National Geographic : 1964 Jun
Boats ride sand when tide departs from St. Michael's harbor. Distant Marazion once bustled men dressed as pilgrims. Once they got inside they drew their swords. They held the Mount for several months. "Later the rebel Perkin Warbeck tried to launch rebellion from here. He took the castle unopposed, but he didn't get very far." I listened enthralled as this English history I had been taught as a boy came to life so vividly in this perfect setting. Perkin Warbeck, I knew, was an impostor who gave himself quite a career about the time that Columbus was sailing to North America-until the hangman's noose snapped it to an abrupt end when he was 25. Pretending, in 1492, to be Richard, Duke of York (who had been murdered in London as a child, years earlier), Warbeck was en tertained and financed by King Charles VIII of France. He was given Lady Catherine Gordon in marriage by James IV of Scotland. Leaving his wife at the Mount, he marched away in 1497 to proclaim himself rightful King of England and attack Exeter. Failed, 890 imprisoned, confessed, hanged-four words complete the impostor's biography. Well, he was at least a romantic rascal, and the Lady Catherine Gordon was a beauty. I was glad that she had come to no harm. The king gave her a pension. Was Mount Known to Ancient Greeks? Long before the visitation of the archangel, before the monastery, the Mount was a place of renown. Many students consider-as do I - that its shelter provided the ancient port of Iktin, or Iktis, to which the Phoenicians came from Carthage and Sidon to trade for British tin. They needed tin to blend with copper from Cyprus to make bronze. Bronze made the best weapons. Hence tin's impor tance. It was the uranium ore of the period. A Greek geographer, one Pytheas, voyaged north from Massilia-Marseille-about 325 B.C. A quote from his lost writings, used some 200 years later by the Greek historian Dio dorus Siculus, speaks of Iktin.