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The Execution of Perkin Warbeck

The pretender to the English throne was hanged on November 23rd, 1499

15th century drawing of Perkin Warbeck
15th century drawing of Perkin Warbeck

On November 23rd, 1499, Perkin Warbeck was drawn on a hurdle from the Tower to Tyburn to be hanged. A native of Tournai, his six-year masquerade as Richard, Duke of York had come to an end two years previously. He died, not for his imitation of a Yorkist prince, but because of a plot to overthrow Henry VII. A plot which 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. But soon he adopted the identity of Richard of York, the younger of the two 'Princes in the Tower'. He claimed to have been permitted to escape when his brother was murdered, a story sufficiently plausible to be accepted by those who wanted to believe it.

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