Sandal Castle – June

DateEvent
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.
DateEvent
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.
DateEvent
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 Justicular (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 the Magna Carta of 1215.
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. 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), fined ten thousand marks (over £9 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.
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.
DateEvent
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.’
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, whilst since 1311, John had been living openly with his mistress, Maud de Nerford. It was on this date i.e 10th June 1314, 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, Herford, 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, 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.
DateEvent
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, 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.
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 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 there North at another whilst the children 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.
DateEvent
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. There were  mounted infantry with matchlock muskets. However, with insufficient fodder for their horses, they could not continue the siege and withdrew to Pontefract.
DateEvent
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.
DateEvent
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-Pilington, 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.