This Day in History: 1645-05-27

The besieged Royalists (at Pontefract Castle) played their cannon against the enemy on 27th May 1645 and on the same night, about twelve o’clock, Lieutenant Wheatley arrived. He had been sent with Captain Worthington a few days before, to Sandal Castle. He had brought with him forty or fifty horses and on the way had taken two enemy scouts prisoners. They had also met with one hundred and twenty or thirty head of cattle, which they had driven before them. They had to get them into the castle which was no easy task because of the Parliamentarians’ strong works and guards with which the castle was surrounded. Captain Wheatley had left the cattle at some distance while he went on to the castle and it was agreed that the cattle should be brought from the Chequer Field by way of Carleton and on to the public road to Baghill, and that when he came near he would cry out“ a prince! A prince! To arms! To arms!” All was ready in the castle an hour before the cattle arrived. On arrival of the cattle, a cannon was played against the besiegers’ works and different parties sallied out aid in bringing in the cattle. The different parties reached their stations and fully succeeded in checking the Parliamentary forces. Captain Joshua Walker with about twenty men went to Baghill to collect the cattle. Anxious to place the cattle in safety and before the Parliamentarians could  collect together in large numbers to prevent this, they drove the cattle down the hill with such force that they lost thirty or forty into the hands of the besiegers. However, the garrison managed to get ninety-seven cattle safely into the castle. Once the cattle were in the castle, the drums beat a retreat and all the different parties of the garrison returned without loss of life and only one man wounded. The besieged Royalists now gave vent to their joy; they lit bonfires on the tops of all the towers of the castle and commenced a heavy fire against their enemy works in all directions. Heavy fire against the castle was commenced the next day by the besiegers. They told their commander that five hundred men had escorted the cattle into the castle as an excuse for their failure in not stopping the cattle going into the castle.