See also

William PEMBROKE (1455-1490)

1. William Herbert, 2nd earl of PEMBROKE, son of William Herbert, first earl of Pembroke (1) (c. 1423-1469), was born in 1455. He died in 1490. He married Katherine.

Second Generation

2. William Herbert, first earl of Pembroke (1), son of Sir William ap Thomas of Raglan and Gwladys, was born circa 1423. He died in 1469.

 

William Herbert, first earl of Pembroke (C.1423-1469), soldier and administrator, was from Raglan in the marcher lordship of Usk; his attachment to Richard, duke of York, and Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, the Kingmaker, enabled him to become Edward IV's Welsh "master-lock" (Gwaith Lewys Glyn Cothi, no. 112) an dto be the first full-blooded Welshman to enter the English peerage.

The son of Sir William ap Thomas (d.1445) and Gwladus (d.1454), duaghter of the Brecon knight Dafydd Gam (d. 1415), and widow of Roger Vaughan (Fychan) of Bredwardine (d.1415), William was brought up at Raglan Castle in York's lordship of Usk. He took the name of Herbert (pedigrees claiming descent from a companion of William I are fanciful), and secured advancement by serving York, Gloucester, the Beauchamps, and the crown in the Marches. His father was in Yokr's retinue in France (1441), and the son was there in the last years of Englsih occupation: he witnessed the surrender of Le Mans (1448) and at the battle of Formigny (April 1450) was captured and held for ransom. At home he became steward of York's lordships of Usk and Caerleon, and when York raised the seige of Taunton and suppressed lawlessness between the earl of Devon and Sir William Bonville (in September 1451), Herbert was with him. By 1453 he was the earl of Warwick's sheriff of Glamorgan. Along with other esquires, including Henry VI's half-brothers, Edmund and Jasper Tudor, Herbert was knighted at CHristmas 1452, and Edmund granted him a £10 annuity (October 1453). Thus before the Wars of the Roses, Herbert inherited his father's influence in south-east Wales; but the growing tension between York and the Lancastrians, and between Warwick and the duke of SOmerset in south Wales, strained his loyalties.

York was assured in May 1454 that Herbert "saith he is noo monis mon but only youres" (Pugh, "The magnates", 92). Already noble rivalries were disturbing the peace in south Wales. The dispute between Warwick and Somerset over Glamorgan led to a summons for Herbert and his kinsmen to appear before the king's council in 1453. Following the battle of St. ALbans in May 1455 more serious trouble occurred, and there is little doubt that Herbert, Sir Walter Devereux (whose daughter Anne he married in 1449), and their affinities acted in York's interest as well as their own to dominate Herefordshire and its environs. Their most spectacular acts reasserted the duke's authority in west Wales. Herbert, Devereux and the Vaughans led about 2000 men from Herefordshire and neighbouring lordships to seize Carmarthen Castle, of which York was officially constable; they captured and imprisoned Edmund Tudor, and then took Aberystwyth, another castle under York's constableship. Attempts to bring the culprits to book had only temporary success; though briefly consigned to the Tower of London, by October Herbert was marauding in Glamorgan, Abergavenny, Usk and Caerleon, and a price of 500 marks was put on his head. In late March 1457 Henry VI and Queen Margaret travelled to Hereford to oversee the trial of Herbert and others. An effort may have been made to detach him from other rebels, for his punishment was comparatively light: in June he was pardoned and restored to his possessions.

Herbert was not present when York's forces were dispersed at Ludford Bridge (October 1459). Perhaps because of this he was allowed to retain the shrievalty of Glamorgan and the constableship of Usk Castle (February 1460), following Warwick's and York's attainders. But once Henry VI had been captured at Northampton in July 1460, the Yorkists employed Herbert and Walter Devereux junior to preserve order in Wales; both also represented Herefordshire in the parliament of 1460-61. Herbert's loyalties were clear when he and a force from York's estates joined Edward, earl of March, atthe battle of Mortimer's Cross (2 or 3 February 1461. A month later (3 March) he was at Baynard's Castle to acclaim Edward as king.

Herbert's position after 1461 reflects his energy, loyalty and ambition, as well as the young king's heavy reliance on a dependable tenant with a powerful affinity. He became a king's knight and Edward's intimate, and his rewards and commissions in Wales and the marches were unprecedented. In the spring and summer he and Walter Devereux were commissioned to array men in south Wales and the marches to defeat the Lancastrians and impose the new king's authority, and a fleet was put at his disposal. On 8 May he was appointed justiciar and chamberlain of the roayl counties of Carmarthen and Cardigan for life. In September he and Devereux received custody of the Stafford lands in south Wales during the duke of Buckingham's minority, Herbert acting as steward of Brecon, Hay and Huntington, and in control ofo Newport. Meanwhile in July Edward IV summoned him to his first parliament as one of seven new barons.

An immediate objective was the capture of Pembroke Castle. On 30 September 1461 Herbert secured its surrender, taking custody of Henry Tudor, earl of Richmond, whom he put in the care of his wife, Anne, at Raglan; he paid £1,000 for the boy's wardship an dmarriage. Moving north he defeated a Lancastrian force near Caernarfon in October. In February 1462 he was granted the lordship of Pembroke, along with otehr estates of Jasper Tudor, the attainted earl. A ffew days late the Welsh estates of the Mowbraysssssssssss - notably Gower - were place in his hands. By the spring Herbert and his kinsmen controlled much of southern Wales and the borderland (including Goodrich and ARchenfield); and after his brother Richard captured Carreg Cenne Castle, Carmarthenshrie, in May, only Harlech was unsudued.

The king's reliance on Herbert and his affinity in Wales gave him political hegemony and huge wealth: by the mid-1460's his landed income and fees amounted to £3,200-£3,300 per annum. His authority in Carmarthenshire and Cardigan shire was made permanent when in September 1466 his offices were extended to his male heirs. Moreover, partly in preparation for the assault on Harlech, his power was extended to north Wales: in June 1463 as justiciar of Merioneth, and in August 1467 as justiciar of the entire principality of north Wales. He already had custody (June) of the lands of Richard Grey, lord of Powys. By 1468 there were few lordships or counties in Wales and the marches (except Glamorgan) of which he was not either lord of chief official - King Edward's "master-lock" indeed. The prize, Harlech, fell to him in August 1468. His last notable coup came in the following month, when the duke of NOrfolk transferred Chepstow and Gower to him in exchange for East Anglian manors.

Marks of the king's personal favour multiplied. In 1462 Herbert was eleced a knight of the Garter; in 1463 Crickhowell and Tretower were made into a separate lordship for him, and in 1465, in recognition of his valour, Edward made Raglan a lordship in its own right, the last time a Welsh marcher lordship was created; on 8 September 1468 Herbert was created earl of Pembroke. The price was Warwick's resentment. According to TB Pugh, the "oringinal cause for [Warwick's] dissatisfaction with Edward IV" (Pugh, Glamorgan County History, 3.198) was the placing of the Stafford lands in Herbert's hands in 1461. Herbert's gradual mastery of Wales may have made the lord of Glamorgan more uneasy, for it coincided with Warwick's disenchantment with Edward's foreign policy and his reliance on the Woodvilles. Warwick resented the grant of the Luttrell estate of Dunster, Somerset, to Herbert's eldest son, William, who took the tile of Lord Dunster before his marriage to the queen's sister, Mary, in September 1466. Three weeks later (26 September) the queen's father, Lord Rivers, arranged that Herbert's earlier lease (1462) of Haverford and other lands be converted into a grant to him and his male heirs. And it was Herbert who accompanied Edward IV when he deprived Archbishop Neville of the great seal in June 1467.

In July 1469 the king faced Robin of Redesdale's rebellion and the arrival of Warwick and the duke of Clarence from France, proclaiming Pembroke as one of the king's wicked advisers. Pembroke raised an army for the king largely in Wales; he and his brother, Sir Richrad, were to join Humphrey Stafford, earl of Devon, at Banbury, Oxfordshire; a skirmish with some rebels and a quarrel with Devon over billeting weakened Pembroke's position. In the desperate fight at Edgcote on 26 July, the Welsh were overshelmed, and Pembroke and his brother were capture and taken to Northampton; next day Warwick ordered their exection. Welsh poets lamented the deaths of such famous Welsh nobles. Contrary to his will of July 1469, the earl was buried in Tintern Abbey rather than Abergavenny Priory, where Sir Richard's body was interred. He instructed his widow to betroth Henry Tudor, earl of Richmond (afterwards Henry VII) to their duaghter Maud, which would link his family to Edward III's line.

Pembroke's eldest son, William Herbert, second earl of Pembroke (1455-1490), magnate, inherited the earldom of Pembroke but not th eability and falir that made teh first earl virtual viceroy of Wales for Edward IV. The sons's youth, as well as limited abilities (or ill health), precluded his inheriting his father's position. After the battle of Barnet on 14 April 1471 Edward IV entered London with the young earl, who was welcome at court. But he received only partial exemption from the Act of Resumption of 1473, and this may have led to disturbances by the Herbert family in 1473-4. He went with the king, his brother-in-law, to France in 1475 and on their return Herbert was allowed to enter his inheritance. The establishment of the prince of Wales' council in the marches was at the earl's expense, culminating in 1479 in the enforced exchange of the earldom of Pembroke (which was transferred to the prince) for the less valuable earldom of Huntingdon. He was closer to Richard III, whose bastard, Katherine, he agreed to marry in February 1484; he may have been chamberlain of Richard's son, Prince Edward. Yet he did not resist Henry Tudor, with whom he had been brought up. He soon made his peace with the new king, and on 22 September 1486 was formally pardoned. When he died on 16 July 1490, he left no male heir and the Herbert ascendancy in Wales had already disintegrated.

RA Griffiths.

 

William Herbert, first earl of Pembroke (1) had the following children:

 

Richard HERBERT ( -1510). Richard died in 1510.

1

William Herbert, 2nd earl of PEMBROKE (1455-1490)

Third Generation

3. Sir William ap Thomas of Raglan celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. He died in 1445. He married Gwladys.

 

illiam ap Thomas was the member of a minor Welsh gentry family and was responsible for beginning the construction of Raglan Castle as we recognize it today. He obtained Raglan through his marriage to Elizabeth Bloet, widow of Sir James Berkeley shortly after 1406. When Elizabeth died in 1420, ap Thomas retained Raglan as a tenant of his step-son James, Lord Berkeley, and in 1425 Lord Berkeley agreed that he could continue to hold Raglan for the duration of his life.

William married for a second time, and chose another heiress, Gwladus. She was the daughter of Sir Dafydd Gam and the widow of Sir Roger Vaughan. Both these men had been part of the Welsh contingent that fought with King Henry V in France, and both were at the battle of Agincourt, where William ap Thomas had also fought. In 1426, ap Thomas was knighted by Henry VI, becoming known to his compatriots as Y marchog glas o Went (the blue knight of Gwent). Gradually he began to establish himself as a person of consequence in south Wales.

As early as 1421 William held the important position of steward of the lordship of Abergavenny, and later became chief steward of the duke of York's estates in Wales, 1442-43. Other positions held by Sir William included that of sheriff of Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire, to which he was appointed in 1435, and his position as sheriff of Glamorgan followed in 1440. Although he became one of the followers of Richard, duke of York, and a member of the duke's military council, Sir William's sphere of influence was largely confined to south Wales.

By 1432 William was in a position to purchase the manor of Raglan from the Berkeleys for about L667 and it was probably from this time that he began to build the castle as we know it. His building programme eventually swept away most of the original structures. The principal buildings surviving from this time are the Great Tower (left) a self-contained fortress in its own right, together with the south gate, both equipped with gunloops. He also raised the hall, though later largely rebuilt, and part of the service range beyond. Two sources indicate that William ap Thomas was the builder of the keep. One of which is a contemporary poem praising ap Thomas, mentioning the tower at Raglan which "stands above all other buildings." There is also a reference to Sir William Thomas' tower from a family chronicle written by Sir Thomas Herbert of Tintern.

William ap Thomas died in London in 1445, and his body was brought back to Wales to be buried in the Benedictine priory church at Abergavenny. His wife Gwladus (the star of Abergavenny), as she was hailed by the poet Lewys Glyn Cothi, died in 1454. William was succeeded by his eldest son, another William (d.1469) who took the surname Herbert.

 

4. Gwladys, daughter of Dafydd Gam, celebrated her Bar Mitzvah. She died in 1454. She married Roger Vaughan (Fychan) of Bredwardine.

 

William ap Thomas and Gwladys had the following children:

 

2

William Herbert, first earl of Pembroke (1) (c. 1423-1469)