On the 7th September the Second Cornish Uprising of 1497 began when Perkin Warbeck landed at Whitesand Bay near Land’s End. The significance of Warbeck is that he soon declared himself King Richard IV as he had convinced his followers that he was Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the two “Princes in the Tower”.
After surrendering to Henry VII’s forces in Hampshire, Warbeck was held by the King in relative luxury even though he confessed to being an imposter. His admission that he was actually the son of a prosperous family in Tournai, in what is now Belgium, was subsequently proven by the nineteenth century historian James Gairdner who had access to the town archives.
Warbeck’s career as a pretender to the throne began shortly after he arrived in the Irish city of Cork where he was soon identified as a member of the York dynasty. He quickly adopted his new identity, and travelled around the royal courts of Europe securing support for his claim. The French King Charles VIII lent him support, as did Margaret of York – the aunt of the Princes in the Tower.
Warbeck led an invasion of England from France in 1495, but this went disastrously wrong. After finding little support in Ireland, he instead headed to Scotland where he stayed for two years and married the Scottish King’s cousin. After another failed invasion of England he was invited by Cornish rebels to join with them in what was to be his final failed assault.
Two years after his capture, Warbeck was hanged at Tyburn on November 23rd, 1499.