Wednesday, 19 August 2015

"To Love and Wait Upon"

Inscription on the tomb of Sir Thomas Vaughan at Westminster Abbey


It was on the 25th June 1483 that three men were executed for treason at Pontifract Castle in Yorkshire on charges of conspiracy and plotting against Richard, Duke of Gloucester. These men were Anthony, Earl Rivers and Richard Grey, brother and son of Edward IV’s queen Elizabeth Woodville, the third man was Thomas Vaughan, chamberlain to Edward, Prince of Wales.

Pontefract was the largest town in medieval West Yorkshire, Edward I called it the ‘key to the north.’ It's once mighty castle is in ruins today, but in its time it was seen as the ‘Jewel of Yorkshire’. It is thought that the castle had, at one time, a two walled outer bailey, John Leyland, the Tudor antiquarian, described the castle as having ‘six roundells, three bigge and three small’ that made up the the castle’s keep which he states as measuring 63-64 feet in diameter. Archaelogia, published in 1770 by the Society of Antiquaries of London, confirms this and suggests that within one of the three towers mentioned by Leyland there was a 

“very frightful small dungeon.” 

From the top of the keep you would have been able to look out towards the Derne Valley, today you can follow the railway line that takes its name from the valley as it makes its way toward Rotherham. In 1483, all that could be seen were fields and possibly the tiny hamlet of Ackworth whose inhabitants were accustomed to violence. In 1461 the Battle of Towton was fought in the area around Ackworth as was the Battle of Wakefield in the December of 1460. 

Thomas Vaughan's story continues through the introduction and into a new chapeter entitled 
Setting the Scene: The Game Begins.

Thomas Vaughan's story continues on my website

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