July 18, 2005

Exactly right...

Barone has another good one....

Titus Oates was once a name every schoolboy knew. Oates was the disgraced Church of England clergyman who, in 1678 and 1679, accused various English Catholics of a "popish plot" to assassinate King Charles II and take control of the government of England.

On the basis of the testimony of Oates and a few other similar characters, more than a dozen Catholics were found guilty and executed. Priests were arrested and held indefinitely, and Catholics were excluded from Parliament.

Then, as the trials went on, it became clear that Oates' detailed charges were all lies. His name became a synonym for liar....

Barone has a good list of the lies of a certain contemporary Titus Oates. Go take a look.

On a historical note, I am a great fan of Samuel Pepys. I have an interesting book, The Ordeal of Mr. Pepys's Clerk, about the involvement of Pepys in the Popish Plot. Shaftesbury wished to arrest Pepys on false charges, but Pepy's had a clear alibi. So he was forced to settle for Pepys's clerk, Samuel Atkins, who was accused of complicity in the (still) mysterious murder of Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey. But the target was Pepys, and he only as a means to the real target, the catholic Duke of York, later James II.

Posted by John Weidner at July 18, 2005 12:17 PM
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