This Day in History: 1317-03-14

Writs by Edward II to attend a meeting at Westminster on 11th April 1317 were sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas of Lancaster (lord of Pontefract) and various nobles and justices (including Hereford, Holland, Bereford, the Despensers, Inge, and le Scrope), on 14th March 1317. Lancaster failed to appear and the absence of other magnates at a previous meeting may have made it impossible to take any decisions. Edward ordered that two household knights were sent to Lancaster on 16th March 1317 to ‘persuade’ him. However, their work was in vain, for Lancaster did not appear (this was hardly surprising, since his wife had been abducted by John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, four days before the opening of the meeting), and as a result he was publicly declared an enemy of king and kingdom.