Definitions

Perkin

Perkin

[pur-kin]
Warbeck, Perkin, 1474?-1499, pretender to the English throne, b. Tournai. He lived in Flanders and later in Portugal and arrived in Ireland in the employ of a silk merchant in 1491. There adherents of the Yorkist party persuaded him to impersonate Richard, duke of York, the younger brother of Edward V of England. As children, the royal brothers had been imprisoned in the Tower of London and subsequently disappeared, presumably murdered. Warbeck's claim was supported by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, by James IV of Scotland, and by Margaret of Burgundy, sister of Edward IV (and thus Richard's aunt) and the chief supporter of the Yorkist exiles. Warbeck's attempt to invade England in 1495 failed, and he went to Scotland where he married Catherine Gordon, a cousin of James IV. In 1497 Warbeck landed in Cornwall, proclaimed himself Richard IV, and raised a rebel army. His forces were met by those of Henry VII at Exeter, and the pretender fled. He was captured, admitted the whole story of his adventure, and was imprisoned. In 1499 he was hanged for plotting against the king.

See biographies by J. Gairdner (in his History of the Life and Reign of Richard the Third, 1898, repr. 1969) and A. Wroe (2003).

Perkin, Sir William Henry, 1838-1907, English chemist. In 1856 he discovered the first aniline dye (aniline purple, known as mauve and mauveine); by founding a factory to make it, Perkin established the aniline dye industry in England. He was knighted in 1906. His son, William Henry Perkin, Jr., 1860-1927, also a chemist, synthesized numerous organic compounds, including camphor and several alkaloids.

See S. Garfield, Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World (2001).

(born 1474?, Tournai, Flanders—died Nov. 23, 1499, London, Eng.) Flemish impostor, pretender to the throne of Henry VII. The son of a local official in Flanders, while working as a servant in Ireland in 1491, he was misidentified as royalty while dressed in his master's rich silks and was soon persuaded to impersonate Richard, duke of York, who was presumed to have been murdered with his brother in the Tower of London in 1483. Encouraged by several monarchs and other Yorkist enemies in both England and Europe, he gathered forces and supporters on the continent for an invasion. After abortive attempts in 1495 and 1496, he landed in Cornwall in 1497 but was captured and hanged when he tried to escape.

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(born 1474?, Tournai, Flanders—died Nov. 23, 1499, London, Eng.) Flemish impostor, pretender to the throne of Henry VII. The son of a local official in Flanders, while working as a servant in Ireland in 1491, he was misidentified as royalty while dressed in his master's rich silks and was soon persuaded to impersonate Richard, duke of York, who was presumed to have been murdered with his brother in the Tower of London in 1483. Encouraged by several monarchs and other Yorkist enemies in both England and Europe, he gathered forces and supporters on the continent for an invasion. After abortive attempts in 1495 and 1496, he landed in Cornwall in 1497 but was captured and hanged when he tried to escape.

Learn more about Warbeck, Perkin with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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