This Day in History: 1322-03-19

On 19th March 1322, Edward II arrived at Pontefract Castle following the capture of Thomas of Lancaster at Boroughbridge on the 16th. The constable of the castle immediately surrendered to Edward. The Chronicle of Lanercost records that:
‘The king, then, greatly delighted by the capture of these persons, sent for the earl to come to Pontefract, where he remained still in the castle of the same earl ; and there, in revenge for the death of Piers de Gaveston (whom the earl had caused to be beheaded), and at the instance of the earl’s rivals (especially of Sir Hugh Despenser the Younger), without holding a parliament or taking the advice of the majority, caused sentence to be pronounced that he should be drawn, hanged and beheaded. But, forasmuch as he was the queen’s uncle and son of the king’s uncle, the first two penalties were commuted, so that he was neither drawn nor hanged, only beheaded in like manner as this same Earl Thomas had caused Piers de Gaveston to be beheaded.’