Titus Oates in the Pillory

Scanned directly from ‘Old and New London – Its History, its people and its places’, published by Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co. 1878.

Illustration of Titus Oates in the Pillory. The Popish Plot was a fictitious conspiracy concocted by Titus Oates (1649–1705) that gripped England, Wales and Scotland in Anti-Catholic hysteria between 1678 and 1681. Oates alleged that there existed an extensive Catholic conspiracy to assassinate Charles II, accusations that led to the execution of at least 15 men and precipitated the Exclusion Bill Crisis. Eventually Oates’ intricate web of accusations fell apart, leading to his arrest and conviction for perjury, to be stripped of clerical dress, imprisoned for life and to be “whipped through the streets of London five days a year for the remainder of his life.” Oates was taken out of his cell wearing a hat with the text “Titus Oates, convicted upon full evidence of two horrid perjuries” and put into the pillory at the gate of Westminster Hall where passers-by pelted him with eggs. The next day he was pilloried in London and the third day was stripped, tied to a cart, and whipped from Aldgate to Newgate. The next day, the whipping resumed.

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