Pontefract Castle – September

1/9/1192Coat_of_arms_of_John_de_Lacy,_Lord_of_Pontefract_Castle1On 1st September 1192, John De Lacy, Baron of Pontefract, Earl of Lincoln was born. He stands in history as a leading Baron in forcing King John to agree to Magna Carta.
23/9/1199On 23rd September 1199, Roger de Lacy, nominal lord of Pontefract, was made castellan of Chinon on King John’s campaign to France to hold onto his Angevin lands. Chinon was of major strategic importance to the king’s Angevin empire, commanding the borders of Anjou and Poitou and overlooking Touraine. Pontefract Castle was subsequently released back to Roger by the king albeit his eldest son, John, was held hostage by the king as surety for his loyalty.
25/9/1177On 25th September 1177, Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, accompanying the Earl of Essex and Count of Flanders, died on crusade to the Holy Land. This was Henry’s second crusading venture having campaigned in 1158 and most probably being exempted from taxation that year on account of this action.
1/9/1255In September 1255, Sir Edmund de Lacy, Lord of Pontefract, performed a crucial service to Henry III in being part of a royal and noble party conducting Alexander III, king of Scotland who was still a minor, and his wife, Margaret (Henry’s daughter) to meet Henry. Rumours had been circulating for some time that the royal couple had been treated poorly by their Scottish guardians, Robert Ross and John Balliol.
4/9/1227On 4th September 1227, John de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was Joint Ambassador to the German Congress at Antwerp, on behalf of Henry III.
5/9/1255On 5th September 1255, Edmund de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was styled Earl of Lincoln albeit there is some doubt as to whether he was actually invested as Earl as he predeceased his mother, Margaret de Quincy, but not his father, John de Lacy, who was Earl of Lincoln jure uxoris (by right of his wife).
6/9/1230On 6th September 1230, John de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was Joint Commissioner, on behalf of Henry III, to make a truce with France.
10/9/1299On 10th September 1299, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, attended the marriage at Canterbury of Edward I and Margaret of France, daughter of Philip III and sister to Philip IV. Eleanor of Castile, the first wife of Edward I, had died in 1290. This marriage, and the arranged later marriage (25th January 1308) of Prince Edward to Philip IV’s daughter, Isabella, were both factors in Edward I’s securing the return of Gascony to him. De Lacy was charged by the king in determining who should receive the cloths which had been used over the heads of Edward and his new wife.  
11/9/1277On 11th September 1277, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was with Edward I at Rhuddlan after the surrender of Welsh 'rebel' leader, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. Edward had sent some 2000 soldiers to Anglesey to deprive Llyweyln of ‘his granary’ giving him no alternative. De Lacy and the Earl of Warwick were the only magnates with Edward after most of the royal infantry and cavalry had been released after the successful Welsh campaign and were on hand during the building of the new castle at Rhuddlan and negotiations for the terms of Llywelyn’s surrender.
14/9/1237On 14th September 1237, John de Lacy, Baron of Pontefract, and several other lords were in attendance with Henry III at York when he met Scotland’s king, Alexander II (Henry’s brother-in-law), to see Alexander renew his homage to Henry for his English lands. The Treaty of York was signed on the 25th September.
20/9/1213On 20th September 1213, at Tickhill Castle in South Yorkshire, King John granted John de Lacy his inheritance (his father Roger having died in 1211) of five northern baronies but imposed a 7000 marks’ relief (£9.6m value today) repayable within three years. The king refused, however, to hand over the de Lacy castles at Pontefract and Donington and required him to pay for their garrisons. De Lacy was also told that should he join with the king’s enemies, he would lose all his lands forever.
22/9/1200On 22nd September 1200, Roger de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was with King John at Lincoln as witness to William the Lion’s, King of Scotland, public submission and act of homage to John.
23/9/1217On 23rd September 1217, John de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was ordered to oversee the restoration of Carlisle Castle by Alexander II, king of Scotland, and later on the 6th November accompany Alexander to meet Henry III.
1/9/1317Arms_of_Lancaster A muster had been planned by Edward II for 15th September 1317 at Newcastle, with a preliminary assembly at York or Northallerton. However, Thomas Earl of Lancaster, from his castle at Pontefract, refused to let any troops pass on to York, saying that, as he was Steward of England, if the King wished to take up arms against anyone he ought first to notify the Steward. On 1st September 1317, senior clergy and nobles (including the archbishops of Canterbury and Dublin, five bishops and the earls of Pembroke and Hereford) met Earl Thomas of Lancaster  at the Priory of Pontefract to try to effect a reconciliation between the king and Thomas. Thomas promised that he would not ride with his army nor molest anyone, would attend the next parliament in January 1318 in a peaceable manner and show King Edward II (at this time in York with Queen Isabella) due reverence. Thomas was also to remove his guards from all roads and bridges south of York. In return for this concession, Edward granted Thomas safe passage to Lincoln the following January and dismissed the majority of his own guard whilst travelling back to London.
1/9/1323On 1st September 1323, William Melton, Archbishop of York, issued a ‘second Comand forbidding publicque veneration to Thomas, Earle of Lancaster’ who had been executed for treason at Pontefract the previous year.
2/9/1322On 2nd September 1322, Edward II made the following declaration from Fenham, near Newcastle upon Tyne: ‘To Thomas Deyvill, keeper of the castle and honour of Pontefract. Order to permit William de Ayketon, parson of the church of Berwyk-in- Elmet, to have the profits and other things that he and his predecessors have been wont to have in the wood called ' Le Roundhaye,' as the king learns by inquisition taken by Adam de Hoperton that William and his predecessors, parsons of the said church, have received reasonable estover in the said wood from time out of mind, both before and after the wood was enclosed, to wit dead wood lying therein and branches of dry wood to burn in their chief messuage of Berwyk, by the view and delivery of the forester of the wood, and that they have had their swine and the swine of their tenants of their church in the wood quit of pannage, and their plough-oxen feeding with the lord's oxen in his several pasture, and a court of their men and tenants, and their amercements imposed upon them therein for assize of ale and other things whatsoever, and whenever their men and tenants have been attached at the court of the lords of Berewyk, they or their proctors have sought and always obtained their court of the same men and tenants.’
3/9/1312Thomas, Earl of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract, failed to appear (as commanded by the king) on 27th August at Westminster, and it was not until 3rd September that he, and the Earls Hereford, and Warwick approached the city. For the previous fortnight, the Earls had delayed at Ware in Hertfordshire, probably to gather their forces, and now they came towards the capital horsed and armed. Reports suggested that Lancaster alone brought with him a thousand horsemen and 1,500 foot; Hereford had a strong retinue of Welshmen, and Warwick more men from his earldom. Rumours multiplied. Some said that the King had proclaimed a parliament in order to take Lancaster, but that the Earl, knowing this, had brought his retinue as a safeguard: later in the month, two Londoners were imprisoned because the King had heard that, should the city be besieged by Lancaster, they and their accomplices were to open the gates and facilitate Edward’s capture in his own city. The King’s letters patent, sent to the Bishops of Norwich, and Bath and Wells, the Earl of Richmond, and two others, on 3rd September, ordering them to prevent the Earls coming to parliament in this way, went unheeded, and the barons were soon in the city.
6/9/1380On 6th September 1380 (renewed on 2nd May 1381), John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract Castle, was appointed the King’s Lieutenant in the Scottish Marches with the authority to negotiate and enforce truces and supervise English defences. Gaunt’s only claim to territory in this area was his castle at Dunstanburgh and his new post was a particular snub to the Percy influence, and that of other magnates in the North.
7/9/1319At this time Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract, was not entirely out of favour with Edward II for, on the 7th September 1319, he successfully petitioned the king for the return of lands in Bamburgh parish which had been escheated after the defection to the Scots of Sir John de Middleton, the Earl’s tenant there.
7/9/1328On 7th September 1328, Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, brother of the executed Thomas of Lancaster, and now restored to the earldom and control of Pontefract Castle, arrived unexpectedly at Barlings Abbey with an armed retinue and argued with Dowager Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer concerning Lancaster’s lack of influence over the young king, Edward III. They both accuse him of intimidation and he is requested to bring his complaints to the next Parliament at Salisbury. Once Lancaster had left, Isabella banned all public assemblies and Mortimer travelled to Gloucester to raise his Marcher tenants.
8/9/1309On 8th September 1309, in response to the threat of Robert the Bruce’s growing military strength in Scotland, Edward II summoned a muster of forces at Berwick with Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, appointed the King’s Lieutenant and keeper of the kingdom ‘custos regni’ in the king’s absence.
11/9/1338On 11th September 1338, it was recorded that “the keeper being at Windsor, Henry Vavasour, William Scot, John de Eland and Robert de Bosevill, Constable of Pontefract castle, are appointed to execute the premises in the liberties of queen Philippa of the honors of Pontefract and Tikhull and in the soke of Snayth, co York”. De Bosevill incurred many debts and had to relinquish many of his bequeathed possessions in order to negate them. At the Feast of the Assumption at the Priory of St Oswald at Nostell, in 1330, he took away a large quantity of malt and other property of the priory and murdered a servant of the Prior; cutting off his head and hanging it on a bridge. De Bosevill died in 1362.
12/9/1368On 12th September 1368, Blanche of Lancaster, daughter-in-law of Edward III by her marriage to his son, John of Gaunt, died at Tutbury Castle, either from childbirth-related issues or from the plague. Only twenty-six, she had already given birth seven times with three babies surviving infancy by the time of her death. During her nine years’ marriage to John, she had spent much time at Pontefract and with the death of her older sister, Maude, without issue in 1362, her husband had inherited various titles.  
13/9/1374On 13th Sept 1374, John of Gaunt ordered the rebuilding of the Great Tower at Pontefract Castle, using stone quarried nearby.
14/9/1370On 14th September 1370, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, led an army to the walls of Limoges, Aquitaine, situated between Poitiers and Bergerac, with the ill Black Prince giving orders from his litter. Attempting to recover the city from Charles V’s brother, the Duke of Berry, with actions including a five-days’ siege, mines and counter-mines being dug, hand-to-hand fighting and a massacre of the city-folk by the French defenders, the English forces triumphed.
15/9/1317In September 1317, at York, Edward II was advised by his court favourites, Hugh Despenser, William de Montagu, Roger Damory and Hugh Audley to attack Pontefract Castle in retaliation for Thomas, Earl of Lancaster’s agents’ occupation of two royal castles (Knaresborough and Alton) in the constableship of Roger Damory. Only the intervention of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, prevented bloodshed. Relations between Edward and Lancaster had been worsening since the execution of Piers Gaveston in 1312 and Edward’s disastrous Bannockburn ‘expedition’ of 1314.
16/9/1398On 16th September 1398, at Coventry, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, the son of John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, was about to duel with Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. The duel had been Richard’s II’s way of settling a virulent quarrel between the two dukes. Just before the ‘joust’ was about to begin, the king dramatically stood and ordered it to be stopped. Bolingbroke was exiled for ten years (later reduced to six after Gaunt’s intercession) and Mowbray for life.
17/9/1319Whilst at Berwick, Edward II, around the 17th September 1319, aware of the Scots invading far south into England, summoned his council to decide whether to continue the siege or to turn south and confront them. Divisions were at once apparent. The southern magnates wanted to remain until town and castle fell, while the northerners, whose lands were in more immediate danger, advised the king to raise the siege and pursue the raiding Scots. Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract, who may well have known of the closeness of the Scots to his own estates around Pontefract, sided with the latter party. Because the King favoured the southerners’ view the Earl angrily gathered his forces and left the siege. (Lancaster was almost certainly still at Berwick on 16th September, when he witnessed a royal charter, and he must have left on that day.) Edward followed, afraid to stay without the Lancastrian contingent. There is no obvious hint of any open collaboration with the Scots, though the Earl’s behaviour obviously lent itself to rumour, and it was undeniable that his retreat led to the raising of the siege. The Vita Edwardi Secundi states that Edward’s reconciliation with Lancaster was only skin-deep, having Edward stating “When this wretched business is over, we will turn our hands to other matters. For I have not yet forgotten the wrong that was done to my brother Piers”
20/9/1300Around the 20th September 1300, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was charged by Edward I to accompany Hugh Despenser on an ambassadorial mission to the papal curia to represent the king in peace negotiations between England and France and in resolving Edward’s overlordship of Scotland.  
20/9/1319On 20th September 1319 (some sources say the 12th), at the Battle of Myton, a makeshift army of Yorkshire clergy and townspeople was completely defeated by Sir James Douglas and Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, two of King Robert Bruce’s most able commanders. Nicknamed the Chapter of Myton or The White Battle due to the number of clergy involved, the Scots failed to capture Queen Isabella, their main objective, but were able to press south and to reach Castleford, just north of Pontefract. Reputedly, the English losses were 1,000 killed including 300 ‘priests’ (the Chronicle of Lanercost puts the number of priests killed alone at 4,000 with another 1,000 drowned in the Swale!).
20/9/1322On 20th September 1322, Edward II granted the Constableship of Lincoln Castle to Alice de Lacy as her right and inheritance with the Earldom of Lincoln restored to her in December of that year. In order to effect her release from prison, she had had to pay an indemnity of £20,000 (£15.6m in today’s money) to the Crown.
20/9/1322On 20th September 1322, Edward II made the following declaration from Newcastle upon Tyne: ‘To Thomas de Eyvill, keeper of the castle and honour of Pontefract. Order to deliver to William de Crull of Synflex his goods and chattels, which the 3aid keeper took into the king's hands because it was found by an inquisition that William had fled, upon his finding surety to answer to the king for his goods and chattels in case they be adjudged to the king, as the king lately ordered the steward and marshals of his household to send into chancery the record and process of an inquisition taken before them in the court of the marshalsea concerning the death of William son of James de Swynflet, William his son, and Thomas son of William le Littester of Houeden, wherewith the said William de Crull was charged, in order that the king might be certified by the said record and process whether William de Crull' fled by reason of the said death or not, the steward and marshals having certified the king that the record and process are not in their custody, but in the custody of the coroners of the household and of the executors of Simon de Driby, late steward of the household.’
21/9/1327On 21st September 1327, Edward II was ‘murdered’ at Berkeley Castle on the orders of his wife Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer. With the king's death, Isabella’s new estates were worth 20000 marks (£18.3 million in today's money), an income greater than even Thomas of Lancaster at the height of his powers. Indeed one of the estates Isabella now controlled was Pontefract castle.
21/9/1368On 21st September 1368, Thomas Swynford, son of Sir Hugh Swynford and Katherine (later Duchess of Lancaster) was born. Some have questioned whether he was an illegitimate child of John of Gaunt, receiving 100 marks (over £77,000 in today's money) in his will. In 1390, Thomas served with Henry of Derby (later Henry IV) in Calais and later Prussia. In addition to being Constable of Pontefract Castle, in 1402 he was Sheriff of Lincoln, Captain of Calais by 1404 and was later involved in negotiating a treaty with France and Flanders.
21/9/1371Constance_of_CastileOn 21st September 1371, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, married Constance of Castille. It was his second marriage and, whereas his first marriage had been for love, this  marriage was for ambition. By this marriage, he became King of Castile and Leon, and he was addressed by that title from that point on. After this, the lords of Pontefract grew in strategic, military and political importance in the country.  
21/9/1397On 21st September 1397, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, in his role as Steward of England, presided over the trial of Richard Fitzalan, 4th Earl of Arundel, regarding his part in an armed, traitorous insurrection against the king by the Lords Appellant ten years earlier. Gaunt condemned Arundel ‘to be drawn, hanged, beheaded and quartered, and the lands descending from your person, both entailed and unentailed, to be forfeited forever by you and your heirs.’ Richard II commuted the sentence to beheading only. The Earl of Warwick, Thomas de Beauchamp, a co-conspirator, was banished to the Isle of Man and Gaunt’s brother, Thomas of Woodstock, the Duke of Gloucester, was posthumously tried and declared a traitor. Sir Thomas Mortimer, another Lords Appellants’ rebel, died in exile in 1399.
22/9/1345On 22 September 1345, Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster and younger brother of the executed Thomas of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract, died at Leicester Castle. He had been head of the regency council for the new king, Edward III,  Captain-General of all royal forces in the Scottish Marches and had been one of the advisers of seven-year-old Prince Lionel, keeper of England, when Edward had gone to Flanders in July. He had been blind for the last 15 years of his life.
23/9/1371On 23rd September 1371, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, having spent a year trying to restore the ruinous state of Aquitaine’s government and with over half of the Black Prince’s army having deserted due to lack of payment, formally resigned the post of Lieutenant of Aquitaine. He returned to England with less than half of his eight hundred men who had come with him.
24/9/1317On 24th September 1317, the Earls of Hereford and Pembroke were commissioned to release all those who had been arrested as followers of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster (lord of Pontefract) and to protect him and his men until the coming parliament in late January 1318. Lancaster, having given up the custody of the bridges which he had been holding against the king, then returned in peace to Pontefract while Edward II paid off his army and on 29th September  started southwards again.
26/9/1300On 26th September 1300, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was Chief Ambassador to Pope Boniface VIII during the Pope’s proclaimed ‘Jubilee Year’, during which he encouraged mass crowds to pilgrimage to Rome and supply much-needed money to the papacy. Henry was later to be Joint Ambassador to Pope Clement V on 15th October 1305.
28/9/1330On 28th September 1330, Edward III was at Pontefract and authorised that: ‘Nicholas de Herthull, imprisoned at Notingham for trespass of venison in Shirwode forest, has letters to bail him until the first assize.’
29/9/1309The Chronicle of Lanercost records that on 29th September 1309: ‘Howbeit, after the feast of S. Michael some kind of peace and agreement was patched up between the King of England and his people, on condition that the king should do nothing important without the advice and consent of the Earl of Lincoln (Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract); but from day to day the king, by gifts and promises, drew to his side some of the earls and barons.’
29/9/1314The household book of Thomas Earl of Lancaster, preserved in the record of Pontefract, shows the amount of disbursements for domestic expenses for one year from Michaelmas (9th Sept) 1314 to 29th September 1315. Thomas had now amassed such great wealth and estates that he was virtually the most powerful man in England. An indication of his wealth can be seen from a year's expenses totalling £7,957 13s. 4 1/2 d (£8.7 million in today's money). This  compared to the King Edward II's expenses for one year of £8,310 9s (£9.04 million in today's money).
29/9/1316The Chronicle of Lanercost records that: ‘After the feast of S. Michael on the 29th September 1316, the Earl of Lancaster (lord of Pontefract) with his adherents marched toward Scotland as far as Newcastle in compliance with the king's behest; but the king declined to follow him as they had agreed upon together, wherefore the earl marched back again at once ; for neither of them put any trust in the other.’   
29/9/1370On 29th September 1370, five-years-old Edward, eldest son of the Black Prince, died of plague at Angouleme and all authority was passed to John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract. Gaunt was accepted as the new Lord (Lieutenant) of Aquitaine by its nobles’ ceremony of homage de bouche (a kiss binding them to help Gaunt in the defence of his lands).
29/9/1397On 29th September 1397, two of John of Gaunt’s, lord of Pontefract, children by his first and third marriages, were given titles by Richard II in a series of mass creations of peerages. Henry Bolingbroke, Earl of Derby, was made Duke of Hereford and John Beaufort, Marquess of Somerset and Marquess of Dorset.  
29/9/1399On 29th September 1399, a delegation headed by the Earl of Northumberland, visited Richard II in the Tower of London, for the second time, seeking the king’s resignation; Richard having deliberated over a copy of his resignation overnight. Richard was later to become Pontefract Castle’s most famous prisoner. Later that day Henry Bolingbroke (at Richard’s request) visited Richard and informed him he must resign simply and without conditions except for being able to retain the lands he had acquired in order to endow an anniversary for his soul in Westminster Abbey.
30/9/1399On 30th September 1399, the record of (soon-to-be Pontefract Castle’s most noteworthy prisoner) Richard II’s resignation was presented and read out to Parliament in Westminster Hall by John Burbach, a doctor of laws. The ‘Manner of King Richard’s Renunciation’ records the reasons for such as: ‘the things he had done which were contrary to the crown…the vengeful sentences given against the lords and other points, including the will which he had made before he went to Ireland’. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s request for the assembly’s approval was greeted with cries of ‘Yes, yes, yes’. Parliament was dissolved and a new assembly called for the 6th October in the name of Richard’s successor, Henry Bolingbroke (soon to be Henry IV).
6/9/1483On 6th September 1483, Richard III conferred Pontefract’s first Charter of Incorporation, creating John Hill as the first mayor of the borough the following July.
8/9/1483On 8th September 1483, Richard III’s son, Edward of Middleham, was knighted and invested as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in York Minster. He had left Middleham around the 19th August to join his parents at Pontefract on 24th August and formally given these titles on that date. Edward’s health was so poor that he had had to be conveyed in a chariot on this journey. Richard’s nephew Warwick and his bastard son, John of Pontefract (or Gloucester), were also knighted at this time.
10/9/1400On around the 10th September 1400, after a disastrous Scottish expedition for which Henry IV expected Robert III of Scotland to do homage to him, but failed, Henry’s shortage of provisions for his army caused a retreat via Newcastle, Durham and Northallerton to arrive at Pontefract. There he issued writs summoning a parliament to meet at York on 27th October.
10/9/1469On 10th September 1469, Edward IV was released from custody at Middleham Castle. The Earl of Warwick had withdrawn his support for Edward following the latter's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville and had, in fact, defeated the king at the Battle of Edgecote Moor. However, once he had Edward in captivity, Warwick literally did not know what to do with him and by September 1469 Edward was released and permitted to go to Pontefract. During these September days at Pontefract, Edward made plans for his future. He summoned the chief lords of his council to come immediately to Pontefract and they arrived with several hundred men horsed and armed. Edward and his supporters, including the Duke of Suffolk, Duke of Buckingham, Earls of Essex and Arundel, Lords  Buckingham, Dacre, Mountjoy and a thousand horse, made for London where they were heartily welcomed into the capital.
13/9/1409Isabela_richard_weddingIsabella of France was Queen Consort of England as the second spouse of King Richard II. She married the king at the age of six and was widowed three years later. She later married Charles, Duke of Orléans when he was twelve and she was sixteen. Isabella died in childbirth at the age of nineteen on 13th September 1409.
15/9/1483On 15th September 1483, Richard III’s court was at Pontefract after Edward of Middleham’s being knighted and invested as Prince of Wales at York. The Middleham household-book mentioned that five marks (£2800 in today’s money) were paid to Michell Wharton for bringing the prince’s jewels to York for his investiture.
21/9/1474On 21st September 1474, Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), opened a commission of oyer and terminer (judges of assize inquiring into all treasons, felonies and misdemeanours in specified counties) at Pontefract Castle. The commission, lasting until the 25th of the month, was intended to resolve peacefully a bitter dispute between two of the North’s most powerful lords, Sir John Savile and Sir John Pilkington but, unfortunately, clashes continued until Pilkington’s death in 1479. Richard’s unsuccessful intervention in this case was, nevertheless, indicative of his overall ‘calming’ influence during his tenure as ‘Lord of the North’ which improved the prospects of peace and prosperity in the region.
21/9/1478Between 21st and 25th September 1478 at Pontefract Castle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, presided, with Edward IV, over a commission of oyer and terminer (an inquiry into treasons, felonies and misdemeanours committed in specific counties).
21/9/1483On 21st September 1483, Richard III and Queen Anne left York having witnessed their son’s investiture as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, to travel to Pontefract, staying there until early October. It is likely that news of potential uprisings in the south reached Richard at this time.
22/9/1465On 22nd September 1465, a nearly thirteen-year- old Richard, brother of Edward IV, Duke of Gloucester and steward of the Duchy of Lancaster north of Trent with official residence at Pontefract Castle, was a principal guest at the enthronement (and later immense feast) of George Neville, the new Archbishop of York, at Cawood Castle, the palace of such archbishops. Seated with Richard were his elder sister Elizabeth, Duchess of Suffolk, the Countesses of Westmorland and Northumberland and two of the Earl of Warwick’s daughters, Isabel and Anne; the latter to be Richard’s wife and queen.
22/9/1483On 22nd September 1483, whilst at Pontefract Castle, Richard III, hearing news of southern discontent, removed Robert Morton, a nephew of Bishop John Morton, from his post as Master of the Rolls of Chancery, a key administrative position. On this day, Richard also wrote to Southampton and probably other south coast towns telling the mayor to prevent the wearing of livery badges within the town, concerned about such ports being incited to rebel from foreign shores.
23/9/1483On 23rd September 1483, whilst at Pontefract Castle, Richard III, hearing news of southern discontent, seized all the possessions of Lionel, Bishop of Salisbury, one of Elizabeth Woodville’s brothers.
25/9/1478On 25th September 1478, Edward IV was at Pontefract Castle where he witnessed the founding of the Nowell Chantry by Roger Nowell of Wakefield, at the altar of the blessed Apostle Peter, in the north aisle of the Parish Church of All Saints, Wakefield. The chantry was sometimes erroneously called the Thurstan or Banaster (after Sir Thurstan Banaster) chantry who was the cousin of Roger Nowell; Banaster being mentioned in the deed of foundation.
7/9/1533On 7th Sept 1533, Elizabeth I was born. Elizabeth, towards the close of her reign, repaired Pontefract Castle, and rebuilt the Chapel of St Clement within it.
7/9/1619On 7th September 1619, Parliamentarian Major General John Lambert was born at Calton Hall, near Kirkby Malham, Yorkshire. He was promoted Commissary General of the Northern Association in January 1645, effectively deputy to Thomas Fairfax, Captain-General and commander of the New Model Army. Lambert was wounded during the first siege of Pontefract Castle when Marmaduke Langdale’s Royalist relief force made the Parliamentarians retreat. He was a leading figure in the compilation of the Instrument of Government, the ‘constitution’ of Cromwell’s Protectorate in England, and on Charles II’s Restoration was exempted from execution as he had not participated in Charles I’s trial due to his absence at the third siege of Pontefract Castle.
8/9/1661On 8th September 1661, Ribchester Parish Church collected six shillings and eight pence (£64 in today’s money) for ‘the re-edifying of the Church of Pontefract…payd (sic) over to Mr Dayton, Vicar of Blackborne (sic)’
26/9/1644On 26th September 1644, Royalists billeted infantry and cavalry troops in Pontefract. The cost on the town can be deduced from contemporary records to be around £21. 13s. 4d. (£2547 in today's money) for one day and night. This would be a huge expense for the town if troops were there for extended periods.
19/9/1786On 19th September 1786, the ‘Leeds Intelligencer’ reported that committees of local inhabitants in several towns in the West Riding of Yorkshire had been formed by constables to superintend and regulate all parochial matters, especially relative to the poor and the highways. The rules of the Pontefract Society included: ‘ That we will on every proper occasion encourage and assist the various parochial officers in the execution of their duty, particularly in suppressing all kinds of irregularities or tippling in the alehouses in the Lord's Day, and in searching for vagrants, cheats, etc., and taking them before the magistrates ; and also in giving information ourselves, where we have personal knowledge and proof of the breaking of our excellent laws, for the due observance of the Sabbath, and against swearing and other notorious immoralities.’ William Wilberforce was so impressed by the success of the West Riding ‘campaigns’ that he tried to convert the movement into a national one.
10/9/1887On 10th September 1887, the ‘Sheffield Independent’ reported that: ‘On Saturday, an assault-at-arms (display of skills performed as public entertainment) was given at Pontefract Castle grounds by a number of men from the Pontefract Regimental District by permission of Colonel W Byram CB’.
10/9/1889On 10th September 1889, the Historical Museum at the Old Guard House at Pontefract Castle was finally closed.
17/9/1898On 17th September 1898, ‘The Builder’ magazine reported: 'WORKHOUSE EXTENSIONS, PONTEFRACT. — The vagrant wards, a new lunacy block, and a new laundry department added to the Pontefract Work- house are now rapidly approaching completion. Altogether the additions will cost something like £10,000 (£1.3 million in today’s money). The new vagrant block contains twenty- seven bed-cells, connected with which are apartments for stone-breaking, and a large shed. Stone- breaking is carried on to a considerable extent in Pontefract Workhouse, owing to the fact that the Corporation takes the material for road- mending. There are also spacious association wards, in which the casuals who remain more than one night in the house may spend their time when their task is done; and the block is fitted with lavatories, baths, disinfector, &c., as well as heated by hot water. The new wards for casual females are pretty much on the same plan, all being roomy, light, and airy. In the newly-erected block there are eight cells. The alterations include a new committee-room for the guardians, for which the old tramp ward has been called into service; an extensive laundry; new porter’s lodge; and new offices for the Master, the latter commanding a view of the entrance-gate and the task sheds.’
26/9/1934On 26th September 1934, a World War 1 tank (tank No. 289), on display at Pontefract Castle since 1919, was removed from the castle to Nevison's Leap. The tank was eventually cut up for salvage in World War II.