Oates, Titus


Oates, Titus

biographical name

(born Sept. 15, 1649, Oakham, Rutland, Eng.—died July 12/13, 1705, London) English fabricator of the Popish Plot. Son of a Baptist preacher, he was ordained in the Church of England. Although jailed for perjury in 1674, he became chaplain to the Protestants in the household of the Catholic 6th duke of Norfolk in 1677. In 1678, with the fanatically anti-Catholic Israel Tonge, he invented the Popish Plot, a fictitious Jesuit conspiracy to kill Charles II and place his Catholic brother James (later James II) on the throne. Oates's testimony caused some 35 persons to be executed, but inconsistencies in his story emerged, and he was convicted of perjury and imprisoned in 1685; released in 1688, he died in obscurity.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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