Titus Oates

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Oates, Titus,

1649–1705, English conspirator. An Anglican priest whose whole career was marked with intrigue and scandal, he joined forces with one Israel Tonge to invent the story of the Popish Plot of 1678. Oates, who had been briefly a convert to Roman Catholicism, claimed that there was a Jesuit-guided plan to assassinate Charles II and to hasten the succession of the Catholic James, duke of York (later James II). The account was completely fabricated, and Oates, examined by the privy council, would perhaps have been immediately exposed had not treasonous letters from Edward Coleman, secretary of the duchess of York, to the French Jesuit, François La Chaise, been discovered as a result of his accusations. The unexplained death of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, the judge to whom Tonge and Oates first told their story, was attributed without evidence to the Catholics, and three innocent men were hanged for it. A frenzy of anti-Catholic hatred swept through England, resulting in the judicial murder of a number of Roman Catholic peers and commoners and in the arrest and persecution of many others. Oates enjoyed temporary eminence and even accused Queen Catherine of plotting to poison the king. In 1685, Oates was convicted of perjury, severely flogged, and imprisoned. Under William III he was released and pensioned.


See J. Kenyon, The Popish Plot (1972).

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References in periodicals archive ?
The second Dominican friar to side openly with Titus Oates was Bernard Dennis, originally Bryan MacDonagh of Sligo.
Marotti explores the propaganda surrounding Catholic plots by examining three "religiously coded events" (10): the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, the Irish Rebellion of 1641, and the trumped-up Popish Plot of 1678-81, in which the allegations of Titus Oates launched a furor during which twenty-four Catholics were executed.
The list of villains was: Mosley, Jack the Ripper, Cumberland, Titus Oates, Sir Richard Rich, Thomas Arundel, Hugh Despenser, King John, Thomas Becket and Eadric Streona
Scott's body was found only 20 kilometres from one such cache, known as One Ton Depot; the final party: Edgar Evans, Titus Oates, Wilson and Scott.
Here, as elsewhere, Shawcross takes on the role of scourge of previous biographers; in this case they are berated for 'egregiously' misreading Philips's work, and Shawcross goes on to suggest, scandalously, that William Riley Parker had not actually read John Philips's tract on the Titus Oates affair.
And it asks exactly what happened to Evans and colleague Captain Titus Oates, and whether their struggle against the -400C temperatures were seen as a liability by Scott.
1649: Titus Oates, English Anglican priest and fabricator of the ''Popish Plot'' in 1678, was born.
Ridden by Val O'Brien, the favourite held on by ahead from The Dikler (11st 2lb), with Titus Oates (12st 3lb), Gay Trip, Royal Relief, Orient War and top-weight Crisp next.
1649: Titus Oates, fabricator of the "Popish Plot" in 1678, born.
At the heart of it all was the unlovely figure of Titus Oates, fantasist and virtuoso liar.
*** ONE of my favourite horses of the 70s was Titus Oates and I backed him to win the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.
The Titus Oates Plot created another crisis, and in the first half of the eighteenth century English Catholics of all social ranks were exposed to the risk of raids.