This Day in History: 1645-07-20

On 20th July 1645, the Royalists and Parliamentarians met and a treaty was made and signed for the surrender of Pontefract Castle. The siege had lasted nearly five months and the besieged Royalists had shown great courage. The treaty stated that ‘the castle is to be delivered up to the parliament tomorrow at 8 o’clock with everything therein, save that the officers are allowed to carry away what is properly their own, so that it exceeds not what a cloak bag will contain, and the garrison are to march to Newark’. Thus ended the second siege of Pontefract Castle during which the Parliamentarians lost 469 soldiers whilst the besieged lost 99 persons. The local gentry who had assisted in the defence of the castle obtained permission to return to their homes, but continued to be closely watched by the Parliamentarians and were all heavily fined for their obstinate adherence to the Royalist cause.