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. On this date, William also succeeded as Count of Mortain, north-western France (jure patris, by right of his father).
DateEvent
3/10/1263In early October 1263, John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and lord of Sandal, along with Henry of Almain, the Earl of Norfolk and his brother, Hugh Bigod, and many Marcher lords, deserted Simon de Montfort and rejoined the court party of Henry III at Windsor Castle. After the king’s proclamation that summer that he would observe the Provisions of Oxford, de Montfort’s unworkable demand to expel all foreigners from England and refusal to allow any of his supporters to be brought to justice for that summer’s violence caused many of his supporters to drift away.
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.
2/10/1484On 2nd October 1484, Richard III appointed John Downey as Treasurer of the Household at Sandal Castle at 2,000 marks per annum (over £1.4m today) to cover the expenses of running such. John had held the same role at Richard’s castle at Middleham.
10/10/1459On the 10th October 1459, Richard Duke of York - owner of Sandal Castle - along with the earl's of Salisbury and Warwick, sent a desperate letter to King Henry VI pledging their loyalty. The Yorkist forces had arrived at Ludford Meadow just outside of Ludlow following news from scouts that a royal army, headed by the king himself, and perhaps twice the size of York's forces, was heading to meet them. There was a real sense of panic in the earl's letter stating that they only sought to end 'such inconvenient and irreverent jeopardies as we have been put in diverse times herebofore'. York would state that they only kept 'such fellowship' (referring to the thousands of men they had with them) for their protection and that they would willingly come to the king's presence, if he would grant them safe conduct. However, at the end of the letter, York does seem to take aim directly at Queen Margaret as he recounts to King Henry 'the opportune impatience and violence of such persons as intend of extreme malice to proceed under the shadow of your high might and presence to our destruction'. The letter as a whole had a different tone to other Yorkist communications and looks to appeal to henry's lifelong love of peace. The change of tome is understandable as they were in a no win situation. If they fought they would commit treason and risk their lives and inheritance of themselves and their heirs. If they ran, they might save their lives but still lose their lands and inheritance.
10/10/1460On 10th October 1460, after the Lancastrians’ defeat at the Battle of Northampton three months earlier, Richard, Duke of York’s (lord of Sandal Castle) armed escort of 800 mounted men stopped at the gates of Westminster Palace and York dismounted with a sword held aloft before him. York approached the empty royal throne in the Painted Chamber and placed his hand upon it awaiting affirmation of his claim to kingship but was met with stunned silence as the assembled lords had no wish to depose an anointed king.
11/10/1483On 11th October 1483, Richard III, lord of Sandal, was made aware of the Duke of Buckingham’s participation in plots and rebellions that were breaking out. Buckingham had been a trusted and loyal adviser to Richard, being with him at the arrest of Anthony Woodville and instrumental in Richard’s gaining the throne. He had been appointed Chief Justice over Wales and two months before had been commissioned to investigate treasons in London. His role in the so-called murder (or spiriting away) of the Princes in the Tower has been much debated over the centuries with claims of acting at Richard’s command, selfishly seeking the crown himself, or even pursuing Edward V’s ‘rightful’ inheritance, all put forward. A possible motivation for his rebellion is cited as Edward IV’s keeping of thirty-eight manors on Henry Bohun’s death which Buckingham regarded as his inheritance. Buckingham was executed for treason on 2nd November 1483.
12/10/1460On 12th October 1460, an eight-years-old Richard (son of Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal Castle) and his older siblings Margaret and George were at Sir John Fastolf’s home in Southwark awaiting their father. They had been there for four weeks, visited regularly by their elder brother, Edward, Earl of March, as their mother, Cecily, Duchess of York, had left to join her husband on his grand entry into London.
13/10/1459On 13th October 1459, Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle), fled from the site of the impending Battle of Ludford Bridge with his second son, Edmund, Earl of Rutland through Wales, eventually reaching Ireland. York’s eldest son, Edward, Earl of March, along with the Earls of Warwick and Salisbury and the rest of the Yorkist army made for Devon. Despite York’s forces having fired on Henry VI’s encampment the previous night, York telling his men that Henry was dead and, therefore, these actions were not treasonable, York’s supporters from the Calais garrison defected to the king during the night claiming they had been deceived.
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."
16/10/1460On the 16th October 1460, George Neville, as Lord Chancellor, presented a document to Parliament that detailed Richard Duke of York's claim to be the rightful King of England. Richard - owner of Sandal Castle - did not make the mainstay of his assertion that he was descended from Edmund, Duke of York, the fourth son of Edward III, but that the lineage derived from his mother - Anne Mortimer - linked him directly to Lionel of Antwerp, Edward III's second son. Henry he stated was descended from John of Gaunt, Edward's third son. Therefore his claim was better, and he had been deprived of his birthright by Henry VI and the actions of his usurping grandfather, Henry IV. Salic law prevented a claim via a female line in France, but no such law existed in England. Indeed their was a precedent to Richard's claim, in that Henry I had named his daughter Matilda as his heir following the death of his only son, although her cousin Stephen would beat her to the crown. Parliament was in a panic and Henry VI seemed to casually pass the buck back to the Lords, almost as ifs he didn't care or no longer wanted to continue as king. The matter would be resolved by the Act of Accord issued on 25th October 1460.
17/10/1460On 17th October 1460, Henry VI was informed by twenty or more lords spiritual and temporal that Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle) had presented his claim to the throne with the Parliament Roll recording: ‘ It pleased him to pray and order all the said lords to search as best they could for anything which might be objected and laid against the claim and title of the said duke.’ York claimed that Henry VI’s grandfather, Henry IV, had ‘unrightfully entered upon the crown’ which should have the right of York’s ancestors ‘by law and custom’.
20/10/1445On 20th October 1445, Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle), returned to England at the end of his five-years’ appointment as Lieutenant-General and Governor of Normandy. Expecting to be re-appointed, York was ‘replaced’ by Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset on 24th December 1446 with York spending most of his time administering his estates on the Welsh border.
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.
23/10/1453On 23rd October 1453, after Duchess Cecily’s appeal to Queen Margaret to restore her husband, Richard, Duke of York’s (lord of Sandal Castle) to favour, York was sent a letter by nine councillors who were amongst those due to meet in November to resolve, amongst other matters, the possibility of a long minority for the infant Prince Edward. The councillors apologised for the oversight of York’s exclusion from the council and hoped he would join it ‘to set rest and union betwixt the lords of this land’. Margaret’s politic involvement in this entreaty is suggested by four of the nine being closely attached to her.
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.
28/10/1484On 28th October 1484, Richard III, lord of Sandal, ordered the Earl of Oxford’s transfer from imprisonment in Hammes Castle, in the Calais Pale, to the more secure gaol at the Tower of London. John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, had proven a redoubtable opponent of the Yorkists for some time having escaped to France from the Battle of Barnet in April 1471 and, thereafter, orchestrated raids on Calais and the Essex coast, holding St Michael’s Mount for twenty-two months. Imprisoned in 1474 and attainted the following year, Oxford persuaded his gaoler to change his allegiance to Henry Tudor’s cause, thereby escaping and ultimately commanding part of Tudor’s army at the Battle of Bosworth.
31/10/1460On 31st October 1460, Henry VI took an oath to abide by the Act of Accord (giving Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal Castle, and his heirs the crown on Henry’s death). All assembled lords similarly swore to accept Henry as king and York as heir to the realm and York and his sons, the Earls of March and Rutland, promised that they would not do anything ‘to cause or lead to the shortening of the natural life of King Henry VI’. York and his family were protected from claims of treasonable actions and allowed to act in Henry’s stead to ‘repress, subdue and pacify the realm’ against the king’s enemies. Not only was York paid to undertake this role but it effectively permitted him to lead an army against Henry’s wife, Queen Margaret, and her supporters. On this day, the vigils of All Hallows, York removed Henry from Westminster Palace against his will and put him in the Bishop of London’s Palace.
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.