This Day in History: 1321-10-13

On 13th October 1321, Queen Isabella had wanted to stay at Leeds Castle in Kent while travelling to Canterbury, but was refused entry by the owner’s wife. The owner of the castle, who was not there at the time, was Lord Badlesmere, a supporter of Thomas of Lancaster, lord of Pontefract. When Isabella’s men tried to gain access to the castle, some of them were killed. On hearing of the problem, Edward II took an army to the castle. Several of the Marcher Lords began to march into England in support of Lord Badlesmere. On 27th October, the Marchers and Badlesmere assembled at Kingston in order to raise the siege of Leeds Castle. Lancaster forbade them to help and wrote to the King to ask him to stop persecuting his liege men. At the same time, the Marchers wrote to the king asking him to abandon the siege, promising to surrender the castle to him at the next parliament. However, Edward seeing that the castle could not resist much longer, refused to consider the request, and after a few days Leeds was taken, to be followed by Badlesmere’s other Kentish castles. The Marchers meanwhile returned to Lancaster at Pontefract.