This Day in History: 1317-04-07

In April 1317,  John de Warenne, owner of Sandal Castle, had a bitter quarrel with his neighbour at Pontefract, Thomas Earl of Lancaster. A squire in John de Warenne’s service abducted Alice de Lacy, the wife of Thomas, from her manor at Canford in Dorset, to John’s castle at Reigate in Surrey. Questions were raised by contemporary chroniclers over the degree to which Alice may have been complicit in the kidnap. The disreputable Warenne is thought to have carried out the abduction in order to humiliate Thomas, who had helped block de Warenne’s divorce. In the summer of 1317, Thomas took his revenge by capturing Sandal and Conisbrough Castles and occupied their lands.  The castle would remain in Thomas’ hands until his defeat at the Battle of Boroughbridge on 16th March 1322. John regained the castle in 1326 but it was only granted to him until his death, when it reverted to the Crown. John  died in 1347, and the castle passed to the king.