This Day in History: 1536-10-19

On 19th October 1536, Lord Darcy, Constable of Pontefract Castle, Edward Lee, Archbishop of York, Dr Magnus of the King’s Council, Sir Robert Constable of Flamborough and all the knights and gentlemen in the castle, including Sir George Darcy, Sir Robert Neville and Sir John Wentworth assembled in the state chamber to meet Robert Aske, leader of the Pilgrimage of Grace, who ‘required those present to join them and deliver the castle’ with refusal meaning no mercy would be shown. Darcy replied that ‘I neither could nor would deliver the King’s castle’ and that he would consult others regarding the commons’ grievances. Aske agreed to a truce until the following night although Darcy asked for a day longer. Later that day, the garrison’s council decided that if no rescue came, the only course was to yield: ‘Out of 300 men, not 140 remained and these were not all sound; there was only victual for eight or ten days…..Every day, the captain (Aske) wrote to me charging me on my life to yield the castle or they would burn my house (Templehurst) and kill my son’s children’. Darcy’s request for an extension of the truce until 9 o’clock on the 20th for payment of £20 (£17,000 in today’s money) was agreed.