Pontefract Castle – June

6/6/1194On 6th June 1194, Roger fitz John, Constable of Chester, lord of Pontefract, formally ‘converted’/used the name of de Lacy for the first time by virtue of an agreement with his grandmother, Albreda (Aubrey) de Lisours.
1/6/1290In June 1290, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was charged with negotiating with the Guardians of Scotland concerning the Scottish succession and prospective marriage of Margaret of Norway (the only surviving descendant of King Alexander III of Scotland) and Edward of Caenarvon, King Edward I’s young son; the ensuing Treaty of Birgham on 18th July proved unworkable when Margaret died en route to Scotland in late September that year.
2/6/1258On 2nd June 1258, Edmund de Lacy, son and heir of John de Lacy, Baron of Pontefract, Earl of Lincoln, Baron of Halton, Constable of Chester, died and was buried at Stanlow Abbey in the Wirral peninsula. One record states that his heart was brought to Pontefract and buried in St Richard’s Church which he had founded.
5/6/1296On 5th June 1296, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, took command of the English forces in Gascony after the death of Edmund of Lancaster at Bayonne. This was the second (and much delayed) English army sent to the duchy in an attempt to regain it in Edward I’s war with France.
5/6/1296On 5th June 1296, Thomas of Lancaster, husband of Alice de Lacy and later lord of Pontefract, succeeded his father, Edmund (Crouchback), as Earl of Lancaster.
6/6/1294Henry de Lacy SealOn 6th June 1294, Edward I granted Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln and Baron of Pontefract, a Wednesday market to be held at the manor of Pontefract. In addition, markets and fairs were granted at his manors of Bradford, Campsall, Slaidbum, and Almondbury in Yorkshire, Burnley in Lancashire and places in other counties with free warren (franchise or privilege to allow the killing of game) in all his demesne lands (piece of land attached to a manor for the owner's own use) of Knottingley, Owston, Campsall etc in the counties of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.
8/6/1294On 8th June 1294, Edward I summoned certain barons to him at Portsmouth in order to make an assault to recover the Duchy of Gascony, lost to the French in February of that year. Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was to captain the second, larger fleet alongside Edmund of Lancaster. The first force would be led by the king’s nephew, John of Brittany, assisted by John of St John, ousted seneschal of the duchy. Atrocious weather delayed the departure of the first fleet until mid-August and ultimately the main force was postponed indefinitely.
15/6/1215Magna_CartaOn 15th June 1215 Magna Carta Libertatum was sealed at Runnymede in front of 25 barons. The youngest of the barons was probably John de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, one of the guarantors or sureties of the Great Charter.
23/6/1253On 23rd June 1253, Sir Edmund de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was given the custody of the hundred (a division of an English shire consisting of 100 hides: a hide being about 30 modern acres) of Staincliffe, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, for £26 3s and 6d a year (£37,417 in today's money) and was assured in July that if the land was leased for farming, first refusal would lie with Edmund.
29/6/1237On 29th June 1237, John de Lacy, Baron of Pontefract, was appointed by Henry III as one of several lords overseeing the arrival and mission of Cardinal Otto of Tonengo, Pope Gregory IX’s legate. Otto had been requested by the king in order to provide guidance and help in overcoming his precarious financial situation and faltering peace treaty with Scotland. His barons were resentful and mistrusting of foreign interference in matters of state with Matthew Paris recording: “Our king perverts all things. In every way he sets at nought our laws and disregards his plighted faith and promises……… now he has secretly called a legate into the country, who will change the whole face of the land: now he gives and now at will he takes back what he has given.” Otto was to remain in England until the 7th January 1241.
1/6/1300On 1st June 1300, at Brotherton, four miles from Pontefract, Edward II’s half-brother, Thomas of Brotherton, Earl of Norfolk and Earl Marshall of England was born. Thomas was the elder of Edward I’s two sons to his second wife, Marguerite of France. Thomas’ heir, Margaret was the first English woman to be made a duchess in her own right in 1397 and Edward I’s last surviving grandchild. Thomas’ granddaughter, Elizabeth Mowbray, nee Segrave, was an ancestor of the later Mowbray Dukes of Norfolk and their successors the Howards, thereby having two of Henry VIII’s wives, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard in her lineage.
1/6/1310After his wife, Margaret Longespee, died in 1309, Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln and lord of Pontefract, married his second wife, Joan Martin, by June 1310. Joan was at least forty years younger than her husband and a decade younger than her step-daughter, Alice de Lacy. This marriage produced no children, especially a son, meaning that Alice and Thomas (Alice’s husband) would receive the entire de Lacy inheritance on Henry’s death the following year. Joan did have two children with her second husband, Nicholas Audley.
1/6/1319In June 1319, Edward II mustered his army at Newcastle to attempt to retake the great walled  city of Berwick and it’s castle which had fallen to the Scots in April of that year. This was an improbable gathering of earls, including Thomas of Lancaster , owner of Pontefract castle, and John de Warenne , 7th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal castle who had finally settled their private war at great cost to Surrey. He had had  to hand over valuable lands to his enemy including Sandal and Conisbrough castles, which remained in Lancaster’s hands until his execution for treason in 1322.
1/6/1321In early June 1321, the Marcher Lords (or ’Contrariants’), the Earls of March and Hereford, met the Earl of Lancaster at Pontefract prior to swearing an alliance at Sherburn-in-Elmet to remove the Despensers (Hugh the Elder and Younger) from Edward II’s court.
1/6/1345In June 1345, Edward III wrote to Maria of Portugal, Queen of Castile, proposing a marriage between his son, John of Gaunt, later lord of Pontefract, and her younger sister Leonor, twelve years older than Gaunt. Leonor was later suggested as a bride for Gaunt’s eldest brother, Edward of Woodstock but all preparations came to nought when Leonor married the King of Aragon.
1/6/1347On 1st June 1347, Henry of Grosmont, nephew of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract, and now himself Earl of Lancaster, Leicester and Derby and Steward of England, was acknowledged as Lord of Bergerac, a title he used for the rest of his life.
2/6/1323In June 1323, Edward II sent a letter from York to the Bishop of London forbidding any assembly of people venerating Thomas of Lancaster, executed for treason at Pontefract the previous year. Many people were seeking the canonization of Thomas as a martyr and miracle-worker, with prohibitions already having been made against admittance to his tomb at the church of the Cluniac Priory in Pontefract and hill upon which he had been executed.
4/6/1394On 4th June 1394, Mary de Bohun, the first wife of the future Henry IV died at Peterborough Castle. Mary would never be queen, as she died before her husband usurped the throne from Richard II, whom he subsequently had killed at Pontefract Castle.  Aged only about twenty-five, she had already had five sons (four surviving) and two daughters and died during her younger daughter Philippa's birth. The marriage was probably the youngest royal marriage to produce children of the period, with the eldest son being born when the parents were probably fourteen or fifteen.
5/6/1319On 5th June 1319, Edward II confirmed their mutual grandmother, Eleanor of Provence’s grant of her rights in 1286 in the county of Provence to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract, and his brother Henry, who was to succeed to Thomas’s lands and titles some years after Thomas’s execution three years later.
5/6/1327On 5th June 1327, the young king Edward III or his mother, Queen Isabella, ordered a chapel to be built on the hill where Thomas of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract, had been beheaded.
6/6/1372On or around 6th June 1372, Constance (Constanza), Duchess of Lancaster, wife of John of Gaunt, 2nd Duke of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract, gave birth at Hertford Castle to a daughter, Catalina aided by Ilote ‘the wise woman….the midwife of Leicester’ who had also attended Gaunt’s first wife, Blanche of Lancaster. Constance sent Katherine Swynford to Edward III to give him news of the birth for which she was rewarded twenty marks (£9,100 today). Gaunt, himself, confirmed an annual grant of twenty marks to Swynford on 15th May 1372 ‘for the good and pleasant service which she gives and has given’ to his wife ‘and for the very great affection which our said consort has towards the said Katherine’
7/6/1300On 7th June 1300, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was with Edward I at Pontefract Castle in preparation for the king’s Scottish campaign. This was Edward’s second attempt to rally forces, having abandoned plans six months earlier at Berwick on Tweed due to lack of infantry. Edward’s army of ten thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry marched into Scotland in early July 1300. The royal army,  including eighty-seven English barons and several knights of Brittany and Lorraine, had de Lacy in charge of one cavalry unit with the Earl of Surrey, John de St John and the king commanding the others. The ensuing siege of Caerlaverock Castle, albeit ultimately successful by Edward after several attempts, had been reputedly thwarted by only sixty Scots. A papal bull, arriving by the end of August, condemning Edward’s actions in Scotland forced an English withdrawal.  
7/6/1327Tomb of Hugh Despenser the YoungerSome time after Hugh Despenser the Younger's execution (a court favourite of Edward II, but loathed by Edward's wife Queen Isabella) at Hereford on 24th November 1326, Edward II was taken to Kenilworth Castle, arriving there on the 5th December 1326. Edward was then moved to Berkeley Castle and  in June 1327 a gang, led by a Dominican friar and a papal chaplain called Thomas Dunheved, launched a 'rescuing' assault on Berkeley Castle. Whether Edward was freed or not (it's debatable), he was captured shortly afterwards. The gang scattered and Thomas Dunheved was captured eighteen miles from his family home in Dunchurch, Warwickshire and sent to prison in Pontefract Castle, where he died.
7/6/1394On 7th June 1394, Queen Anne of Bohemia, the first wife of Richard II (who would be imprisoned at Pontefract Castle), and eldest daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, died at Sheen Priory in Sheen, now Richmond, London.
8/6/1336On 8th June 1336, Edward III, arrived at Pontefract on his way north preparing for another attack on Scotland. From mid-June onwards, Edward ravaged the east coast of Scotland (destroying towns, taking food supplies, slaughtering cattle, burning cornfields) to prevent any invasion by French forces under Philip VI in support of Scotland.
9/6/1398Henry BolingbrokeOn 9th June 1398, John of Gaunt and his family were staying at Pontefract Castle until 14th July of the same year. Their stay at the castle was overshadowed by the threat of the impending duel between his son Henry Bolingbroke and  Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk. The picture is from a miniature of Henry Bolingbroke, circa 1402
11/6/1381On 11th June 1381, Richard II and his court moved to the safety of the Tower of London after a body of Kent rebels sought to destroy ‘traitors’ surrounding the king. John of Gaunt’s, lord of Pontefract, son, Henry of Bolingbroke (later Henry IV) was amongst the besieged nobles. Gaunt, meanwhile, was in NE England for negotiations with the Scots at Berwick.
12/6/1381On 12th June 1381, from Blackheath in London, the rebel leaders of the Peasants’ Revolt sent a petition to Richard II demanding the heads of men they considered traitors. John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract Castle, was at the top of the list.
13/6/1356On 13th June 1356, Henry, Duke of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract, commanded a small army of 800 archers and 500 men-at-arms which arrived in Normandy pursuing Edward III’s aim of forcing the French to accept the Treaty of Guines of 1354. Henry met up with Sir Robert Knolles’ 500 archers from Brittany and a small force under Philip of Navarre and Godfrey de Harcourt. After destroying Verneuil on 5th-6th July and with no advance from John II’s French army, Lancaster retreated into Normandy. These ‘manoeuvres’ prefaced the Black Prince’s crushing victory at the Battle of Poitiers on 19th September 1356 where France’s King John and his youngest son were captured.
13/6/1381Around four o’clock on 13th June 1381, rebels stormed John of Gaunt’s, lord of Pontefract, Savoy Palace in London, destroying cloth, clothes, beds, books, napery, silverware and jewels. A mock puppet dressed as Gaunt was impaled, ‘arrowed’ and hacked and a fire was started in the great hall whilst a drunken rampage ensued in his wine cellars. Unfortunately, many revellers were trapped as the Savoy Palace was burnt to the ground.
18/6/1381On 18th June 1381 (some sources say the 19th), news reached John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract Castle, at Berwick that his Savoy Palace in London had been destroyed by rioters during the Peasants’ Revolt. Rumours were to circulate that Gaunt’s southern castles, including Leicester, were in ruins and that two groups of rebels, both 10,000 strong, were searching for him. That same day, Gaunt agreed a renewal of the truce with the Scots until February 1383.
19/6/1312On 19th June 1312, Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall, Lieutenant of Scotland and court favourite of Edward II, was executed on the road to Kenilworth on the Earl of Lancaster’s lands after a meeting of barons at Warwick Castle. His ‘jurors’ included the Earls of Warwick, Lancaster, Hereford and Arundel. Gaveston had been besieged and captured by the Earls of Pembroke, and Surrey and Baron Henry de Percy a month before at Scarborough. The Earl of Lancaster’s advice to his fellow rebels ‘While he lives there will be no safe place in the realm of England’ was the harbinger of Gaveston’s death.
21/6/1317The terms on which Thomas, Earl of Lancaster’s (lord of Pontefract) retainers served him are set out by four extant indentures, which differ little from the normal type of written contract which bound a man to his lord during this period. One indenture is that sealed with Sir William Latimer, a Yorkshire banneret, on 15th May 1319; others are with Sir Hugh Meynill of Derbyshire (24th July 1317), Sir John Eure of Northumberland (29th December 1317) and Sir Adam de Swillington, another Yorkshireman (21st June 1317). All four instruments specified that service was to be for life, in peace and war, in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and against all men save the king (this last clause was invoked by at least two of the Earl’s knights to excuse their desertion of him under the stress of events of 1320-1322).
22/6/1307A papal letter by Pope Clement V, dated 22nd June 1307, authorised the Archbishop of York to give a commission to William de Pykeringe, archdeacon of Nottingham and canon of York, to reconcile the churchyard of Pontefract, which had been polluted by bloodshed.
23/6/1314On 23rd June 1314,  Thomas Earl of Lancaster,  although not taking part in the Battle of Bannockburn, assembled a private army at Pontefract believing that if Edward II was successful he would next attack Thomas. When Edward II retreated to York after the battle, Thomas confronted Edward and was able to exact a pardon for himself and a hundred others for breaches of the peace.
23/6/1381On 23rd June 1381, from Edinburgh, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract Castle, summoned his wife, Duchess Constance, to travel north to meet him, nervous about the encroaching rioting in the south of England. Gaunt had sent out orders on the 17th indicating he was moving his household north from Leicester to Pontefract. Constance was to reach Knaresborough Castle by the 29th June having been barred from Pontefract Castle by its Constable en route because of his fear of the wrath of the rebels.
24/6/1300On 24th June 1300, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was with the royal army when it assembled in Carlisle for the invasion of Scotland. His scutage (tax in lieu of military service) in respect of the knights’ fees for Widnes, Tottington, Penwortham, Blackburnshire (Blackburn and Whalley) and Bowland entered in the Compotus Rolls (royal accounts) amounted to £25 8s (£30,000 in today’s money).
26/6/1322On 26th June 1322, Alice de Lacy, suo jure Countess of Lincoln and suo jure Countess of Salisbury, surrendered a large part of her estates to the Crown after the execution of her husband, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, on 22nd March that year. Alice had been imprisoned at York with her stepmother, Joan Martin, soon after the death of Thomas. Many of Alice’s estates were given by Edward II to his court favourites, Hugh Despenser and his son, Hugh Despenser the Younger. Edward II had made the following declaration from York, on that day, regarding the above: ‘Enrolment of grant by the said Alesia (late the wife of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, daughter and heiress of Henry de Lascy (sic), late Earl of Lincoln) to the king that all the manors, towns, etc., knights' fees, advowsons, etc., pertaining to the castle, town, and honour of Pontefract, and all other castles, manors, etc., in the county of York, that Joan, late the wife of Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, Alesia's father, and others hold in dower or otherwise for life or for terms of years, which ought to revert to Alesia, shall revert to the king after the death of Joan and the others.’
1/6/1402On 1st June 1402, Franciscans from Leicester, Nottingham and Northampton were sent to the Tower for spreading the news that Richard II, who had ‘died’ at Pontefract Castle in February 1400, was still alive.
1/6/1404In June 1404, the Abbot of the Cistercian abbey of Revesby (Lincolnshire) declared that there were ten thousand men in England who believed that Richard II was alive; the ex-king reportedly having ‘died’ at Pontefract Castle in February 1400.
1/6/1417Charles, Duke of OrleansIn June 1417, Charles Duke of Orleans was sent by Henry V to Pontefract Castle in the custody of Sir Robert Waterton (largely in the cell once occupied by Richard II). Charles, captured at the Battle of Agincourt on the 25th October 1415, was imprisoned (later with Jean II Le Maingre, Marshall Boucicaut, who died in captivity in Yorkshire in 1421) but was treated fairly leniently, being allowed to visit Waterton’s estate at Methley, six miles away, to hunt. Throughout his 25 years’ captivity, Charles was held at various other castles, including: Tutbury, Fotheringhay, Bolingbroke, Ampthill, Wingfield, Sterborough, Stourton, Windsor and the Tower of London. He was finally released on the 28th October 1440 and sailed for Calais on the 5th November. Charles was seen as an accomplished medieval poet who produced over 500 poems, written in both French and English, many of which were compiled during his time in captivity.
2/6/1402On 2nd June 1402, John Bernard gave testimony at his trial that he had been ploughing near his home in Offley (Hertfordshire) when William Balsshalf told him that Richard II was still alive and well and living in Scotland and would return with William Serle’s help to meet his supporters at Atherstone, near Merevale Abbey in Warwickshire on 24th June. Richard II had supposedly ‘died’ at Pontefract Castle in February 1400. Henry IV later stated at the end of the January-March 1404 parliament that he granted a general pardon to all ‘provided always, however, that William Serle, Thomas Warde of Trumpington, who affects and pretends to be King Richard, and Amy Donet, do not have or enjoy any benefit from this grace and pardon, but that they should be expressly exempted from the aforesaid pardon and grace.’ Serle was captured, hanged and cut down, barely alive, at many towns between Pontefract and London, being finally hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.
3/6/1405On 3rd June 1405, Henry IV and his half- brother, Thomas Beaufort, arrived at Pontefract Castle where Richard Scrope, Archbishop of York, and Thomas Mowbray, earl of Norfolk, had been imprisoned. Scrope and Norfolk, seeking revenge for the execution and banishment respectively of their kinsmen, had been persuaded to surrender their forces outside York by Ralph Neville, earl of Westmorland. An eight-man commission sat in judgement on Scrope and Norfolk at the archbishop’s own palace of Bishopthorpe, south of York on the 8th June with both men executed that same day outside York’s town walls. Robert Waterton, Constable of Pontefract Castle, was later accused by the Scottish chronicler, Walter Bower, of having counselled Henry IV to execute Archbishop Scrope. Henry IV attained the status of the only English monarch to have authorised the killing of both an archbishop and a king.
3/6/1484Cecily NevilleOn 3rd June 1484, whilst staying at Pontefract Castle, Richard III wrote to his mother Cecily - 'Madam I recommend myself to you as heartily as is possible to me; beseeching you in my most humble and affectionate manner of your daily blessing to my especial comfort and defence in my need. And, madam, I heartily beseech you that I may often hear from you to my comfort. And such news as there is here my servant Thomas Bryan, this bearer, shall show you; to whom it may please you to give credence ... And I pray God send you accomplishment of your noble desires. Written at Pontefract, the 3rd day of June, with the hand of Your most humble son, Ricardus Rex.'
5/6/1402On 5th June 1402, sheriffs throughout England were instructed to suppress all rumours that that Richard II, who had ‘died’ at Pontefract Castle in February 1400, was still alive. By 18th June, a writ informed sheriffs that this was no longer to be the case and that people need not fear arrest as only the leaders would be punished.
8/6/1484On 8th June 1484, whilst staying at Pontefract Castle between 30th May and the 13th June, in seeking a truce between England and a weak and divided France (due to the conflict between the houses of Orleans and Bourbon), Richard III signed a treaty forming an alliance between England and Brittany, thereby refraining from war until the following April 25th. There was a secret codicil in the treaty that stated in return for the aid of 1,000 archers  against France and for grants of the revenues of rebels' estates, Pierre Landois, treasurer and chief officer of Brittany, would return Henry Tudor to the same 'careful custody' in which he had been kept until the death of Edward IV.
10/6/1483Elizabeth WoodvilleRichard III put in motion a plan to destroy the  Queen Dowager, Elizabeth Woodville, and the Woodville family forever. On the 10th June 1483, Richard wrote  to the Mayor of York, John Newton, requesting that he 'come unto us to London in all the diligence you can possible, after the site thereof, with as many as ye can make defensibly arrayed, there to aid to assist us against the Queen, her blood, her adherents and affinity, which have intended and daily doth intend to murder and utterly destroy us and our cousin the Duke of Buckingham.' The troops were asked to gather at Pontefract before proceeding to London.
11/6/1483On 11th June 1483, Richard Duke of Gloucester (ostensibly believing/proclaiming there was a plot against him) wrote a request to Lord Ralph Neville to meet with his men at Pontefract prior to marching to London.
12/6/1475On 12th June 1475, Richard, brother of Edward IV, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III) and steward of the Duchy of Lancaster north of Trent with official residence at Pontefract Castle, was granted the lordships and manors of Skipton and Marton, previously owned by Lord Clifford who had reputedly killed Edmund, Earl of Rutland (Richard’s elder brother) after the Battle of Wakefield and had died fighting for Henry VI at Ferrybridge in 1461.
13/6/1484On13th June 1484,  Richard III left Pontefract Castle having spent the previous two weeks here as he journeyed southwards again following his northern progress of that year. This stop was part of a prolonged stay in Yorkshire residing in castles at Pontefract, York and Scarborough. It was during this stay that Pontefract was established as a borough.
15/6/1483Rivers_&_Caxton_Presenting_book_to_Edward_IVOn 15th June 1483, Richard Ratcliffe, a north country ducal councillor, at the behest of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Lord Protector, reached York where he delivered to the civil council the Protector's  order for them to send an armed force to the Earl of Northumberland at Pontefract Castle forthwith. The force was intended to bolster Richard's supposed precarious position after the death of his brother, Edward IV. This order was part of a series of events from the 30th April 1483 at Northampton when Earl Rivers was arrested by the Duke. Rivers was detained for moving the young King Edward V to Stony Stratford without the knowledge of Richard and for withholding news of the death of his brother Edward IV. Richard was wary of the Woodvilles' manipulation of the young king and his likely figurehead role (only) as Protector.
16/6/1483On receiving a letter from Richard Duke of Gloucester pertaining to the alleged plot against the Protectorate of the Realm, the Earl of Northumberland undertook the forty miles' journey on horseback to Hull. He approached the port with a proclamation 'that all men between the ages of 60 and 16 should be ready to attend of my said Lord of Northumberland at Pontefract'. The port's reaction was not enthusiastic, and they agreed to send only twelve men to Pontefract, with each man paid 12d (£35 in today's money) for twenty days.
17/6/1453On 17th June 1453, Malise Graham, Earl of Menteith (formally Strathern), was released from imprisonment at Pontefract Castle having entered England in November 1427 as a hostage for King James I of Scotland. It appears that the King’s ransom money promised to England was never paid, except a part of the first year’s instalment; and in consequence of this, Scottish hostages were detained in England. Many of them died in England, some ransomed themselves, a few escaped. In June 1453, the Earl of Menteith, who had gone to England as a hostage, was liberated from Pontefract castle, when his son Alexander surrendered himself in his stead with the Earl of Douglas and Lord Hamilton becoming sureties for his return in case of the escape of his son.
18/6/1483On 18th June 1483, reports began to spread that 20000 men that had gathered at Pontefract (including 300 from York) on the orders of Richard III, were now heading to London from the north in ‘frightening and unheard of numbers’. Following the death of Edward IV on the 9th April that year, Richard, through manipulation, had taken the two princes into his custody for safe-keeping - Edward Prince of Wales at Stony Stratford on the 30th April, and Richard, Duke of York, from sanctuary at Westminster Abbey on the 16th June. A week earlier on the 9th June, William, Lord Hastings and one of Richard’s great supporters, had, at a council meeting, opposed the removal of the young Richard from sanctuary, perhaps coming to realise the true intentions of Richard himself. It would seem that the council meeting was the final straw for Richard and he decided to strike first. Richard was now showing his hand and his actions leading to his intended usurpation of the throne were now in full force (see entry for 10th June 1483 for the content of Richard’s letter asking for men to be sent to the capital).
21/6/1483After Edward IV's death in April 1483, Richard Duke of Gloucester became Protector of the Realm. In June 1483, Richard declared there was a conspiracy against the Protectorship. Richard directly accused Hastings, Stanley, Morton and Rotherham of plotting with the Woodvilles, including the Queen Dowager, Elizabeth Woodville, against the government. Richard sent letters to his supporters in the north, including York, Hull and Northumberland. The Burghers of York proclaimed that an army of no less than 300 men should meet up at Pontefract Castle before marching to London on 21st June 1483.
22/6/1484Between 22nd and 23rd June 1484, Richard III stayed at Pontefract Castle after visiting York. During June of this year, Richard had been at Pontefract for twenty two days.
23/6/1483On 23rd June 1483, in his prison at Sheriff Hutton, prior to his being escorted to Pontefract the following day, Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers, was informed he had been sentenced to death by Richard of Gloucester, Constable and Protector, as a result of his sister’s plotting. His will, dated from Pontefract, concludes with an appeal to Richard: ‘I humbly beseech my lord of Gloucester in the worship of Christ’s passion, and for the merit and weal of his soul, to help and assist as supervisor of this testament, that mine executors may, with his pleasure, fulfil this my last will’.
24/6/1483On 24th June 1483, Earl Rivers, Lord Richard Grey, Sir Thomas Vaughan and possibly Sir Richard Haute were brought to Pontefract Castle prior to their execution the following day, on the orders of Richard III. Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers, wrote this poem knowing he was to die: Sumwhat musyng, and more mornyng, In remembring the unstydfastnes; This world being of such whelyng, Me contrarieng, what may I gesse? I fere dowtles, remediles, Is now to sese my wofull chaunce. For unkyndness, withouten less, And no redress, me doth avaunce, With displesaunce, to my grevaunce, And no suraunce of remedy. Lo in this traunce, now in substaunce, Such is my dawnce, wyllyng to dye. Me thynkys truly, bowndyn am I, And that gretly, to be content: Seyng playnly, fortune doth wry All contrary from myn entent. My lyff was lent me to on intent, Hytt is ny spent.  Welcome fortune! But I ne went thus to be shent, But sho hit ment; such is her won.'
25/6/1483On 25th June 1483, four nobles who had supported the young king Edward V  viz Earl Rivers, Richard Grey, Thomas Vaughan and possibly Richard Haute ( there is debate as to whether he was in fact executed at this time) were condemned to death by the Earl of Northumberland on the charge of plotting the death of Richard Duke of Gloucester, soon to be Richard III. They were 'tried' without being able to make a vocal defence and were summarily beheaded. Many contemporary writers agreed that the four had committed no crime. There is also some debate as to whether the seventy-years-old-plus Vaughan was executed with Rivers and Grey as various chroniclers (Mancini, Rous) do not mention him and his tomb at Westminster Abbey would seem a curious honour for a man deemed a traitor by the reigning king.
26/6/1404On 26th June 1404, Henry of Monmouth, Prince of Wales (later Henry V), wrote to his father from his Worcester headquarters thanking him for his kind letter written from Pontefract five days earlier. The king had requested his son to go to the help of the Sheriff of Hereford who was suffering ‘greatly from the ravages of the Welsh rebels.’
26/6/1483On 26th June 1483, after being petitioned at Baynard's Castle by a delegation from the City of London to take the throne,  Richard Duke of Gloucester deposed Edward V and reigned as Richard III. Richard’s right to reign was confirmed by the Act Titulus Regius which denounced any further claims through his brother’s, Edward IV , heirs. The Titulus Regius was issued in 1484 and repealed the following year by Henry VII.
27/6/1461On 27th June 1461, an eight-years-old Richard, brother of Edward IV and later to be Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III and steward of the Duchy of Lancaster north of Trent with official residence at Pontefract Castle, was amongst twenty-eight Knights of the Bath created by Edward in preparation for his coronation the following day.
30/6/1404On 30th June 1404, Henry IV, from Pontefract, issued a passport for a quarter of a year to Sir John Sinclair, brother of Henry II Sinclair, Earl of Orkney. Henry had been captured following the Battle of Homildon Hill in 1402 and released on ransom. The battle had been a disastrous defeat for the Scots under Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas, but a triumph for English forces led by Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, and his son Harry ‘Hotspur’. It is surmised that Sinclair’s passport was a ‘safe passage’ granted by the king.
9/6/1588On 9th June 1588, a survey was made of Pontefract Park. In pre-Norman times, this land had been mainly waste moorland, forest and fenny marshes. The survey stated: ‘the said park is distant from Pontefract Castle half a quarter of a mile….the whole circuit of the pales include 700 acres, whereof we think there is none may be employed for meadow, 100 acres for arable ground, and all the rest for pasture……… (with) every of the 100 acres of arable land, and every acre of pasture.. worth by the year 12d….. in the pales of the said park (are) 1370 timber trees…(over one thousand) fuel trees. .and 400 saplings…595 deer….and three lodges or houses whereof two are in good reparation, and the third partly in decay….also there is a barn builded in the said park to lye hay in that is gotten for the deer, the reparation whereof is at the queen’s charges’.
30/6/1537On 30th June 1537, Lord Darcy, Constable of Pontefract Castle during the previous year’s Pilgrimage of Grace, was beheaded on Tower Hill and his head exposed on London Bridge. Contrary to his wishes that his whole body be buried by that of his second wife, Edith Sandys, Lady Neville, in the Friary at Greenwich, his headless body was buried at the Crossed Friars beside the Tower of London.
1/6/1645The 1st June 1645 was a joyful day for the garrison. The governor informed it that he had received letters which contained information that Sir Marmaduke Langdale had summoned the enemy at Derby to surrender and that the King and his friends were successful everywhere.
2/6/1645On 2nd June 1645, Royalist Governor Lowther sent a messenger, Mr Massey, into the town to Governor Overton to propose and agree concerning the exchange of prisoners who had been taken at Hull and other places. Overton granted all that was demanded and sent for them at great speed. In the night, the Parliamentarians threw up another work in the closes below Baghill, against the Low Church in the shape of a half moon. They had now formed double lines around the castle and were kept on such constant duty that a spirit of disaffection prevailed and many deserted.
3/6/1643On 3rd June 1643, Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, wrote to the Earl of Newcastle: ‘ Cousin, Seeing that my journey is the cause of many distractions in your army, ….I am induced to beg you to please to assemble to-morrow, at Pontefract, a council of war, in which that affair can be freely discussed; and I will venture to say that what I desire will be judged to be for the king’s service, and the preservation of all this country…….and of all joining in the defence of the public cause, which will certainly suffer, unless we do so….It will not be needful for you to come to the place where I am to sleep; for, if it please God, to-morrow I shall pass by Tadcaster to go to Pontefract.’ There was a great reluctance by the northern Royalist army to provide an escort for the Queen’s journey southwards as it would have meant reducing its forces.
3/6/1645The governor of the castle received letters on 3rd June 1645 conveying information of the king's success at Leicester. An immense booty had fallen into the Royalist hands and the loss of the enemy had been great, many prisoners having been taken. The hopes of the garrison at Pontefract were highly raised at news of this splendid victory.
3/6/1648Pontefract Castle dungeonOn 3rd June 1648, Colonel Morris and Captain Paulden tricked the Parliamentarian guard at Pontefract Castle by posing as delivering mattresses, in which they had hidden weapons. Once inside, they gained control of the castle, imprisoning the Parliamentary defenders and, thereby, leading to the third and final siege. Roger Preston, a gunsmith, not a soldier, was captured with the rest of the Parliamentary Pontefract garrison . There is a letter about him that has survived and is now kept at the British Library in London. The letter is to Parliament's Colonel Thomas Fairfax from Nicholas Walton, the minister of Kirkley. Walton informed Colonel Fairfax that Preston's wife was pregnant and asked Thomas to do his best to arrange Preston's release.
4/6/1645On the night of 4th June 1645, the Parliamentary besiegers began another work at a little distance from the former. It was at the top of Mr Stable's orchard, which may have been behind the houses to the south of the church. This was the 27th work of the besiegers. Also on that night, the besieged Royalists , seeing a fire on Sandal Castle, answered it by another from the Round Tower assuming that the King's forces had obtained another victory.
4/6/1648On 4th or 5th June 1648, soon after Royalist John Morris had gained entry to Pontefract Castle (presaging its third and final siege), Parliamentarian forces plundered his house at East Hague, South Kirkby taking away goods and stock totalling over £1000 (£140,000+ in today’s money) as well as £1800 ((£250,000+) in bonds and bills.
5/6/1645On 5th June 1645, there was heavy fire on both Royalist and Parliamentarian sides and a boy from the garrison was wounded while cutting grass.
6/6/1645The Parliamentary besiegers received reinforcements on 6th June 1645 from Doncaster. The Royalist garrison discovered four of the enemy stealing iron from a mill under the castle. Three men fled and one was taken prisoner. The prisoner told the garrison that a body of the king's troops had already reached Tuxford and that the troops of Parliament were retreating and would probably assemble in the neighbourhood where a general engagement was expected.
7/6/1645On 7th June 1645, Nathan Drake, Royalist diarist, recorded: ‘…but about 10 a Clock our men espied a souldier of the enemies Coming downe from Munkhill to the mill, where 2 of our men went out: one was Jonathan (Sir Jarvis Cuttler’s man) the other was Rich. Laipidge. Jonathan tooke him and brought him into the Castle & eased him of his money, but he Confessed little for he was then drunke…’
8/6/1645On 8th June 1645, about four hundred Parliamentary horse quartered at Tickhill, Rossington and other places beyond Doncaster, had moved to Pontefract. Some troops of these horse were stationed at Cridling Stubbs and Knottingley and a part went over Methley Bridge towards Leeds.
9/6/1645On 9th June 1645, the besieged Royalists heard the firing of cannon, which they supposed to be near Sheffield, and concluded that their friends were drawing near. The besieging Parliamentarians kept a strong guard at New Hall which they relieved in the evening. At the same time, two horsemen brought letters to Parliament's Governor Overton and a drum reported that the King and his troops had taken Derby.
10/6/1645The Parliamentarians began another work on 10th June 1645 in a close near Baghill, called Moody's Close. This was designed to check the  Royalist garrison and prevent any relief being afforded. They began another work nearer Swillington Tower but the fire of the besieged compelled them to flee to their other works. The besiegers also received a reinforcement of eight troops of horse from Doncaster. These drew up in a body at Carleton, one troop marched to South Hardwick, another came from Darrington and marched into the town and a third came from Ferrybridge and marched into the Park.
11/6/1645Pontefract All Saints ChurchOn 11th June 1645, about two o'clock, all the men in the Royalist castle were ordered to arms by the governor. After receiving their orders, they sallied forth in different directions. Their attack was centred mainly on the work around the church. Captain Joshua Walker and twenty men sallied with the first party into the church where they were to remain for twenty-four hours. They took with them sufficient match powder and ammunition. Entering the steeple they kept up fire against the enemy at every opportunity. All Saints Church (Low Church) was still held by the besieged because no major Parliamentary works separated it from the castle. After Captain Flood had taken the works, a party of the Parliamentary forces came down to reoccupy it, whereupon they were fired on from the steeple, killing twelve men among whom were three officers, and wounded several others. The sally was supported by cannon shots from the castle and the besiegers lost forty men killed, eleven taken prisoner and a considerable number wounded. A quantity of muskets, pikes, powder, match and ammunition was taken into the castle. The siege of Pontefract Castle had now been carried on for several months and there did not appear to be any prospect of it being taken by storm or surrendered by capitulation. The Parliamentary high command was dissatisfied with the commanding officer and the way in which the siege had been conducted. An order came to Lord Fairfax to remove Sands and to appoint Colonel General Poyntz to the command.
12/6/1645General PoyntzOn 12th June 1645, Parliament's  Lord Fairfax and Colonel General Poyntz came from York with a guard of four troops of horse but returned back to York in the evening. The besieged Royalists kept possession of the Low Church, regularly relieving the guard. The next day, Colonel General Poyntz came to Pontefract again and took command. The besieged Royalists, in order to relieve their guards at the Low Church without danger, began a trench from the East gate and continued it down the churchyard. They also made blinds of boughs and sods from the church to Mr Kelham's house to the south of the church. Under cover of this, they cut grass for their cattle bringing in a hundred burdens into the castle. The besiegers relieved their guard at the New Hall the next day with three hundred and twenty men from the town.  Poyntz  would eventually accept the garrison's surrender.
13/6/1645On 13th June 1645, Nathan Drake, Royalist diarist, recorded: ‘ This day the new generall Poyntes Came from Yorke poaste againe, we supposed it was to draw up all theire horses to be neare together. …we drue down a trench from the lower Castle gate, through Mr Taytomes Orchard, to the Church, for the safeguard of our men thither, wch we almost finished; & made blindes of bowes & soddes, wch the enemy had gott, from the Church to Mr Kellomes, for our men to get gras that way…’
14/6/1645Charles_Landseer_Cromwell_Battle_of_NasebyOn 14th June 1645, at the Battle of Naseby the Royalist forces were defeated. Following this battle, an offer of surrender terms was put to the Royalists at Pontefract Castle but was refused. The garrison continued to receive letters that a Royal army was coming to relieve them.
15/6/1645On 15th June 1645, Nathan Drake, Royalist diarist, recorded: ‘ This day, being Sunday, at afternoon the enemy went downe boanegate with a troop of horse, wch we espying from the Kinges tower, we plaied the Cannon from thence, wch light amongst them, where we see 3 horses & men lay killd……we playd also another Cannon up the towne, wch went through the howses against Mr Rusbyes, but what hurt was done we know not…..Captin Cartwright releeved the Church wth 26 men till the next releefe…’
15/6/1655On 15th June 1655, administration of goods left in her husband’s will was finally granted in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury to Margery Morris, widow of Colonel John Morris, last Governor of Pontefract Castle during its third siege. Morris had been executed as a traitor six years before.
16/6/1645On 16th June 1645, there was great rejoicing among the besiegers on hearing the news of the Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Naseby. A letter was sent from Parliament's Colonel General Poyntz to Governor Lowther at the garrison  to inform him of this event and to summon him to surrender the castle, whilst there was yet time for mercy. The governor of the castle replied that he neither feared Colonel General Poyntz's forces nor valued his mercy.
16/6/1648On 16th June 1648, Royalist Governor John Morris of Pontefract Castle, elected as such by the garrison’s soldiers, granted a safe escort to Mr Tennet (Ferrett), the minister to depart from the town, with Mr Charles Davison officiating in his place.
17/6/1645On 17th June 1645, the Parliamentary besiegers of the castle enlarged the works, begun on 10th June, which were east of Baghill in the closes, south of the church where they had lost many men. This work was designed to check the Royalist garrison and prevent any relief being afforded. The Royalists had already received information that the king was at Melton Mowbray and intended marching north, and in the space of ten days, if all went well, would relieve the castle of Pontefract. In the afternoon, the besiegers received a considerable body of forces and continued a brisk fire against the castle. The besieged sent Captain Smith with twenty musketeers to relieve their guard in the church.
17/6/1648On 17th June 1648, having taken Pontefract Castle by deceit earlier that month and consigned Parliamentary Governor Cotterell to the makeshift dungeon, Colonel John Morris appointed a Council of War with himself as president; albeit nominally, congenial but ineffective Sir John Digby, Colonel General, was in charge. Eight Articles of War were agreed and officers were appointed to command infantry and horse soldiers within the castle and in the town itself where Royalist troops were to be garrisoned. The articles ended with a warning: ‘If any officer, gentleman, or soldier be negligent upon any duty…or go from guard without order, he shall forfeit a day’s pay, and be disarmed at the head of the troops, or company wherein he serves, and shall be imprisoned twenty-four hours, and the day’s pay be disposed to his fellow soldiers.’  It is noteworthy that on the Council was George Bonevant, former Governor of Sandal Castle which had surrendered nearly three years before.
18/6/1645On 18th June 1645, two letters were received by the besieged Royalist garrison. They were dated the 15th June from Newark  and stated that the king, at the head of his army, was at Melton Mowbray, as mentioned before and that he intended to be at Newark the following Tuesday and then to march forward to the relief of Pontefract. Boothroyd suggests that this might have been a trick by the castle's governor to keep up the spirit of the garrison but some letters must have arrived from Newark because they brought information about the dissension in Parliament and in the City of London.
19/6/1645On 19th June 1645,  Colonel General Poyntz and Colonel Overton, Governor of Pontefract, returned from Doncaster and drew up their Parliamentary forces  in the Marketplace. Captain Washington and Lieutenant Empson went out of the castle to Newark, most probably to obtain correct information and ascertain whether anything could be done for the relief of Pontefract Castle.
20/6/1645Parliament's Colonel General Poyntz called a council of law on 20th June 1645 in the town. In the afternoon, there arrived several loaded wagons at the New Hall in which in one of these there was a cannon. A party of infantry played their cannon without doing any damage. On the following day, Parliamentary forces began to form a platform at Monkhill for the cannon. Efforts by the Royalist garrison in firing at them were unsuccessful for the works they had already raised protected the opposing forces. The following night, the cannon was brought from New Hall and placed against the church. The guard was relieved at the church and a deserter came into the castle and informed the besieged Royalists that the Parliamentary troops, unsuccessful against His Majesty, had since been routed.
21/6/1645On 21st June 1645, Nathan Drake, Royalist diarist, recorded:' …we had a poore manwho before this Seege dwelt at Munkhill and having his howse burnt by the enemy Came into the Castle for suckor, & going forthis morning to get grasse for the Cattell by Munkhill mill, was there shott dead upon the place where he was getting of it & fetcht in at night & buryd…’
22/6/1645Leather CannonOn 22nd June 1645, as soon as the day dawned, Parliamentary forces made a strong attack upon the guard in the Low Church, which they entered with a hundred men. Another party went up the trenches of the besieged Royalists and so to the castle. The guard in the church compelled those who entered to retreat and those in the steeple gave the alarm to the Royalist garrison by ringing the bell. A continuous fire from the steeple and from the East Tower of the castle rendered the attempt of those who had entered the trenches useless and so they retreated to their works, carrying their dead and wounded with them. After some time, the cannon planted at Monkhill, and carrying a ball of eighteen pounds in weight, began to aim against the lantern of the steeple. In about an hour and a half, they aimed thirteen times but did no damage. The besieged Royalists, in order to preserve the church and to protect their guard, played their cannon from King's Tower against the enemy's works at Monkhill and at the fifth discharge dismounted the cannon of the Parliamentary forces. The remainder of the day was spent by the Parliamentarians remounting their cannon and throwing up works for its security. In the afternoon, the besieging Parliamentarians relieved all their guards and in the evening the besiegers conversed freely with the besieged and informed them of Cromwell's success and the almost final destruction of the forces belonging to His Majesty. The besieged Royalists considered this information as designed to induce them to surrender and still hoped that they should soon be relieved.
23/6/1643On 23rd June 1643, Queen Henrietta, wife of Charles I, left Pontefract Castle having landed at Bridlington with troops and arms on her return from Europe raising money for the Royalist cause. She met her husband at Kineton, near Edgehill, on her way to Oxford. Henrietta was the last royal figure to be entertained at the castle.
23/6/1645On 23rd June 1645, the besieging Parliamentary forces played their cannon against the church as early as 2 o'clock in the morning and continued fire against the lantern of the steeple until 6 o'clock, when a breach was made and a part of it fell down. Fire was discontinued until the afternoon when the steeple was so badly damaged that the besieged Royalists considered it no longer tenable. However, they sent twenty musketeers to relieve the guard but only two or three men were allowed in the church; the rest were ordered to occupy the houses around the church. The Royalists concluded that their opponents would make an attempt in the night to gain possession of the church and had loaded their cannon with grapeshot. As expected, at one o'clock, the enemy made an attack on the church; the besieged fired upon them and the enemy were forced to retreat to their works.
24/6/1645Few shots were fired on 24th June 1645 until the evening when the different guards were relieved. It was expected that the besiegers (Parliament) would make another attack in the night and the governor ordered Lieutenant Otway and two files of musketeers, who had been sent down to relieve the guard, to return to the castle at the beating of the tattoo. The Parliamentarians, as was expected, entered the church and the lower part of the town at about one o'clock. Finding nobody to resist them, they remained in possession. They were greatly annoyed by fire from the garrison and the besieged Royalists played their cannon from the King's Tower against the steeple of the church and fired five shots from the garden into the body of the church. It appears that the body of the church was damaged and the interior wholly destroyed.
24/6/1648On 24th June 1648, Parliamentarian Colonel Sir Edward Rossiter wrote from Lincoln to the Committee at Derby House: ‘The late riseing of the disaffected party with Styles and Hudson neer Stamford was happily supprest before mv comeing downe, yet was not this country therby freed from danger, the enimye much increasing at Pontefract, wherby their partie in these partes were incouraged to list men, and the better to carry on their designe, the most active of them had very frequent meetings in divers parts by which the peace of this county was much indangered. To prevent which I have with the assistance of the committee compleated a troope of horse ; save onely for armes, for supply whereof I humbly crave your Lordshipps’ order, and by these I hope the country wilbe continued quiet within itselfe, though not protected from the growinge enimy, who is so increased at Pontefracte, as that he may without interrupcion march into any parte of this county.’
25/6/1645On 25th June 1645, Nathan Drake, Royalist diarist, recorded: ‘ This morning about 1 a Clock the enemy entred the Church, & the lower end of the towre, there beeing none to resist them, at wch time our musketeers from the Castle shott very hard at them, and likewise we playd 5 peeses of Cannon from the Kinges tower to the Church steeple…….the enemy keeps digging up dead men’s Corpes, & making a worke in the Church……This day morning, that worthy knight Sr Gervis Cuttler dep’ted this life, the enemy not suffering any fresh meate ever to be brought to him since he fell sick, onely one Chickin & one poore Joynt of meate his lady brought wth hur 2 daies before he dep’ted, neither will the enemy suffer him either to be buryed or Convyed to his owne habitation to take place with his Auncetors…’
26/6/1645The besieged Royalist garrison suffered the loss of Sir Jarvis Cutler, who died from a fever. The Parliamentarians would not let fresh provisions to be brought to him from the town and his wife was allowed to visit him only once, bringing a chicken and a joint of meat. When dead, he was not allowed by the enemy to be buried in the church or among his ancestors. On 26th June 1645, he was buried in the chapel in the castle and after the funeral his wife was not permitted to leave the castle. The besieged began to suffer severely from lack of fresh provisions and desertions became frequent. In the night of 26th June, a man, named Metcalf, deserted and informed General Poyntz that the surgeon who attended the wounded in the castle communicated information to the garrison and supplied them with tobacco and other articles, in consequence of which the man was imprisoned.
27/6/1645On 27th June 1645, the besieging Parliamentary forces of Pontefract Castle had a Day of Thanksgiving for the late success and victory over the king at the Battle of Naseby. They then fired volleys and played their cannon on the besieged Royalists.
28/6/1645On 28th June 1645, news was received by the castle garrison of a Royalist success at Newark. On this day, permission was given to Lady Cutler to leave the castle, after being trapped there attending the funeral of her husband, Sir Jarvis Cutler. However, the besieging Parliamentary forces seized her and  along with her maid, chaplain, and accompanying  tenant they were searched to see if they were carrying any letters. She was kept till the following day when she returned to the castle. Here she was refused admission and remained in the street until 10 o'clock with her maid and chaplain. They were then permitted to go into the town where they remained until the next day and then departed.
29/6/1645On 29th June 1645, Nathan Drake, Royalist diarist, recorded: ‘..a little after no one, the Enemyes Genrall (Poyntes) Nathan Drake, Royalist diarist, recorded sent down the Lady Cuttler wth hur waytingmaid to the Barbican gates againe, she having not had any meate of 24 howers. Our Governor of the Castle would not suffer hur to Come into the Castle againe, because they had sent for hur out & given hur free liberty to goe home to hur Children, therefore he thought it sttod not wth his honor to be so Fooled by them, and by that meanes the poore Lady wth hur maid & hur Chaplin staid starving in the streetes till about 10 a Clock in the night, at wch time the Enemy sent for hur up into the Towne, & for any thing we heare, she sent for 2 horseyes that night, & so went away the next day. There was this night 2 Boan fires…made upon Sandoll Castle and we answered it wth one heare upon the Round Tower. We supposed to be good newes because of 2 Fires.’
30/6/1645On 30th June 1645, the besieging Parliamentary forces had a general rendezvous on Brotherton Marsh of all their horse in the area, which amounted to a thousand. They departed then in companies to different villages. The besiegers relieved their guard at New Hall with at least 600 men and different bodies of infantry moving in all directions. This led to the governor of the castle to conclude that the enemy seriously intended to assault the castle and he gave orders that the guard should be doubled and strict watch kept.
30/6/1648On 30th June 1648, a report was made to the Commons that: ‘The enemy at Pontefract Castle still go on at pleasure, taking and plundering whom they please, and yet please to deal so with none but those who have been most active for the Parliament. Having quitted the Isle of Axholme, they came towards Lincoln, and yesterday entered the city, plundered the house of Capt. Pert, who is now in arms in Northumberland for the Parliament…..They have prisoners Capt. Bees, Capt. Fines, and others….They went further on, and took prisoner Mr Ellis; they brag they have 3000 listed in Lincolnshire…’
24/6/1726On 24th June 1726, Robert Monckton, MP for Pontefract 1752-53 was born (dying on the 21st May 1782). Monckton was an officer of the British Army and colonial administrator in British North America. He had a distinguished military and political career, being second in command to General James Wolfe at the battle of Quebec and later named the Governor of the Province of New York. Monckton is also remembered for his role in a number of other important events in the French and Indian War (the North American theatre of the Seven Years' War), most notably the capture of Fort Beauséjour in Acadia, and the island of Martinique in the West Indies, as well as for his role in the deportation of the Acadians from British controlled Nova Scotia and also from French-controlled Acadia (present-day New Brunswick).
22/6/1897Pontefract Market Place 1897On Tuesday 22nd June 1897,  celebrations for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee commenced with ‘Dinner to the Aged Poor’. 275 people attended dinner in the Assembly Room. The dinner consisted of roast beef and plum pudding, with bread and cheese washed down with ale or aerated waters. At 2pm, school children and teachers of the town, numbering about 2000, marched from their schools to the Corn Market. Each child had received a medal at school before setting off. Groups taking part in the procession included: The Borough Band; The Pontefract Volunteers; The Fire Brigade; The St George Lodge of Oddfellows; The Pontefract Miners Association; The Old Tradesmen’s Association and ‘The Cyclists of the Town and District in Cycling Costume, on plain or decorated machines. The procession finished at Pontefract Castle where entertainments were provided for the children. At 5 o'clock, the children and teachers marched back to their schools where they were provided with tea, buns and sweet cake. At 10 o'clock that night, rockets were set off from Park Hill to signal the lighting of The Beacon Fire. Four local dignitaries each lit a corner of the Beacon and the crowd sang ‘God Save the Queen’. Around the main streets of Pontefract, crowds walked to see the beacon and rockets, accompanied by outbursts of national music. The celebrations continued well past midnight.
28/6/1892On 28th June 1892, ‘The Journal of Gas Lighting, Water Supply and Sanitary Improvement’ recorded: ‘Completion of the New Water Scheme for Pontefract.—The Roall water scheme to supply Pontefract and the district with an improved supply of water was completed yesterday week. The first sod of this undertaking was turned on July 25, 1889, by the then Mayor (Mr. W. Mathers) ; and the work has been satisfactorily carried out under the supervision of Mr. G. Hodson, the Engineer, by Messrs. Vickers and Son, of Nottingham. The mains from the pumping-station at Roall are laid for a distance of nine miles to the storage reservoir on the Park Hill at Pontefract. The cost of the works will amount to close upon £28,000 (£3.64 million in today’s money). Since the completion of the work, the contractors have been encountering serious difficulties. Last Thursday morning, when pumping operations commenced, owing to an accumulation of air in the mains, the pipe burst in Teront Street, Tanshelf, and a large volume of water poured forth, and caused a suspension of traffic. The power required to force the water into the reservoir on the Park Hill is immense, and it is feared other difficulties may arise before the works are a thorough success.’
5/6/1933On 5th June 1933, Pontefract Castle grounds staged boxing bouts during its Whitsuntide gala, in aid of Pontefract and Leeds Infirmaries. The principal bout saw Jimmy Learoyd (aka Young Learoyd) beat Harold (Young) Cole on points over twelve rounds. Jackie Brown, world champion fly-weight had promised to attend but it is not known if he did.
12/6/1924On 12th June 1924, a fete organised by local tradesmen was held in the grounds of Pontefract Castle on behalf of the building fund of the Pontefract Infirmary and Dispensary.
24/6/1926On 24th June 1926, a folk-dance festival was held in the grounds of Pontefract Castle with the highlight being the local men’s morris dancing troupe.