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It is not my intention to weary you with a long account of the early owners of Raglan; but its principal founder seems to have been Sir William ap Thomas, a descendant of the Morley family, in Henry the Fifth's reign.

He seems to have pulled down any older and ruder fortress that existed at Raglan before his time, and to have erected in its stead a magnificent castle.

This Sir William ap Thomas was founder of the families of Pembroke, Powis, and Carnarvon, on the male side, and the Dukes of Beaufort on the female.

He was also a man of great valour, and in 1415 was made a knight-banneret for his military services. He left one son, named William, whom Edward the Fourth created Lord of Raglan; and by that monarch's express command, four bards, the most skilled in all South Wales for their knowledge of genealogies a matter which, I have told you before, was always entrusted to the minstrelstraced his pedigree; and then the king commanded him no longer to adhere to the Welsh custom of changing the surname at every generation, but

to call himself Herbert, and his descendants after him,

Raglan Castle was selected by Edward the Fourth as the prison of the Earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry the Seventh; and William Herbert treated him with the greatest kindness; but one day the owner of Raglan being absent, the Earl of Richmond was set free by his uncle, Earl of Pembroke, and conveyed to France.

Pride of family was a very great trait in ancient British as well as in Welsh character; and though it has nothing to do with Raglan Castle, I think it will amuse you to hear what a witty saying is ascribed to James the First. On his road into England, on Elizabeth's death and his accession to the throne, he rested at Lumley Castle, in Durham, near Chester le Street. Lumley Castle is one of the largest in that part of England; and after the king had been shown all over its spacious apartments, his host pompously produced his pedigree, which traced the existence of the Lumley family into the most distant ages of antiquity. The king read it gravely, and then graciously restoring it to his host, who was standing expectant of his

Majesty's surprise at the long line of ancestry it displayed, said, 'Gude faith, I didna ken that Adam's sirname was Lumley!'

William Herbert was created Earl of Pembroke after the attainder of the Earl Jaspar. He had a brother, Sir Richard Herbert of Coldbrook House, near Abergavenny, in South Wales; and his tomb, which represents him recumbent in a coat of mail, and his bare head resting on a sheaf of arrows, which was his crest, is in Abergavenny Church. He and his elder brother, William Herbert, were valiant supporters of the white rose during the civil wars of York and Lancaster. Sir Richard is said to have been gigantic in height and size, and to have been as valiant a soldier as the earl. One day he and his brother apprehended in Anglesey seven brothers, notorious murderers, and commanded them to be hung. The mother of these men threw herself upon her knees before Sir Richard Herbert, and entreated them to spare two of them; for,' cried she, 'five are surely enough for justice.' Sir Richard was of a kindly nature, and relented; but the earl sternly said, 'No,' and ordered the execution of all the seven sons of the unfortunate

mother. Then, raising her rosary in her hand, she solemnly cursed the earl, and prayed that he might fall in the first battle that he was engaged in. This curse weighed heavily on Sir Richard's mind; and his brother remarking on the field of battle that his brother looked pensive, reproached him, saying:

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'What! doth thy great body' (for he was higher by the head than any one in the army) apprehend anything? or art thou weary of marching, that thou dost lean upon thy pole-axe?'

Sir Richard replied that he was neither weary nor timid, but that he could not forget the curse of the woman with the rosary,

This was the battle of Danes Moor. The Welsh fought valiantly; but being defeated by the Lancastrians, the earl and his valiant brother were taken prisoners and sentenced to death, which was carried into effect the following day at Banbury. Sir Richard Herbert had displayed so much spirit and chivalry, that many of the generals of the Lancastrian troops pleaded for his life. Both brothers met death with fortitude and courage; but the earl, turning to Sir John Conyers, as he

laid his head down on the block, pleaded for his brother's life.

'Let me die,' cried he, for I am old; but save my brother, who is young, lusty, and hardy, mete and apt to serve the greatest prince in Christendom.'

From these two brave brothers, Raglan Castle descended to Sir Charles Somerset, who married their grand-daughter and great-niece, Elizabeth, heiress of William Herbert, who was first Earl of Pembroke and then Earl of Huntingdon. Elizabeth was a rich heiress, and her hand was a great prize, even to the courtly favourite Sir Charles Somerset.

He was the natural son of Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, and was singularly handsome, clever, and gifted. It was through Henry the Seventh's favour that he married the Lady Elizabeth Herbert, and in her right bore the titles of Lord Herbert of Raglan, Chepstow, and Gower. He died, after a lifetime of honour, and was buried at Windsor.

In virtue of his descent from John of Gaunt, he was allowed to bear the royal arms of England,

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