This Day in History: 1315-05-24

On 24th May 1315, in the chapter house of Pontefract Priory, at Thomas of Lancaster’s (lord of Pontefract) mandate and in his presence, fifteen northern lords assembled: Thomas de Multon, Thomas Furnival, Edmund Deyncourt, Henry Fitzhugh, Ralph de Greystoke, Gilbert de Atton, Marmaduke de Twenge, Nicholas de Menill, Henry Percy, John Marmion, Philip Darcy, William Fitzwilliam, John de Fauconberg, John Deyncourt, and Robert Constable of Flamborough. Most of these men were Yorkshire barons: Furnival’s lands lay around Sheffield; Twenge, Menill, and Marmion had extensive holdings in Cleveland; and most of Percy’s estates were in the North Riding. Of those who held little land in Yorkshire, only Multon, whose estates were mainly in Cumberland and Westmorland, could be considered entirely outside the range of Lancaster’s territorial influence. Unfortunately for Lancaster, this was not a body which the earl could bend to his will. Those present agreed that the current disturbances threatened the peace of the land and the well-being of the king and kingdom, and to counter this they came together in a league for their mutual defence, so that if any man rose against the earl or any other, the rest would come to his aid. This agreement was set down in writing and confirmed by seal, but because it was thought necessary to obtain the advice of a greater number, and especially of the prelates, Lancaster wrote to the Archbishop of York and summoned him and the other prelates to Sherburn-in-Elmet, one of the Archbishop’s own manors, a few miles north of Pontefract, on 28th June.