This Coming Week In History

This week in history

3/7/1282On 3rd July 1282, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, agreed with Roger de Mowbray, 1st Baron Mowbray, to exchange lands resulting in a consolidation of areas to the northern and south-eastern parts of Henry’s Pontefract estates.
3/7/1645On 3rd and 4th July 1645, and at different times, a brisk fire of musketry was maintained on both Parliamentary and Royalist sides. Towards evening, the  Parliamentary forces' horse, which had been drawn up in the West Field for most of the day, began to depart to their quarters. However a considerable body remained all night and kept up considerable fire.
3/7/1901On 3rd July 1901, the ‘Wakefield Advertiser and Gazette’ reported that a garden party and sale of work took place at Sandal Castle in aid of the Wesleyan Chapel and Sunday Schools. Mr Isaac Briggs JP performed the opening ceremony.
4/7/1318On 4th July 1318, the Earl of Pembroke, Hugh Despenser the Younger, 1st Baron Badlesmere, the Archbishop of Dublin, and the Bishops of Ely and Norwich went from the court’s HQ at Northampton to meet Thomas, Earl of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract. They agreed to a cancellation of royal grants that had breached the Ordinances of 1311 and that Roger d’Amory, Hugh d’Audley (Despenser’s wife’s sisters’ husbands) and Baron William Montague should only be allowed at court when summoned for military service.
4/7/1399On 4th July 1399, Henry Bolingbroke landed at Ravenspur, Humberside from France with a small band of exiles attempting to overthrow King Richard II
4/7/1483On 4th July 1483, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, now proclaimed Richard III, lord of Sandal, with his wife, Anne, arrived at the Tower of London in advance of their coronation in two days’ time. A 10pm curfew was imposed in London with Richard’s soldiers ‘guarding’ the streets.
4/7/1648On 4th July 1648, it was reported by The Parliament Committee for Advance of Money (set up in November 1642, and ceasing in 1656, to produce voluntary loans and subsequently compulsory assessments for the fight against Charles I and from 1645 to uncover the concealed resources of Royalist ‘delinquents’) that Captain William Armitage of Netherton had raised forces and money for the King at Pontefract Castle. He had been taken prisoner to Featherstone by Sir Henry Cholmley’s regiment along with thirty men and horse.
4/7/1752On 4th July 1752, Sir Robert Monckton-Arundel, 4th Viscount Galway, was born. He served as MP for the family seat of Pontefract in 1774 and from 1780-1783, then giving up his seat following his appointment as envoy to the Elector Palatine. However, on this appointment not materialising, he was elected to the York constituency in 1783. Failing to re-gain Pontefract in 1790, he was successful in 1796 and resigned his seat in 1802. He was appointed a Privy Councillor in 1784 and was Comptroller of the Household (ancient position in the royal household including helping with the auditing of accounts, arranging of royal travel and adjudicating upon offences committed within the bounds of the palace) from 1784-1787.
5/7/1561On 5th July 1561, Edward Rusby (or Rustbie) was married to Grace Alline in Ackworth Parish Church. Rusby was later to be Mayor of Pontefract in 1582 having resided at Hundhill in the 1570s.
6/7/1296On the Octaves of Apostles Peter and Paul (6th July 1296), magnates and prelates of Scotland assembled a parliament at Stirling. The Chronicle of Lanercost records: ‘They insultingly refused audience to my lord the Earl of Warenne, father-in-law of the King of Scotland, and to the other envoys of my lord the King of England ; nor would they even allow so great a man, albeit a kinsman of their own king, to enter the castle.’
6/7/1310On 6th July 1310, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was made Steward of the Manor of Deeping in Lincolnshire.
6/7/1388On 6th July 1388, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, ratified the Treaty of Bayonne (Trancoso) renouncing his rights to the throne of Castile. The marriage of the heirs of both John I of Castile and Gaunt was to with both created as ‘Prince and Princess of the Asturias’ and succeeding John I. All the sons of Pedro I still in prison were to be released and those in exile allowed to return to Castile. There was also an obligation for the King of Castile to pay compensation to Gaunt of 600,000 gold francs.
6/7/1449On the 6th July 1449, Richard Duke of York - owner of Sandal castle - arrives at Howth - a peninsular outside of Dublin - to take up his position as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. It is said that he was 'received with great honour' whilst he had been given complete control over all of the income from Ireland as well as being granted 4000 marks from England for his first two years there, to be followed by an income of £2000 per annum for each year that followed.
6/7/1483On 6th July 1483, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, lord of Sandal, was crowned Richard III before his Queen, Anne Neville, at Westminster Abbey by Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury. Anne’s train was borne by Margaret, Countess of Richmond, mother of the future Henry VII. Albeit generally regarded as a magnificent ceremony, not everyone viewed it as such. A contemporary chronicler, Fabyan, noted: ‘some lords..murmured and grudged against him, in such wise that few or none favoured his party except it were for dread or for the great gifts they received from him.’ At Westminster Hall’s ceremonial banquet, the King’s Champion, Sir Robert Dymock, entered on horseback in armour and challenged anyone to question Richard’s right to be king. The Hall erupted into an acclamation of ‘King Richard’.
6/7/1648On 6th July 1648, Parliamentarian Colonel Sir Edward Rossiter wrote from Nottingham to William Lenthall, Speaker of the House of Commons: ‘It hath pleased God to give us a seasonable victory over the Pontefract forces, an increasing, active, and resolved enemy. . . The timely advance of Sir Henry Cholmely with those under his command — stopping their retreat by his lying on the North side Trent — gave us this opportunity of fighting them. My present indisposition occasioned by my wounds received in this sharp engagement will not give me leave to present you with an account thereof in writing. I have therefore sent my Captain- Lieutenant to give you a full narrative of the whole business.’. The Commons Journals also noted that on 6th July 1648: ‘A letter from Colonel Edward Rossiter ….giving notice of the great victory it has pleased God to bestow upon the forces under his command against the Pontefract forces under the command of Sir Philip Mouncton (sic), general, on the 5th July 1648, in Willoughby fields.’ The battle in Nottinghamshire, close to the Leicestershire border, had seen Royalist soldiers from Pontefract Castle on their way to relieve the siege of Colchester, defeated by a combined Midlands’ force of Parliamentarians.
6/7/1933On 6th July 1933, an urn in Henry VII’s chapel in Westminster Abbey containing bones, possibly of the ‘Princes in The Tower’ was opened in the presence of the Dean of Westminster, Lord Moynihan, Sir Knapp-Fisher (Chapter clerk), Lawrence E Tanner, Professor W Wright, Mr Aymer Vallance, Mr W Bishop (clerk of the works), Mr G C Drake (dean’s verger) and four Abbey staff. The aim of the investigation was to determine whether the remains were those of Edward V and his younger brother, Richard of York, and shed light on the manner of (and possibly responsibility for) their deaths. Richard III, lord of Sandal, has, since their disappearance in late summer 1483, been implicated in their supposed deaths by many historians albeit other perpetrators have been named and no ‘smoking gun’ for any person has been found.
7/7/1307On 7th July 1307, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was present at the deathbed of Edward I at Burgh-by-Sands, six miles northwest of Carlisle, on the king’s journey to Scotland. He was one of only three people to whom letters were written by the royal household concerning Edward’s death; the others being Queen Eleanor and Edward, Prince of Wales.  
7/7/1447Richard Duke of York's (lord of Sandal Castle) son, William, was born at Fotheringhay on Friday 7th July 1447.
7/7/1648On 7th July 1648, Parliamentarian Sir John Bourchier wrote to William Lenthall, Speaker of the House of Commons desiring that two of the collectors of the Revenue might be credited in their accounts with two sums of £59 (£10355 in today’s money) and £50 (£8800) respectively advanced by them for setting forth the Yorkshire forces sent against the enemy at Pontefract.
7/7/1928On 7th July 1928, a tennis tournament was held in the grounds of Pontefract Castle with play not concluding until dusk.
8/7/1281On 8th July 1281, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, provided testimony to the Crown about the surrender of Welsh 'rebel', Ifor ap Gruffud.
8/7/1423On 8th July 1423, the Calendar of Patent Rolls recorded that William Welles was appointed “to take and provide beeves, muttons, fish, capons, hens, chickens, geese and other victuals belonging to the offices of the caterer and of the poultry for the household expenses of the king of Scots during his journey to Pontefract, and for his return to London”. James I of Scotland (king in absentia) was taken to Pontefract for negotiations regarding his release from English captivity.
8/7/1645On 8th July 1645, Parliament's  Colonel General Poyntz went down to the Barbican and asked to speak to the governor of the garrison. The governor's son said his father was not there. General Poyntz demanded the surrender of the castle and said that if they did this within three days they would obtain honourable terms. If they delayed eleven or fourteen days, they might expect nothing but to walk with a white rod in their hands as soldiers did in the Low Countries. The governor's son replied 'that the castle be kept for the King and that if they stayed 14 days and 14 after that, there were as many gentleman in the castle as would make many a bloody head before they parted with it'. Soon after this, General Poyntz said goodnight and went away.
8/7/1887On 8th July 1887, it was reported that Sandal Castle and its grounds had been handed over to the Local Board by Sir Lionel Pilkington.
9/7/1398On 9th July 1398, Henry Bolingbroke was at Pontefract Castle with his father, John of Gaunt, on his travels around the country. He had been ordered by Richard II to settle a dispute with Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk and ex-Earl Marshal, concerning ‘slanderous’ allegations of murder Henry had made against Mowbray. The settlement would be by way of a duel at Coventry in the autumn.
9/7/1645On 9th July 1645, the besieging Parliamentary forces began a fence from their works opposite Swillington Tower, along the hedge to Denwell Lane and from this position they greatly annoyed anyone coming from the castle to cut grass.

Last week in history

27/6/1461On 27th June 1461, an eight-years-old Richard, brother of Edward IV and later to be Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III and steward of the Duchy of Lancaster north of Trent with official residence at Pontefract Castle, was amongst twenty-eight Knights of the Bath created by Edward in preparation for his coronation the following day.
27/6/1645On 27th June 1645, the besieging Parliamentary forces of Pontefract Castle had a Day of Thanksgiving for the late success and victory over the king at the Battle of Naseby. They then fired volleys and played their cannon on the besieged Royalists.
28/6/1645At the end of June 1645, Sandal Castle was besieged by a force of 300 dragoons under Colonel Morgan. These were  mounted infantry with matchlock muskets. However, with insufficient fodder for their horses, they could not continue the siege and withdrew to Pontefract.
28/6/1645On 28th June 1645, news was received by the castle garrison of a Royalist success at Newark. On this day, permission was given to Lady Cutler to leave the castle, after being trapped there attending the funeral of her husband, Sir Jarvis Cutler. However, the besieging Parliamentary forces seized her and  along with her maid, chaplain, and accompanying  tenant they were searched to see if they were carrying any letters. She was kept till the following day when she returned to the castle. Here she was refused admission and remained in the street until 10 o'clock with her maid and chaplain. They were then permitted to go into the town where they remained until the next day and then departed.
28/6/1892On 28th June 1892, ‘The Journal of Gas Lighting, Water Supply and Sanitary Improvement’ recorded: ‘Completion of the New Water Scheme for Pontefract.—The Roall water scheme to supply Pontefract and the district with an improved supply of water was completed yesterday week. The first sod of this undertaking was turned on July 25, 1889, by the then Mayor (Mr. W. Mathers) ; and the work has been satisfactorily carried out under the supervision of Mr. G. Hodson, the Engineer, by Messrs. Vickers and Son, of Nottingham. The mains from the pumping-station at Roall are laid for a distance of nine miles to the storage reservoir on the Park Hill at Pontefract. The cost of the works will amount to close upon £28,000 (£3.64 million in today’s money). Since the completion of the work, the contractors have been encountering serious difficulties. Last Thursday morning, when pumping operations commenced, owing to an accumulation of air in the mains, the pipe burst in Teront Street, Tanshelf, and a large volume of water poured forth, and caused a suspension of traffic. The power required to force the water into the reservoir on the Park Hill is immense, and it is feared other difficulties may arise before the works are a thorough success.’
28/6/1940On 28th June 1940, it was reported that a one-hundred-years-old cannon that had stood at Sandal castle for nearly thirty years was to be presented to Wakefield Corporation as part of the war’s scrap metal collection scheme. The cannon had been given to Mr Edwin Lodge Hirst when he was Mayor in 1912.
29/6/1237On 29th June 1237, John de Lacy, Baron of Pontefract, was appointed by Henry III as one of several lords overseeing the arrival and mission of Cardinal Otto of Tonengo, Pope Gregory IX’s legate. Otto had been requested by the king in order to provide guidance and help in overcoming his precarious financial situation and faltering peace treaty with Scotland. His barons were resentful and mistrusting of foreign interference in matters of state with Matthew Paris recording: “Our king perverts all things. In every way he sets at nought our laws and disregards his plighted faith and promises……… now he has secretly called a legate into the country, who will change the whole face of the land: now he gives and now at will he takes back what he has given.” Otto was to remain in England until the 7th January 1241.
29/6/1347House of YorkOn 29th June 1347, John de Warenne, the 7th and final Earl of Surrey (some historians show him as the 8th Earl) died at Conisbrough Castle and was buried in Lewes Priory, East Sussex. The earl's land, including Sandal Castle, reverted to the crown. John had lost his possessions during his dispute of 1317 with Thomas Earl of Lancaster and, on the subsequent execution of Thomas in March 1322, the lands became the Crown's ownership. It was not until 1326 that John regained some of his lands, and only in 1334 that he regained the castles at Conisbrough and Sandal, but only on the proviso they remained with him until his death, when they would again revert to the Crown. On the death of John, Sandal passed to Edward III who granted it to his fourth son Edmund Langley, Duke of York. It would be from this lineage that the castle would come into the possession of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, and become his key base in the North during the Wars of the Roses 1455-1485.
30/6/1253At some time in 1253 (no sources give an exact date), John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, was convicted of unjustly enclosing common land in Wakefield and was ordered to remove the fences he had just erected.  John was known as a strict and unpopular landlord.
30/6/1268At some stage in 1268 (some sources credit this to 1269 although there is no exact date for either),  John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, was involved in a land dispute with Henry de Lacy, Lord of Pontefract. This quarrel was in danger of escalating into a private war, with both sides raising armies, until King Henry III intervened and the royal justices determined that the pastureland in question belonged to Henry de Lacy.
30/6/1286On 30th June 1286, John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey, was born. He succeeded his grandfather, John de Warenne (his father having been killed in a tournament when he was only six months old), in September 1304 as Earl of Surrey, becoming a ward of Edward I.  He was eight years old when his mother died. In 1306, he was married to King Edward I's granddaughter, Joan of Bar, when she was only ten. The marriage was unsuccessful and Joan was largely abandoned by her husband who had been trying to divorce her since 1313. John would have numerous illegitimate children during his life and would take ownership of Sandal Castle in 1304 at the age of eighteen. De Warenne’s aunt, Isabella de Warenne, was married to John Balliol, who became king of Scotland in 1292.
30/6/1289At some stage in 1289 (the date is unclear), John de Warenne , 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, and Henry de Lacy Earl of Lincoln and owner of Pontefract Castle, formed part of a commission that was set up to hear complaints by the Scots of extortions committed by northern sheriffs.
30/6/1404On 30th June 1404, Henry IV, from Pontefract, issued a passport for a quarter of a year to Sir John Sinclair, brother of Henry II Sinclair, Earl of Orkney. Henry had been captured following the Battle of Homildon Hill in 1402 and released on ransom. The battle had been a disastrous defeat for the Scots under Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas, but a triumph for English forces led by Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, and his son Harry ‘Hotspur’. It is surmised that Sinclair’s passport was a ‘safe passage’ granted by the king.
30/6/1484On 30th June 1484, Richard III, lord of Sandal, and one-time Lord High Admiral of England, inspected the royal fleet at Scarborough to ensure its preparedness against incursions or invasion by the French or Scots and its ability to prevent the secreting of important persons, such as his nieces or ‘conspiring’ nobles, to the continent.
30/6/1537On 30th June 1537, Lord Darcy, Constable of Pontefract Castle during the previous year’s Pilgrimage of Grace, was beheaded on Tower Hill and his head exposed on London Bridge. Contrary to his wishes that his whole body be buried by that of his second wife, Edith Sandys, Lady Neville, in the Friary at Greenwich, his headless body was buried at the Crossed Friars beside the Tower of London.
30/6/1645On 30th June 1645, the besieging Parliamentary forces had a general rendezvous on Brotherton Marsh of all their horse in the area, which amounted to a thousand. They departed then in companies to different villages. The besiegers relieved their guard at New Hall with at least 600 men and different bodies of infantry moving in all directions. This led to the governor of the castle to conclude that the enemy seriously intended to assault the castle and he gave orders that the guard should be doubled and strict watch kept.
30/6/1888On 30th June 1888, the ‘Leeds Times’ reported that it had been decided to erect a boundary wall around Sandal Castle and also build a lodge.
1/7/1300On 1st July 1300, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was made Commander of the 1st Division of the King’s Army by Edward I on his Scottish campaign. This position had been similarly conferred on Henry in June 1298.
1/7/1645On 1st July 1645,  the besieged Royalist garrison saw the Parliamentarians  carrying faggots and scaling ladders down to the church which raised their suspicion of an intended assault. The guards were then doubled and at about 12 o'clock most of the troops were under arms, ready to receive any attack made by the Parliamentary forces. However the opposition remained in their works during the night. The number and strength of the besiegers rendered any sally by the garrison more dangerous to themselves than to the Parliamentary forces and from this period the besieged made no sallies against the enemy's works. On the other hand,  Parliament's Colonel  General Poyntz did not wish to expose his men to danger and so each party watched the other rather than carry on any vigorous enterprises.
1/7/1879On 1st July 1879, public passenger train services began at Baghill railway station (on the Sheffield to York line) greatly increasing access to Pontefract town and castle for Victorian visitors. The castle, by this time, was often viewed as a romantic ruin and pleasure garden with tennis courts and ornamental rose gardens. Tanshelf railway station near the centre of the town had opened eight years earlier giving easy access to Pontefract Racecourse. This station had closed in 1967 but was opened on 11th May 1992 when the line between Wakefield Kirkgate and Pontefract Monkhill was re-opened. Pontefract’s other railway station, Monkhill was opened by the Wakefield, Pontefract and Goole Railway in April 1848.
1/7/1893On 1st July 1893, ‘The Spectator’ magazine reported: ‘Lord Randolph Churchill, speaking at Pontefract on Saturday last, made a very happy point by saying that Mr. Gladstone’s new financial resolutions would condemn Ireland to penal,—he meant, he said, “ financial,”—servitude for six years. This is, indeed, precisely what the Parnellites think of the step taken. They have issued an address to their Irish friends in the United States, imploring their support to resist and defeat this withdrawal of all financial power from the Irish Legislature for this long period, which they regard as fatal to any genuine kind of Home-rule………. The Pontefract by-election ended in the return of the Gladstonian by the narrow majority of 32, Mr. T. W. Nussey receiving 1,191 votes, against 1,159 given for Mr. Elliott Lees, the Conservative.’
2/7/1440On 2nd July 1440, on the day Henry VI sealed the terms of Charles, Duke of Orleans’ release from Imprisonment, he appointed a new Lieutenant-General and Governor of France, Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle) for the second time. York was promised an annual income of £20,000 (£20.3 million in today’s money) to support his position.
2/7/1644Battle_of_Marston_Moor,_1644On 2nd July 1644, Cromwell was victorious at the Battle of Marston Moor at Tockwith, near York. Some of the Royalist survivors escaped the battlefield and took refuge at Pontefract Castle where they joined the garrison under the command of Sir Richard Lowther.
3/7/1282On 3rd July 1282, Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, agreed with Roger de Mowbray, 1st Baron Mowbray, to exchange lands resulting in a consolidation of areas to the northern and south-eastern parts of Henry’s Pontefract estates.
3/7/1645On 3rd and 4th July 1645, and at different times, a brisk fire of musketry was maintained on both Parliamentary and Royalist sides. Towards evening, the  Parliamentary forces' horse, which had been drawn up in the West Field for most of the day, began to depart to their quarters. However a considerable body remained all night and kept up considerable fire.
3/7/1901On 3rd July 1901, the ‘Wakefield Advertiser and Gazette’ reported that a garden party and sale of work took place at Sandal Castle in aid of the Wesleyan Chapel and Sunday Schools. Mr Isaac Briggs JP performed the opening ceremony.

Next week in history

11/7/1372On 11th July 1372, Edward III’s fourth surviving son, Edmund of Langley, married his elder brother John of Gaunt’s (lord of Pontefract) wife younger sister, Isabella of Castile. She was the daughter of the late King Peter of Castile meaning that Edmund and his heirs were now ‘reserves’ in line for the Castilian throne behind Gaunt.
11/7/1656On 11th July 1656, Mary Fisher of Pontefract, and another preacher, Ann Austin, were the first Quakers to visit the English North American colonies arriving in Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Colony on board the Swallow. Having already converted the island of Barbados’s Lieutenant Governor to Quakerism, their reception by the New England Puritans was decidedly more hostile and they were imprisoned for five weeks, undressed in public and examined for signs of witchcraft with their books and pamphlets burned, then deported back to Barbados. A 1658 mission ‘testifying to the Universal Light’ (her words) to the Ottoman Empire to explain Quakerism to Sultan Mehmed IV was received attentively and ‘he was very noble unto me and so were all that were about him’.
12/7/1203On the 12th July 1203, Isabel de Warenne,  the widow of Hamelin de Plantagenet and the 4th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal castle, died and was buried next to Hamelin in the Chapter House at Lewes Priory.
12/7/1288On 12th July 1288, Alice de Lacy, daughter of Sir Henry de Lacy, lord of Pontefract, was granted letters patent of the castle, town, manor and Honour of Halton in the county of Chester, for and during her life with reversion after her death to the king and his heirs.
12/7/1383On 12th July 1383, after the Scots had attacked Wark Castle on the border, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, held talks with their king’s heir, Earl John of Carrick, at Muirhouselaw with a truce agreed on 17th July to last until 2nd February the following year.
12/7/1444On 12th July 1444, a Charter of Confirmation was made at Pontefract by, John, 7th Earl of Sutherland: ‘Charter of Confirmation by John, seventh Earl of Sutherland, to Alexander Sutherland, lord of Torboll, of the lands of Torboll. Confirmation, by John, seventh Earl of Sutherland, narrating that he had seen and caused to be read before him at Pontefract in England, a resignation made by Nicholas of Sutherland, lord of the castle of Duffus, at St. Andrew's chapel, of the lands and tenements of Thurboll with the pertinents, namely, lands to the worth of £40 lying within the earldom of Sutherland and shire of Inverness, into the hands of Robert, Earl of Sutherland, as his overlord, whereupon the Earl granted them to Henry of Sutherland, son of Nicholas, in fee and heritage, to him and his heirs male from the Earl and his heirs, for payment of ward and relief and for rendering three suits at the court of the said Earl in Sutherland.’
12/7/1537On 12th July 1537, Robert Aske, one of the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace, who had besieged Pontefract Castle the previous year, was drawn through the main streets of York on a hurdle prior to execution on a special scaffold erected outside Clifford’s Tower. Rather than experience a traditional hanging, Aske was reputedly hanged alive in chains being slowly suffocating to death and taking several days to die.
12/7/1645On 12th July 1645, Royalist troops received a letter that Sir Marmaduke Langdale had set off with his own forces and 4,000 Irish to raise the siege of Pontefract Castle. The letter was designed to raise spirits and produced the effect intended and the castle agreed to suffer any privations rather than submit to disgraceful terms. If relief did not come, they would consume all food in the castle, set it on fire and either cut their way out through the enemy or nobly fall. After this, two flags of defiance were flown, one from the King's Tower and one from the Round Tower.
13/7/1322On 13th July 1322, Edward II sent the following order from York to Thomas Deyvill, Keeper of the Castle and Honour of Pontefract: ‘To Thomas Deyvill, keeper of the castle and honour of Pontefract, and of certain lands in the king’s hands beyond the water of Ouse, co. York. Order not to intermeddle further with the lands of Roger de Novo Mercato in Womersley, and to restore the issues thereof and Roger’s goods and chattels found there.’
13/7/1381On 13th July 1381, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, was at Berwick on his way back to London from Edinburgh, recalled by a letter from Richard II after riots in the capital. Gaunt was also trying to meet up with his wife, Constance, who had fled the troubles and had been hiding at Knaresborough Castle.
13/7/1645On 13th July 1645, letters were received from Sandal Castle, which gave news of Marmaduke Langdale's approach. The Parliamentary forces had raised some fortifications near Ferrybridge, on Brotherton Marsh and some cannon were taken there to secure the pass. The Parliamentary forces  had an alarm in the night and both horse and foot remained under arms till morning. About four o'clock, they were seen in the West Field drawn up as though ready for an attack. This was the direction in which Langdale had come before to relieve the castle and it was hoped that he was approaching. At this time, the plague prevailed in the town and, as a result of this, Parliament's  General Poyntz withdrew his troops from the town and formed a camp in the West Field, where the general himself henceforth always slept. News that the Skipton horse had pushed through Wakefield and by Sandal in order to join Sir Marmaduke Langdale gave alarm to the Parliamentary forces.
14/7/1364On 14th July 1364, John of Gaunt, by right of his wife Blanche (third cousin), became the new lord of Pontefract and received by royal charter a confirmation of all the privileges which his father-in-law, Henry of Grosmont, the 1st Duke of Lancaster, had had before him.
14/7/1385On the 14th July 1385, Richard II visited Pontefract Castle, on his first military campaign as leader, to engage the invading Scots who, bolstered by a French army of 1,000 men-at-arms and 600 bowmen under General Jean de Vienne, were attacking northern England. He arrived at York on the 16th. John of Gaunt was preparing to meet Richard at Durham after assembling men and supplies from Pontefract.
14/7/1399On 13th or 14th July 1399, Henry Bolingbroke reached Pontefract with an estimated sixty supporters, after landing at Ravenspur on the Humber estuary some two weeks before. As he progressed across Yorkshire, his followers increased with records showing thirty-seven knights and esquires and attendants joining him. At Doncaster, on the 16th of the month, he was similarly acclaimed by the Earl of Northumberland and his son, Henry 'Hotspur' who had become disillusioned with Richard II's administration of northern England.
14/7/1503On 14th July 1503, Margaret Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VII, arrived at Pontefract on her way from Richmond Palace to Scotland to meet her husband, James IV. The marriage had been completed by proxy on 25th January that year at Richmond Palace with the Earl of Bothwell as proxy for the Scottish king. She was met by deputations seven, four and two miles from Pontefract and escorted to the town to be received by its mayor, burgesses, inhabitants and ‘the abbot in pontifical and all the convent’. She left on the 15th for York.
14/7/1919WW1 tank PontefractOn 14th July 1919, a World War I tank (tank No. 289) was awarded to Pontefract by General Benson in recognition of the town’s having subscribed over £2m in War Loans: it was kept at the castle, being removed on 26th September 1934 to Nevison’s Leap and later cut up for salvage in World War II.  
15/7/1483On 15th July 1483, Richard III, lord of Sandal, appointed the Duke of Buckingham as Lord High Constable of England, a higher rank than given to John Howard, Duke of Norfolk. Cornelius Aurelius, author of the early sixteenth-century account, ‘Divisiekroniek’, written in the Low Counties, claimed that Buckingham was responsible for the fate of Edward IV’s two sons, the noted ‘Princes in the Tower’. Aurelius claimed: ‘the Duke of Buckingham killed these children hoping to become king himself….he had read a prophecy about a future King Henry of England….and he believed himself to be this for he was called Henry. And some say..that this Henry…killed only one child and spared the other….and had him secretly abducted out of the country. This child was called Richard…..he came to Brabant to Lady Margaret his aunt…the widow of Duke Charles of Burgundy.’
15/7/1645On 15th July 1645, rumours of impending relief reached the Royalist castle and some of the garrison ventured into the orchard obtaining a considerable supply of apples. Two were killed and others wounded on this venture. In the afternoon, a drum was sent to the castle saying that General Goring and Langdale were routed, and that Cromwell, Fairfax and Rossiter were coming to the besiegers' assistance. The last hope of the garrison was now destroyed and they found themselves surrounded by enemies it was impossible to vanquish.
15/7/1928On 15th July 1928, a parade and drum-head service was held in the grounds of Pontefract Castle attended by 1,000 members of the St John Ambulance Brigade from all parts of the West Riding. Brigadier-General C.R. Ingham Brooke led the proceedings.
16/7/1369On 16th July 1369, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, proceeded to Calais in readiness for a raid into Artois. Edward III could not follow Gaunt as Queen Philippa was ill, leaving Gaunt being shadowed by Charles V’s Normandy troops. Gaunt failed to take the port of Harfleur and assumed a stand-off with the Duke of Burgundy near Ardres with neither side risking a battle.
16/7/1377On 16th July 1377, Richard II was crowned at Westminster Abbey in an abbreviated ceremony to reflect his young age and then carried to Westminster Hall for the coronation banquet. John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, presided as Lord Steward. Richard was to die at Pontefract Castle twenty-three years later.

On 16th July 1645,  Parliament's Colonel General Poyntz sent a letter to the governor of the castle, again summoning him to surrender the castle, and that if he did he might gain honourable terms. The honourable terms were to this effect “That whereas they had heretofore sent to summons the castle which was still rejected, but now taking into consideration the great care and love so many gentlemen soldiers in the castle, and the misery they lived in, the effusion of so much innocent blood which was likely to be made, and many a sackless man in it, they thought once more to summons them, and give them to understand that if they pleased to come to a treaty about surrendering the same they would treat them upon honourable terms with conditions fitting for such a garrison and would give hostages for the same" To this, the governor replied “That it was a matter of too great consequence to treat or give answer at first but he would confer with the knights and the gentlemen of the castle and return an answer as speedily as possible”

16/7/1890On 16th July 1890, the second annual Pontefract tennis tournament, with five events, commenced in the grounds of the castle.
17/7/1328The Chronicle of Lanercost records that on the 17th July 1328: The ‘young king [Edward III] gave his younger sister, my lady Joan of the Tower, in marriage to David, son of Robert de Brus, King of Scotland, he being then a boy five years old. All this was arranged by the king's mother the Queen [dowager] of England, who at that time governed the whole realm. The nuptials were solemnly celebrated at Berwick on Sunday next before the feast of S. Mary Magdalene. The King of England was not present at these nuptials, but the queen mother was there, with the king's brother and his elder sister and my lords the Bishops of Lincoln, Ely and Norwich, and the Earl of Warenne (owner of Sandal Castle) Sir Roger de Mortimer and other English barons, and much people, besides those of Scotland, who assembled in great numbers at those nuptials.’
17/7/1373On 17th July 1373, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, landed at Calais with 6,000 men-at-arms and archers. With the assistance of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and the Duke of Brittany, the army marched towards Bordeaux hoping to engage with the French forces of Charles V in order to recover Aquitaine. On reaching Bordeaux, around December, the exhausted English army found a city devastated by famine and plague. Unanswered pleas, in January 1374, to Edward III for finance and reinforcements, compelled Gaunt to return to England.
17/7/1394On 17th July 1394, seven weeks after the funerals of Mary de Bohun (his daughter-in-law)) and the earlier one of Constance of Castile (his wife), John of Gaunt held a meeting at Pontefract Castle along with: his brother, Edmund, Duke of York; his nephew, Edward, Earl of Rutland; and his brother Thomas, Duke of Gloucester. Probably, Henry Bolingbroke was also in attendance meaning that according to the entail of Edward III, the first, second, fourth and sixth in line to the throne were all present. A letter was sent to Richard II disclaiming any rumours of John of Gaunt plotting to obtain the crown for himself or his son.
17/7/1645On 17th July 1645, Royalist Colonel Lowther sent a letter to Colonel General Poyntz that they were ready to discuss surrender as soon as the place and time was appointed. The besieging Parliamentary forces decided to take their time about discussions as they heard from a garrison captain that the castle had provisions for only 5 days or slightly more. The besiegers intended to starve out the garrison, then to strip the soldiers and pillage the castle.