Perkin Warbeck

Perkin Warbeck

A padlock

Imposter

c 1474-99

In 1491, during the reign of the first Tudor king, Henry VII, a young man made an astonishing claim.

Imposter claiming to be Richard, Duke of York

Perkin Warbeck said that he was Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the two ‘princes in the Tower’.

Everyone had assumed he had been murdered as a child, but now it seemed he was back to claim his rightful inheritance, the throne of England.

Over the next six years, these claims were accepted and promoted by various European rulers with bones to pick with Henry VII. After two unsuccessful invasion attempts, the young claimant joined rebels protesting against Tudor taxation.

Captured and brought before the King, he finally confessed that he was not a long lost prince but really Perkin Warbeck from Tournai in France. 

Warbeck was eventually imprisoned in the Tower for life, where he joined a genuine claimant to the throne, Edward, the surviving son of the Duke of Clarence.

A conspiracy to free both Warbeck and Edward was hatched and discovered in 1499. Perkin Warbeck was hanged at Tyburn while Edward was executed on Tower Hill.

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