George Herbert is buried in St Andrew's Church, Bemerton, Wiltshire (now a suburb of
He died of consumption at the age of 40 and was buried in front of
When his two patrons the Duke of Richmond and the Marquess of Hamilton
died, Herbert knew that he was not destined for a life in politics and
subsequently resigned his parliamentary seat and took holy orders as the
Rector of Bemerton.
In 1629 Herbert rebuilt the little Church of St Andrew at his own
expense. It was during his time at Bemerton (1630-1632) that he wrote all
the poetry in The Temple. On his deathbed Herbert arranged for the manuscript
to be sent to his friend Nicholas Ferrar with the instruction to either
burn it or publish it, as he felt fit. Fortunately, Ferrar opted for the
The Temple was published posthumously to popular acclaim.
Herbert's poetry is among the finest religious verse in the English
language. Centring on the Eucharist, it deals with the struggles of a man
endeavouring to give himself up to God.
Herbert was also an early exponent of
with poems such as The Altar and
William Cowper found
great solace in these poems during his periods of depression. They were also
read by Charles I whilst in prison.