THE REPUTATION OF Dr. OATES, (The First DISCOVERER of the horrid POPISH PLOT) CLEAR'D IN THE TRYAL OF THOMAS KNOX, Formerly a Servant to the Earl of DANBY, and the Lord DUNBLAIN, his Son; AND JOHN LANE, Formerly a Servant to Doctor OATES. WHEREIN Is set forth their Endeavours to scandalize the Doctor, thereby to invalidate his Evidence; and how the Lords in the Tower, and others, hired them to it.

LONDON, Printed for Robert Harford, at the Angel in Cornhill, near the Royal-Exchange, 1679.

THE REPUTATION OF Dr. OATES (The First DISCOVERER of the horrid POPISH PLOT) CLEAR'D.

DOctor TITUS OATES, having on the 19th day of November, 1679. preferred a Bill of Indictment against Thomas Knox, who was formerly Servant to the Earl of Danby, and his Son the Lord Dunblain, and John Lane and William Osborn, (both) once his Servants. The grand Jury found the Bill against the three. But, Osborn being fled, the Court appointed the other two to be tryed on Saturday the 22th instant; upon which day the Jury not filling in time, and some other business intervening, the Court adjourn'd the said Tryal until Tuesday, the Twenty fifth of November.

At which time the Court being sate, there appeared therein a great number of Persons of Honour, and Gentlemen of good Quality, to see and hear a Tryal of such a nature, and a Scrutiny that so much concerned the Honour and Reputation of the Protestant Religion, and [Page 2] upon which so much depended the display of Popish Machination.

The Prisoners being brought to the Bar, the Jury sworn, whereof Sir John Kirk was Fore-man, and the Prisoners arraign'd, their Indictment was read, to which they severally pleaded, not guilty.

In the Indictment is included in a manner the Sum of their whole Crimes, That whereas it had been proved, that there was a most horrid Plot carried on by Roman Catholics, in and out of the Kingdom, against the Life and Government of His most Sacred Majesty, and that divers had been deservedly executed for the same, and others lay still under Impeachment in the Tower of London, and elsewhere, for the same Crimes, as the Lords, Powis, Petre, Arundel, Bellasis, Castlemain, &c. as the said Knox, Lane, and Osborn well knew. Notwithstanding which, they the said Knox, Lane, and Osborn, did maliciously and falsely endeavour to stifle the farther Discovery of the Plot as much as in them lay. And in favour to the said Impeached Lords and others, and for the preventing of Justice, and that the said Persons might escape the punish­ment of the Law, did slander and defame Dr. Titus Oates Clerk, and William Bedlow Gentleman, two of the Disco­verers of the said Plot; and that in order thereunto, Knox did heretofore endeavour to bribe one Mr. Wiggens, then Servant to Mr. Bedlow, to give him Copies of all his Master's Papers of Secrecy, that he should take notice of all such Lords as came at any time to discourse his Master; and give him their Names in writing.

That the said Knox had obliged himself to introduce the said Wiggens and Lane into Company with the Earl of Danby; at any hour in the night Season.

That the Countess of Danby, who well approved of what Lane had engaged to endeavour, did likewise offer to introduce Wiggens, and his Mother to her Lord in her own Coach at any time.

That Knox had divers Conferences with Lane and Osborn in the Cloyster-walks of the Abby Church at Westminster.

[Page 3] That upon discovery of this Design in February last, Dr. Oates expell'd from his Service the said Lane and Osborn; but that then this Knox did hire them Lodgings in obscure places, and sometimes lay with them.

That Knox had forged several Letters, as from Lane and Osborn, directed to himself, therein expressing how perplexed in Conscience they were at the malicious Con­trivances of their Master Dr. Oates, and Mr. Bedlow, against the Earl of Danby, and other Lords in the Tower. All which Contrivances they were resolved to discover, and also make it appear, that their said Master was a most vicious and infamous Man, and had made many attempts of Buggery upon the Body of Lane.

In pursuance of which devilish Design, they did repair to a Justice of Peace, to give in upon Oath their Infor­mations of these forged Crimes against the Doctor, which the said Justice refusing to take, they drew up one them­selves, and delivered it unto the Lord Latimer, who kept it a few days, then delivered it back, to be conveyed to the Lord Powis to amend.

That the Lord Powis did send it to one Mr. Henry Nevil, alias Paine, a Prisoner in the Prison of the Kings-Bench, to enlarge and give colourable Proofs thereunto

That the said Papers so enlarged and amended, were conveyed unto the Lord Castlemain to do the like. From whence they came to the hands of Mr. Thomas Willoughby, aliàs Dangerfield, who out of them drew Affidavits, which the said Lane offered to swear to before he had read them; adding, that he would swear any thing against his Master, so that he might be a gainer.

That afterwards they did swear these forged and contri­ved Informations before the Worshipful Sir James Butler, one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace.

That the said Knox did at several times purposely drop or let fall several pieces of Gold called Guinneys, and some­times Silver, which they took up as their own.

That Knox did promise them, as from the Earl of Danby, beneficial Places, either in the Treasury or Customs, [Page 4] and promised them, as from the other Lords in the Tower, Five hundred Pounds in hand, and each One hundred Pound per Annum to be setled upon them.

That after the Design had gone thus far, they being in February last apprehended and committed to the Gate-house, were examined upon their Oaths by Sir William Waller; and Collonel Warcup; to whom they confessed, that all they had sworn against Dr. Oates was malicious and false, and that they were prompted, hired, and encouraged there­unto by the said Knox, and that they did verily believe, that the Earl of Danby, in confidence of the success of this Design, did surrender himself to the black Rod.

Soon after this, they were brought before a Committee of Lords then sitting in the Lord Privy-Seal's Chamber, where also appeared the two Justices, who shewed their Lordships the said Examinations, which they owned, and humbly prayed the mercy and forgiveness of their Lord­ships, and their Master Dr. Oates.

A few days after which they were discharged from the Gate-house; but no sooner had they their liberty, but upon the Instigation a second time, of the said Knox, in behalf of the Lords, and other Popish persons, but they most impudently and maliciously resumed the prosecution of their aforesaid false and forged Informations against the said Dr. Oates; and have also been received and lodged in the House of the Lord Powis, and at his charge, and with and from the said Lord, and other Lords in the Tower, had frequent Conferences and Directions.

That when they lodged at Mrs. Cellier's House, they had an allowance of Ten Shillings per Week.

And this present Term did bring the said false, forged, and slanderous Papers and Matters into the Court of Kings-Bench, thence and thereupon to frame an Indictment against the said Dr. Oates, which was by the Jury found Ignoramus, and thrown out.

After all which they now stand here to make Defence to these their villainous Crimes of Forgery and Per­jury, and slandering the King's Evidence.

[Page 5] The Doctor had many Witnesses (13) to prove the In­dictment against them.

I. Sir William Waller, and Collonel Warcup, produced Lane and Osborn's Confession upon Oath in February last, as is before-mentioned in justification of Dr. Oates.

II. Mr. Wiggens and his Mother proved Knox his tampe­ring with them against Mr. Bedlow.

III. One of His Majesties Warders, and Mr. Samuel Oates, declared, That the said Lane and Osborn confessed to them, what great Preferments and Rewards they were to have for their work, when done.

IV. Mr. Dangerfield (whose Pardon passed the Great Seal the day before) did fully declare how and in what manner he was imployed by the said Lords in the Tower, to tamper with, and corrupt the said Lane and Osborn with Knox; and did clearly make out, how the said forged Papers were mended and enlarged by him and them, and that the Lady Powis did deliver, or cause to be delivered to the now indicted Persons, or their Use, Ten Shillings per Week; which Evidence was strengthened by concur­ring circumstances from two persons more; and besides them, other Witnesses, which sufficiently proved the Indict­ment, so that the Jury, without removing from the Bar, pronounced them guilty; at which the People gave a great shout: And the Prisoners were committed to the Prison of the Kings-Bench.

His Majesty was graciously pleased to give Dr Oates an Order upon the Lords of his Treasury, for the forth­with reimbursing him all such Moneys, as the full Charge of this Prosecution hath amounted unto.

The Judges and Chief Officers of the Court, toge­ther with the Jury, had that Honour and Esteem likewise [Page 6] for the Doctor, and were so far convinc'd of the Injury done him, by being put to such great and unnecessary Charge, that they all forgave him his Fees.

November 27. Dr. Oates appeared at the Kings-Bench Bar, and demanded Judgment against the said Knox and Lane, which by reason that the Verdict was not recorded; or if recorded, that the Record was not filed up, or some other formality in Law; they could not pass Judgment until the next Term.

The Council for the Doctor were,

  • Serjeant Maynard,
  • The Attorney General,
  • The Sollicitor General,
  • The Recorder,
  • Sir Francis Winnington,
  • Mr. Trenchard,
  • Mr. Williams,
  • Mr. Smith.

The Council against the Doctor were,

Mr. Scroggs, the Lord Chief Justice's Son, With two more.

FINIS.

ADVERTISEMENT.

A True Narrative of the Popish PLOT against King CHARLES the First and the Protestant Religion, as it was discovered by Andreas ab Habernfeld to Sir William Boswell the English Ambassador at the Hague, and by him transmitted to Archbishop Laud, who com­municated it to the KING. The whole Discovery being found amongst the Archbishop's Papers, by Mr. Prynn, who was ordered to search his Study in the Tower by a Commitee of the then Parliament May 31. 1643. With some Historical Remarks on the Jesuits, and a Vindication of the Protestant Dissenters from Disloyalty. Also a Compleat History of the Papists late Presbyterian PLOT discovered by Mr. Dangerfield, wherein an Account is given of some late Transactions of Sir Robert Peyton.

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