years, Herbert's elder brother Edward (who assumed his late father's barony) was a soldier, diplomat, historian, poet, and philosopher whose religious writings led to his reputation as the "father of English deism".