This Day in History: 1648-06-17

On 17th June 1648, having taken Pontefract Castle by deceit earlier that month and consigned Parliamentary Governor Cotterell to the makeshift dungeon, Colonel John Morris appointed a Council of War with himself as president; albeit nominally, congenial but ineffective Sir John Digby, Colonel General, was in charge. Eight Articles of War were agreed and officers were appointed to command infantry and horse soldiers within the castle and in the town itself where Royalist troops were to be garrisoned. The articles ended with a warning: ‘If any officer, gentleman, or soldier be negligent upon any duty…or go from guard without order, he shall forfeit a day’s pay, and be disarmed at the head of the troops, or company wherein he serves, and shall be imprisoned twenty-four hours, and the day’s pay be disposed to his fellow soldiers.’