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rueful faces staring so fiercely to Heaven." 20 When digging the foundations of Portobello house in 1825, and in forming the sunk fence there, on the site of the battle, human bones, broken swords, spurs and fragments of armour were turned


On the Duke's death, his son Edward, Earl of March, became the owner of Sandal Castle, and after the decisive battle of Towton on Palm Sunday, 1461, King of England; it was then decided that he should keep all his own lands as private fiefs, and not as Crown possessions. Sir John Savile of Thornhill was appointed seneschal of Wakefield, and occasionally resided at Sandal Castle, where he died on the morrow of the feast of St. Basil, 1482. He had a great funeral, and was carried through Wakefield and sumptuously buried at Thornhill. In 1470, when the chancel of Wakefield parish church was rebuilt, Sir John filled the east window with painted glass; on the right side was "a knight kneeling in his coate, a Saviles armes on his brest, behind him nine sonnes, each having his coate on his brest." On the left side of the window was "a woman (his wife Alice Gascoigne) kneeling, having Gascoigne and Savile's coat impaled; behind her eight daughters.


Richard the Third, during his brief reign, spent some time. at Sandal; "he looked upon himself as a Yorkshireman, and regarded the people with a kindness which was fully returned. He understood the ways of the people, and showed that he valued their affection. No King of England has been more beloved in York. He was constantly passing to and fro in the county," 22 and some elm trees growing on the east side of the Castle Lane are still spoken of as "Richard the Third's trees," though the present elms cannot be those of four centuries ago. On June 3, 1484, he gave a warrant to John Woderove, Receiver of Wakefield, to build a new tower in the Castle, and to have such sums of money from the royal exchequer as he should require for the purpose; 23 he also ordered a tun of wine to be delivered there yearly for the use of the castle, and on the 20th of July following, while staying at York, Richard assigned the

20 Quoted from a paper read before the Wakefield Photographic Society by A. W. Stanfield, Esq., 1893.

21 The Cathedral Church of Wake

field, p. 84.

Raine, p. 87.


Towns, York. Canon

Harleian MS. Num. 433, 1881.

manors of Ulverstone and Thirnom in Lancashire for the maintenance of his household at Sandal.24 During the residence of his Council there, on October 15, an order was given to build a bakehouse and a brewhouse; 25 and on the 1st of the following February, Edmunde Banke was presented to the office of Chaplain in St. Nicholas Chapel. On the 25th, Richard Beeston," an Esquire of our Chamber," was appointed Constable and Janitor of Sandal Castle, with an annuity of £15 in addition to certain other payments.26

After the death of Richard on Bosworth field, and the accession of Henry the Seventh, there seems to have been a change in the personnel of the castle, for Sir John Saville, knight, of Lupset, became constable, 27 and two years later the rents and profits from the castle and manor were appropriated to the defence of Berwick-upon-Tweed, but were afterwards resumed.23 It was probably about this time that the Tudor domestic buildings in the courtyard of the castle were erected for the residence of the seneschals and others; these were half-timbered houses of two storeys with lofty gabled roofs.

In 1495, the estates that had been settled on Edmund of Langley, and which had been the private property of the Dukes of York, even when they came to the throne in the person of Edward the Fourth, were declared to be for ever annexed to the Crown as the property of the sovereign, there being then no apparent likelihood of the succession being disturbed. Thus Sandal once again became a Crown possession, and during the reign of the eighth Henry we have a complete list of the changes in the officers at the castle; thus in 1521 Sir Richard Tempest was promised the reversion of the office of constable there, but in 1533, Thomas, Earl of Rutland, obtained the post.29 The chaplains in charge of the chapel of St. Nicholas within the castle during this period, were Matthew Shepherd, succeeded in 1516 by John Morice, whilst the last chaplain was Ranf Birkhede. At the dissolution of the chantries this priest was found to be diligent in celebrating mass in the chapel, and in praying for the prosperity of the king's royal

24 Harleian MS. Num. 433, 1917.

25 Addl. MS. 24439.

25 Put. Rolls, 2 Ric. III.

Pat. Rolls, 1 Hen. VII.

23 Parl. Rolls, 3 Hen. VII.

29 Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII. J. S. Brewer.

majesty; but that did not save him, and with hundreds of other priests he was turned out on a pension of £5 per annum.30 An inventory was taken of the goods and plate in the chapel, when the former were found to be of the value of 17s. 2d., and the plate 25s.31 The chantry endowment was chiefly from rents in the neighbourhood, and amounted to £5 14s. 11d., of which a tenth went yearly to the king. In 1391, the chaplain to this chapel received a stipend of £4 5s. Od., which does not look as if the income advanced with the needs of the times.32 The chapel being disused was allowed to fall into decay.

During the reign of Queen Mary, the lordship of Wakefield, with the Castle of Sandal, was transferred to the Duchy of Lancaster by charter dated April 15, 1558. Elizabeth appointed a commission to report upon the condition of this among other castles, and the lords and others who drew up the report state "that it is especially to be meynteyned because it standith in a strong countrie of men amongst whom yf any rebellion shulde happen as god forbid this castle must be the staie of it and therfore wourthie to be kept and meynteyned." The constable of the castle and steward of the manor was Sir John Tempest, who had £17 6s. Sd. as his fees; the park attached to the castle was one mile in circuit.33 On the 30th of December, 1560, Elizabeth ordered Sir John Tempest, constable and steward, to appoint a convenient place for the safe keeping of the Court Rolls and other records and writings belonging to the manor of Wakefield, which were then lying within the church of Wakefield, and that they be conveyed to Sandal Castle, and that three locks and keys be affixed to the door of the place where the records were kept.34 At this period the castle was used as the chief residence for the constable and steward of the manor of Wakefield, and prisoners were committed to the castle for arrears of the king's rent, and for trespassing or poaching, and were under the care of a gaoler, who had a house within the walls. The park

30 Exchequer, Ancient Miscellanea

2. Pensions to Incumbents of Charities. 31 Chantry Certificates. Yorkshire, No. 65.

32 Bailiff's accounts of profits and expenses of the Lordship of Wakefield,

14 Ric. II., printed in The Rectory Manor of Wakefield.

3 Duchy of Lancaster Records, xxv. K. 25c.

34 Duchy of Lancaster Records, Class XI. No. 97, fo. 28.

adjoining was of forty acres, palisaded round, and contained about thirty fallow deer.35

In 1566, Queen Elizabeth granted Sandal Castle in fee farm to Edward Carey, the son of her cousin, Lord Hunsdon, who came to reside there, and in the disturbances of the North in 1569, raised men and arms to oppose the rebels.

Sir Edward Carey conveyed Sandal to his son-in-law, Sir John Savile, knight of Howley, first Mayor of Leeds in 1662, keeper of the rolls for the West Riding, high steward of Wakefield, Pontefract, and Bradford, M.P. for the county, who was created Baron Savile of Pontefract on July 21, 1628, and died August 30, 1630, in his 74th year. The estate next came into the possession of William Savile of Kirkgate, Wakefield, deputy-steward of the manor of Wakefield, and steward of the manor of Newland, the first spokesman and a great benefactor of the Grammar School at Wakefield, jointly with John Hanson of Woodhouse, who conveyed it to Sir Richard Beaumont of Whitley Hall, born in August, 1574, created a knight in 1603, baronet in 1627; in October, 1617, he petitioned the king for a grant of “ Hall Lathes, part of the manor of Sandal," to be impaled with his small park adjacent, which petition was granted. Sir Richard died in 1634, holding Sandal Castle and park of the king (Charles I.), in fee farm by the rent of £1 6s. 8d. per annum, payable at the feasts of the Annunciation and St. Michael the Archangel. By his will, dated Nov. 30, 1630, he left his castle and park of Sandal to his cousin Major Thomas Beaumont, "that he might have a little venison therefrom to refresh his friends with at Whitley, when they came to see him."


When the Civil War broke out, Sandal Castle was owned by Major Beaumont, and it was garrisoned for the king, Major Ward being placed in command; he did not, however, long enjoy his position, for, coming down the stairs from the house of office in the castle, he fell and broke his neck, and was buried within the castle grounds. He was succeeded in the governorship by Colonel George Bonivant.

Early in 1645, Lord Fairfax entrusted the siege of Sandal

Survey of the Manor of Wakefield, 37 Hen. VIII. in the Exchequer.


Castle to Sir John Savile of Lupset, who, whilst beleaguering the castle, on Thursday, April 10th, caused the drums to beat for prayers. Hearing this, Col. Bonivant also made his drums to beat as if for prayers, so as to let the enemy think themselves secure, and while the besiegers, who described by a Royalist diarist as "hipocriticall and trecherous Rebells," were "singing psalmes before Sermond," those within the castle "dedicated themselves unto God, with upright hartes and religious praiers in breefe manor," 26 suddenly threw open the gate, made three sallies and fell upon the Roundheads, who, taken by surprise, were totally defeated, with a loss of 42 men killed and over 50 taken prisoners, one of whom was a captain, and the capture of seven score arms. Sir John Saville was so dejected at this reverse, that he "packt up bag and baggage, raised the seidge, and went quite away (to Pontefract), with a small number in comparison of those he brought and lost before Sandall Castle." 37 On the 16th, Col. Bonivant sent news to those shut up in Pontefract Castle of the exploit.

During the first week in May, the soldiers within the Castle, said by a Commonwealth paper 38 to be "desperate fellows," made a sally for the sole purpose of picking Mayblossom, but while thus engaged, they came upon a party of the enemy, who attacked them and beat them back into the castle without their May, but with the loss of eight men killed, several wounded and taken prisoners; 39 the commander of the victorious soldiers wrote unto a friend of his in London, that "the rogues did fight most divelishly." After this defeat, it was thought better to strengthen the garrison at Sandal, and on May 14th, Captain John Benson, who had enlisted in Sir George Wentworth's division of the gentlemen volunteers of Yorkshire, but had afterwards. exchanged into Sir John Ramsden's company, left Pontefract Castle, where he had been since the commencement of the war, and went to Sandal Castle, taking his own man and two soldiers with him; here he remained until the siege was over.4 40

36 A journal of the first siege of Pontefract Castle, kept by Nathan Drake, printed in Holme's Sieges of Pontefract Castle, p. 49.

37 Mercurius Aulicus, from April 20 to April 27, 1645.

38 A Diary or an Exact Journal, from Oct. 2 to Oct. 9, 1645.

39 A Diary, or an Exact Journal, from May 8-15, 1645.

Drake's Journal,

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