This Day in History: 1315-11-03

On 5th October 1315, Sir John Lilburn, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster’s (lord of Pontefract) retainer, seized Knaresborough Castle, which Amory had held for the king since December 1314. Alton Castle in Staffordshire, also in Amory’s custody, was evidently attacked at the same time, for on 3rd November Lancaster was ordered to deliver both the castles to the sheriffs of the respective counties. Knaresborough was held by the Earl’s men until 29th January 1316, having come under siege from William Roos of Helmsley, John Mowbray, John Marmion, Ralph de Bulmer, John Fauconberg, Simon Ward, and other Yorkshire magnates assembled by the sheriff (an interesting reflection of the opposition to Lancaster among a section of the northern baronage). Lilburn himself was pardoned in March. Once again Lancaster’s power had been demonstrated.