...as Alianore Audley called him.
Yes, I know I messing up the orderly progression through the 15th Century by mentioning the fellow, but then again, I never promised that this Blog would be orderly, did I? Fact is I've been re-reading Anne Wroe's marvellous book, Perkin and I'd love to be able to say, 'Truly, this man was the Duke of York' or even, as second-best, 'Truly, this man was not the Duke of York.' But I can't honestly do either. I haven't a clue who he was, and frankly, I don't think Henry VII did either.
One thing that is clear though is that Sir William Stanley and John Ratcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter, believed it was possible 'Perkin' was Edward IV's son. Now these men were no fools or hot-headed youths, and certainly they had not been supporters of Richard III. Nor were they 'outs' in a political sense - Stanley for example, was Henry VII's Lord Chamberlain. They had a lot to lose, and they lost it all, by gambling on the chance that Richard Duke of York was alive and capable of toppling the government.
Another thing that occurs to me is that 'Perkin', if not York, must have been one hell of an actor. Even in these days it wouldn't be easy for a working class foreigner to pass convincingly as a British royal. In the 15th Century it would have been many multiples of times harder. I think at a minimum 'Perkin' must have been brought up in or around a court. As for the allegation he was 'forcibly' taught English while a stranger in Ireland - well, LOL is all I can say. I was 'forcibly' taught French at school, but I doubt anyone would mistake me for a French aristo.
A fascinating mystery...