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The Irish city of Cork is the seat of County Cork in Munster Province and the location of the seaport by the same name. It is believed that the original site was likely near Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral, which had a monastery in the seventh century, and the old city center was an island in the Lee.

Cork was raided and burned by Vikings in 821, 846, and 1012. Vikings settled there eventually and established a trading center there, and eventually, Cork became an important link in the Scandinavian network of traders.

The walled settlement was occupied by Anglo-Norman in 1172 and in 1177, it became a royal borough, It was granted its first city charter by soon-to-be-king, Prince John in 1185.

Throughout the Middle Ages, the population of Cork remained approximately 2,100 people. In 1349, nearly half the population was wiped out when the Black Death swept through the town.

The two sons of Edward IV of England and his wife Elizabeth Woodville Edward V, King of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, widely known as the "Princes in the Tower," were imprisoned in the Tower of London when their father died by the man appointed to take care of them, their uncle and Lord Protector Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who would soon become King Richard III of England. At the time, Edward was 12 and Richard was 9. They were there, supposedly, to prepare for the coronation of young Edward V, but it turned out that was not true.

The coronation of young Edward V was scheduled for June 22, 1483, but before he was to be crowned, the marriage of the boys' parents was declared bigamous, hence invalid. For that reason, the princes were considered illegitimate and could not inherit the throne. On July 6, 1483 their uncle was crowned King Richard III. The boys were last seen in August; they simply vanished from the Tower of London. There was plenty of talk about the suspicion that Richard III had killed them in order to ensure that he would keep the throne, but the only evidence of such a thing was circumstantial. There were numerous other theories as to the fate of the young princes, including one that said they had escaped assassination.

In 1491, a man named Perkin Warbeck came to Cork. He was a pretender to the throne and claimed to be the younger of the two princes in the tower, Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York. He had arrived in order to whip up support for his plot to overthrow King Henry VII of England and take back the throne he claimed was rightfully his. Several prominent Corkians, including the mayor, accompanied Warbeck back to England, but when the rebellion dissolved, they were captured and executed.

This support of Warbeck by much of Cork is how the city became known as "the Rebel City."

During the Irish campaign, in 1649, Oliver Cromwell, an English political and military leader who would, in 1653, become Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, managed to persuade the Protestant Royalist soldiers in Cork to switch their allegiance from Charles I to Cromwell's Parliamentary Army. The city unilaterally revolted against Charles I, favoring Oliver Cromwell in 1649.

In 1690, the city was conquered by John Churchill, Earl of Marlborough for William of Orange, also known as William III.

During 1919 and 1920, Cork confirmed its reputation as the Rebel City when it became the center of the Irish nationalist resistance. British forces burned various parts of the city in retaliation for an ambush on a convoy which was carrying members of the elite Auxiliary of the Royal Irish Constabulary. Cork's lord mayor Thomas MacCurtain, a local republican leader, was killed by a gunshot in his bed by the Royal Irish Constabulary. Terence MacSwiney, who became lord mayor upon MacCurtain's death, was imprisoned and died after a 74-day hunger strike. After the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, republican forces who refused to accept the treaty took the city.

Denizens of Cork frequently call Cork "the Real Capital" due to the city's use as the center of forces opposing the Anglo-Irish Treaty during the Irish Civil War.



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