Affair with Kitty Hunter:
Henry had a
brief affair in 1762 with
[born probably 1740 or 1741, descendant of Edward III].
Henry had returned from Germany Jan 1762.
He immediately met and fell for Kitty.
They eloped in Feb 1762 to the Low Countries
(him disguising himself as a sailor, and leaving a note for his wife).
See account by Horace Walpole.
But soon he was recalled to the Army in Germany.
Kitty was already pregnant and gave birth Nov 1762.
The baby was baptised in Holland in Dec 1762.
At some point she returned to England. Henry and Kitty had illegitimate issue:
Augustus Reebkomp (later Montgomery),
born 23 Nov 1762.
Said to be born in England, but apparently not since bapt in Holland
(where the lovers had gone to escape the scandal).
Must be born in Holland.
He was bapt
"Retnuh Augustus Herbert",
16 Dec 1762,
at the village of Loenen, province of Utrecht, Holland.
child of Henry Herbert, Earl of Pembroke,
and Catherine Hunter.
Baptism recorded in the records of
St. Mary's Church, Rotterdam, Holland.
General Register Office: Foreign Registers and Returns; Class: RG 33; Piece: 89.
He was given first names
"Retnuh Augustus" [baptism]
or "Augustus Retnuh" [Eton College register].
"Retnuh" is Hunter backwards.
He was given surname
or "Repkombe" [Eton College register]
These are anagrams of Pembroke.
Henry returned to England Feb 1763 and was reconciled to his wife Mar 1763.
Elizabeth was admired by the King
in the early 1760s.
This came back to embarrass her
when he suffered madness in later life.
Affair in Venice:
Henry had another affair on the Continent in 1768, in Venice.
[Pembroke Papers, vol.I, p.41]
says there was a story that he carried the lady off on the very night of her wedding to someone else.
had illegitimate issue by her:
Caroline Medkaff, or Medkalf,
born 1768 or 1769, illegitimate,
as with his other illegitimate child, the 10th Earl acknowledged her and paid for her,
educ in England,
mar 1786 to John Williams and had issue,
mentioned in 1792 codicil to 10th Earl's will as his dau.
Henry was appointed a Lord of the Bedchamber to
George III in 1769.
Elizabeth was the principal lady-in-waiting (Mistress of the Robes)
to Queen Charlotte.
The King and Queen stayed with them at Wilton for two nights in 1778 (NOT 1788).
Henry advanced to the rank
of General in 1782.
"Husbands are dreadfull and powerfull Animals" wrote the long-suffering Elizabeth
after taking her husband back.
But she was not completely helpless.
She prevented him from giving Reebkomp the surname "Herbert".
(Reebkomp had to make do with adopting the name "Montgomery" in 1782.)
She and Henry ended up in separate quarters at Wilton (him downstairs, her upstairs).
Elizabeth leaves Henry:
Eventually Elizabeth left him in 1788.
She moved to Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park, London
(put at her disposal by the King).
The King's madness:
But then the King, who had been attracted to Elizabeth all his life,
suffered his first bout of insanity in 1788,
and she had to endure (at age 51) the embarrassment of his unwanted attentions.
Henry dies, 1794:
died at Wilton, 26 Jan 1794, age 59 yrs,
bur Wilton parish church.
Reebkomp died 1797.
Elizabeth suffered unwanted attentions of King sporadically until 1805 (her age 68).
She outlived her son the 11th Earl
who died 1827.
She died 30 Apr 1831, age 94 yrs.
The 10th Earl as a boy, 1748 (age 14).
Portrait by follower of Jonathan Richardson (died 1745).
Used here with the kind permission of the
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
Engraving by Charles Turner Warren, after portrait by W.H. Brown, published 1792.
See full size.
There is a modern replica 18th cent ship,
Earl of Pembroke
(built in the 1940s as the
reconstructed as an 18th cent style ship in 1994).
This has been
used in many films,
and was re-named the Earl of Pembroke in the time of the
17th Earl the film-maker.
However, the inspiration for the name was apparently the fact that
Captain Cook's Endeavour
used to be the
Earl of Pembroke.
wrote about the affair of Pembroke with Kitty Hunter in 1762.
Letter by Horace Walpole on 22 Feb 1762.
Vol.3 (1861 edn)
The letters of Horace Walpole.
Letter by Horace Walpole on 25 Feb 1762.
He passes on a quip that someone else made:
"As Pembroke a horseman by most is accounted,
'Tis not strange that his lordship a Hunter has mounted."
Letter by Horace Walpole on 29 Mar 1763.
of 1906 edn
The letters of Horace Walpole.
Censored version on
of 1840 edn.
The movie shows the mad King harassing her,
but shows her (and the Queen) remaining loyal to him.
Set in 1788, she was actually much older than portrayed.
She was age 51 in real life but is
played by 32 year old Amanda Donohoe.
In the movie she says "My mother-in-law lost her wits" [but is now cured].
This is invention.
Her mother-in-law Mary Fitzwilliam died in 1769.
The King introduces her:
"Now, that's Lady Pembroke. Handsome woman, what?
Daughter of the Duke of Marlborough. Stuff of generals. Blood of Blenheim.
Husband an utter rascal. Eloped in a packet-boat."
The concert with the bell-ringers,
and two later scenes with the Prince of Wales,
are actually shot in the Double Cube Room at Wilton
(with group portrait
Though it is not meant to be Wilton in the story.
Possible other natural child
This may be another natural child of the 10th Earl:
The baptism of "Charles Henry Herbert",
son of "Henry and Jane Berkepom",
born 11 Jan 1767,
bapt 7 Feb 1767, St Marylebone Church of England.
"Berkepom" is an anagram for "Pembroke".
See full size.
AI animations of old portraits.
AI animation of
portrait of 10th Earl of Pembroke, Colonnade Room, Wilton House.
Please donate to support this site.
I have spent a great deal of time and money on this research.
Research involves travel and many expenses.
Some research "things to do"
are not done for years, because I do not have the money to do them.
Please Donate Here
to support the ongoing research and
to keep this website free.