Dictionary of Welsh Biography


A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



HERBERT , WILLIAM (d. 1469 ), earl of Pembroke , soldier and statesman ;

son of Sir William ap Thomas of Raglan and Gwladus , daughter of Dafydd Gam (q.v.) . He served with the English forces in Normandy with his countryman Mathew Gough (q.v.) , was taken prisoner at Formigny ( April 1450 ), and knighted at Christmas, 1450 . In the struggle between Lancaster and York his interests, if not also his sympathies, inclined him to favour the Yorkists , for their strength on the borders of South Wales was overwhelming. However, he made his peace with the king and queen Margaret in 1452 , and again at Leicester in 1457 . During the next few years he was loyal to the Crown , and this partly explains the Yorkist panic at Ludford ( 12 Oct. 1459 ). As a reward he received extensive grants from the confiscated estates of York and Warwick ( 5 Feb. 1460 ). In 1459 he m. Anne Devereux , sister of Walter , lord Ferrers of Chartley . After the battle of Northampton ( July 1460 ) Warwick gave him extensive authority in South Wales . In Oct. he represented Hereford in Parliament . Henceforth he threw in his lot with the Yorkists , and this largely explains their victory at Mortimer's Cross ( 2 Feb. 1461 ). His rise in royal favour was now rapid. He was made a privy chancellor , and was present at Baynard's castle when the earl of March was proclaimed king as Edward IV ( Mar. 1461 ). At the coronation he became lord Herbert of Raglan ( 4 Nov. ). He was chief justice and chamberlain of South Wales . During the next few years Edward IV showered favours upon him ‘to the secret displeasure of the earl of Warwick .’ Having received the submission of Pembroke castle , a Lancastrian stronghold, Herbert was given the custody of the young Henry , earl of Richmond , whom he betrothed in his will to his daughter Maud ; he was made a K.G. ( April 1462 ) and became a member of the king's Inner Council . The feud between Herbert and Warwick became embittered when Herbert 's son and heir, William , was made lord Dunster ( Sept. 1466 ), and especially when Herbert accompanied the king to demand the Great Seal from the Chancellor , Warwick 's brother, George , archbishop of York ( June 1467 ). Next year ( July 1468 ), Herbert was commissioned to reduce Harlech , still held by the Lancastrians ; the castle surrendered in Aug. As his reward Herbert received the earldom of Pembroke ( 8 Sept. ). In a striking poem, Guto'r Glyn (q.v.) now appealed to Herbert to become a national leader and rid Wales of English officials. However, he was defeated by Warwick 's forces at Edgecote ( July 1469 ), taken prisoner , and executed . This defeat was regarded by contemporary Welsh poets as a national calamity.

Sources:

  • Contemporary chronicles and letters;
  • references in Welsh poems, etc.;
  • Calendar of Patent Rolls ;
  • The Rolls of Parliament ;
  • Rymer , Foedera conventiones, litteræ, et cujuscunque generis acta publica, inter reges Angliæ et alios quosuis imperatores, reges, pontifices, principes, vel communitates, ab ingressu Gulielmi I. in Angliam, A.D. 1066, ad nostra usque tempora habita aut tractata ex autographis, infra secretiores archivorum regiorum thesaurarias, asservatis, aliisque summæ vetustatis instrumentis, ad historiam anglicanam spectantibus, fideliter exscripta (1816-1830, 1869) ;
  • H. T. Evans , Wales and the Wars of the Roses (1915) .

Author:

Howell Thomas Evans, M.A. (1878-1950), Aberaeron

Published date: 1959