[Clan Sinclair]
[prev] [next]
K. Peter's
King of Scots
   James IV
B. Flodden
B. Summerdale
B. Solway
B. Altgawn
B. Kringom
[Swedish Sinclairs]
Battle of

King James IV of Scotland entertains Perkin Warbeck, 27 November 1495

From: "labehotierre" <>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 11:00:41 +0100

27 November 1495 - King James IV of Scotland entertains Perkin Warbeck

On 23 November, 1499, Perkin Warbeck was taken from the Tower of London to Tyburn Hill to be hanged. He masqueraded for six years as Richard, Duke of York had come to an end two years previously. He died, not for his emulation of the prince, but because he plotted to overthrow Henry VII. The plot also cost the life of the last Plantagenet, Edward, Earl of Warwick.

Warbeck's career as Duke of York began in 1491 in Cork where he was initially acclaimed as the Earl of Warwick. He then adopted the identity of Richard of York, the younger of the two 'Princes in the Tower'. He alleged he had been permitted to escape when his brother was murdered, a story sufficiently plausible to be accepted by those who wanted to believe it.

Warbeck's welcome in Ireland fell short of that accorded an earlier Yorkist pretender, Lambert Simnel, in 1487. So he began a long exodus around European courts looking for support. As Richard of York he was received by Charles VIII of France; by Margaret of Burgundy, who conceded him to be her nephew. He attended the funeral of Emperor Frederick III in 1493 at the invitation of Maximilian I. Warbeck first attempt to invade England was 3 July, 1495, with the help of Margaret of Burgundy. A small force landed near Deal; they were routed.

Warbeck never got off the ship he made for Ireland. With the support of the Earl of Desmond he besieged Waterford, but when the town resisted he was again forced to withdraw, this time to Scotland.

In Scotland Warbeck was well received. He married the king's cousin, Lady Catherine Gordon, a grand daughter of the Earl of Caithness and was granted a monthly pension of £112. James IV accepted his claim to the English throne. The Scottish invasion of England in his support of Warbeck, September 1496, was a fiasco. No surge of public backing was forthcoming from Northumberland and the Scots withdrew without meeting the English forces. The episode served only as an excuse for Henry to raise taxes for defence. Now an embarrassment to the James IV, Warbeck returned once more to Ireland.

A rising in Cornwall against the tax increases in June 1497 encouraged Warbeck to expect support there. On September 12th he arrived near Land's End with just 120 men in two ships. This final invasion was by far the most successful; his force was several thousand strong by the time it reached Exeter. His “Army” was unarmed and when Exeter resisted, Warbeck moved on. When the King's army reached the rebels Warbeck realised there was no hope and fled for the coast. He took refuge in Beaulieu Abbey. He surrendered without a fight.

In his confession to Henry at Taunton on 5 October 1497, Warbeck admitted that he was the son of a bourgeois of Tournai. He said he had come to Cork in 1491 as a merchant's apprentice and had been 'recognised' as a Yorkist prince.

Though some of the ringleaders of the Cornish rebellion were executed, Warbeck was merely taken into custody until he tried to escape in June 1498. He was then sent to the Tower of London. Early in 1499, yet another false Warwick had been set up in opposition to Henry. Though the plot was quickly suppressed it may have convinced the King of the wisdom of disposing of Warwick altogether. An agent provocateur was most likely employed. Warbeck and Warwick were confined in neighbouring cells and one of Perkin's erstwhile supporters was appointed gaoler. An informer gave away the plot: to burn down the Tower, escape to Flanders, and place Warwick on the throne. The false pretender and the true pretender along with several others, including the gaoler, were found guilty of treason. Perkin Warbeck was hanged, being a commoner, on 23 November; the Earl of Warwick being the noble that he was had his head cut off on Tower Hill on the 29th.


Last changed: 00/11/28 08:54:22 [Clan Sinclair]