Today In History

Pontefract Castle
Pontefract Castle 14th Century
1322 On 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.’
1381 On 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.
Pontefract Castle 17th Century
1645 On 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.