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.
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.
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.
10/2/1441Richard Duke of York's (lord of Sandal Castle) son, Henry, was born at Hatfield, on Friday 10th Feb 1441.
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.
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 change 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.
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.’