William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (died 1469)

William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke KG (c. 1423  27 July 1469), known as "Black William", was a Welsh nobleman, soldier, politician, and courtier.[1] He was the son of William ap Thomas, founder of Raglan Castle, and Gwladys ferch Dafydd Gam, and grandson of Dafydd Gam, an adherent of King Henry V of England.

His father had been an ally of Richard of York, and Herbert supported the Yorkist cause in the Wars of the Roses. In 1461 Herbert was rewarded by King Edward IV with the title Baron Herbert of Raglan (having assumed an English-style surname in place of the Welsh patronymic), and was invested as a Knight of the Garter.

Soon after the decisive Yorkist victory at the Battle of Towton in 1461, Herbert replaced Jasper Tudor as Earl of Pembroke which gave him control of Pembroke Castle. However, he fell out with Lord Warwick "the Kingmaker" in 1469, when Warwick turned against the King. Herbert was denounced by Warwick and the Duke of Clarence as one of the king's "evil advisers".[2] William and his brother Richard were executed by the Lancastrians, now led by Warwick, after the Battle of Edgecote Moor, near Banbury.[3]

Herbert was succeeded by his son, William, but the earldom was surrendered in 1479. It was later revived for a grandson, another William Herbert, the son of Black William's illegitimate son, Sir Richard Herbert of Ewyas.

Marriage and children

He married Anne Devereux, daughter of Walter Devereux, Lord Chancellor of Ireland and Elizabeth Merbury. They had at least ten children:

William had three illegitimate sons but the identities of their mothers are unconfirmed:

See also


  1. Griffiths, R.A. (2004). "Herbert, William, first earl of Pembroke (c. 1423–1469)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/13053.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. Doubleday, H.A. & Lord Howard de Walden, eds. (1945). The Complete Peerage. 10 (2nd ed.). London: St. Catherine Press. p. 401 n. 'g'.
  3. The Battle of Edgecote or Banbury (1469) Through the Eyes of Contemporary Welsh Poets, Barry Lewis, Journal of Medieval Military History: Volume IX, ed. Anne Curry, Adrian R. Bell, (Boydell Press, 2011), 101.
  4. "Sir George Herbert". tudorplace.com.
  5. "Ruth E. Richardson,'Mistress Blanche, Queen Elizabeth I's Confidante'"
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Pembroke
Succeeded by
William Herbert
Baron Herbert

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