Today we gave a talk to twenty-one people at the castle on one of Pontefract’s key barons, John de Lacy, who was instrumental in the sealing of, and adherence to, Magna Carta in 1215. John had a varied life, amongst other things serving two kings at both home and abroad, was excommunicated by the Pope, and went on crusade for two years. He died in 1240 at the relatively ’old’ age, for the time, of forty-eight.
Please stay tuned for details of our next talk in September on Heritage Open Days, most likely on Richard II and John of Gaunt.
On Saturday 11th June, we will be delivering a free talk on ‘John de Lacy – Life and Times’ at 2.00pm in the Visitor Centre at Pontefract Castle. This is an opportunity to learn more about the man in general and his contribution to the development and aftermath of one of history’s most iconic legal documents, Magna Carta. We look forward to seeing you there.
We attended a fascinating talk given by Chris Berendt of the Towton Battlefield Society yesterday on ‘How Many Men Fought at Towton’. Chris argued very persuasively that both the number of participants and deaths on both the Yorkist and Lancastrian sides has been greatly exaggerated given the logistics of moving large medieval armies vast distances across the country. Chris argued that a Yorkist army of 10000 men leaving London on the 12th of March 1461, would have taken 15-16 days to arrive on the battlefield, and therefore it is hard to visualise their army being much greater than these numbers. The Lancastrians may have had a few thousand more, but you cannot see any way in which the oft quoted figures of 80000-100000 combatants and 28000 deaths being anything more than a exaggeration by the chroniclers.