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Early in September, the Parliamentarian forces of ColonelGeneral Poyntz, under the command of Colonel Robert Overton, laid siege to Sandal Castle,46 and planted four great batteries around it, with which they opened a heavy fire on the fortress. During an interval in the cannonade a duel was fought between Thomas Naylor of Wakefield and Ferdinand Blacker of Blacker Hall, Crigglestone, Captainlieut. in Sir John Savile's troop of horse; the antagonists met on horseback, swords and pistols were the weapons used, but, unfortunately, the result of this contretemps has not been handed down to us. Previously to the combat, Captain Blacker made his will on September 19, which, however, was not proved until February 25, 1650.
The castle was well provisioned and garrisoned by a force of one hundred officers and men, who were described by The Parliament's Post, a Commonwealth paper, as "a packe of as bold and desperate fellowes as any that were in all that Country, or peradventure in the Kingdome." After the great guns had played for several days on the walls, several breaches were made in them, which the besieged endeavoured to repair with sods and earth. In the afternoon of Tuesday, September 30th, Colonel Overton drew up his forces to storm the breach, which his batteries had made in the curtain wall, when the besieged sent out a flag of truce desiring a parley. The Parliamentarian commander gave them the choice of yielding themselves prisoners or abiding the hazard of a storm; to this summons Colonel Bonivant gave a very decided answer, that before they would lose their liberty they would risk the chances of war. Thereupon Colonel Overton, as he wrote to the Committee of War at York," condescended to a parley; for the avoyding the great danger of an uncertaine and desperate attempt by storme, which could not in all likelihood have been effected without great losse and hazzard." A herald was then sent to the castle with the following summons :
For the Governour of Sandall Castle.
Sir. In behalfe of our Countrey (which we serve) I summon you to render this Castle into our hands for the use of the publique. And though our neglect of this place hitherto hath occasioned your Honour, and some effusion of blood, be advised to close with the Almighties
46 The True Informer, Sept. 6, 1645.
Overtures of mercy ere it be too late otherwise the justice of God and the civility of men will I doubt not most evidently appeare in the obstinate and wilfull destruction of your selves. Sir, I wish this advice may prove effectuall to you, as it will be satisfactory to Your humble servant R. Overton.
To this summons a short but sharp reply was sent :
Sir. To render our selves prisoners, we will not, but if you please that we may treat upon our march away, wee shall have done in two words, and this is the resolution of
The articles of rendition were then agreed to by Majors Crooke and Hooper on behalf of Colonel Overton, and by Captain John Benson on behalf of Colonel Bonivant, and ran thus :
First, it is agreed upon that the Governour of Sandall Castle himself in person with the rest of the Gentlemen Officers, and Souldiers shall have liberty to march to Welbeck and to have a sufficient convoy, and foure dayes time to march thither.
2. All Officers, Gentlemen and Souldiers to the number of 12 to carry one sute of cloathes and the cloathes which they weare, the rest of the common men to have only the sute they weare, no more.
3. That the Governour and another Gentleman may have two horses to ride on, to be lent, and returned.
4. That all Gentlemen Officers, Reformadoes and Souldiers have free quarters during their march.
5. That all sick and wounded men in the Garrison shall have the libertie of these articles, and all other in generall that please for staying at home, and of going abroad into what part of the Countrey they please, so they hold not intelligence with the king's party, or come into his garison without order, and for that shall have the Generall on Committee for warres protection for their residence there.
6. That two hostages of either party be given for the performance of these articles, and that no Officer or Souldier, under Col. Overton's command shall goe into the castle before tomorrow ten a clock, except the two who are appointed to view the provisions of war, that they be not imbezzled, and to search that no man carry money out with them, which if it be found about any man, he is to remaine prisoner, but no man is to be searched after he come out of the Castle.
7. And in consideration whereof it is agreed that all persons now in the Castle shall be forthwith upon the surrender, by eight of the clock tomorrow morning as Col. Overton pleaseth.
8. All Ammunition and provision of war, to be delivered, together with the Castle, which is to be surrendered by ten a clock tomorrow, being the first day of October.
9. That the Convoy have foure dayes to returne in and that they
march no further of a day with their Convoy than the Governour of Sandall Castle pleaseth, so they exceed not their time."7
Signed. Will Crooke
Thus fell Sandal Castle, after sustaining a final siege of three weeks' duration, and the officers and men within it, to the number of 100, marched away to Welbeck House in Lincolnshire. When the conquerors entered on Wednesday morning, October the 1st, they took possession of one hundred muskets, fifty pikes, twenty halberts, one hundred and fifty swords, two barrels of gunpowder, divers skeanes of match, a small quantity of bullets, and a good store of beer, corn, beef, and other provisions.
Sandal Castle was the last but two (Skipton and Bolton) of the Yorkshire castles to hold out for the king, and great was the rejoicing of the Roundheads at its fall, for it was described in The Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer, of Oct. 7, 1645, as "the most resolute of all the three Northern Garrisons which Col.-Generall Poyntz left to reduce." For a short time Colonel Overton's troops occupied the castle, but on Thursday, April 30, 1646, the House of Commons. resolved that along with other inland castles, Sandal should be made untenable, and no garrison kept or maintained
During the siege, the Cross in Cock and Bottle lane, that had been erected by Edward the Fourth in memory of his father, the Duke of York, on the spot where he fell at the battle of Wakefield, was destroyed by the Roundhead soldiery.
Soon after the Restoration of Charles the Second to the throne, Major Beaumont disposed of this estate, for by an indenture dated Nov. 1, 1662, he sold his park at Sandal with all the rights, members and appurtenances thereof, late parcel of the annexed possessions of the Duchy of Lancaster, and sometime being parcel of the lands and possessions of the Duke of York, with all pales, stone walls, dytches and hedges thereto belonging, to John Pollard, servant to Francis
47 The Moderate Intelligencer; Mercurius Britannicus; a continuation of certaine speciall and Remarkable passages informed to the Parliament; the City Scout the Parliament's Post; the King
domes Weekly Intelligencer; Mercurius Civicus; the Weekly Account; a Diary, or an Exact Journal, from Sept. 11 to Oct. 9, 1645.