Perkin Warbeck and Edward Plantagenet attempted to escape from the Tower of London on 9th June 1498. Perkin Warbeck was a pretender to the throne, having claimed to be Richard, Duke of York the younger of the Princes in the Tower. He had received support on the continent from Margaret of Burgundy, sister of Edward IV and Richard III. Edward Plantagenet was the Earl of Warwick. He was the sole surviving son of George, Duke of Clarence.
Perkin Warbeck’s imprisonment
Perkin Warbeck’s claim to being Richard Duke of York led to him marrying Lady Catherine Gordon, cousin of the King of Scotland. He had supporters, including members of the house of York, who believed or stated that he was the missing Prince. These supporters financed several abortive invasions of England. Eventually captured, he confessed to King Henry VII and was placed in custody.
Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick’s imprisonment
Edward Plantagenet was the Earl of Warwick and son of George, Duke of Clarence. If his father’s attainder was set aside, he was the Yorkist with the best claim to the throne. He had been placed in custody as a precaution due to his potential to be seen as a figurehead: attainders could be overturned, attainted people were often supported.
With a gaoler who appeared to be a Warbeck sympathiser, the pair hatched an escape plan which was to be set into motion on 9th June 1498. The plot was soon discovered. King Henry VII was unwilling to entertain any further attempts or the potential unrest that the pair may cause.
Warbeck and the Earl of Warwick Executed for Treason
They were shackled and, along with others implicated in the plot, tried for treason. Both were found guilty. Warbeck was executed as befitted his common status, by being hanged, on 23rd November. Edward Plantagenet, as a noble, was executed by beheading on Tower Hill on 29th November.
Featured image: Drawing of Edward, Earl of Warwick from the Rous Roll, c. 1483. Public Domain. Via Wikipedia
Perkin Warbeck. 15th century drawing. Unknown artist. Public Domain. Via Wikipedia.