Perkin Warbeck, the Great Pretender

By Karen Harris
Pretender to the English throne Perkin Warbeck marches his rag-tag army up and down, 'The Comic History of England' by Gilbert Abbott A Beckett, John Leech, illustrations. [Bradbury, Agnew & Co, London, 1897]. Source: (alamy.com)

A great mystery in English royalty is the fate of the “two princes in the Tower.” Edward and Richard, ages 12 and 10, were both too young to take over the English throne when their father, King Edward IV, died in 1483, so the crown was to go to the King’s brother, Richard, Duke of York until the true heir became of age. The Duke had his nephews placed in the Tower of London to keep them safe until coronation day. But sometime in the summer of 1483, the young princes disappeared. Their fate remains a mystery. Several years later, however, a man showed up claiming to be the long-lost younger prince, Prince Richard. His name was Perkin Warbeck and he turned out to be a great pretender with ulterior motives.