Sandal Castle – February

2/2/1141On 2nd February 1141, William de Warenne , 3rd Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal castle, fought at the Battle of Lincoln. The battle was fought between the forces of King Stephen and the Empress Matilda, during the eighteen years' civil war from 1135-1153, known as the Anarchy. William was a supporter of King Stephen, who was captured during the battle, imprisoned and effectively deposed whilst Matilda ruled for a short while. De Warenne and his brother were one of many earls fleeing before the enemy’s opening (and vastly superior) cavalry charge.
5/2/1118On 5th February 1118, Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester, adviser to Henry I, died. His death was attributed to the shame of his much younger wife Elizabeth (de Vermandois), a granddaughter of Henry I of France and niece of Philip I of France, being seduced by William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey and lord of Sandal Castle. The couple married later that year.
11/2/1225On 11th February 1225, William de Warenne, 5th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal castle, was a witness to the definitive reissue of Magna Carta by Henry III.
1/2/1327On 1st February 1327, John de Warenne, the 7th and final Earl of Surrey, was present at the coronation of Edward III. However, with the accession of Edward III, John would lose his estates, including Sandal, as they reverted to royal control, only regaining them in 1334. When the earl died in June 1347, Sandal and his other Yorkshire lands passed to the king. The titles of Earl Warenne and Earl of Surrey lapsed on his death.
2/2/1316In February 1316, John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey,  began divorce proceedings against his wife, Joan, although there is no historical record of this having ever been finalised. John would have many illegitimate children with Maud de Nerford and Isabel de Warenne.
2/2/1461Battle-of-Mortimers-CrossOn 2nd February 1461, a Yorkist force, under Edward the Earl of March (soon to be Edward IV), defeated a Welsh Lancastrian force at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross. This battle followed the Yorkists’ heavy defeat at Wakefield (Sandal Castle) five weeks before and preceded Edward’s March to Pontefract later that month resulting in the climactic slaughter at Towton.
3/2/1452On 3rd February 1452, Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle), wrote from Ludlow to the citizens of Shrewsbury enlisting help in detaining the Duke of Somerset: ‘It is well known unto you….whilst the kingdom’s sovereign lord stood possessed of his lordship in the realm of France and duchy of Normandy; and what derogation, loss of merchandise, lesion of honour and villainy, is…reported generally unto the English nation, for loss of the same…..through the envy, malice and untruth of the Duke of Somerset…who ever prevails and rules about the king’s person.’
7/2/1460On 7th February 1460, Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal, and still Lieutenant of Ireland despite his fleeing from the Battle of Ludford Bridge the previous October, summoned a Parliament to meet at Drogheda, in a session which lasted until 21st July. York had retained the support of the country’s Parliament including the influential Fitzgerald family; James Fitzgerald, 6th Earl of Desmond having been godfather to York’s son George in 1449. During York’s rule, the Irish Parliament declared itself legally independent from England, effectively making York King of Ireland.
9/2/1455On 9th February 1455, Richard Duke of York - whose northern stronghold was Sandal castle - was stripped of his Protectorate by the now recovered Henry VI. He was also stripped of the Captaincy of Calais which was again awarded to Edmund Beaufort, the Duke of Somerset. York’s ally, Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, was also removed from his position as Chancellor.
9/2/1456On 9th February 1456, Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal Castle, and Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, arrived for the next Parliamentary session at Westminster appearing with large armed retinues as if in anticipation of arrest by their opponents.
10/2/1441Richard Duke of York's (lord of Sandal Castle) son, Henry, was born at Hatfield, on Friday 10th Feb 1441.
11/2/1451On 11th February 1451, Henry VI dissolved parliament, had Thomas Young (Richard, Duke of York’s - lord of Sandal Castle-  parliamentary champion, who had suggested York be Henry’s heir) sent to the Tower and confirmed York as Lieutenant-General of Ireland for the remaining seven years of his term. Henry clung to the hope that York would return to Irish exile as soon as possible.
11/2/1456On 11th February 1456, John Bocking, a servant of wealthy Norfolk knight, Sir John Fastolf, wrote to his master regarding the second protectorate of Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal Castle. York had attempted to impose a controversial financial retrenchment (act of resumption) on the royal household in order to bring its finances under control. Bocking commented: The resumption, men trust, shall forth, if my lord of York’s first power of protectorship stand, and else not……The queen is a great and strong laboured woman, for she spares no pain to sue her things to an intent and conclusion of her power.’ Queen Margaret, thwarted in her bid to assume the regency during her husband’s illness, was, nevertheless, doing all she could to oppose York.
15/2/1442On 15th February 1442, as his first contingent of soldiers hired from England for six months headed home having completed their service, Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal, and Lieutenant-General of Normandy, sent John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, to London for more men and money.
16/2/1452On 16th February 1452, Henry VI and the Duke of Somerset left London to block Richard, Duke of York’s (lord of Sandal Castle) path to the city from Ludlow. York was heading to the capital with a force several thousands strong in order to remove Somerset as Henry’s chief adviser. Henry’s accompanying fifteen other nobles included: the dukes of Buckingham, Exeter and York’s old ally, Norfolk.
16/2/1472On 16th February 1472, Edward IV, his queen, Elizabeth, and his brothers, George, and Richard (lord of Sandal), rowed up the Thames to the royal manor of Sheen to attend a ‘pardon’, a ceremony granting papal indulgences. Edward intended to use the occasion to sort out the increasingly bitter dispute between his brothers concerning Richard’s proposal to marry George’s sister-in-law, Anne Neville. As Sir John Paston noted: ‘Men say… (the brothers) had gone not in all charity.’
17/2/1461Earl of Warwick, Richard NevilleAs news spread of the destruction brought about by the Lancastrian army on its march south, the Earl of Warwick, unsure if the Lancastrians would soon appear, left London with a Yorkist army and King Henry VI in tow. Warwick set up a defensive perimeter around St Albans and on 17th February engaged with the Lancastrian army. In the Second Battle of St Albans the Yorkists were routed. Warwick and many of the Yorkist commanders managed to escape but, in the confusion, left behind Henry VI who was found under a tree. Two Yorkist knights who were charged with guarding the king had stayed with Henry VI and were captured and ordered to be beheaded by Henry's seven year old son, Edward.
17/2/1472On 17th February 1472, Sir John Paston II reported to his brother concerning the impending marriage of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, lord of Sandal, to Anne Neville. Richard’s brother, George, Duke of Clarence, was particularly anxious regarding his sister-in-law’s marriage as, under law, he was his wife Isabel’s co-heir. George and Isabel had taken the widowed Anne into their care (charge) and, as the Crowland Chronicle stated: ‘…had the girl hidden away so that his brother would not know where she was, since he feared a division of the inheritance…The Duke of Gloucester, however, was so much the more astute, that having discovered the girl dressed as a kitchen-maid in London, he had her moved into sanctuary at St Martin’s.’
20/2/1436On 20th February 1436, Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal, belatedly signed his contract with the council to serve with 500 men-at-arms and 2500 archers in France for a year as Lieutenant-General of Normandy. He was not appointed full governor as he had desired and hence had no authority over Duke Humphrey of Gloucester at Calais. Supposedly, he was to receive £30,000 (over £23 million in today’s money) per annum.
21/2/1460On 21st February 1460, Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal, and Lieutenant of Ireland, formally confirmed his sixteen-years-old son, Edmund, Earl of Rutland, as Chancellor of Ireland ‘to exercise the office in person or by his sufficient deputy for whom he is willing to answer, taking yearly the accustomed fees, wages and rewards, profits and commodities, due and accustomed to that office of old.’
22/2/1452On 22nd February 1452, Richard, Duke of York’s (lord of Sandal Castle) forces were close to those of Henry VI near Northampton. York had been marching upon London in order to remove the Duke of Somerset (and other ‘traitors') as Henry’s chief adviser. York refused to disband his army and moved towards Kent aiming to rouse the same rebels who had demanded much the same of Henry in 1450. Having the gates of London barred to him, York, the Earl of Devon and Lord Cobham were confronted by Henry’s vastly superior forces at Dartford.
25/2/1425On 25th February 1425, the title of Duke of York was restored, having been stripped because of Richard of Cambridge’s treason and execution in 1415. Richard, Earl of Cambridge (father of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and lord of Sandal Castle) was the second eldest son of Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York. When his elder and childless brother, Edward, 2nd Duke of York, was killed at the Battle of Agincourt, young Richard Plantagenet later inherited the title, with the attainder on his gaining all of the dukedom’s rights and lands lifted as he reached adulthood.
25/2/1447On 25th February 1447, Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle), accepted, from Henry VI, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester’s estate of Great Wratting, Suffolk, two days after his ally’s questionable death. York was not the only noble whose compliance was ‘bought’ with generous grants from Gloucester’s estates.
25/2/1456On 25th February 1456, Richard, Duke of York, was sent an emphatic and strongly worded letter to his castle at Sandal : ‘We on the 25th February in our said parliament, with the advice and assent of the lords spiritual and temporal being in the same parliament, have discharged you from the responsibility or charge and name of Lord Protector and Defender. We order you not to intervene at all in any further responsibility or charge and name of the protector and defender of our aforesaid kingdom of England and our principle councillor and name of the aforesaid. For we wish you to be completely discharged of the responsibility or charge and name of the aforesaid.’ Albeit discharged of ‘kingly’ powers, York was expected to deal with a new crisis in the realm: Scotland’s James II‘s incursion into Cumbria. James did reportedly offer to help York in his claim to the English throne. This pattern of expecting York to meet a crisis in government and then being side-lined was one he was unable to break.
26/2/1461King_Edward_IVOn 26th February 1461, after the Lancastrians' victory at the Second Battle St Albans their army marched on the capital but, with their notorious reputation  now common knowledge,  Londoners closed the city gates. Rather than trying to take the capital by force, the Lancastrian army turned north to regroup and plan its next course of action. It now  began to march north to the city of York. The Earl of Warwick now convinced Richard Duke of York's son, Edward,  to proclaim himself king; the Duke of York was dead and under the Act of Accord, Edward, his heir, could claim the throne on Henry VI's death. Albeit Henry was still (presumably) alive, Edward, Warwick and their supporters claimed the throne by virtue of  Henry VI and his followers  breaching the agreement by causing 'unrest, inward war and trouble, unright wiseness, and the shedding and effusion of innocent blood'. The Yorkists called on the citizens of London to accept Edward as king and save them from the 'dissolute' Lancastrians. Edward was now acknowledged (at least in London) as Edward IV, King of England. These events would lead in the following weeks to the climactic battles at Ferrybridge and Towton where the future of the crown would be decided.
27/2/1452On the 27th February 1452, Richard Duke of York, owner of Sandal Castle,  arrived at Dartford with an army of 23,000 men, ahead of a meeting with King Henry VI who had marched down from the Midlands with an army of approximately the same size.  Henry was always nervous of Richard's intentions, but he was always looking to protect his own favourite, Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset. Henry sent a delegation to Richard - which, interestingly, included, Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury and his son, Richard, Earl of Warwick who would both fight with York against the king in forthcoming years -  to ascertain what were York's demands. York's ‘demand’ was, simply, the removal of Somerset from the king's side and his arrest. York was told that Henry had agreed and would arrest Somerset; on which news, Richard  disbanded his army on March 1st. This probably goes a long way to emphasising that, at this stage, Richard had no intention of seizing the throne as there would have been no reason for him to take this course of action.
29/2/1452On 29th February 1452, Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal Castle, crossed the River Thames to Dartford. Having been refused entry to London, Richard was now pursued by Henry VI’s Royalist army commanded by Lord Bonville and the Duke of Buckingham. The loss of France, York’s intense rivalry with the king’s adviser, the Duke of Somerset, Richard’s stance on (as he saw it) an inefficient, unwieldy and corrupt Government and his lack of a meaningful governmental role had placed him as the leader of the ‘loyal opposition’.
8/2/1890On 8th February 1890 the Wakefield Free Press reported that: ‘Messrs Scott, Marriott, Ash and Davison were appointed as a special committee to report on the state of Sandal Castle.’