Aged 12 and nine, brothers Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York were under the protection of their uncle, the Richard, Duke of Gloucester, following the death of Edward IV.
His protection was short-lived and brutal. In 1483, they disappeared from the Tower of London where they were imprisoned. The Duke claimed the crown for himself as the notorious hunchback King Richard III. It was widely believed that the cruel pretender had murdered the young boys.
But in 1490 a young man stepped forward in Burgundy and claimed the English throne in their name. He was Perkin Warbeck, who said he was, in truth, Richard of Shrewsbury. He had watched his brother murdered, he said, but had, himself, been spared.
Over the next five years he travelled the continent gaining support for his claim to the throne and he was recognised as King Richard IV by crowned heads of Europe, especially those with arguments against King Henry VII.
On September 7, 1497, Warbeck landed in Cornwall with a small army, capitalising on anger fuelled by a tax rebellion. The king responded with an army of his own, Warbeck fled and was eventually captured in Beaulieu in Hampshire.
In an ironic coincidence, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London with another Edward who had a legitimate claim to the throne.
There, he was tortured and confessed to being the simple son of John Osbeck, an official in the town of Tournai in France. In 1499, aged about 25, Perkin Warbeck was hanged at Tyburn.
His close resemblance to Edward IV led many to believe that his claim to the throne had more credibility than his Flemish parentage – but no historian has ever discovered the truth about him, just as they never have about the fate of the boy whose identity he briefly usurped.