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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Perkin Warbeck was taken in his flight


no one could have advised him to attach himself unconditionally to the house of Burgundy. Duke Charles' widow was still alive, who found it unendurable that the house of York, from which she sprang, should be dethroned from its 'triumphant majesty, which shone over the seven nations of the world'--for so she expressed herself. With her the fugitive partisans of the house of York found refuge and protection: by herself and her son-in-law Maximilian of Austria the pretenders were fitted out who contested the crown with Henry VII. Henry could not really wish Brittany to pass to his sworn foe, so that he might be threatened from this quarter also at every moment. For how could he delude himself with the hope that a transitory alliance would prevail over a dynastic antipathy?

At this crisis Ferdinand the Catholic of Spain offered him an alliance and connexion by marriage.

That which induced this sovereign to do so was above all Charles VIII's invasion of Italy, and his conquest of Naples, to which the crown of Aragon had just claims. His plan was to oppose to the mighty consolidated power of France a family alliance with the Austro-Burgundian House, with Portugal, above all with England: he hoped that this would react on Italy, always wont to adhere to the most powerful party. Ferdinand offered the King of England a marriage between his youngest daughter Catharine and the Prince of Wales. In the English Privy Council

many objections were made to this; they did not wish to draw the enmity of France on themselves and would have rather seen the prince united to a princess of the house of Bourbon, as was then proposed. It was on Henry VII's own responsibility that the offer was accepted. In September 1496 an agreement was come to about the conditions: on 15th August 1497 the ceremony of betrothal took place in the palace at Woodstock.[77]

The motive which impelled Henry to his decision is sufficiently clear; it was his relation to Scotland, on which the Spaniards already exercised influence.

There the second pretender, Perkin Warbeck, had found a warm reception from the young and chivalrous James IV: he there married a lady of one of the chief houses: accompanied in person by this sovereign he made an attempt to invade England, which only failed owing to the unfavourable time of the year. The Spanish ambassador Pedro de Ayala then out of regard to Henry secured Perkin's withdrawal from Scotland. But in 1497 the danger revived in a yet greater degree. Warbeck landed in Cornwall where all the inhabitants rallied round him, and a revolt already once suppressed broke out again; at this moment James IV, urged on by the nobles of the land, crossed the border with a splendid army: the co-operation of the two movements might have placed the King in a serious difficulty. Again it was the Spanish ambassador who made James IV determine not to let himself be urged on further; but rather to give him the commission, to adjust his differences with England. Henry VII was set free to suppress the revolt in Cornwall; Perkin Warbeck was taken in his flight.

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