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countermined, and the work of slaughter went on till the garrison were greatly reduced. At length, the Parliamentarians were attacked and repulsed by a reinforcement of Royalists from Oxford; and thus ended the first siege of Pontefract.

In March 1645 the enemy again took possession of the town; and after three months' cannonade, the garrison, being reduced almost to a state of famine, surrendered the castle by an honourable capitulation on 20th June. Sir Thomas Fairfax was appointed governor; and he, thinking the Royal party to be subdued, appointed a colonel as his substitute, with a garrison of 100 men. The Royalists next by stratagem recovered Pontefract, of which Sir John Digby was appointed governor.

The third and final siege of this fine castle commenced in October 1648. General Rainsborough was appointed to the command of the army; but he being previously intercepted at Doncaster, Oliver Cromwell undertook to conduct the siege. After having remained a month before the fortress without making any impression upon its massive walls, Cromwell joined the grand army under Fairfax; and General Lambert, being appointed commander-in-chief of the forces before the castle, arrived at Pontefract on the 4th of December. He raised new works, and vigorously pushed the siege: but the besieged held out.

On 30th January 1649 the King was beheaded ; and the news no sooner reached Pontefract than the Royalist garrison proclaimed his son Charles 11., and made a vigorous and

slaughtering sally against their enemies. The Parliamentarians, however, prevailed; and on 25th March 1649, the garrison, being reduced from 500 or 600 to 100 men, surrendered by capitulation. Six of the principal Royalists were excepted from mercy: two escaped, but were retaken, and executed at York; the third was killed in a sortie ; and the three others, concealing themselves among the ruins of the castle, escaped after the surrender; two of the last lived to see the Restoration.

This third siege was most destructive to the castle : the tremendous artillery had shattered its massive walls; and its demolition was completed by order of Parliament. Within two months after its reduction, the buildings were unroofed, and all the materials sold. Thus was this princely fortress reduced to a heap of ruins. During the siege the fine church of All Saints was greatly damaged : the roof was almost destroyed, and the fine lantern surmounting the tower was battered down. The lantern was, however, rebuilt in its present form, in consequence of a vote of Parliament, which allotted £1000 for that purpose out of the money accruing from the sale of the materials of the castle.

Pontefract Castle, by its situation as well as by its structure, was rendered almost impregnable. It was not commanded by any contiguous hills, and could only be taken by blockade. The whole area occupied by the fortress was about seven acres.

The north-west prospect from the castle heights takes

in the beautiful vale watered by the Aire, skirted by woods and plantations; it is bounded only by the hills of Craven. The north and east prospects are more extensive ; the scenery is less striking, but the towers of York Minster are distinctly seen. To the east, whilst the eye follows the course of the Aire towards the Humber, the fertility of the country, the spires of churches, and the hills Brayton, Barf, and Hambleton Haugh, one covered with wood, add to the beauty and variety of the scene. The south-east view includes part of the counties of Lincoln and Nottingham. To the south and south-west the towering hills of Derbyshire, stretching towards Lancashire, form the horizon ; while the foreground is a picturesque country, variegated with handsome residences. In a Topographical Excursion in the Year 1634, Pomfret is described as 'a high and stately, famous and princely, impregnable castle and cittadel, built by a Norman upon a rock; which, for the situation, strength, and largenesse (?), may compare with any in the kingdom.' The highest of the seven towers is the Round Tower, in which that unfortunate prince (Richard 11.) was enforc'd to flee round a poste till his barbarous butchers inhumanly depriv'd him of life. Upon that poste the cruell hackings and fierce blowes doe still remaine. We view'd the spacious hall, which the gyants kept, the large fayre kitchen, which is long, with many wide chimneys in it,' etc.

The origin and etymology of the name of the town are alike unknown. According to Camden, its name was changed to Pontefract by the Romans. The place was called Kirkby in the time of the Saxons, and it is not improbable that it was one of the first places in England at which a church was erected and Christianity preached. William the Conqueror is said to have called the name of the town Pomfrete, from some fancied resemblance to a place so called in Normandy, where he was born. For 600 years, the castle was the ornament and terror of the surrounding country. At the present day, little even of its ruins remains. The area is now chiefly occupied by gardens, and a quarry of filtering stones, which are in great request in all parts of the kingdom.

Pontefract must be numbered in our recollections of childhood; since here were grown whole fields of liquorice root, from the extract of which were made Pontefract cakes, impressed with the town arms-three lions passant gardant, surmounted with a helmet, full-forward, open-faced, and garde-visure. We have likewise seen these cakes impressed with the celebrated castle, and the motto, Post mortem patris, pro filio' (after the death of the father, for the son)bespeaking the loyalty of the Pontefract royalists in proclaiming Charles II. after the death of his father.

THE RADCLIFFES OF DERWENTWATER.

:

HE Radcliffes of Derwentwater were one of the

oldest families in Cumberland. In that county,

through the mountains called Derwent Falls, the river Derwent spreads itself into a spacious lake, wherein are three islands: one was the seat of the family of Radcliffe, knight, temp. Henry V., who married Margaret, daughter of Sir John de Derwentwater, knight; another island was inhabited by miners; and the third is supposed to be that wherein Bede mentions St. Herbert to have led a hermit's life. James, the Earl of Derwentwater, who died the victim of his stedfast though misguided loyalty in 1716, was greatly lamented. He was a perfect cavalier, and a fine exemplar of an English nobleman ; he was amiable, brave, open, generous, hospitable, and humane. He gave bread to multitudes of people whom he employed on his estate : the poor, the widow, the orphan, rejoiced in his bounty. He was only twenty-eight years of age when he was brought to the scaffold; and he left a young and beautiful widow, Anne Maria, the daughter of Sir John Webb, baronet, and two infant children, to lament his death, and

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