Sandal Castle – June

24/6/1088On 24th June 1088, William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, died after being mortally wounded in the siege of Pevensey Castle. He was buried next to his wife, Gundred, at Lewes Priory. William's son, the 2nd Earl of Surrey, founded Sandal Castle.
1/6/1119In June 1119 (the actual date is unclear), William de Warenne, 3rd Earl of Surrey was born in Normandy.  The son of William de Warenne and Elizabeth de Vermandois, he would take ownership of Sandal Castle in 1138.
24/6/1158On 24th June 1158, William of Blois, 4th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, was knighted by Henry II.
11/6/1258On 11th June1258, a parliament including John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal castle, met at Oxford with the nobles asking Henry III to reaffirm his commitment to the Great Charters and appoint a Justiciar (soon to be Hugh Bigod, younger brother of the Earl of Norfolk) to help sort out the king's financial troubles. Although Henry agreed to put the new arrangements in place, de Warenne (married to the kings half-sister Alice de Lusignan) and William de Valence, the king's half-brother, opposed them. The outcome of these discussions was the royally sealed document, the Provisions of Oxford, and despite his reservations, de Warenne (a Henry supporter at the time) was one of the twenty-four member panel/council (half chosen by the king, half chosen by the barons) overseeing the Provisions’ enactment. The Provisions not only required the king to be advised by the council but the overseeing of the entire administration of Parliament and the reforming of the king’s and queen’s households. In attempting to avert civil war, it was a similar, albeit not as onerous, restriction of royal authority as Magna Carta of 1215.
12/6/1261On 12th June 1261, John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and lord of Sandal, joined Simon de Montfort, the Earls of Gloucester and Norfolk, Norfolk’s brother Hugh Bigod and Hugh Despenser in uniting against Henry III’s rejection of the Provisions of Oxford. Henry had sought Pope Alexander IV’s support in invalidating the Provisions (demanding Henry’s powers be subject to a Council of Fifteen) as an oath that had been forced upon the king ‘by a kind of compulsion’. Henry had published the papal letters on this day in his great hall at Winchester, the feast of Whitsun, one of the three feast days during the year (the others being Easter and Christmas) when the kings of England traditionally summoned their nobles for assembly and feasting.
15/6/1215On 15th June 1215, William de Warenne, 5th Earl of Surrey and lord of Sandal castle, was one of the advisers and supporters of King John advising the King to accede to Magna Carta. He was in stark contrast to John de Lacy of Pontefract Castle who was one of the 25 rebel barons, united in their dislike of John, actively trying to force the King to observe Magna Carta. William was named in Magna Carta. The following year, William left King John and supported Prince Louis of France's (later King Louis VIII) claim to the English throne. The claim of Prince Louis failed and William subsequently sided with King John's son Henry III.
19/6/1270On 19th June 1270 at a hearing in Westminster Hall concerning manorial rights, John de Warenne’s, 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal castle, followers overwhelmed Alan de la Zouche and his eldest son, causing serious harm to de la Zouche the elder who later died of a fever, brought on by his wounds, on 10th August. On fleeing, de Warenne was taken to Reigate castle by Prince Edward (later King Edward I), fined ten thousand marks (over £6 million in today's money ) and purged by the oath of twenty-five knights at Winchester.
20/6/1264On 20th June 1264, all of the lands of John de Warenne - 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle - were seized by  Simon de Montfort who now had control of King Henry III. All estates, which included Sandal Castle, and with the exceptions of Reigate and Lewes, were given into the custody of Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Gloucester. The Sussex lands were given to the Simon de Montfort's second son, also called Simon de Montfort.
24/6/1268On 24th June 1268, John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and lord of Sandal, took the cross and vowed to go on crusade to the Holy Land at the urging of Pope Clement IV. John was in illustrious company as Prince Edward (later Edward I), his brother Edmund of Lancaster, their cousin Henry of Almain, their uncle William de Valence, Gilbert de Clare the Earl of Gloucester and numerous other English noblemen similarly made the vow.
30/6/1253At some time in 1253 (no sources give an exact date), John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, was convicted of unjustly enclosing common land in Wakefield and was ordered to remove the fences he had just erected.  John was known as a strict and unpopular landlord.
30/6/1268At some stage in 1268 (some sources credit this to 1269 although there is no exact date for either),  John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, was involved in a land dispute with Henry de Lacy, Lord of Pontefract. This quarrel was in danger of escalating into a private war, with both sides raising armies, until King Henry III intervened and the royal justices determined that the pastureland in question belonged to Henry de Lacy.
30/6/1286On 30th June 1286, John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey, was born. He succeeded his grandfather, John de Warenne (his father having been killed in a tournament when he was only six months old), in September 1304 as Earl of Surrey, becoming a ward of Edward I.  He was eight years old when his mother died. In 1306, he was married to King Edward I's granddaughter, Joan of Bar, when she was only ten. The marriage was unsuccessful and Joan was largely abandoned by her husband who had been trying to divorce her since 1313. John would have numerous illegitimate children during his life and would take ownership of Sandal Castle in 1304 at the age of eighteen. De Warenne’s aunt, Isabella de Warenne, was married to John Balliol, who became king of Scotland in 1292.
30/6/1289At some stage in 1289 (the date is unclear), John de Warenne , 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, and Henry de Lacy Earl of Lincoln and owner of Pontefract Castle, formed part of a commission that was set up to hear complaints by the Scots of extortions committed by northern sheriffs.
5/6/1334The Chronicle of Lanercost records that: ‘Louis de Beaumont, Bishop of Durham, [died] … In his place the monks of Durham elected one of their con-fraternity, Sir Robert of Greystanes, a man in every respect worthy of such a dignity and a doctor of sacred theology. When he came before the king and besought his grace for the baronies and lands belonging to the bishopric, the king received him graciously enough ; but in the end replied that he had sent his own clerk. Master Richard de Bury, Doctor in Theology, to the court of my lord the Pope upon certain important affairs of the realm, and that among other things he had requested him that Richard might be made Bishop of Durham ; but, in the event of his not obtaining what he asked from the Pope then he would willingly grant him [Robert] all the grace he craved. This reply notwithstanding, that monk went before his Archbishop of York, was consecrated by him, was afterwards installed, received the submission of the clergy of the diocese, and performed other acts pertaining to the office of bishop. After this, the aforesaid Master Richard returned from the Pope's court bringing with him to England a bull wherein it was set forth that the Pope had granted him the bishopric of Durham, and that he might be consecrated by any bishop whom he should choose. And consecrated he was in England, but not by the Archbishop of York. Thus were there two bishops consecrated for one bishopric ; but one of them, to wit the monk, shortly after went the way of all flesh ; whereby Master Richard remained as Bishop of Durham, and held a most solemn festival on the day of his installation, to wit, the fifth day of June in the year 1334. My lord the King of England was present, also the Queen, my lord King Edward of Scotland, two English earls, to wit, the king's brother the Earl of Cornwall and the Earl of Warenne (owner of Sandal Castle) four Scottish earls, the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Carlisle and a great multitude of clergy and people.’
5/6/1341On 5th June 1341, the founder of the House of York, Edmund of Langley, was born, younger brother to John of Gaunt (born 6th March 1340), later lord of Pontefract. Edmund’s godfathers included John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey and lord of Sandal Castle.
10/6/1314On 10th June 1314, John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey, was at Sandal Castle. John had been told the previous month that he could not be legally separated from his wife Joan of Bar; since 1311, John had been living openly with his mistress, Maud de Nerford. It was on this date that John de Warenne wrote from Sandal Castle to Walter Reynolds, Archbishop of Canterbury, as follows; "To the honourable Father in God and our dear friend Walter by the grace of God Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England, his son John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, greeting and due honour. Sire, in respect to that which we have learnt by your order, be pleased to understand that we are and shall be ready to do everything that Holy Church can demand by law and in reason, and upon divers other points we shall answer you in time, in such a manner that no man shall be able to blame us rightfully or with reason: and, Sire, if you wish us to do anything that we can, be pleased confidently to command us, and we will do it to the utmost of our power. Adieu, Sire, and may God preserve you. Given at our castle of Sandale the 10th day of June."
12/6/1334On 12th June 1334, John de Warenne - 7th and last Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle - was in Newcastle, to witness his cousin, Edward Balliol, cede much of Scotland south of the Firth of Forth, to King Edward III. It was in 1334 that John finally recovered ownership of Sandal Castle from royal hands. He would continue in ownership of Sandal Castle until his death in June 1347.
14/6/1309A tournament provided an ideal opportunity to convene large numbers of magnates and knights without arousing suspicion, but it was also of concern to a ‘beleaguered’ monarch. On 14th June 1309, letters close were issued to the following six Earls, and to no others, forbidding them to tourney: Gloucester, Hereford, Warwick, Lancaster (of Pontefract), Warenne (of Sandal) and Arundel.
16/6/1317Around 14th June 1317, the people of Bromfield and Yale, in North Wales, wrote to their lord, John de Warenne ,Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, to tell him that they had been threatened by Thomas of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract, who had written to them to say that he meant to have their land and that if they behaved well towards him he would be a good lord to them, but that he would have the country ‘une manere ou autre’. They appealed to Warenne for help, saying that they could do nothing against such a great power and begged him to ask the king to order the Justices of Wales and Chester and the sheriffs to go to their aid. De Warenne forwarded a copy of this petition to the King on 14th June, expressing surprise that the Earl should act in this way. He asked for speedy help from the justices and the king’s men in those parts for the defence of his lands and the king’s honour. A minute of the council’s decision on the matter survives. De Warenne was to be told to go to Bromfield to guard his own lands if he wished, while Lancaster was to be informed of de Warenne’s message to the king and ordered to refrain from breaking the peace in that region; letters close to this effect were sent to Lancaster on 16th June.
29/6/1347House of YorkOn 29th June 1347, John de Warenne, the 7th and final Earl of Surrey (some historians show him as the 8th Earl) died at Conisbrough Castle and was buried in Lewes Priory, East Sussex. The earl's land, including Sandal Castle, reverted to the crown. John had lost his possessions during his dispute of 1317 with Thomas Earl of Lancaster and, on the subsequent execution of Thomas in March 1322, the lands became the Crown's ownership. It was not until 1326 that John regained some of his lands, and only in 1334 that he regained the castles at Conisbrough and Sandal, but only on the proviso they remained with him until his death, when they would again revert to the Crown. On the death of John, Sandal passed to Edward III who granted it to his fourth son Edmund Langley, Duke of York. It would be from this lineage that the castle would come into the possession of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, and become his key base in the North during the Wars of the Roses 1455-1485.
1/6/1469In June 1469, Edward IV, together with his younger brother, Richard, lord of Sandal, and his Woodville in-laws, Lord Rivers, Anthony Woodville and his younger brother, Sir John, set off north to address the Yorkshire insurgency against a regional tax levy which had been led by ‘Robin of Holderness’. Albeit ‘Robin’ had been captured and executed at York and a commission established to investigate the disturbances, Edward took a ‘leisurely’ journey through Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Fotheringhay and Newark before retreating to Nottingham Castle on hearing of a resurrected insurgency led by another folk hero, ‘Robin of Redesdale’, who reputedly had an army three times that of the king. This latest uprising had burst out of Richmondshire, an area dominated by Edward’s kith-and-kin, in the form of the Earl of Warwick’s fortress at Middleham and George, Duke of Clarence’s lordship of Richmond. Rumours abounded that ‘Robin’ was Sir John Conyers, Warwick’s household steward at Middleham and former Sheriff of Yorkshire with other leading protagonists members of the extended Neville family. Familial treachery in the Yorkist regime was becoming increasingly evident.
1/6/1475On 1st June 1475, the steward (Sir John Pilkington) at Berkhamstead of Cecily Neville, widow of Richard, Duke of York, erstwhile lord of Sandal Castle, obtained a grant to found a chantry chapel for perpetual prayer in All Saints Church, Wakefield. It would have one chaplain with an annual rent of 9 marks (£7600 in today’s money). The first chaplain was James Smethurst and all successors were appointed by the Abbot of Kirkstall.
3/6/1454Two letters to their father, Richard Duke of York, lord of Sandal, have been preserved. Edward and Edmund were 12 and 11 years respectively and in their first letter state: 'We thanke your noblesse and good ffadurhod for our grene gownes nowe late sende unto us to our grete comfort: beseeching your good lordeship that we might have summe fyne bonetts sende un to us by the next sure messig, for necessitie so requireth.' The second letter dated June 3rd 1454 says: 'If it please your Highness to know of our welfare at the making of this letter, we were in good health of body thanked be God; beseeching your good and gracious fatherhood of your daily blessing. And where ye command us, by your said letters, to attend specially to our learning in our young age, please it your Highness to wit, that we have attended our learning since we came hither, and shall hereafter, by which we trust to God your gracious Lordship that it may please you to send us Harry Lovedeyne, clerk of your kitchen, whose service is to us right agreeable: and we will send you John Boys to wait on your good Lordship.' A few years later at the Battle of Wakefield Edmund would be tragically killed aged only seventeen.
3/6/1484On 3rd June 1484, Richard III issued an instruction as follows concerning Sandal Castle: ‘Warrant to the auditor of Wakefield to allow the said John (Woderove) “such sums of money as he shall employ in making of a tower of new in the castle of Sandal”…’
7/6/1436On 7th June 1436, Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle), newly appointed Lieutenant-General of Normandy, landed at Honfleur with 5,000 men, along with the Earls of Salisbury and Suffolk, to retake fortresses in the Pays de Caux, a chalk plateau in northern Normandy between the Seine estuary and Channel coastline. Philippe of Burgundy’s Armagnac and Burgundian forces were threatening the key port of Calais and surrounding areas.
12/6/1482On 12th June 1482, Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), lord of Sandal, was made commander of the English army invading Scotland. This act followed a treaty signed at Fotheringhay the previous day in which the Duke of Albany, Alexander Stewart, declared himself to be King of Scotland and pledged his loyalty to Edward IV, hoping to overturn the rule of Albany’s brother, James III, in Scotland. With Gloucester, Albany marched at the head of one of the largest English armies assembled (20,000 men). Berwick was seized (the last time it would change hands between England and Scotland) and Edinburgh besieged but Gloucester quit the latter on 11th August. Albany became acting Lieutenant-General of the realm but died in a duel in France in 1485.
13/6/1483On 13th June 1483, Richard, Duke of Gloucester and lord of Sandal, convened a meeting at the Tower of London ostensibly to discuss the impending reign of the young Edward V. The meeting included the Duke of Buckingham, Lord William Hastings, William Catesby, Thomas Rotherham (Edward IV’s former chancellor), John Morton (an executor of Edward IV’s will amongst other roles) and Thomas, Lord Stanley (Edward IV’s household steward). Quite unexpectedly, Richard accused Hastings of plotting with Elizabeth Woodville ‘to destroy me, that am so near of blood unto the king’ and no longer supportive of Richard’s protectorate. Hastings was summarily forced onto Tower Green, shriven by a priest from the Tower chapel of St Peter ad Vincula and beheaded.
15/6/1484In June 1484, probably whilst staying for prolonged periods at Pontefract Castle, Richard III visited Sandal and authorised the building of a new tower in the castle. He would later order the building of a new bakehouse and brewhouse. By this time, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, and head of the Ducal Council of the North and, following the death of Richard's son Edward in April 1484, Richard's nominated heir apparent, was ordered to reside permanently at Sandal Castle, rather than one of Richard Neville's other properties. Richard III had drawn up a series of ordinances for the household in the north at Sandal, which detailed 'the hours of God's service, diet, going to bed and rising, and also the shutting of the gates". In terms of breakfast, Lincoln and Lord Morley would sit at one table, the Council of the North at another whilst the children (exactly who is open to question) were to 'dine together at one breakfast'. Deliveries of wine, ale and bread were strictly controlled, with John de la Pole, whilst at Sandal, being treated like the king's servant rather than his nominated heir.
16/6/1483On 16th June 1483, Elizabeth Woodville, widow of Edward IV, in sanctuary at Westminster, handed over her younger son, Richard, Duke of York, to Richard III’s (lord of Sandal) envoy as his brother, Edward V, ‘lacketh a playfelowye’ and needed ‘disporte and recreacion’ (as per Sir Thomas More).
22/6/1449On the 22nd June 1449, Richard Duke of York, owner of Sandal castle, finally set sail from Beaumaris to take up his position as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, almost two years after being appointed to the position.
22/6/1483On 22nd June 1483, Dr Ralph Shaw (or Sha), a Cambridge doctor of divinity and brother of the Mayor of London, Edmund Shaw, delivered an ‘explosive’ sermon from the open-air pulpit at St Paul’s Cross in London. This was to vindicate Richard’s, Duke of Gloucester, lord of Sandal, claim to the crown. Shaw announced a ‘precontractual’ marriage/betrothal between Edward IV and Lady Eleanor Butler invalidating Edward’s later marriage to Elizabeth Woodville thereby rendering their children illegitimate and negating any rights to the throne. Shaw’s text from the fourth chapter of the Book of Wisdom quoted: ‘Bastard slips shall not take deep root.’ Bishop Stillington is later said to have confirmed this as he was present at Edward’s and Eleanor’s betrothal. Some sources even claim that Shaw questioned the legitimacy of Edward IV and his brother, George, Duke of Clarence, by reason of their mother’s Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, infidelity; citing Richard, Duke of Gloucester’s resemblance to his father, Richard, Duke of York, unlike his two brothers.
26/6/1484On 26th June 1484, a ten-months’ truce with Brittany was instigated by Richard III, lord of Sandal, sending 1000 archers to help it against France. A secret plan was formulated to seize and deport Henry Tudor by treasurer Landois whilst Duke Francis was mentally incapacitated but Tudor was forewarned and escaped from Vannes to the French border.
27/6/1483On 27th June 1483, Piers Curteys, the Keeper of the Great Wardrobe, signed indentures for work to be completed by 3rd July for the coronation of Richard III, lord of Sandal. Amongst the honoured guests listed with sumptuous clothes to be supplied, was the recently deposed Edward V now styled ‘lord Edward, son of late King Edward the Fourth.’ Unsurprisingly, Edward did not attend the coronation nine days later.
30/6/1484On 30th June 1484, Richard III, lord of Sandal, and one-time Lord High Admiral of England, inspected the royal fleet at Scarborough to ensure its preparedness against incursions or invasion by the French or Scots and its ability to prevent the secreting of important persons, such as his nieces or ‘conspiring’ nobles, to the continent.
17/6/1645During the siege of Sandal Castle, on 17th June 1645, the well tower bore the brunt of the bombardment. More than forty cannon balls were found on the motte slope outside the tower.
28/6/1645At the end of June 1645, Sandal Castle was besieged by a force of 300 dragoons under Colonel Morgan. These were  mounted infantry with matchlock muskets. However, with insufficient fodder for their horses, they could not continue the siege and withdrew to Pontefract.
12/6/1887On 12th June 1887, a cannon ball weighing 10lb 2oz was discovered on Sandal Castle hill.
30/6/1888On 30th June 1888, the ‘Leeds Times’ reported that it had been decided to erect a boundary wall around Sandal Castle and also build a lodge.
2/6/1911On 2nd June 1911, Sir Thomas Edward Milborne-Swinnerton-Pilkington, 12th Baronet of Chevet, proposed to Wakefield Corporation that it lease Sandal Castle as a public recreation ground. The site was leased the following year and bought by the council in 1954.
22/6/1911On 22nd June 1911, a bonfire consisting of over 100 tons of timber was lit at ten o clock by Wakefield’s Mayor, Mr A Hudson, on Sandal Castle hill, to celebrate George V’s coronation. It was one in a chain of hundreds that stretched from John O’ Groats to Land's End.
25/6/1901On 25th June 1901, Sir Lionel Milborne-Swinnerton-Pilkington, 11th Baronet of Chevet, owner of Sandal Castle and estates across Yorkshire and Staffordshire covering 8000 acres, died at Chevet Park.
28/6/1940On 28th June 1940, it was reported that a one-hundred-years-old cannon that had stood at Sandal castle for nearly thirty years was to be presented to Wakefield Corporation as part of the war’s scrap metal collection scheme. The cannon had been given to Mr Edwin Lodge Hirst when he was Mayor in 1912.