Sandal Castle – October

DateEvent
14/10/1066On 14th October 1066, the Battle of Hastings was fought between William of Normandy and King Harold. One of William’s most trusted advisers and supporters who fought by his side at Hastings was William de Warenne, the son of Ralph de Warenne and Emma. William, like the de Lacy family at Pontefract, was granted land in recognition of his support. It is possible that the first castle to be built on the newly acquired manor of Wakefield was on Lowe Hill in the now Thornes Park, on the north bank of the Calder. This was a weaker defensive position than the now Sandal Castle. It would have been a timber castle built on a mound 30 feet high without any bailey, now visible.  It would have provided a small defensive enclosure whilst the new lord surveyed his lands. This area was excavated in 1953 but provided no dating evidence, and therefore it could have been an 11th century royal castle of modest proportions, or a 12th century castle initially for the lord, but subsequently for a constable, when the castle at Sandal, south of the Calder, was being built.
DateEvent
11/10/1159On 11th October 1159, William of Blois, 4th Earl of Surrey, died. William had taken ownership of Sandal Castle in 1148. William's parents were Stephen, Count of Boulogne, and Matilda Contessa de Boulogne. William had been born circa 1137 but did not want to be king, so his father Stephen acknowledged his cousin Matilda’s son, Henry, as his successor. The two centuries between the death of William of Blois in 1159 and the last Earl of Surrey in 1347 mark the period when the timber castle at Sandal was reconstructed in stone and received its full complement of buildings, which lasted until their destruction in the Civil War.
25/10/1154On 25th October 1154 , King Stephen died and, when the reign of Henry Plantagenet,  Henry II, began on 19th December 1154, Henry allowed William of Blois, 4th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal castle, to retain the earldom of Surrey in right of his wife Isabel de Warenne. Many historical records (and indeed on this site) note the confusion around whether there were seven or  eight earls of Surrey who owned Sandal Castle. The answer is in fact seven, as both William of Blois and Hamelin de Plantagenet were both classed as the fourth earls due to their marriages to Isabel de Warenne, the 4th Countess of Surrey.
DateEvent
13/10/1225On 13th October 1225, William de Warenne , 5th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, married Maud Marshall, with whom he would have a son, John. Throughout his life, William was a strong supporter of King John, and it was only in 1216 when he had been appointed as Warden of the Cinque Ports did he briefly  desert John and supported Louis of France. However, within a year, he would be  a committed supporter of Henry III. William had taken ownership of Sandal Castle in 1202, being the son of Hamelin de Plantagenet and Isabel.
DateEvent
1/10/1310In October 1310, Edward II decided the time was right  to deal with the deteriorating military situation in Scotland. In February 1310, the Lords Ordainers had been established: a diverse group of twenty-one elected by an assembly of magnates. They consisted of eight earls, seven bishops and six barons, their natural leader being Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln and Baron of Pontefract. Probably deciding a Scottish battlefield was a safer place for Gaveston than a meeting of English magnates, Edward II headed north. However, hardly any nobles were prepared to support him; the only exceptions being the Earl of Gloucester and John de Warenne, the seventh and last Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal castle.
31/10/1321On 31st October 1321, John de Warenne - 7th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle - was with King Edward II, at the fall of Leeds Castle in Kent. The castle had been besieged following Queen Isabella coming under attack from the battlements when she sought shelter on her pilgrimage to Canterbury. John was now clearly back in the king's favour, but his lands in Yorkshire - including Sandal Castle - which had been given up when he had been forced to come to terms with Thomas Earl of Lancaster in 1319, would for the time being, remain in the king's hands, even after John would be one of the lords that would pass the death sentence on Lancaster in March 1322 at his trial in the Great Hall at Pontefract Castle. John would spend the summers of 1322 and 1323 campaigning in Scotland.
DateEvent
2/10/1452Richard_IIIRichard Duke of York's (lord of Sandal Castle) son, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was born at Fotheringhay, on Monday 2nd Oct 1452. He would later become King Richard III.
15/10/1484In October 1484, in addition to erecting a new well tower that year, Richard III ordered John Woderobe, the receiver of rents, to have a bakehouse and brewhouse built within Sandal Castle. This new building would serve the household and garrison. The letter read: "John Woderof: A comaundement to John Woderoffe Receivor of Wakefeld to cause a bakehouse and a brewhouse to be bilded within the Castelle of Sandelle by the advise of Therle of Lincolne and other the king's Counselle lieng there and of the Revenues of his office to pay for the same at the king's charges."
21/10/1449George_Duke_of_ClarenceRichard Duke of York's (lord of Sandal Castle)  son, George, Duke of Clarence, was born in Ireland, Tuesday 21st Oct 1449.
25/10/1460On 25th October 1460, the Act of Accord came into force following the Yorkist success at the battle of Northampton where King Henry VI was once again placed under Yorkist control. Through the Act of Accord, Parliament recognized Richard Duke of York's position (he had a strong claim to the throne and was King Edward III's great-grandson) and stipulated that, on the death of Henry VI, the crown would not pass to his son Edward but to the Duke of York and his heirs. This act would prove the catalyst for the great battles that would follow in the following months at Wakefield, St Albans, Mortimers Cross and Towton.
DateEvent
1/10/1645HalberdsOn 1st October 1645, the Royalist garrison at Sandal surrendered the castle at 10 am. The garrison consisted of ten officers and ninety men. They surrendered 100 muskets, 50 pikes, 20 halberds, 150 swords and 2 barrels of gunpowder. No artillery was mentioned in the inventory. The Royalist defenders marched to Welbeck House in north Nottinghamshire.