This Coming Week In History

This week in history

DateEvent
23/10/1648Robert Greathead carvingIn late October 1648, Parliamentarian Captain Greathead was taken prisoner by Captain William Paulden and put in the dungeon (magazine) at Pontefract Castle. Once in captivity, however, he managed to hide the fact that he was an officer. He may well have been from Nottinghamshire and when Colonel Morris ransomed him in January 1649 he was still under the impression that Greathead was still a trooper.
24/10/1252On 24th October 1252, as evidence of his favourable noble standing, Edmund de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was awarded a gift of six deer by Henry III from the forest of Rockingham.
25/10/1154On 25th October 1154 , King Stephen died and, when the reign of Henry Plantagenet,  Henry II, began on 19th December 1154, Henry allowed William of Blois, 4th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal castle, to retain the earldom of Surrey in right of his wife Isabel de Warenne. Many historical records (and indeed on this site) note the confusion around whether there were seven or  eight earls of Surrey who owned Sandal Castle. The answer is in fact seven, as both William of Blois and Hamelin de Plantagenet were both classed as the fourth earls due to their marriages to Isabel de Warenne, the 4th Countess of Surrey.
25/10/1415Agincourt1415On 25th Oct 1415, Henry V defeated the French armies at the Battle of Agincourt. Following the battle, many of the defeated French nobles were brought to England in captivity, including the Duke of Orleans who was imprisoned at Pontefract Castle.
25/10/1460On 25th October 1460, the Act of Accord came into force following the Yorkist success at the battle of Northampton where King Henry VI was once again placed under Yorkist control. Through the Act of Accord, Parliament recognized Richard Duke of York's position (he had a strong claim to the throne and was King Edward III's great-grandson) and stipulated that, on the death of Henry VI, the crown would not pass to his son Edward but to the Duke of York and his heirs. This act would prove the catalyst for the great battles that would follow in the following months at Wakefield, St Albans, Mortimers Cross and Towton.
27/10/1307On 27th October 1307, after the funeral of Edward I, preparations were made for Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, to travel to France to oversee preparations for Edward II’s marriage to Isabella of France.
27/10/1399On 27th October 1399, parliament met to hear the unanimous judgement by 58 lords on Richard (II) of Bordeaux. Two archbishops, thirteen bishops, seven abbots, Prince Henry, the Duke of York, six earls, twenty-four lords and four knights and parliament agreed that Richard should be confined in isolation in perpetuity; he died imprisoned at Pontefract Castle.
28/10/1294On 28th October 1294, Alice de Lacy and Thomas Earl of Lancaster married. Alice was 13 and Thomas about 16. The marriage was not successful and they lived quite separate lives. Whether they divorced or not (possibly in 1318) is debatable. During his lifetime Thomas had control of her inheritance from her father, Henry de Lacy. By the terms of their marriage settlement, the bulk of her great inheritance from her father, which included the earldom of Lincoln and many other estates, was to go to Thomas, with reversion to Thomas's heirs. Her father also came to an agreement with the king that should Alice have no children, her father's Earldom of Lincoln would pass into the royal family on her death.
28/10/1536On 28th October 1536, Lord Darcy and Robert Aske, at Pontefract Castle, proclaimed a truce to the besieging ‘commons’ of the Pilgrimage of Grace and ordered the rebels to return home. Albeit their captains, Lord John Scrope, 8th Baron Scrope of Bolton, Sir Christopher Danby and others were willing to accept the truce, the rebels were reluctant to go home empty-handed but did eventually comply.
29/10/1399On 29th October 1399, Richard (II) of Bordeaux was secretly removed from the Tower of London and taken via various castles to Knaresborough and later Pontefract to be guarded by Robert Waterton and Thomas Swynford, trusted friends of Henry IV.
29/10/1536On 29th October 1536, Henry VIII’s heralds (Chester and Carlisle) saw the last rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace ‘disparple’ (disperse) at Pontefract Castle and make their way home over Ferrybridge. The heralds returned to Doncaster the same day where the Royalist Earl of Shrewsbury’s army was similarly disbanding.
29/10/1648Thomas Rainsborough On 29th October 1648, Parliamentarian Vice Admiral Thomas Rainsborough died. In October 1648, Rainsborough was sent by his commander, Sir Thomas Fairfax, to the siege at Pontefract Castle. Whilst he was in nearby Doncaster, he was killed by four Royalists during a bungled kidnap attempt. Some historians dispute this, favouring  Cromwellian complicity in his death as, at the time, Rainsborough was at odds with certain sections of Parliament. The site is still marked today by a plaque outside of the House of Fraser. A quote by Rainsborough, which is an excerpt from the Putney Debates of autumn 1647, is in St Mary's Church in Putney  The full quote arguing for universal suffrage states: 'I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he; and therefore truly, Sir, I think it's clear, that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not bound in a strict sense to that government that he hath not had a voice to put himself under.' Rainsborough was a Leveller, which was a political movement campaigning for people's equal rights.

Last week in history

DateEvent
19/10/1469On 19th October 1469, Richard, brother of Edward IV, Duke of Gloucester and steward of the Duchy of Lancaster north of Trent with official residence at Pontefract Castle, was made Chief Steward of the queen’s lands for life with an income of £100 a year (£115,000 in today’s money).
19/10/1536On 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.
20/10/1484On 20th October 1484, Richard III sent Nicholas Leventhorp a warrant to see that the house of Dame Margaret Moulton 'Anchres of Pountfret' and the chapel adjoining were newly 'redeified' at the king's costs. An annuity of 40s (nearly £1400 in today's money) plus restoration of rights to twenty acres of pasture to the Priory of St John was also made.
21/10/1449George_Duke_of_ClarenceRichard Duke of York's (lord of Sandal Castle)  son, George, Duke of Clarence, was born in Ireland, Tuesday 21st Oct 1449.
21/10/1536Pilgrimage_of_GraceOn 21st October 1536, 40,0000 protesters under Robert Aske marched on Pontefract Castle during the Pilgrimage of Grace. On the same day, Sir Thomas Percy, Recorder of Lincoln and a leading figure in the Pilgrimage of Grace, arrived at Pontefract Castle with nearly ten thousand men from the north-east (Percy was also a participant in the Bigod Rebellion the following year and was to be hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor at Tyburn on 2nd June 1537).  Lord Darcy, who was sheltering the Archbishop of York, Sir Robert Constable and some forty other gentlemen, later surrendered the castle without a fight. He later claimed that there was not enough gunpowder to fill a walnut shell and no firewood for cooking for his men. The Pilgrimage of Grace was a popular uprising that began in Yorkshire in October 1536 (but was pre-dated by a Lincolnshire rebellion), before spreading to other parts of Northern England including Cumberland, Northumberland and north Lancashire, under the leadership of lawyer, Robert Aske. The "most serious of all Tudor rebellions", it was a protest against Henry VIII's break with the Roman Catholic Church, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the policies of the king's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, as well as other specific political, social and economic grievances. A list of "24 Articles", sometimes called "The Commons' Petition", was given to the Duke of Norfolk at Doncaster on December 6th. The rebels agreed to disband if the king reviewed the demands: a freely elected parliament at York acting on the same, and if the rebels received parliamentary pardon for taking part in the rebellion and for all acts committed during such. Norfolk received the articles with promises to present them to the king. He also promised a parliament at York and a general pardon to the rebels. Robert Aske announced these promises to the Pilgrims, and the rebels disbanded. Aske visited the king in London, but returned to York in January with nothing more than vague promises. In January 1537, rebels under Sir Francis Bigod, who had realized the king had no intention of respecting either the Pilgrims' demands, or the promises made to them, started a new uprising. This gave the king an excuse to violently stamp out the rebellion in the North and to renege on the promises made on his behalf by Norfolk.
22/10/1536On 22nd October 1536, William Stapleton, a lawyer and compatriot of Robert Aske in the Pilgrimage of Grace, brought his East Riding (Beverley) forces to Pontefract Castle, having taken Hull for the rebels.
23/10/1648Robert Greathead carvingIn late October 1648, Parliamentarian Captain Greathead was taken prisoner by Captain William Paulden and put in the dungeon (magazine) at Pontefract Castle. Once in captivity, however, he managed to hide the fact that he was an officer. He may well have been from Nottinghamshire and when Colonel Morris ransomed him in January 1649 he was still under the impression that Greathead was still a trooper.
24/10/1252On 24th October 1252, as evidence of his favourable noble standing, Edmund de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was awarded a gift of six deer by Henry III from the forest of Rockingham.

Next week in history

DateEvent
2/11/1536On 2nd November 1536, general pardons to all rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace who lived north of Doncaster, for any offences committed before 1st November, were drafted. These were very similar to the terms offered the Lincolnshire rebels the previous month. However, excepted persons were Robert Aske, Hutton of Snape, Kitchen of Beverley, bailiff William Ombler, shoemaker Henry Coke of Durham, Maunsell, Vicar of Brayton and four unnamed others.
3/11/1315On 5th October 1315, Sir John Lilburn, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster’s (lord of Pontefract) retainer, seized Knaresborough Castle, which Amory had held for the king since December 1314. Alton Castle in Staffordshire, also in Amory’s custody, was evidently attacked at the same time, for on 3rd November Lancaster was ordered to deliver both the castles to the sheriffs of the respective counties. Knaresborough was held by the Earl’s men until 29th January 1316, having come under siege from William Roos of Helmsley, John Mowbray, John Marmion, Ralph de Bulmer, John Fauconberg, Simon Ward, and other Yorkshire magnates assembled by the sheriff (an interesting reflection of the opposition to Lancaster among a section of the northern baronage). Lilburn himself was pardoned in March. Once again Lancaster’s power had been demonstrated.
3/11/1318On 3rd November 1318, King Edward II issued a Parliamentary writ ordering Thomas of Lancaster to cease attacking the Yorkshire Castles of John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey. One personal reason for Lancaster’s vendetta against de Warren had been that, in 1317, his wife Alice had been carried off from Cranford in Dorset, to Reigate by a knight of the Earl of Warenne, “not, however, by way of adultery, but in contempt of the Earl”. The king offered to do justice in the dispute towards Lancaster if he would desist. The chronicle of St. Werburgh's, Chester, records the devastation of all Warenne's lands north of the River Trent at this time.
3/11/1648On 3rd November 1648, Oliver Cromwell Came back to Pontefract (where he had been around the 10th of August) during its third siege, fresh from his victory at Preston (17th-19th August) over Royalist and Scots’ forces commanded by the Duke of Hamilton. His main aim was to prevent any more sallies from the garrison by Royalist forces. He spent about two weeks there before being called south on matters concerning the king’s trial.
4/11/1250On 4th November 1250, Edmund de Lacy, later lord of Pontefract, was awarded a grant for a weekly market to move from Thursday to Sunday in his Bradford manor and two days later was pardoned for misdemeanours committed in the royal forest.
4/11/1461On 4th November 1461, a nine-years-old Richard, brother of Edward IV, soon to be steward of the Duchy of Lancaster north of Trent with official residence at Pontefract Castle, was created Duke of Gloucester. The title was highly significant because of its association with the youngest sons of previous kings (Edward III’s, Henry IV’s) and, in Edward’s eyes bolstered the legitimacy of his claim to the throne by identifying his father (Richard, Duke of York) as a rightful king.
4/11/1648Byram HallOn 4th November 1648, during the third siege of Pontefract Castle, Cromwell took up headquarters at Byram Hall at Brotherton. (The hall is now mostly demolished apart from a service wing which is grade II listed)
7/11/1448Richard Duke of York's (lord of Sandal Castle) son, John, was born at Neyte on Thursday 7th Nov 1448.