On 24th February 1327, after Edward III had been deposed, Archbishop William Melton of York wrote to Pope John XXII asking that the reports of miracles wrought at Thomas, Earl of Lancaster’s tomb in Pontefract might be enquired into in order for his canonization.
On 18th November 1340, Edward III wrote to Pope Benedict XII stating that the Archbishop of Canterbury had ‘spoken to me separately of my wife, and to my wife of me, in order that, if he were listened to, he might provoke us to such anger as to divide us forever.’ This communication is thought by some to refer to rumours that John of Gaunt, the king’s son and later lord of Pontefract, had been switched in infancy, in Ghent, with the baby of a Flemish woman, due to the death of a royal baby and the queen’s wish to avoid the king’s anger. In 1376, Queen Philippa was said to have confessed on her deathbed in 1369 to Bishop Wykeham that John of Gaunt had been switched; the truth being told just in case there was the likelihood that John would ever become king.
On 10th March 1394, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, was appointed Lieutenant in Aquitaine by Richard II.
On 31st March 1330, at Woodstock, the government of Edward III ordered the arrest of forty-one men allegedly involved in the Earl of Kent’s plot to rescue his half-brother, the supposedly dead King Edward II, from imprisonment in Corfe Castle and spirit him abroad. Of these forty-one, Kent had named only six, one being Brother Richard de Pontefract, reputedly an intermediary between, on two occasions, William Melton, Archbishop of York, and the Earl of Kent.
On 5th November 1328, Henry, Earl of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract, wrote to the Mayor of London intimating that he knew of the survival of the Earl of Kent’s half-brother, (purportedly murdered) Edward II. The Memoranda Rolls of London noted that after the parliament at Winchester which ended on 31st October that year and at which neither Kent nor Lancaster had attended, Lancaster stated that ‘the earl of Kent had made certain communications to him which he could not put in writing, but which the bearer would report by word of mouth.’
On 1st July 1370, the Black Prince in discussions with John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, and Edward III rejected a policy of punishment towards French towns that had gone over to Charles V of France and now wanted to return to English allegiance. This decision also gave his brother, Gaunt, overall authority in the conduct of military operations but any decision on the fate of Limoges’ citizens would have to be agreed by both men.
On the morning of 19th September 1370, the besiegers of Limoges in southwest-central France led by John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, collapsed the mine of the cité, bringing down a part of the wall. The French defenders turned on the citizens of the city, firing the inhabitants’ houses and the Black Prince’s men, seeing what was happening, pursued the French soldiers initially refusing to take any prisoners until John of Gaunt (and the Prince from his stretcher) relented and allowed the remainder to be taken prisoner and ransomed. The Prince gave the right to administer the cité to the cathedral chapter stating that he did not blame either its clergy or citizens for the treachery of Bishop Jean de Cros.
On 18th September 1370, a mine was successfully dug under part of the cité’s walls of Limoges, in southwest-central France by a force led by John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract. Gaunt fought in hand-to-hand combat with a French knight, Jean de Villemur, the garrison commander, and was so impressed with his courage that he halted proceedings to inquire of his name.
On 14th September 1370, a relief force under John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, arrived outside Limoges, in southwest-central France and began siege operations around the cité (area encompassing the cathedral, bishop’s palace, houses of the canons, some small churches and dwellings) from the chateau part of the city (newer part consisting of the castle and abbey and mercantile community). The city’s inhabitants had been told by their bishop, Jean de Cros, a supporter of John, Duke of Berry, younger brother of the French King Charles V, that the Black Prince was dead and realising the deception the inhabitants wanted to hand the cité back to the Prince and opened communications.
On 3rd April 1367, an Anglo-Gascon army in support of Pedro (The Cruel) King of Castile and León, led by the Black Prince and his brother, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, who led the vanguard alongside Sir John Chandos, beat the forces of Enrique of Trastamara at Nάjera. According to John of Malvern, 3,000 of the enemy were captured and more than 7,000 killed, in battle or flight, with many drowning in the river; English casualties were slight and Enrique escaped and was sheltered by Louis, Duke of Anjou, brother of the French king, Charles V. Albeit Enrique’s warhorse was given to Edward III as a gift, it was poor recompense for failing to kill or capture Enrique. The Black Prince had stated to John of Gaunt before the battle: ‘We must be mindful of our martial heritage and that prowess stands above all other things in life….Let us be ruled by an ardent spirit. If we are to die, let our manner of dying do us credit.’