Pontefract Castle – January

DateEvent
25/1/1140On 25th January 1140, ‘Archbishop’ Thurstan of York, fulfilling his vow to enter the Cluniac order of monks, took his vows at the Priory of St John, Pontefract which had been founded by Robert de Lacy in 1090.
DateEvent
2/1/1216On 2nd January 1216, King John was at Pontefract on his northern ‘crusade’ to revenge himself against the northern barons (of Magna Carta) and Alexander II, King of Scotland, who had sided with the rebels. The king forced John de Lacy and another member of the 25 (Magna Carta) rebel barons, Roger de Montbegon to submit. John de Lacy stated: 'If I have sworn an oath to the King's enemies, then I will not hold to it, nor will I adhere in any way to the charter of liberties which the lord king has granted in common to the barons of England and which the lord pope has annulled'. This threat came soon after the king had persuaded William d’Aubigny’s (another rebel baron) garrison at Belvoir to surrender on pain of starvation and two days before York’s terrified citizens had offered the king £1000 (£1.95 million in today's money) to avoid its ransacking.
4/1/1296On 4th January 1296, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, sailed from Plymouth, as commander of an English relief force for Gascony under Edmund, Earl of Lancaster. Henry was appointed Lieutenant in Aquitaine (king’s representative) under contract for 2000 marks (£1.8 million in today's money) per year. The sizeable English force included twenty-five barons, one thousand horses and ten thousand infantrymen. After the Earl of Lancaster’s death from illness on the 5th June 1296, de Lacy took sole charge of the relief forces. After mixed fortunes (and particularly the defeat and heavy casualties sustained at Bellegarde), de Lacy spent Christmas 1296 in Bayonne, returning to England around Easter 1297. He was later, in March 1299, given relief from all his debts to the Crown on account of his service in Gascony.
14/1/1236On 14th January 1236, John de Lacy, Baron of Pontefract and Constable of Chester, was present at the marriage of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence, acting, in many ways, as an officer holding back the crowds.
20/1/1236On 20th January 1236, John de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was in attendance at the coronation of Henry III’s Queen (Eleanor of Provence). It was at the coronation feast and court celebrations afterwards that John befriended and ‘sponsored’ Simon de Montfort.
25/1/1205On 25th January 1205, Roger de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was a witness of letters patent and close authorising King John’s officials to retain and destroy false coins. There was widespread concern during this part of the king’s reign regarding the quality of coinage in circulation and the debasing of the currency particularly given King John’s persistent demands for funds regarding his foreign campaigns, castle repairs, garrisons’ reinforcements etc.
25/1/1277On 25th January 1277, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was with Edward I at Worcester preparing for a military campaign in Wales against the 'rebel' leader, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. By the end of this month, at Oswestry, Henry arrived with a notable company of seven barons, twenty-five knights, sixty-eight troopers and one hundred plus lances. By 1st July, prior to the main, impending campaign, Sir Henry had helped King Edward receive the homage of five Welsh rulers and in early September was with the king helping to capture Anglesey.
25/1/1278On 25th January 1278, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was authorised by Edward I to travel to Brabant to arrange the future marriage of his daughter, Margaret, to John, heir to the Duke of Brabant.
25/1/1287Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln and lord of Pontefract, was with Edmund of Lancaster visiting Gascony when he made his will on or around 25th January 1287 in Bordeaux, although it was later cancelled. In it he left £100 (£97,000 today) each to the poor scholars of Oxford and Cambridge and made reference to £1,000 (£970,000 today) he had deposited at Lincoln Cathedral in case his then five-years-old daughter, Alice, did not marry.
28/1/1237On 28th January 1237, John de Lacy, Baron of Pontefract, was with Henry III at Westminster, for the first confirmation of the 1225 issue of Magna Carta. Henry, as often throughout his reign, was in desperate need of funds and sought permission from his magnates and prelates for a ‘thirtieth’ (tax on the value of people’s moveable goods).
30/1/1297On 30th January 1297, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, and his army had been ambushed by the French en route from Bayonne to Bonnegarde trying to bring provisions to the besieged bastide, in Edward I’s attempts to reclaim Gascony. Many infantry were killed and several knights taken prisoner, including John of St John, Lieutenant of Aquitaine.
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1/1/1318On 1st January 1318, Thomas of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract, was licensed to hold lands in Yorkshire and North Wales for the life of de Warenne, Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, who was given permission to enfeoff Lancaster with lands in East Anglia. The terms of the first licence were a modification of the original agreement: Lancaster gained the Yorkshire lands for de Warenne’s life only and not in fee as before. In return for these concessions, Lancaster was allowed to grant to  de Warenne, for life, lands and rents to the annual value of 1,000 marks (£635,000 in today’s money) in Somerset, Dorset, and Wiltshire. The charter for this was drawn up on 13th March 1319 at Pontefract and was later confirmed by Edward II.
1/1/1329On 1st January 1329, Edward III and Roger Mortimer arrived at Henry’s, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract, Kenilworth Castle but were refused admittance. By the 12th January, the king was in Lancaster’s town of Leicester whilst Lancaster had been raising anti-royalist troops in London. Very soon afterwards, at Bedford, Lancaster was forced to kneel before the king begging forgiveness and was sacked from all his offices save the seneschalship of England; he was also fined the sum of half the value of his estates but Archbishop Meopham secured his pardon from prosecution for treason.
2/1/1340On 2nd January 1340, Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster and later lord of Pontefract, was made Joint Commissioner to ‘treat’ with ‘the Lord Philp de Valois’ by Edward III.
2/1/1381On 2nd January 1381, successful Anglo-Bohemian talks were held at Bruges to complete the arrangements for the marriage of Richard II (who died at Pontefract Castle) to Anne of Bohemia, sister of King and emperor-elect Wenceslas.
6/1/1367Richard II and Anna's coronationOn 6th January 1367, Richard II was born 1367 in Bordeaux. His father was Edward the Black Prince and his mother Joan the 4th Countess of Kent. Richard died  in 1400 whilst imprisoned at Pontefract Castle, aged 33.
9/1/1367On 9th January 1367, Richard of Bordeaux (the future Richard II who died at Pontefract Castle) was baptised in the cathedral of St Andre in Bordeaux. His christening was attended by three kings including James of Majorca (in exile) and Leo of Armenia.
10/1/1321The siege of royalist Tickhill Castle (whose constable was William de Aune) by Thomas of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract, in his rebellion against Edward II, provoked Edward to crush Lancaster finally. The siege had begun by 10th January 1321 and news of it was evidently brought to the king at Gloucester for, in the ten days that he was there, preparations were put in hand for a full-scale campaign. Lancaster's siege was ultimately unsuccessful. A file of twenty letters under the privy and secret seals, dating from 14th September 1320 to 11th March 1322, shows the King constantly pressing Aune for news, enjoining the strictest secrecy, urging him to fortify his castle, and asking for full reports on the comings and goings of the barons in Yorkshire.
11/1/1329On the 11th January 1329, Henry of Lancaster, later lord of Pontefract, surrendered to Edward III at Bedford after marching to meet Roger Mortimer’s army which had been sacking and burning Lancaster’s manors in Warwickshire and Leicestershire and seizing his city of Leicester. The king’s uncles, the Earls of Kent and Norfolk, had abandoned Lancaster to re-join the royal court. Despite Archbishop Mepeham having interceded on his behalf, Lancaster was fined £11,000 (£12.2 million in today’s money): the fine never being paid.
13/1/1396John of Gaunt was one of the great custodians of Pontefract castle and when his second wife, Constance of Castile, died on 24th March 1394, he was now free to marry his long-standing mistress, Katherine Swynford (sister-in-law of Chaucer), on 13th January 1396. John and Katherine had had four children - the Beauforts - who would become the ancestors of the great Tudor dynasty through their great granddaughter Margaret Beaufort and her marriage to Edmund Tudor. Edmund was the son of Catherine de Valois, the former queen of Henry V and her second husband, Owen Tudor. Margaret and Edmund's son, Henry Tudor, would defeat Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 to become Henry VII.
15/1/1322By mid January 1322, Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March and a key ally of Thomas of Lancaster, surrendered to Edward II at Shrewsbury. Mortimer’s faith in Lancaster had been destroyed by the failure of Thomas to leave his northern fortress at Pontefract  during the Despenser War. Support for Lancaster was ebbing away, and as Edward II began to march north, Lancaster would try to reach his northern fortress at Dunstanburgh, only to be surrounded and defeated at the Battle of Boroughbridge on the 16th March 1322. Lancaster had opened private negotiations with Scotland aiming at a Scots-baronial alliance to coerce Edward II and on 15th January he was granted a safe conduct to visit the Scots, using the provocative code-name 'King Arthur'.
18/1/1382On 18th January 1382, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, escorted sixteen-year-old Anne of Bohemia, eldest daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, into London for her impending wedding to Richard II.
20/1/1307On 20th January 1307, Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was one of two Commissioners to open parliament in Carlisle.
20/1/1320On 20th January 1320, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract, refused to attend the Parliament at York, fearing for his safety in his quarrels with Edward II.
20/1/1327On 20th January 1327, at Kenilworth Castle, owned by Henry of Lancaster, later lord of Pontefract when his executed brother Thomas’s titles and lands were restored to Henry, Edward II agreed to resign his crown to his son, later Edward III.
20/1/1382On 20th January 1382, fifteen-year-old Richard II, the most famous prisoner to be later held at Pontefract Castle, was married to sixteen-year-old Anne of Bohemia in Westminster Abbey by the Bishop of London, Robert Baybrooke.
21/1/1390On 21st January 1390, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, was re-sworn as a Privy Councillor to Richard II.
22/1/1382On 22nd January 1382, Anne of Bohemia, eldest daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, was crowned Queen of England (to Richard II) by the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Courtenay. John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, was in attendance and gave the queen a silver enamelled ewer on an elaborate stand. During the week-long festivities after the wedding, Gaunt provided minstrels for the jousts at Smithfield, with his son, Henry Bolingbroke (later Henry IV), displaying his considerable jousting talents.
23/1/1396John of GauntIn January 1396, John Of Gaunt was newly-married to his mistress, Katherine Swynford. The Duke and Duchess made a short trip to the North before facing the court. Possibly, John wanted to 'test the water' by taking Katherine on a tour of his domains and by the 23rd January, they were lodged at Pontefract Castle. The royal lodgings were in the turreted trefoil donjon which John had heightened 20 years earlier. The couple would have resided in great luxury as John had lavished huge sums of money on his castle. The image is of John of Gaunt.
26/1/1354On 26th January 1354, Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract, was made Commissioner to ‘treat’ with the King of Navarre by Edward III.
27/1/1321On 27th January 1321, Roger Mortimer and Lords Audley and Damory after withdrawing from Edward II’s court under threat of the Despenser ‘land grab’, met Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract, to seek his aid. With the charge of treason hanging over them, together with the Earl of Hereford, they refuse to go to the king at Gloucester on 5th April.
27/1/1377On 27th January 1377, Parliament opened with Prince Richard (later Richard II) and John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, ceremonially presiding. The Parliament agreed a 4d a head ‘poll tax’ (£11 in today’s money) after Gaunt conceded to the bishops’ demands regarding allowing William Wykeham to join them free of house arrest.
31/1/1308On 31st January 1308, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract and senior earl, was one of the principal signatories to the Boulogne Agreement. This document sought to assert the signatories’ duty to guard the king’s honour and rights of the Crown and redress any wrongs that had been committed against such and the people. Its successor (introduced into parliament by Henry de Lacy) Boulogne Declaration’s three articles in April 1308, invoked the “doctrine of capacities” stipulating that the subjects of the realm owed allegiance to the Crown not to the person of the king. Any abuse of the king’s position should be corrected by his subjects. Piers Gaveston, Edward II’s court favourite, was also implicitly attacked in the document (with his removal tacitly suggested) and the king was obliged to adhere to his coronation oath.
31/1/1398On 31st January 1398, a commission convened at Bristol, led by John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, to investigate claims by Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, concerning plots about  the destruction of the House of Lancaster. A quarrel between Mowbray and Henry Bolingbroke, then Duke of Hereford and later Henry IV, was mediated by Richard II at Windsor that April in demanding both lords fight out their differences in a duel.
DateEvent
5/1/1400On 5th January 1400, Henry IV sent Edward of York, reputedly a co-conspirator in a plot to reinstate former king Richard II (held prisoner at Pontefract Castle) who had now sided with Henry, to tell his erstwhile colleagues that all was now discovered and that they must flee the king’s large army; which many did to Oxford.
6/1/1400According to a French text, ‘The Betrayal and Death of Richard II’, on 6th January 1400, Sir Piers Exton (or Bucton or Buxton) with the knowledge of Charles VI of France, was commanded by Henry IV ‘to go and deliver (Richard) straightaway from this world’ at Pontefract Castle. It seems that Bucton was only to kill Richard if he fell into rebel hands as Richard’s death is most probably six weeks later.
6/1/1400Richard of Bordeaux, the former King Richard II, turned 33 years old in prison at Pontefract on 6th January 1400.
8/1/1400On 8th January 1400, after a failed plot (Epiphany Rising) by the Earls of Salisbury, Huntingdon (Richard’s half-brother), Rutland and Kent (Richard’s nephew) and the Lord Despenser to seize Henry IV and his sons and arrange for Richard II's release from imprisonment at Pontefract Castle, Salisbury was lynched at Cirencester. Lord Despenser managed to escape to Bristol but was murdered on the 15th January. The Earl of Huntingdon was seized at Pleshey in Essex and beheaded for his role in the attempted coup.
10/1/1425On 10th January 1425, Robert Waterton, Constable of Pontefract Castle, wrote his will only seven days before his death. It included a bequest of 24 marks (nearly £19,000 in today's money) a year for three chaplains to pray for three souls in addition to his own: his wife, Henry IV and, surprisingly, the soul of Richard II. No mention was made of Henry V.
17/1/1425On 17th January 1425, Robert Waterton, Steward and Constable of Pontefract Castle and Master Forester, who had had custody of Richard II, Charles, Duke of Orleans, Jean I, Duke of Bourbon, James I of Scotland and the son of the Earl of Athol died at Methley. In addition, he was at various times Constable at Tickhill and Donnington castles, Henry IV’s Master of Horse, chief steward of the northern areas of the Duchy of Lancaster (later chamberlain) and Sheriff of Lincolnshire. He was one of the executors of Henry IV’s will. His military and diplomatic skills were evidenced by his part in quelling the Percy ‘revolts’ of 1403 and 1408 and negotiations with ambassadors from France.
22/1/1425In late January 1425, Richard Neville, later to be Earl of Salisbury and brother-in-law to Richard, Duke of York, was made Constable of Pontefract Castle, succeeding Robert Waterton.
DateEvent
24/1/1537On 24th January 1537, after Lord Darcy (Constable of Pontefract Castle during the Pilgrimage of Grace) had written to Henry VIII asking to be excused from a summons to attend court because of illness and infirmity, the king wrote to him thanking him for his services and ordered him to victual the castle secretly in case of further uprisings in view of the Beverley ‘disturbances’. Preparations were made for the Lord Admiral to take over Pontefract from Darcy and Sir Richard Tempest to cede Sandal Castle to Sir Henry Saville.
25/1/1537On 25th January 1537, Henry VIII wrote to the Earl of Shrewsbury concerning the new Bigod uprising, following the Pilgrimage of Grace, in North Yorkshire, and the Earl’s health. In the letter, he also declared that so long as Lord Darcy did his duty regarding preventing further troubles in and around Pontefract and holding the castle, the king would regard him with as much favour as if the rebellion had never happened.
28/1/1569On 28th January 1569, Mary, Queen of Scots was lodged at Pontefract Castle, travelling between Wetherby and her intermediate prison at Rotherham. She had been forced to abdicate in July 1567 and flee south to seek the protection of her cousin Elizabeth I. After an inconclusive inquiry/conference ordered by Elizabeth into Mary’s guilt/involvement in Lord Darnley’s murder, Mary was placed in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury at Tutbury Castle on the 3rd February 1569 and held in captivity in various locations for the next eighteen years until her execution at Fotheringhay Castle on the 8th February 1587.
29/1/1537On 29th January 1537, on receipt of the king’s orders to hold Pontefract Castle with his two sons (in the aftermath of the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion), Lord Darcy, at Templehurst, wrote to his son, Sir George Darcy (in reply to Sir George’s queries), to say that, as ‘all was quiet’ at that time, he would not make preparations until his son had seen the king’s letter and the Duke of Norfolk’s expected arrival in five days’ time.
30/1/1537On 30th January 1537, Sir George Darcy wrote to his father in Templehurst, in reply to his letter of the previous day, stating that the situation in the country, in the aftermath of the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion, was far from peaceful and he could not afford to await the Duke of Norfolk’s arrival before preparing Pontefract Castle.
DateEvent
3/1/1696On 3rd January 1696, the Calendar of State Papers of the Reign of William III recorded: ‘Proceedings upon the petition of Thomas Sayle, mayor of Pontefract, and Hastings Sayle, alderman of the same place. They show that they are prosecuted by the Attorney-General upon an information for altering an assessment on the said town for the quarterly poll, in the third year of the King’s reign, and pray for an order to the Attorney-General to enter a Nolle Prosequi (to be unwilling to pursue) upon the said information. Referred to the Attorney or Solicitor-General for his report.’
10/1/1649On 10th January 1649, after Oliver Cromwell had written the previous November to the Committee of the Lords and Commons, regarding Pontefract Castle’s situation and request for his besieging forces of further arms and ordnance, ‘six good battering guns, of no less calibre than demi-cannons, with match, powder, bullets and three of the biggest mortars, with shells’ plus other materiel arrived.
15/1/1645In January 1645, Colonel William ‘Blowface’ Forbes of the besieging Parliamentary forces around Pontefract Castle was injured. A Parliamentarian newspaper reported: ‘Pontefract Castle is still closely besieged by the L Fairfax his forces: Sir Thomas Fairfax was lately in great danger of being shot by a canon (sic) bullet from the castle which came between him and the Colonel Forbes; the waft of it feld Sir Thomas to the ground and spoyled one side of the Colonel’s face and eyes. Our forces are in great probability of taking it and will be able no doubt speedily to requite those in the castle for their obstinacy and insolency.’ Soon after recovering, Forbes married Mary, a woman twenty years his junior and the daughter of Pontefract’s former Royalist governor, Sir John Redman.
16/1/1645On 16th January 1645, Nathan Drake's detailed accounts of the siege of Pontefract Castle recorded that when the besieged heard that the besiegers were about to plant their ordnance 'against the Piper Tower and betwixt that and the Round Tower, where there was a hollow place all the way down to the well, the gentlemen and souldyers fell all upon carrying of earth and rubbish, and so filled up the place in a little space, and we rammed up the way that passed through Piper Tower, with earth four or five yards thick. The beseeged playd 1 cannon into the closes below the Towne amongst the cutters up of clothes, but what was killed is not knowne, but they came there no more.'
17/1/1645Cannon Balls found at the castleOn this day in 1645, the first serious action of the first siege at Pontefract Castle began. Parliamentarian gun batteries started an intense bombardment of the castle. Cannon fire lasted five days and in this time 1367 shots were fired at the defenders. Here is a photo of two of the cannon balls found over 360 years later, still lodged in the castle walls!
19/1/1645On 19th January 1645, Nathan Drake recorded that the  Piper Tower was beaten down by the besiegers 'about 9 of the clock, there having beene 71 shott made that morning, before it fell'.
19/1/1654On 19th January 1654, Sir Ferdinand Leigh, Royalist officer (colonel of troop), died and was buried at St Giles and St Mary, Pontefract. In 1625, he had been Deputy-Governor of the Isle of Man under his relative, the Earl of Derby and also a gentleman of the king’s privy chamber having contributed 100 shillings (£1210 in today’s money) to the Royalist cause when Charles I assembled the gentry of Yorkshire at York.
21/1/1652On 21st January 1652, it was reported by The Parliament Committee for Advance of Money (set up in November 1642, and ceasing in 1656, to produce voluntary loans and subsequently compulsory assessments for the fight against Charles I and from 1645 to uncover the concealed resources of Royalist ‘delinquents’) that Lady Savile, widow of Sir William Savile of Thornhill, ‘went to Sheffield, then a King’s garrison, contributing money, horses, and arms and encouraging the soldiers to fight against Parliament, and stayed there till its surrender. Also that she was privy to the design of betraying Pontefract Castle to the King in 1648, and much assisted the enemy. Also that her late husband was a commander under the Earl of Newcastle, and a notorious delinquent.’
22/1/1645On 22nd January 1645, the English Commissioners with the Scotch (sic) Army wrote from Grantham to Lieutenant-General Leslie: ‘We have received very sad complaints of horse lately quartered at Stayncross and those parts in Yorkshire under Major Blair, how they took clothes and free quarter, and assessed great sums of money, take horses and when the owners redeem them for money take both horses and money, and that one of them committed a rape ; some said the Reformadoes of your army, com¬ mitting many oppressions at Tickhill, were taken by the inhabitants to Pontefract Castle, of whom those of the Scotch nation the Committee have written to you shall be sent to receive justice at your hands, and the English Irish and French shall receive the punishment appointed by Parliament…..’
23/1/1600On 23rd January 1600, Alexander Keirincx, a Flemish landscape artist, was born in Antwerp. He was commissioned by Charles I of England (probably to note the king’s visit to Scotland in 1639) to paint a series of ten or more paintings of royal castles and places in England and Scotland and it is believed his depiction of the grandeur of Pontefract Castle was done in 1640. He died in Amsterdam on 7th October 1652.
23/1/1643On 23rd January 1643, the Marquess of Newcastle retreated from Pontefract when Parliamentarian Sir Thomas Fairfax threatened his lines of communication having already taken Leeds and Wakefield from Lord Savile.
27/1/1649On 27th January 1649, lawyer Thomas Margetts wrote from Pontefract to Captain Baynes (Parliamentary army officer and later MP for Leeds during the Commonwealth, being the city’s first MP) concerning the third siege of Royalist Pontefract Castle by the Parliamentarians: ‘…only Wednesday the enemy made a sally upon our nearest guard to them, beat them up, took 14 prisoners and killed 3 or 4, and then were forced in again. Mr Beamond (sic), Parson of Kirby, is apprehended for holding a secret cypher intelligence with the enemy in the Castle….I think the gallows will shortly have him…’ Reverend George Beaumont was cousin to Thomas Beaumont of Lascelles Hall. When Major-General John Lambert was made aware of Beaumont’s activities, Beaumont was tortured to reveal his cypher and colleagues (which he did not do) and then hanged from the walls of Pontefract Castle with reputedly one of his relatives forced to assist at his execution.
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10/1/1814On 10th January 1814, Irish poet Aubrey de Vere was born. In 1896, his sonnet about Pontefract Castle was published and although a frequent visitor to the Lake District in veneration of Wordsworth, it is not known if he toured Pontefract Castle: ‘PONTEFRACT CASTLE; OR, TREASON’S TWOFOLD REQUEST WIND-WASTED castle without crown of towers! Dread dungeon keep, watching the dying day! A crownless king, great Edward’s grandson, lay Wasting in thee, and counting prisoned hours: A century passed: the Faith’s embattled Powers Thus far advanced; here stood, a stag at bay: The eighth Henry trembled in his blood-stained bowers:- Thou saw’st that’ Pilgrimage of Grace’ decay! Two Woes thou saw’st; the fall of England’s Crown, That drowned in blood her old Nobility; Then, baser plague, the old Temples trampled down I mark of that Red Sea which rolls between England that is, and England that hath been!
24/1/1897‘The Chemist and Druggist’ reported that on 24th January 1897 ‘A fire broke out at Pontefract on Sunday, January 24 (1897), resulting in the complete destruction of a liquorice-factory belonging to Councillor A. Taylor White. A large quantity of machinery for the making of " Pontefract cakes " was destroyed, and also a few tons of finished cakes, as well as a considerable weight of raw material.’
27/1/1893A ‘Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Malton Urban Sanitary District for the Year 1900’ recorded that the first case of smallpox in Malton had been traced to a tramp from Pontefract on 27th January 1893.