This Day in History: 1322-01-15

By mid January 1322, Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March and a key ally of Thomas of Lancaster, surrendered to Edward II at Shrewsbury. Mortimer’s faith in Lancaster had been destroyed by the failure of Thomas to leave his northern fortress at Pontefract  during the Despenser War. Support for Lancaster was ebbing away, and as Edward II began to march north, Lancaster would try to reach his northern fortress at Dunstanburgh, only to be surrounded and defeated at the Battle of Boroughbridge on the 16th March 1322. Lancaster had opened private negotiations with Scotland aiming at a Scots-baronial alliance to coerce Edward II and on 15th January he was granted a safe conduct to visit the Scots, using the provocative code-name ‘King Arthur’.