Sandal Castle – January

6/1/1148On 6th January 1148, William de Warenne, 3rd Earl of Surrey, was killed at the Battle of Mount Cadmus in Anatolia whilst accompanying his second cousin, Louis VII of France on the Second Crusade, and the Sandal estate passed to Isabel de Warenne, who married the younger son of King Stephen, William of Blois. When William died in 1159, Henry II was on the throne of England and he immediately married Isabel to his illegitimate half brother Hamelin de Plantagenet. The earliest buildings of stone at Sandal are likely to be the work of Hamelin.
1/1/1269In 1268/69, John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, was involved in a dispute with Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, over rights to certain pasture lands. Both earls prepared for their forces’ confrontation but Henry III compelled them to refer their case to the courts, with a decision made in favour of de Lacy.
2/1/1461Margaret of AnjouFollowing the Lancastrian victory at Wakefield, Lancastrian forces  joined  the Queen Consort, Margaret of Anjou, and her army of northern and Scots mercenaries at York. The Lancastrian commanders then planned to liberate King Henry VI from his Yorkist 'gaolers' in London. In early January 1461, the whole army headed south along the Great North Road. The Lancastrians had much of the nobility in their ranks and marched under the banner of the Prince of Wales with the emblems of the white swan and ostrich feather. The northern mercenaries were, unfortunately, generally no more than a rabble and widespread pillaging on their way south severely damaged what little favourable public opinion the Lancastrians held in the country.  These actions would be a key factor in the events that were to follow at the second Battle of St Albans and Battles of Mortimers Cross and Towton. Also, on this date, Cecily, Duchess of York, and her children Margaret, George and Richard heard news of the Duke of York's death and post mortem insults inflicted upon his body and Cecily sent her two sons off to safety in Burgundy (Utrecht) via an unspecified port in the Low Countries.
9/1/1452On 9th January 1452, Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal Castle, was at Ludlow and issued a formal protest of his loyalty to Henry VI and denial of any treasonous plans. He offered to take an oath to Bishop Reginald Boulers of Hereford and John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, if they would come and administer it.
12/1/1454On 12th January 1454, Queen Margaret presented a bill of five articles to the council requesting that a regent (Margaret herself) with ‘whole rule of this land’ be appointed until her husband, Henry VI recovered from his mental incapacity. This regent would have the right to appoint ‘the chancellor, the treasurer, the privy seal and all other officers of this land, with sheriffs and all other officers that the king should make….(together with the power)…to give all the bishoprics of this land and all other benefices belonging to the king’s gift..’ This was Margaret’s bold move to try to prevent Richard, Duke of York’s (lord of Sandal Castle) assumption of power during (and beyond?) Henry’s incapacitation and the impending threat to the interests of her four-months-old son, Prince Edward.
15/1/1469In January 1469, Edward IV’s youngest brother, sixteen-years-old Richard, lord of Sandal, headed a commission at Salisbury investigating charges against key figures accused of plotting with the exiled Lancastrians. Sir Thomas Hungerford and Henry Courtenay, heir to the earldom of Devon, had been arrested the previous November along with John de Vere, Earl of Oxford. Hungerford’s father had been executed in 1464; Courtenay’s younger brother was in Flanders being funded by Charles the Bold; de Vere’s father and older brother had been executed in 1462. Amongst the commissioners were the king’s brother-in-law, Anthony Woodville and the Devon noble, Humphrey, Lord Stafford. Their guilty verdict was a formality and Hungerford and Courtenay were hanged, eviscerated whilst still conscious, then beheaded. Oxford was released from the Tower with sureties imposed for his future good behaviour.
18/1/1425On 18th January 1425, Richard Plantagenet’s (Duke of York and lord of Sandal Castle), uncle, Edmund Mortimer, died of plague after having been sent to Ireland. Richard now assumed the titles of Earl of March and Ulster and the Mortimer lands in Wales and border territories. These lands, however, were held in trust by Mortimer’s widow, Anne Stafford by reason of Richard’s ‘nonage’ (minority).
28/1/1457On 28th January 1457, Henry Tudor was born at Pembroke Castle in Wales. It would be Henry on 22nd August 1485, who would bring the Wars of the Roses to a conclusion with his decisive defeat of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, thus ending the period of Yorkist rule and heralding the commencement of the Tudor dynasty, and with it, the loss of Sandal castle’s pre-eminent place in the government of the north.