Sir William ap Thomas Herbert, (21st great grandfather to my children) was born about 1390 to Sir Thomas ap Gwilyn (1360-1438) and Maud de Morley (1375- ).
Featured image: Tomb with Effigies of Roger Vaughan and Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam.
Sir William ap Thomas first married Elizabeth (or Isabel) Bluet (1380-1420), daughter of Sir John Bluet of Raglan Manor and Katherine Wogan, and widow of Sir James Berkeley. Elizabeth inherited Raglan Castle while married to to James Berkeley, who later died in about 1405. There were no children born to William and Elizabeth.
William fought in support of Henry V of England alongside Sir Roger Vaughan, first husband of his later wife Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam and her father Dafydd Gam ap Llewelyn in the battle of Agincourt. Both Sir Roger and Dafydd Gam died in battle and Dafydd Gam was knighted as he lay dying. Sir William was made a knight-banneret.
In 1426, William was knighted by King Henry VI, and was known as “Y marchog glas o Went” (the blue knight of Gwent), because of the colour of his armour.
When Sir John Bloet died, Raglan Manor was inherited by Elizabeth and her husband James Berkeley. Upon Elizabeth’s death in 1420, William lived at Raglan as a tenant of his step-son James, Lord Berkeley. In 1425, James Berkely granted William the right to live at Raglan Manor for the remainder of his life.
In the earliest of his many occupations, William was made Steward of the Lordship of Abergavenny by 1421. At about this time, he married secondly the daughter of Dafydd Gam and the widow of Sir Roger Vaughan, Gwladys ferch Dafydd Gam, who was known as ‘Seren y fenni’ (Star of Abergavenny). The exact date of Gwladus’ birth is unknown, but she was born in Breconshire, Wales. She was renowned for her beauty, discretion and influence.
Her father supported Henry IV of England and as a result, she, her father, grandfather and two brothers were driven from their last home in Wales, finding refuge at King Henry IV’s court, where Gwladus served as a Maid of Honor to both of Henry IV’s wives, Mary de Bohun (about 1368-1394) and Joan (about 1370-1437).
After her marriage to Sir Roger Vaughan, she returned to Wales with her family as Roger was a great friend of her father’s and would later fight and die with him at Agincourt. Roger and Gwlady’s children were:
- Watkin (Walter) Vaughan, who died 1456, married Elinor, daughter of Sir Henry Wogan, on Easter 1456. Watkin was murdered at home at Bredwardine Castle. His half-brother William Herbert and Walter Devereux worked to ensure the execution of the culprits at Hereford.
- Thomas Vaughan, born about 1400, married Ellen Gethin, daughter of Cadwgan ap Dafydd. In 1461, Thomas died at the battle of Edgecote and was entombed at Kington church, near Hergest.
- Sir Roger Vaughan of Tretower Court married first to Cicely, daughter of Thomas ap Philip Vychan, of Talgarth and second to Lady Margaret, daughter of Lord James Audley, another of the heroes of Agincourt. He died in 1471.
- Elizabeth Vaughan married gentleman Griffith ap Eineon.
- Blanch Vaughan married John Milwater, a wealthy Englishman commissioned by Edward IV to accompany Blanch’s half-brother, William Herbert, to the siege of Harlech Castle.
William ap Thomas and Gwladus had the following children:
- Thomas Herbert, born in 1422.
- Sir William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1423–1469), who took the surname Herbert. William’s support for and loyalty to Richard, Duke of York, and Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, resulted in his being recognized as Edward IV’s Welsh “master-lock”. He was the first full-blooded Welshman to enter the English peerage and he was knighted in 1452. William married Anne Devereux in 1449. She was the daughter of Sir Walter Devereux.
- Sir Richard Herbert, born about 1424, of Coldbrook House, near Abergavenny who died in the battle of Danesmoor.
- Elizabeth, born about 1427, married Sir Henry Stradling (1423–1476), son of Sir Edward Stradling and Gwenllian Berkerolles. In contrast to previous generation, Henry and his brothers-in-law were hostile to the Henry VI reign. In 1476, Henry went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land dying on August 31, 1476 on his journey back to England. He was buried at Famagusta, Cyprus.
- Margaret, born about 1429, married Sir Henry Wogan, Steward and Treasurer of the Earldom of Pembroke. He was made responsible for securing war material for the defence of Pembroke Castle. Their son, Sir John Wogan, was killed in battle at Banbury in 1465, fighting along side his uncle, William Herbert.
Other children that have been attributed to Gwladus and William include: Maud, Olivia, Elizabeth (who married Welsh country gentlemen, John ab Gwilym).
Gwladus and William raised their own children as well as those from her marriage to Sir Roger Vaughan.
By 1432 William was able to purchase Raglan Manor for about £667 and afterward, he expanded the manor to become Raglan Castle.
Sir William was appointed to the position of High Sheriff of Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire in 1435, and in 1440, also to the position of High Sheriff of Glamorgan. About 1442 or 1443, William became Chief Steward of the estates of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York. He also served as a member of the Duke of York’s military council.
William ap Thomas died in London in 1445 and his body was brought back to Wales. William’s wife, Gwladys, died in 1454. Gwladys and her husband William ap Thomas were patrons of Abergavenny Priory where they were both buried and their alabaster tomb and effigies can still be seen in the Priory.
- The Herbert Family Pedigree, Ancient Wales Studies online; [http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id40.html].
- Herbert and Einion Sais links to Blayneys, online; [http://keithblayney.com/Blayney/Herbert_Einion.html#GAM].
- Thomas Allen Glenn, Merion in the Welsh Tract: With Sketches of the Townships of Haverford and Radnor (Norristown, PA: 1896), ; pdf, Digital Library; [http://digital.library.villanova.edu/Pennsylvaniana/Radnor%20Township/Radnor%20Friends/RadnorFriends-00004.xml].
- Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam; Find A Grave; [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=87468153].
- Early Leighs of Wales; [http://www.welshleigh.org/genealogy/prichardancestry/prichardhistorical4.htm].
- The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdon, Extant, Extinct or Dormant (G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I.).
- John Burke, History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland (1834-1838).
- Dr. Thomas Nicholas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales (1875); [http://books.google.com/books?id=M34ystsNDn8C&pg=PA196&lpg=PA196&dq=cadwgan+ap+elystan+glodrydd&source=web&ots=I5BTVLyS8g&sig=wllXZyPfJjxL5e9oNePiwr6YX74&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result].
- John Edward Lloyd and R. T. Jenkins, Ed.; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (1957).
- Wikipedia; [http://www.wikipedia.org].