This Day in History: 1385-02-13

Around 13th and 14th February 1385, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fled to Pontefract Castle to avoid being arraigned for treason by Richard II. Richard had intended to ‘dispose’ of the duke either (according to differing sources) at a great council at Waltham or a tournament to be held at Westminster. Worsening relations between Richard II and his uncle (over the duke’s wealth, influence etc) had been stoked by a Carmelite friar, John Latimer, informing Richard the previous year that the duke was plotting his death, with Richard reluctantly (then) retracting Gaunt’s immediate execution.