, c.1475-1525, imposter and pretender to the English throne. Little is known of his early life, but before 1486 he caught the attention of an Oxford priest, Richard Simon or Symonds, who trained him to impersonate Richard, duke of York, younger son of Edward IV, who is now thought to have died, or been murdered, while imprisoned in the Tower of London. The plan was changed, however, and in 1486 Simon took Simnel to Ireland, claiming that he was Edward, earl of Warwick, another Yorkist claimant to the throne. A number of Yorkist adherents rallied to his cause, and in May, 1487, Simnel and his supporters, led by John de la Pole, earl of Lincoln (see under Pole
, family), crossed to England and were defeated by the forces of Henry VII at the battle of Stoke (June, 1487). Simnel was taken prisoner but pardoned and supposedly was employed thereafter as a scullion in the royal kitchen, as a mark of Henry VII's lenience.
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