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

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Arms of Sir William Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert, at the time of his installation in the Most Noble Order of the Garter: Per pale azure and gules, three lions rampant argent

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 – and with it, he gained the wardship of young Henry Tudor. 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 Warwick in Northampton, after the Battle of Edgcote, which took place in South Northamptonshire, 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[edit]

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[edit]


  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. Vol. 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
Baron Herbert