Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII, called the Affable, was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498, the seventh from the House of Valois. He succeeded his father Louis XI at the age of 13, his elder sister Anne acted as regent jointly with her husband Peter II, Duke of Bourbon until 1491 when the young king turned 21 years of age. During Anne's regency, the great lords rebelled against royal centralisation efforts in a conflict known as the Mad War, which resulted in a victory for the royal government. In a remarkable stroke of audacity, Charles married Anne of Brittany in 1491 after she had been married by proxy to the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in a ceremony of questionable validity. Preoccupied by the problematic succession in the Kingdom of Hungary, Maximilian failed to press his claim. Upon his marriage, Charles became administrator of Brittany and established a personal union that enabled France to avoid total encirclement by Habsburg territories. To secure his rights to the Neapolitan throne that René of Anjou had left to his father, Charles made a series of concessions to neighbouring monarchs and conquered the Italian peninsula without much opposition.
A coalition formed against the French invasion of 1494-98 drove out Charles' army, but Italian Wars would dominate Western European politics for over 50 years. Charles died in 1498 after accidentally striking his head on the lintel of a door at the Château d'Amboise, his place of birth. Since he had no male heir, he was succeeded by his cousin Louis XII of France from the Orléans cadet branch of the House of Valois. Charles was born at the Château d'Amboise in France, the only surviving son of King Louis XI by his second wife Charlotte of Savoy, his godparents were Charles II, Duke of Bourbon, Joan of Valois, Duchess of Bourbon, the teenage Edward of Westminster, the son of Henry VI of England, living in France since the deposition of his father by Edward IV. Charles succeeded to the throne on 30 August 1483 at the age of 13, his health was poor. He was regarded by his contemporaries as possessing a pleasant disposition, but as foolish and unsuited for the business of the state. In accordance with the wishes of Louis XI, the regency of the kingdom was granted to Charles' elder sister Anne, a formidably intelligent and shrewd woman described by her father as "the least foolish woman in France."
She would rule as regent, together with her husband Peter of Bourbon, until 1491. Charles was betrothed on 22 July 1483 to the 3-year-old Margaret of Austria, daughter of the Archduke Maximilian of Austria and Mary, Duchess of Burgundy; the marriage was arranged by Louis XI, the Estates of the Low Countries as part of the 1482 Peace of Arras between France and the Duchy of Burgundy. Margaret brought the Counties of Artois and Burgundy to France as her dowry, she was raised in the French court as a prospective Queen consort. In 1488, Francis II, Duke of Brittany, died in a riding accident, leaving his 11-year-old daughter Anne as his heir. Anne, who feared for the independence of her duchy against the ambitions of France, arranged a marriage in 1490 between herself and the widower Maximilian, thus making Anne a stepmother to Margaret of Austria; the regent Anne of France and her husband Peter refused to countenance such a marriage, since it would place Maximilian and his family, the Habsburgs, on two French borders.
The French army invaded Brittany, taking advantage of the preoccupation of Frederick III and his son with the disputed succession to Mathias Corvinus, King of Hungary. Anne of Brittany was forced to agree to be married to Charles VIII instead. In December 1491, in an elaborate ceremony at the Château de Langeais and Anne of Brittany were married; the 14-year-old Duchess Anne, not happy with the arranged marriage, arrived for her wedding with her entourage carrying two beds. However, Charles's marriage brought him independence from his relatives and thereafter he managed affairs according to his own inclinations. Queen Anne lived at the Clos Lucé in Amboise. There still remained the matter of the young Margaret of Austria. Although the cancellation of her betrothal meant that she by rights should have been returned to her family, Charles did not do so, intending to marry her usefully elsewhere in France, it was a difficult situation for Margaret, who informed her father in her letters that she was so determined to escape that she would flee Paris in her nightgown if it gave her freedom.
In 1493, she was returned to her family, together with her dowry – though the Duchy of Burgundy was retained in the Treaty of Senlis. Around the king there was a circle of court poets, the most memorable being the Italian humanist Publio Fausto Andrelini from Forlì, who spread the New Learning in France. During a pilgrimage to pay respects to his father's remains, Charles observed Mont Aiguille and ordered Antoine de Ville to ascend to the summit in an early technical alpine climb alluded to by Rabelais. To secure France against invasions, Charles made treaties with Maximilian I of Austria and England, buying their neutrality with large concessions; the English monarch Henry VII had forced Charles to abandon his support for the pretender Perkin Warbeck by despatching an expedition which laid siege to Boulogne. He devoted France's resources to building up a large army, including one of Europe's first siege trains with artillery. In 1489, Pope Innocent VIII being at odds with Ferdi
House of Percy
The House of Percy is an English noble family. They were one of the most powerful noble families in northern England for much of the Middle Ages, known for their long rivalry with another powerful northern English family, the House of Neville; the House of Percy descended from William de Percy, a Norman who crossed over to England after William the Conqueror in early December 1067, was created 1st feudal baron of Topcliffe in Yorkshire, was rebuilding York Castle in 1070. The name derives from the manor of Percy-en-Auge in Normandy, the home of the family at the time of the Norman Conquest. Members have held the titles of Earl of Northumberland or Duke of Northumberland to this day, in addition to Baron Percy and other titles; the Percy surname twice died out in the male line but was re-adopted by the husband of a Percy heiress and by their descendants. In the 12th century, the original Percy line was represented by Agnes de Percy, whose son by her husband Joscelin of Louvain adopted the surname Percy.
Again in the 18th century, the heiress Elizabeth Seymour married Sir Hugh Smithson, who adopted the surname Percy and was created Duke of Northumberland. William de Percy, 1st Baron Percy, who came from the village of Percy in Normandy, was in the train of William I. After arriving in England following the Harrying of the North, he was bestowed modest estates in Yorkshire by Hugh d'Avranches. However, by the reign of Henry II the family was represented by only an heiress, Agnes de Percy following the death of the third feudal baron; as her dowry contained the manor of Topcliffe in Yorkshire, Adeliza of Louvain, the widowed and remarried second wife of Henry I, arranged the marriage of Agnes with her own young half-brother, Joscelin of Louvain. After their wedding, the nobleman from the Duchy of Brabant in the Holy Roman Empire settled in England, he adopted the surname Percy and his descendants were created Earls of Northumberland. The Percys' line would go on to play a large role in the history of both Scotland.
As nearly every Percy was a Warden of the Marches, Scottish affairs were of more concern than those in England. In 1309 Henry de Percy, 1st Baron Percy purchased Alnwick Castle from Bishop of Durham; the castle had been founded in the late 11th century by Ivo de Vesci, a Norman nobleman from Vassy, Calvados in Normandy. Descendent of Ivo de Vesci John de Vesci succeeded to his father's titles and estates upon his father's death in Gascony in 1253; these included the barony of Alnwick and a large property in Northumberland and considerable estates in Yorkshire, including Malton. Due to being under age, King Henry III of England conferred the wardship of John's estates to a foreign kinsmen, which caused great offence to the de Vesci family; the family's property and estates had been put into the guardianship of Bek, who sold them to the Percys. From this time the fortunes of the Percys, though they still held their Yorkshire lands and titles, were linked permanently with Alnwick and its castle.
Henry de Percy, 2nd Baron Percy, granted the lands of Patrick IV, Earl of March, in Northumberland, by Edward II in 1316, began to improve the size and defences of the castle. He was given the manor and castle of Skipton. Was granted, by Edward III, the castle and barony of Warkworth in 1328, he was at the siege of Dunbar and the Battle of Halidon Hill and was subsequently appointed constable of Berwick-upon-Tweed. In 1346, Henry commanded the right wing of the English Army which defeated a larger Scottish force at the Battle of Neville's Cross, his son, Henry de Percy, 3rd Baron Percy married Mary of Lancaster, an aunt of John of Gaunt's wife Blanche of Lancaster. In 1377 the next Henry Percy, was created Earl of Northumberland, which title he was given after the coronation of Richard II. Nor was this all, for he was that Northumberland whose doings in the next reign fill so large a part of Shakespeare's Henry IV, he was the father of the most famous Percy of all, Henry Percy the fifth, better known as "Hotspur."
Hotspur never became Earl of Northumberland, being slain at Shrewsbury in the lifetime of his father, whose estates were forfeited under attainder on account of the rebellion of himself and his son against King Henry IV. Henry V restored Hotspur's son, the second Earl, to his family honours, the Percys were staunch Lancastrians during the Wars of the Roses which followed, the third Earl and three of his brothers losing their lives in the cause; the fourth Earl was involved in the political manoeuvrings of the last Yorkist kings Edward IV and Richard III. Through either indecision or treachery he did not respond in a timely manner at the Battle of Bosworth Field, thus helped cause his ally Richard III's defeat at the hands of Henry Tudor. In 1489, he was murdered by some of his tenants; the fifth Earl displayed magnificence in his tastes, being one of the richest magnates of his day, kept a large household establishment. Henry Percy, the sixth Earl of Northumberland, loved Anne Boleyn, was her accepted suitor before Henry VIII married her.
He married to the daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury, but as he died without a son, his nephew, Thomas Percy became the seventh Earl. Thereafter, a succession of plots and counterplots—the Rising of the North, the plots to liberate Mary Queen of Scots, the Gunpowder Plot – each claimed a Percy among their adherents. On this account the eighth and ninth Earls spent many years in the Tower, but the tenth Earl, fought against King Charles in the Civil War, the male line of the Percy-Louvain house ending with Josceline, the eleventh Earl; the heiress to the vast Percy estates married the Duke of Somerset.
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was the King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizure of the crown on 22 August 1485 to his death on 21 April 1509. He was the first monarch of the House of Tudor. Henry attained the throne when his forces defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the culmination of the Wars of the Roses, he was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle. He cemented his claim by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and niece of Richard III. Henry was successful in restoring the power and stability of the English monarchy after the civil war, his supportive stance of the British Isles' wool industry and his standoff with the Low Countries had long-lasting benefits to all of the British economy. However, the capriciousness and lack of due process that indebted many would tarnish his legacy and were soon ended upon Henry VII's death, after a commission revealed widespread abuses. According to the contemporary historian Polydore Vergil, simple "greed" underscored the means by which royal control was over-asserted in Henry's final years.
Henry can be credited with a number of administrative and diplomatic initiatives. He paid close attention to detail, instead of spending lavishly he concentrated on raising new revenues and after a reign of nearly 24 years, he was peacefully succeeded by his son, Henry VIII; the new taxes were unpopular and two days after his coronation, Henry VIII arrested his father's two most unpopular ministers, Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley. They were charged with high treason and were executed in 1510. Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle on 28 January 1457 to Countess of Richmond, his father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, died three months before his birth. Henry's paternal grandfather, Owen Tudor from the Tudors of Penmynydd, Isle of Anglesey in Wales, had been a page in the court of Henry V, he rose to become one of the "Squires to the Body to the King" after military service at the Battle of Agincourt. Owen is said to have secretly married the widow of Catherine of Valois. One of their sons was Edmund Tudor, father of Henry VII.
Edmund was created Earl of Richmond in 1452, "formally declared legitimate by Parliament". Henry's main claim to the English throne derived from his mother through the House of Beaufort. Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III, his third wife Katherine Swynford. Katherine was Gaunt's mistress for about 25 years, thus Henry's claim was somewhat tenuous: it was from a woman, by illegitimate descent. In theory, the Portuguese and Castilian royal families had a better claim as descendants of Catherine of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt and his second wife Constance of Castile. Gaunt's nephew Richard II legitimised Gaunt's children by Katherine Swynford by Letters Patent in 1397. In 1407, Henry IV, Gaunt's son by his first wife, issued new Letters Patent confirming the legitimacy of his half-siblings, but declaring them ineligible for the throne. Henry IV's action was of doubtful legality, as the Beauforts were legitimised by an Act of Parliament, but it further weakened Henry's claim.
Nonetheless, by 1483 Henry was the senior male Lancastrian claimant remaining, after the deaths in battle or by murder or execution of Henry VI, his son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, the other Beaufort line of descent through Lady Margaret's uncle, the 2nd Duke of Somerset. Henry made some political capital out of his Welsh ancestry, for example in attracting military support and safeguarding his army's passage through Wales on its way to the Battle of Bosworth, he came from an old, established Anglesey family that claimed descent from Cadwaladr, on occasion Henry displayed the red dragon of Cadwaladr. He took it, as well as the standard of St George, on his procession through London after the victory at Bosworth. A contemporary writer and Henry's biographer, Bernard André made much of Henry's Welsh descent. In reality, his hereditary connections to Welsh aristocracy were not strong, he was descended by the paternal line, through several generations, from Ednyfed Fychan, the seneschal of Gwynedd and through this seneschal's wife from Rhys ap Tewdwr, the King of Deheubarth in South Wales.
His more immediate ancestor, Tudur ap Goronwy, had aristocratic land rights, but his sons, who were first cousins to Owain Glyndŵr, sided with Owain in his revolt. One son was executed and the family land was forfeited. Another son, Henry's great-grandfather, became a butler to the Bishop of Bangor. Owen Tudor, the son of the butler, like the children of other rebels, was provided for by Henry V, a circumstance that precipitated his access to Queen Catherine of Valois. Notwithstanding this lineage, to the bards of Wales, Henry was a candidate for Y Mab Darogan – "The Son of Prophecy" who would free the Welsh from oppression. In 1456, Henry's father Edmund Tudor was captured while fighting for Henry VI in South Wales against the Yorkists, he died in three months before Henry was born. Henry's uncle Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke and Edmund's younger brother, undertook to protect the young widow, 13 years old when she gave birth to Henry; when Edward IV became King in 1461, Jasper Tudor went into exile abroad.
Pembroke Castle, the Earldom of Pembroke, were granted to the Yorkist William Herbert, who assumed the guardianship of Margaret Beaufort and the young Henry. Henry lived in the Herbert household
Richard III of England
Richard III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1483 until his death. He was the last king of the last of the Plantagenet dynasty, his defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the protagonist of Richard III, one of William Shakespeare's history plays; when his brother Edward IV died in April 1483, Richard was named Lord Protector of the realm for Edward's eldest son and successor, the 12-year-old Edward V. Arrangements were made for Edward's coronation on 22 June 1483. Before the king could be crowned, the marriage of his parents was declared bigamous and therefore invalid. Now illegitimate, their children were barred from inheriting the throne. On 25 June, an assembly of Lords and commoners endorsed a declaration to this effect and proclaimed Richard as the rightful king, he was crowned on 6 July 1483. The young princes and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, were not seen in public after August and accusations circulated that they had been murdered on Richard's orders.
There were two major rebellions against Richard during his reign. In October 1483, an unsuccessful revolt was led by staunch allies of Edward IV and Richard's former ally, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. In August 1485, Henry Tudor and his uncle, Jasper Tudor landed in southern Wales with a contingent of French troops and marched through Pembrokeshire, recruiting soldiers. Henry's forces defeated Richard's army near the Leicestershire town of Market Bosworth. Richard was slain. Henry Tudor ascended the throne as Henry VII. Richard's corpse was buried without pomp, his original tomb monument is believed to have been removed during the English Reformation, his remains were lost, as they were believed to have been thrown into the River Soar. In 2012, an archaeological excavation was commissioned by the Richard III Society on the site occupied by Greyfriars Priory Church; the University of Leicester identified the skeleton found in the excavation as that of Richard III as a result of radiocarbon dating, comparison with contemporary reports of his appearance, comparison of his mitochondrial DNA with that of two matrilineal descendants of Richard III's eldest sister, Anne of York.
He was reburied in Leicester Cathedral on 26 March 2015. Richard was born on 2 October 1452 at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, the twelfth of 13 children of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville, his childhood coincided with the beginning of what has traditionally been labelled the'Wars of the Roses', a period of political instability and periodic open civil war in England during the second half of the fifteenth century, between the Yorkists, who supported Richard's father, opposed the regime of Henry VI and his wife, Margaret of Anjou, the Lancastrians, who were loyal to the crown. When his father and the Nevilles were forced to flee to Ludlow in 1459, Richard and his older brother, George were placed in the custody of the Duchess of Buckingham, the Archbishop of Canterbury; when his father and elder brother Edmund, Earl of Rutland, were killed at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460, Richard and George were sent by their mother to the Low Countries. They returned to England following the defeat of the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton.
They participated in the coronation of Richard's eldest brother as King Edward IV on 28 June 1461, when Richard was named Duke of Gloucester and made both a Knight of the Garter and a Knight of the Bath. Edward appointed him the sole Commissioner of Array for the Western Counties in 1464, when he was 11. By the age of 17, he had an independent command. Richard spent several years during his childhood at Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, under the tutelage of his cousin the Earl of Warwick known as the Kingmaker because of his role in the Wars of the Roses. Warwick supervised Richard's training as a knight: in the autumn of 1465 Edward IV granted Warwick £1000 for the expenses of his younger brother's tutelage. With some interruptions, Richard stayed at Middleham either from late 1461 until early 1465, when he was 12 or from 1465 until his coming of age in 1468, when he turned 16. While at Warwick's estate, it is that he met both Francis Lovell, who would be his firm supporter in his life, Warwick's younger daughter, his future wife Anne Neville.
It is possible that at this early stage Warwick was considering the king's brothers as strategic matches for his daughters and Anne: young aristocrats were sent to be raised in the households of their intended future partners, as had been the case for the young dukes' father, Richard of York. As the relationship between the king and Warwick became strained, Edward IV opposed the match. During Warwick's lifetime, George was the only royal brother to marry one of his daughters, the eldest, Isabel, on 12 July 1469, without the king's permission. George joined his father-in-law's revolt against the king, while Richard remained loyal to Edward though rumour coupled Richard's name with Anne Neville until August 1469. Richard and Edward were forced to flee to Burgundy in October 1470 after Warwick defected to the side of the former Lancastrian queen Margaret of Anjou. In 1468, Richard's sister Margaret had married Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, the brothers could expect a welcome there. Edward was restored to the throne in the spring 1471, following the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, both of which the eighteen-year-old Richard played a crucial role.
During his adolescence
Beverley Minster in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, is a parish church in the Church of England. It is one of the largest parish churches in the UK, larger than one-third of all English cathedrals and regarded as a gothic masterpiece by many. A collegiate church, it was not selected as a bishop's seat during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, it is part of a Grade I listed building. Every year it hosts events in association with local schools, including the Beverley Minster Primary School Nativity Performance and the Beverley Grammar School Speech Night; the Minster owes its origin and much of its subsequent importance to Saint John of Beverley, Bishop of York, who founded a monastery locally c. 700 and whose remains still lie in a vault beneath the nave. Archaeological excavations in 1979–82 confirmed that a major church stood on or near the present Minster site from c. 700 to c. 850. That last date could support a tradition of the sacking of the monastery by Vikings. Another tradition attributes to King Athelstan the refoundation of the monastery as a collegiate church of secular canons.
The establishment of a major minster and its privileges was more a gradual process, but by the early 11th century Bishop John's tomb had become a major pilgrimage center. He was canonized in 1037, his cult encouraged the growth of a town around the Minster; the Archbishops of York, the lords of Beverley throughout the Middle Ages, secured grants for four annual fairs which enhanced the town's trading role. From the 12th century Beverley was a major exporter of wool to the Low Countries. A 12th century charter indicates substantial rebuilding work following the canonisation of St John of Beverley in 1037. Archbishop Kynesige added a high stone tower, he installed a painted and gilded ceiling from the presbytery to the tower. Nothing remains of this Anglo-Saxon church, no records of building work under the Normans survive. However, large quantities of Norman masonry have been found in excavations throughout the town, four large arches built behind the nave triforium during the 14th century are composed of reused Norman voussoirs.
In 1067/68 Gamel, Sheriff of York was informed in a writ by William the Conqueror that Archbishop Ealdred should draw up a privilegium for the lands belonging to the church of St John of Beverley and that they shall be free from the demands of the king, his reeves, all his men, except for those of the archbishop and priests of the church. Saint Thomas Becket of Canterbury was named Provost of Beverley in 1154. A fire in 1188 damaged the Minster and the town. Much of the church was damaged, complete rebuilding was required. Money was collected for the work and reconstruction began at the east end soon after the fire. During the construction, a new lantern tower over the eastern crossing designed to illuminate the Shrine of St John was under construction, but it collapsed c. 1219 necessitating a partial rebuild of the church. Henry III granted 40 oaks from Sherwood Forest in 1252, by c. 1260 the retrochoir, chapter house and crossing were complete. Filled with light, overwhelmingly tall and spacious, speaking to the increasing skills of the stonecarvers, this new work was radically different from the old Saxon and Norman structure it replaced.
It was the product of the novel structural systems and artistic development that together define the Gothic style, originating in France and brought to England in the late 12th century. Work did not progress beyond the first bay of the nave. Of this Early Gothic building campaign, only the chapter house has been lost, although its wonderful staircase survives in the north choir aisle; the only major alteration was the insertion of a great Perpendicular east window, for which money was bequeathed in 1416. A new shrine for St John was ordered from Roger de Faringdon of London in 1292, to which the saint's remains were translated on 25 October 1307. Collections for further rebuilding were resumed in 1308, work on the nave had begun by 1311; the architectural style current in England had developed into something much different from the Early Gothic displayed in the first part of the rebuilding. More structurally daring, more richly decorated forms merge with the earlier, simpler forms in the nave of Beverley Minster, in an effort both to respect the older work and to bring it up to date.
Building on the nave was ongoing in 1334, may have been halted by the Black Death in 1348 as in many other instances across England. Work did not resume until in the century, when the nave was completed and the west front with its two great towers was built, c. 1400. These towers are a superlative example of the Perpendicular style, formed the inspiration for the present west towers of Westminster Abbey, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor. By the early 15th century, with the building of the north porch, the Minster was structurally complete; the great east window, a chapel funded by the Percys, the choir stalls were the only major work. Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland, was buried in the church after being murdered by his own retainers at Cockslodge near Thirsk, in 1489 during the Yorkshire rebellion over high taxes imposed by King Henry VII. In 1548, the Minster was reduced to the status of a parish church, the college of secular canons established before the Norman Conq
Perkin Warbeck was a pretender to the English throne. Warbeck claimed to be Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, the second son of Edward IV and one of the so-called "Princes in the Tower". Richard, if he was alive, would have been the rightful claimant to the throne, assuming that his elder brother Edward V was dead, he was legitimate – a contentious point. Due to the uncertainty as to whether Richard had died or whether he had somehow survived, Warbeck's claim gained some support. Followers may have believed Warbeck was Richard, or may have supported him because of their desire to overthrow the reigning king, Henry VII, reclaim the throne. Given the lack of knowledge regarding Richard's fate, having received support outside England, Warbeck emerged as a significant threat to the newly established Tudor dynasty. Warbeck made several landings in England backed by small armies but met strong resistance from the King's men and surrendered in Hampshire in 1497. After his capture, he retracted his claim, writing a confession in which he said he was a Fleming born in Tournai around 1474.
Dealing with Warbeck cost Henry VII over £13,000, putting a strain on Henry's weak state finances. Perkin Warbeck's personal history is fraught with varying statements. Warbeck said that he was Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, the younger son of King Edward IV, who had disappeared mysteriously along with his brother Edward V after Richard, Duke of Gloucester usurped the throne following the elder Edward's death in 1483. After Warbeck was captured and interrogated in 1497 under the eye of King Henry VII, another version of his life was published, based on his confession; this confession is considered by many historians to be only true as it was procured under duress. According to the confession, Warbeck was born to a man called John Osbeck. Osbeck, married to Warbeck's mother Katherine de Faro, was Flemish and held the occupation of comptroller to the city of Tournai, in present-day Belgium; these family ties are backed up by several municipal archives of Tournai which mention most of the people whom Warbeck declared he was related to.
He was taken to Antwerp by his mother at around age ten to learn Dutch. From here, he was undertaken by several masters around Antwerp and Middelburg before being employed by a local English merchant named John Strewe for a few months. After his time in the Netherlands, Warbeck yearned to visit other countries and was hired by a Breton merchant; this merchant brought Warbeck to Cork, Ireland in 1491 when he was about 17, there he learned to speak English. Warbeck claims that upon seeing him dressed in silk clothes, some of the citizens of Cork who were Yorkists demanded to do "him the honour as a member of the Royal House of York." He said. Warbeck first claimed the English throne at the court of Burgundy in 1490, where jeton coins were minted for him. Warbeck explained his mysterious disappearance by claiming that his brother Edward V had been murdered, but he had been spared by his brother's murderers because of his age and "innocence". However, he had been made to swear an oath not to reveal his true identity for "a certain number of years".
From 1483 to 1490, he claimed he had lived on the continent of Europe under the protection of Yorkist loyalists, but when his main guardian, Sir Edward Brampton, returned to England, he was left free. He declared his true identity. In 1491, Warbeck landed in Ireland in the hope of gaining support for his claim as Lambert Simnel had four years previously, his cause was promoted by John Atwater, a former Mayor of Cork and ardent Yorkist, who may have been instrumental in helping him assume the identity of Richard. However, little support for an active rebellion was found and Warbeck was forced to return to mainland Europe. There his fortunes improved, he was first received by Charles VIII of France, but in 1492 was expelled under the terms of the Treaty of Etaples, by which Charles had agreed not to shelter rebels against Henry VII. Charles VIII agreed to withdraw all backing from Warbeck after an English expedition had laid siege to Boulogne, he was publicly recognized as Richard of Shrewsbury by Margaret of Burgundy, widow of Charles the Bold, sister of Edward IV, thus the aunt of the Princes in the Tower.
Whether Margaret – who left England to marry before either of her nephews were born – believed that the pretender was her nephew Richard, or whether she considered him a fraud but supported him anyway, is unknown, but she tutored him in the ways of the Yorkist court. Henry complained to Philip of Habsburg, Duke of Burgundy, about the harbouring of the pretender, since he was ignored, imposed a trade embargo on Burgundy, cutting off important Burgundian trade connections with England; the pretender was welcomed by various other monarchs and was known in international diplomacy as the Duke of York. At the invitation of Duke Philip's father, King Maximilian I, in 1493, he attended the funeral of the Emperor Frederick III and was recognised as King Richard IV of England; the pretender promised that if he died before becoming king, his claim would fall to Maximilian. Pro-Yorkist sympathy in England involved important figures making it known that they were prepared to back Warbeck's claims; these included Lord Fitzwater, Sir Simon Montfort, Sir Thomas Thwaites (ex-Chancellor of the Excheque
Fleet Prison was a notorious London prison by the side of the River Fleet. The prison was built in 1197, was rebuilt several times, was in use until 1844, it was demolished in 1846. The prison was built in 1197 off what is now Farringdon Street, on the eastern bank of the River Fleet after which it was named, it came into particular prominence from being used as a place of reception for persons committed by the Star Chamber, afterwards, as a debtor's prison and for persons imprisoned for contempt of court by the Court of Chancery. In 1381, during the Peasants' Revolt, it was deliberately destroyed by Wat Tyler's men. In 1666, during the Great Fire of London, it burned down on the third day of the fire, the prisoners fleeing in the last moments. After the fire, the warden of the prison, Sir Jeremy Whichcote, purchased Caron House in Lambeth in order to house the prison's debtors. Whichcote rebuilt the prison on the original site at his own expense. During the 18th century, Fleet Prison was used for debtors and bankrupts.
It contained about 300 prisoners and their families. Like the Marshalsea prison, it was divided into a restrictive and arduous common side and a more open master's side, where rent had to be paid. At that time, prisons were profit-making enterprises. Prisoners had to pay for lodging. There were fees for turning keys and for taking irons off, Fleet Prison had the highest fees in England. There was a grille built into the Farringdon Street prison wall, so that prisoners might beg alms from passers-by, but prisoners did not have to live within Fleet Prison itself. From 1613 on, there were many clandestine Fleet Marriages; the boundary of the Liberties of the Fleet included the north side of Ludgate Hill, the Old Bailey to Fleet Lane and along it until the Fleet Market, ran alongside the prison to Ludgate Hill. The head of the prison was termed the warden, appointed by letters patent, it became a frequent practice of the holder of the patent to farm out the prison to the highest bidder. This custom made the prison long notorious for the cruelties inflicted on prisoners.
One purchaser of the office, Thomas Bambridge, who became warden in 1728, was of evil repute. He was guilty of the greatest extortions upon prisoners, according to a committee of the House of Commons appointed to inquire into the state of English gaols and unlawfully loaded with irons, put into dungeons, destroyed prisoners for debt, treating them in the most barbarous and cruel manner, in high violation and contempt of the laws, he was committed to Newgate Prison, an act was passed to prevent his enjoying the office of warden. During the Gordon Riots in 1780 Fleet Prison was again destroyed and rebuilt in 1781–1782. In 1842, in pursuance of an Act of Parliament, by which inmates of the Marshalsea and Queen's Bench prisons were relocated to the Queen's Prison, it was closed, in 1844 sold to the Corporation of the City of London, by whom it was pulled down in 1846; the demolition yielded 50 tons of lead and 40,000 square feet of paving. After lying empty for 17 years the site was sold to the London and Dover Railway and became the site of their new Ludgate station.
Roger de Saperton. John Haslewood of Maidwell. Thomas Babington of Cuddington. Sir William Babington Thomas Bambridge; the priest who married him and the man who acted as witness to the wedding were imprisoned. Samuel Byrom, son of the writer and poet John Byrom, was imprisoned for debt in 1725. In 1729 he sent a petition to his old school friend, the Duke of Dorset, in which he raged against the injustices of the system: Holland, the most unpolite Country in the World, uses Debtors with Mildness, Malefactors with Rigour. What Barbarity can be greater, than for Gaolers to load Prisoners with Irons, thrust them into Dungeons, manacle them, deny their Friends to visit them, force them to pay excessive Prices for their Chamber-Rent, their Victuals and Drink; such Cruelty reduces the Prisoners to Despair, that many choose rather to shoot, hang or throw themselves out of the Window, than to be insulted and imposed upon by the Gaolers... if every Gaoler was allowed a yearly Sallary... and no Gaoler suffered, under the severest of Penalties, to take either Bribe, Fee, or Reward, no Demand for Chamber-Rent, nor any Fees for Entrance or going out of Prison.
In foreign Countries, where the Romish Religion prevails, what Crowds of People of both Sexes, from the highest Prince to the meanest Peasant, thrust themselves into Religious Houses... it is an apparent Injury to the Country... too obvious to be denied, that the many Prisons in England, where so many Thousands of both Sexes are detained, is a greater Loss and Injury to the King and Country... Other notable inmates