Sandal Castle – July

6/7/1296On the Octaves of Apostles Peter and Paul (6th July 1296), magnates and prelates of Scotland assembled a parliament at Stirling. The Chronicle of Lanercost records: ‘They insultingly refused audience to my lord the Earl of Warenne (Lord of Sandal), father-in-law of the King of Scotland, and to the other envoys of my lord the King of England ; nor would they even allow so great a man, albeit a kinsman of their own king, to enter the castle.’
12/7/1203On the 12th July 1203, Isabel de Warenne,  the widow of Hamelin de Plantagenet and the 4th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal castle, died and was buried next to Hamelin in the Chapter House at Lewes Priory.
22/7/1298On 22nd July 1298, John de Warenne , 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, was present at the Battle of Falkirk which would prove a decisive English victory in Edward I's conflict with the Scots.
17/7/1328The Chronicle of Lanercost records that on the 17th July 1328: The ‘young king [Edward III] gave his younger sister, my lady Joan of the Tower, in marriage to David, son of Robert de Brus, King of Scotland, he being then a boy five years old. All this was arranged by the king's mother the Queen [dowager] of England, who at that time governed the whole realm. The nuptials were solemnly celebrated at Berwick on Sunday next before the feast of S. Mary Magdalene. The King of England was not present at these nuptials, but the queen mother was there, with the king's brother and his elder sister and my lords the Bishops of Lincoln, Ely and Norwich, and the Earl of Warenne (owner of Sandal Castle) Sir Roger de Mortimer and other English barons, and much people, besides those of Scotland, who assembled in great numbers at those nuptials.’
1/7/1495In July 1495, Henry VII commissioned a Nottingham tradesman, Walter Hylton, to erect an unpretentious alabaster tomb for Richard III (lord of Sandal) over the ex-king’s grave near the altar in Leicester Grey Friars. Payment of £50 (£48,000 today) was paid in two instalments with a separate fee of £10 (£9600 today) issued to James Keyley two months later for additional work on the tomb. This edifice remained in situ until about 1538 when the friary was suppressed. Despite Richard’s reputation suffering Tudor ridicule (and more), Henry saw an opportunity to lessen any animosity towards him for Richard’s quick, ‘unseemly’ burial and remind any Yorkist supporters that transferring their loyalties to Perkin Warbeck would ignore Richard’s own delegitimization of Edward IV’s sons.
2/7/1440On 2nd July 1440, on the day Henry VI sealed the terms of Charles, Duke of Orleans’ release from Imprisonment, he appointed a new Lieutenant-General and Governor of France, Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle) for the second time. York was promised an annual income of £20,000 (£20.3 million in today’s money) to support his position.
2/7/1483In the first days of July 1483, Richard III’s (lord of Sandal) northern forces of around four thousand men under the command of the Earl of Northumberland and Richard Ratcliffe arrived In London with Richard greeting them bareheaded as a sign of respect. Richard was preparing to avoid/avert any troubles surrounding his coronation days later.
4/7/1483On 4th July 1483, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, now proclaimed Richard III, lord of Sandal, with his wife, Anne, arrived at the Tower of London in advance of their coronation in two days’ time. A 10pm curfew was imposed in London with Richard’s soldiers ‘guarding’ the streets.
6/7/1449On the 6th July 1449, Richard Duke of York, owner of Sandal castle, arrived at Howth (a peninsular outside of Dublin) to take up his position as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. It is said that he was 'received with great honour' whilst he had been given complete control over all of the income from Ireland as well as being granted 4000 marks (£2.2 million today) from England for his first two years there, to be followed by an income of £2000 (£1.7 million today) per annum for each year that followed.
6/7/1483On 6th July 1483, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, lord of Sandal, was crowned Richard III before his Queen, Anne Neville, at Westminster Abbey by Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury. Anne’s train was borne by Margaret, Countess of Richmond, mother of the future Henry VII. Albeit generally regarded as a magnificent ceremony, not everyone viewed it as such. A contemporary chronicler, Fabyan, noted: ‘some lords..murmured and grudged against him, in such wise that few or none favoured his party except it were for dread or for the great gifts they received from him.’ At Westminster Hall’s ceremonial banquet, the King’s Champion, Sir Robert Dymock, entered on horseback in armour and challenged anyone to question Richard’s right to be king. The Hall erupted into an acclamation of ‘King Richard’.
7/7/1447Richard Duke of York's (lord of Sandal Castle) son, William, was born at Fotheringhay on Friday 7th July 1447.
15/7/1483On 15th July 1483, Richard III, lord of Sandal, appointed the Duke of Buckingham as Lord High Constable of England, a higher rank than given to John Howard, Duke of Norfolk. Cornelius Aurelius, author of the early sixteenth-century account, ‘Divisiekroniek’, written in the Low Countries, claimed that Buckingham was responsible for the fate of Edward IV’s two sons, the noted ‘Princes in the Tower’. Aurelius claimed: ‘the Duke of Buckingham killed these children hoping to become king himself….he had read a prophecy about a future King Henry of England….and he believed himself to be this for he was called Henry. And some say..that this Henry…killed only one child and spared the other….and had him secretly abducted out of the country. This child was called Richard…..he came to Brabant to Lady Margaret his aunt…the widow of Duke Charles of Burgundy.’
18/7/1484On 18th July 1484, after Richard III, lord of Sandal, had issued orders two months before to put the country on high alert because of murmurs of impending invasion by Henry Tudor, seditious rhymes were posted in prominent locations around London. One memorable and treasonous couplet pinned to the doors of St Paul’s ran: ‘The Cat, the Rat, and Lovell our Dog, Rule all England under a hog.’ The implications were clear: The Cat was Richard’s counsellor, William Catesby; the Rat being Sir Richard Ratcliffe, an influential figure in the northeast; Francis Lovell, Richard’s childhood friend and chamberlain; the hog, a scathing reference to Richard’s white boar emblem.
19/7/1455On 19th July 1455, a statement was enrolled in Parliament claiming that Henry VI had ‘declared his beloved kinsmen (the Earls of Warwick and Salisbury and Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal Castle) to be his faithful lieges’ with a final demonstration of complete Yorkist control five days later at Westminster when all the lords assembled swore ‘to show the truth, faith and love which they have and bear to his highness’
20/7/1455Richard Duke of York's (lord of Sandal Castle) daughter, Ursula, was born at Fotheringhay, Sunday 20th July 1455.
21/7/1484By 21st July 1484, Richard III was establishing the Council of the North with places of residence at Sandal Castle and Sheriff Hutton. The Council was now institutionalised as a formal branch of the royal council proper under the presidency of John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, Richard’s nephew and heir. Its main objectives were to give justice and promote peace throughout the northern shires of Yorkshire, Durham, Cumberland, Westmorland and Northumberland. Edward IV had given his brother, Richard, pre-eminence beyond the Trent in 1472 as ‘Lord of the North’ and the Council possessed both civil and criminal jurisdiction, the power of investigating, commanding the presence of witnesses by subpoena, ordering by decree, giving verdicts and setting penalties. Only some of its members are known: Clarence’s son, the Earl of Warwick; Lord Morley and Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland; Lord Scrope of Bolton; Baron Greystoke; Sir Francis Lovell; Sir James Harrington and Sir William Parre. The Council’s budget was 2,000 marks per annum (£1.72 million in today’s money) and was to meet every three months at least at York. The Council remained operational in various forms until 1641. Its regulations included: “These articles following be ordained and established by the king’s grace to be used and executed by my Lord of Lincoln and the lords and others of his council in the North parts for his surety and the well-being of the inhabitants of the same. First, the king wills that no lord nor other person appointed to be of his council, for favour, affection, hate, malice or bribery, shall speak in the otherwise than the king’s laws and good conscience shall require, but be indifferent and in no way partial, as far as his wit and reason will allow him, in all manner of matters that shall be administered before them... [The] council shall meet, wholly if it may be, once in the quarter of the year at least, at York, to hear, examine and order all bills of complaints and others shown there before them, and oftener if the case require. [The] council shall have authority and power to order and direct [in respect of] all riots, forcible entries, disputes and other misbehaviours against our laws and these parts... [Our] council, for great riots...committed in the great lordships or otherwise by any person, shall commit that person to ward in one of our castles near where the riot is committed... [The] council, as soon as they have knowledge of any assemblies or gatherings made contrary to our laws and peace, [shall arrange] to resist, withstand and punish the same... [We] will and straitly charge all and each of our officers, true liegemen and subjects in these north parts to be at all times obedient to the commandments of our council in our name, and duly to execute the same, as they and each of them will eschew our great displeasure and indignation... "    
23/7/1483On 23rd July 1483, Richard III, lord of Sandal, wrote an agreement protecting the widow (Katherine Neville) and children of Lord Hastings who had been executed for treason the previous month. No attainder was issued meaning that his family kept their titles and land and Hastings’ brother, Ralph was pardoned on 2nd August.
24/7/1484On 24th July 1484, a memorandum was implemented by Richard III regarding Sandal Castle: ‘That the household begins 24 July 1484 and continues until 29 September 1485 and in as much as this assignment is not payable before the feast of Easter, the King’s grace has assigned £500 (£535,000 today) to be taken from his coffers towards the expenses and wages of the said household, whereof £100 (£107,000 today) is paid to John Downey, the treasurer, by Master Edmund Chadderton at the feast of Saint Lawrence (10 August 1484)…’ An ordinance accompanying these instructions makes for interesting debate and John Fox has surmised that one Item within this ordinance could indicate the survival of Edward IV’s sons, the famed ‘Princes in the Tower’: ‘my lord of Lincoln and my lord Morley be at one breakfast, the children together at one breakfast…’. Lincoln and Morley did not have children and Richard III’s nephew (Edward) and niece (Margaret) by his dead brother, George, should have been named, as also should any of Edward IV’s daughters released from sanctuary to Richard III by their mother, Elizabeth Woodville. Sandal Castle was a secure, comfortable and isolated location within which to house Richard’s nephews away from political intrigue. A further Item within the ordinance stated: ‘That no boys be in the household but such as be admitted by the council..’ leading Fox to suggest possibly that this was to prevent any news of the former Edward V or his brother the Duke of York reaching the outside world. Coupled with von Popplau’s comments regarding ‘the king’s children and the sons of princes, which are kept like prisoners’ at nearby Pontefract (see the entry for 1st May 1484), the roles of Sandal and/or Pontefract Castles in tumultuous, historical events is ready for more serious investigation.
27/7/1447On the 27th July 1447, Richard Duke of York, owner of Sandal castle, was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for a term of ten years. The length of this appointment was twice as long as would be normal and would keep Richard well away from the court of Henry VI for a prolonged period. However, it is also true to say that the appointment did provide Richard with some stability whilst offering the English-controlled parts of Ireland the same long-term certainty. York would not leave for Ireland however for nearly another two years.
29/7/1483On 29th July 1483, Richard III, lord of Sandal, had, according to Thomas More (drawing on information from Bishop Morton) writing his ‘History of King Richard III’ more than thirty years later, ordered the deaths of his nephews, the fabled Princes in the Tower. Richard headed from London on this date on his royal progress of the North. Richard wrote to his Chancellor, John Russell, from Minster Lovell, on this date: ‘..we understand that certain persons of such as of late had taken upon them the fact of an enterprise, as we doubt not ye have heard, be attached and in ward.’ The ‘enterprise’ some have claimed was part of a Woodville-inspired coup to free the boys from the Tower. More claimed that the Duke of Buckingham, who had, up to this point, been a staunch ‘Ricardian', was so upset by the king’s orders that he rebelled not long afterwards. More’s account had Sir James Tyrell, Richard’s servant, commit their murders; based on a supposed confession by Tyrell in 1502.
30/7/1447On 30th July 1447, Richard Duke of York and lord of Sandal Castle, was appointed Lieutenant of Ireland for ten years on a fee of 4,000 marks (£3.05 million in today’s money), followed by an annual salary of 2,000 marks.
30/7/1447On 30th July 1447, a nearly eight-years-old Anne Plantagenet, first child of Richard, Duke of York and lord of Sandal Castle, married seventeen-years-old Henry Holland, (later Earl of Exeter). Holland was to prove a thorn-in-the-side for York as he remained loyal to Henry VI and was a commander at the Battle of Wakefield in 1460 at which York perished.
30/7/1476On 30th July 1476, the funeral services for Richard, Duke of York’s (former lord of Sandal Castle) re-interment at Fotheringhay along with his son, Edmund, were held at St Mary and All Saints Church. After Masses and sermons, ritual offerings of pieces of gold cloth were made. York’s black warhorse, still alive sixteen years after his death, was ridden into the church by Lord Ferrers carrying an axe with the blade facing downwards. York was buried in the choir and Edmund in the lady chapel. A huge feast followed with reportedly up to 20,000 present. York’s widow, Cecily, apparently was absent for an unknown reason.
22/7/1645On 22nd July 1645, Parliament's  Colonel General Poyntz called on the Royalist defenders to surrender Sandal Castle, but they rejected the call, although hopes of immediate relief were remote.
8/7/1887On 8th July 1887, it was reported that Sandal Castle and its grounds had been handed over to the Local Board by Sir Lionel Pilkington.
3/7/1901On 3rd July 1901, the ‘Wakefield Advertiser and Gazette’ reported that a garden party and sale of work took place at Sandal Castle in aid of the Wesleyan Chapel and Sunday Schools. Mr Isaac Briggs JP performed the opening ceremony.
6/7/1933On 6th July 1933, an urn in Henry VII’s chapel in Westminster Abbey containing bones, possibly of the ‘Princes in The Tower’ was opened in the presence of the Dean of Westminster, Lord Moynihan, Sir Knapp-Fisher (Chapter clerk), Lawrence E Tanner, Professor W Wright, Mr Aymer Vallance, Mr W Bishop (clerk of the works), Mr G C Drake (dean’s verger) and four Abbey staff. The aim of the investigation was to determine whether the remains were those of Edward V and his younger brother, Richard of York, and shed light on the manner of (and possibly responsibility for) their deaths. Richard III, lord of Sandal, has, since their disappearance in late summer 1483, been implicated in their supposed deaths by many historians albeit other perpetrators have been named and no ‘smoking gun’ for any person has been found.