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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Titus Oates

Titus Oates was born at Oakham in Rutland, England on September 15, 1649.

His father Samuel was a minister who moved between the Church of England and the Baptists; he became a Baptist during the Puritan Revolution, rejoining the established church at the Restoration and was rector of All Saints' Church at Hastings (1666–74). By the late 1670s, he had once more reverted to the Baptist doctrine.

On May 29, 1670 Titus Oates was ordained as a Church of England priest. He was vicar of the parish of Bobbing in Kent, 1673–74, and then curate to his father at All Saints, Hastings.

On Ash Wednesday in 1677 Oates was received into the Catholic Church. He became involved with the Jesuit houses of St Omer in France and the Royal English College at Valladolid in Spain. When he returned to London, Oates explained that he had pretended to become a Catholic to learn about the secrets of the Jesuits and that, before leaving, he had heard about a planned Jesuit meeting in London.

Titus Oates

In 1678 Oates and English divine Israel Tonge wrote a lengthy manuscript that fabricated a "Popish Plot" in which Charles II was to be killed.. Oates succeeded in persuading the Privy Council that the Jesuits and various Catholic nobles were supposedly planning on assassinating the English king. As a consequence at least 15 innocent "conspirators" were executed and Oates himself was given an apartment in Whitehall and an annual allowance of £1,200.from the state for his services.

During the hysteria engendered by the "Popish Plot," Baron George "Judge" Jeffreys earned himself a notorious reputation for his relentless prosecution of the supposed Roman Catholic conspirators.
By 1681, Oates' crime has been uncovered and he was sentenced to life imprisonment incorporating an annual pillory and flogging in the public stocks.

Engraving of a pilloried Titus Oates

In 1689, upon the accession of the Protestant William of Orange and Mary, Oates was pardoned and granted a pension of £260 a year, but his reputation did not recover.

Oates married in 1693 and became a Baptist, but in 1701, he was expelled from the Baptists "as a disorderly person and hypocrite".

Oates died on July 13, 1705, by then an obscure and largely forgotten figure.

Source Wikipedia

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