Lambert Simnel

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Lambert Simnel (sĬm´nəl), 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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Simnel, Lambert (c.1475–c.1535). Simnel, one of the many pretenders to the throne of Henry VII, was put forward as Edward, earl of Warwick, nephew of Richard III, escaped from the Tower. He appears to have been the son of an Oxford tradesman. He was taken up by Richard Simon, a priest, and supported by the Yorkists. In May 1487 he was crowned as Edward VI in Dublin, summoned a parliament, and the following month was brought over to England with a formidable invading force. Henry VII met it at Stoke, 2 miles south-west of Newark, and was victorious. Simnel, a mere pawn, was pardoned and set to work as a scullion in the royal kitchens, living out the rest of his life in safe obscurity. The real earl of Warwick was executed in 1499.

J. A. Cannon