This Day in History: 1460-11-15

On 15th November 1460, the Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland ordered that the gates of Durham be closed and reinforced. After the Lancastrians’ defeat at the Battle of Northampton in July 1460 and Queen Margaret’s fleeing to Wales, then Scotland, the Earls had quickly raised a large Lancastrian army (ies) in the Scottish Marches and were making their way to York and Pontefract. They had ordered Durham’s defences be bolstered as they were wary of the Scots taking advantage of their march south. As Pontefract was only nine miles from Richard, Duke of York’s lands at Sandal, Richard himself gathered a force to face the Lancastrians leading directly to the Battle of Wakefield just over six weeks later. Ironically, Durham was ‘untouched’ as Queen Margaret formed an alliance with the Scots who sent forces south to support the Lancastrians.