When Edward and Orra Hitchcock toured England they visited the grave of George Herbert, a Welsh priest, metaphysical poet and theologian whom Edward admired for his piety. He came from an educated family. When his father died when George was only three, his godfather, the poet John Donne, helped the family.
Herbert wrote poems in Latin, Greek, and English, all on religious subjects, and he became known for devotional themes. Aside from the fraternal feelings of piety, Hitchcock may have liked Herbert's poems because of their intricate schemes and clever wordplay.
George Herbert's portrait now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London, and several cathedrals portray his figure in stained glass. The Hitchcocks had hoped to see one of these on their tour, but the cathedral was closed and they had to move on.