William ap Thomas
Nobleman William ap Thomas fought alongside Henry V at Agincourt and was knighted in 1426 by Henry VI, becoming known as ‘The Blue Knight of Gwent’ due to the colour of his armour. William was married to Gwladys, daughter of Sir Dafydd Gam and widow of Sir Roger Vaughan who according to legend, are both said to have perished during the Battle. The alabaster tomb of William and Gwladys can still be seen in St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny.
Holding the title of Steward of the Lordship of Abergavenny, William lived at Raglan Castle and was responsible for building many of the defensive features that can still be seen today. His extensive improvements include the imposing double-towered gatehouse, south gate, portcullis, drawbridge and five-storey Great Tower. Encircled by a moat, this mighty building also represents a transition period from earlier and exclusively military for more home comforts.
The Welsh contingent
William fought at Agincourt with the hundreds of men in the Welsh contingent, made up of archers and men-at-arms. The archers, who played a decisive role in the Battle, were equipped with longbows and carried around 60 arrows each. They were expected to be able to loose at least 10 arrows a minute, though the best archers were capable of shooting many more. For their service, men-at-arms were paid 12 pence per day while archers received six pence per day.