There lived in Oxford, one Richard Simon, a priest, who possessed some subtlety, and still more enterprize and temerity. This man had entertained the design of disturbing Henry's government, by raising a pretender to his crown; and for that purpose, he cast his eyes on Lambert Simnel, a youth of fifteen years of age, who was son of a baker, and who, being endowed with understanding above his years, and address above his condition, seemed well fitted to personate a prince of royal extraction. A report had been spread among the people, and received with great avidity, that Richard, duke of York, second son of Edward IV. had, by a secret escape, saved himself from the cruelty of his uncle, and lay somewhere concealed in England. Simon, taking advantage of this rumour, had at first instructed his pupil to assume that name, which he found to be so fondly cherished by the public: But hearing afterwards a new report, that Warwic had made his escape from the Tower, and observing that this news was attended with no less, general satisfaction, he changed the plan of his imposture, and made Simnel personate that unfortunate prince. Though the youth was qualified by nature for the part which he was instructed to act; yet was it remarked, that he was better informed in circumstances relating to the royal family, particularly in the adventure of the earl of Warwic, than he could be supposed to have learned from one of Simon's condition: And it was thence conjectured, that persons of higher rank, partizans of the house of York, had laid the |plan of this conspiracy, and had conveyed proper instructions to the actors. The queen-dowager herself was exposed to suspicion; and it was indeed the general opinion, however unlikely it might seem, that she had secretly given her consent to the imposture. This woman was of a very restless disposition. Finding, that, instead of receiving the reward of her services, in contributing to Henry's elevation, she herself was fallen into absolute insignificance, her daughter treated with severity, and all her friends brought under subjection, she had conceived the most violent animosity against him, and had resolved to make him feel the effects of her resentment. She knew, that the impostor, however successful, might easily at last be set aside; and if a way could be found at his risque to subvert the government, she hoped that a scene might be opened, which, though difficult at present exactly to foresee, would gratify her revenge, and be on the whole less irksome to her, than that slavery and contempt, to which she was now reduced.