This Day in History: 1397-09-21

On 21st September 1397, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, in his role as Steward of England, presided over the trial of Richard Fitzalan, 4th Earl of Arundel, regarding his part in an armed, traitorous insurrection against the king by the Lords Appellant ten years earlier. Gaunt condemned Arundel ‘to be drawn, hanged, beheaded and quartered, and the lands descending from your person, both entailed and unentailed, to be forfeited forever by you and your heirs.’ Richard II commuted the sentence to beheading only. The Earl of Warwick, Thomas de Beauchamp, a co-conspirator, was banished to the Isle of Man and Gaunt’s brother, Thomas of Woodstock, the Duke of Gloucester, was posthumously tried and declared a traitor. Sir Thomas Mortimer, another Lords Appellants’ rebel, died in exile in 1399.