A Full DISCOVERY Of the First PRESBYTERIAN Sham-Plot. OR A LETTER From one in LONDON, TO A Person of Quality in the Country.

By Andrew Yarranton.

LONDON: Printed for Francis Smith, at the Elephant and Castle in Cornhil, near the Royal Exchange. 1681.

A Full Discovery of the first Presbyterian Sham-Plot, &c.

Honoured SIR,

YOU seem to be much concern'd (as you well may) at the present state of Affairs amongst us; and to won­der that the Scene should be so suddenly chang'd, and the Popish Plot be turn'd into a Protestant and Presbyterian Plot. This Riddle, no doubt, astonisheth many others as well as your self; the Errand therefore of these Lines is to attempt the solving of it.

Two things I shall premise, to which I promise my self I shall have your and every sober Man's Concession. The first is, That the Papists have long designed the subversion of the Prote­stant Religion in this Kingdom: They look upon England as the great Bulwark of that which they call the Northern Heresy; as that Roman of old resolv'd it into a Maxime, that Carthage must be destroyed, so the Romanists of late, have universally a­greed that England must be ruin'd, or restor'd to the Communion of the Church of Rome. I could easily recount the several efforts they made in order hereunto, in the Reign of Q. Eliz. K. James and K. Charles the First, as also during the Interregnum, but this would swell my Letter, and make it too Volumnious: I shall only therefore consider the Methods they have meditated, for the bringing of this about since the Restauration of his Majesty that now is, and some of these you will find in what follows. A second thing I take for granted is this, That the Papists have little hope to enslave this Nation, and bring it to their Lure, so long as it is compacted and united together; Great Britain's Scituation and Union together make it impregnable. But Machiavil's Aphorism, Devide and Rule, is well known to the Jesuits: Discord therefore is the great thing they have endea­voured amongst us, especially in matters of Religion: A King­dom is easily set on Fire by a Coal from the Altar: how success­ful they have been in this Essay for these twenty years past-hath been both the Observation and Lamentation of many.

The King at his first entrance (to his praise be it spoken) took a prudent course to obviate this Mischief, he first passed an Act of Oblivion and Indemnity, wherein he conjured all his Subjects to follow his Example, in forbearing and forgiving one another.

After this he issu'd out his gracious Declaration touching Ec­clesiastical Affairs, which was so full of Concessions and Con­descensions, that the Ministers about London presented him with a gratulory Address; yea, the House of Commons gave him hearty. Thanks for it: and had they past that Declaration into an Act of Parliament, it had probably cemented, tho not every individual Person, yet the greatest part by far of all the Protestants throughout the Nation. But some, both of the Clergy and Laity, that bore the greatest, sway rejected it, and so His Majesty's good and peaceable Intentions prov'd Abortive. These Men (by whose Instigations you may imagine) instead of an Act of Union, resolve upon an Act of Uniformity, which they could not but know would prove the greatest Bone of Con­tention that ever was in the Nation: And some of the leading Church-Men were heard to say, they would have an Act so fra­med, as should reach every Puritan in the Kingdom; and if they thought any of them would so stretch their Consciences as to be comprehended in it, they would insert yet other Condi­tions and Subscriptions so as that they should have no benefit by it. But the King and Parliament (they fear'd) were not yet fully prepar'd for the passing of such an Act: thereupon a con­trivement is set on foot to make a Presbyterian Plot. And this was the first of that nature which they took in hand. And be­cause it never was taken notice of by some, and forgotten by others, I shall therefore set it down at large; which I can the better do, because I was a great Sufferer therein: and what I re­late, if occasion be, I can prove by Letters, and many living Wit­nesses.

This Sham-Plot was lay'd in about 16 Counties of England; But I shall write principally of that part of it which was execu­ted in Worcestershire, the Month of November, in the year 1661. Several Letters were drawn up and delivered by Sir John P— to one Richard N— his Neighbour, to carry to one — Cole of Martly about 4 Miles from Wocester, who is now living. This — Cole, according to instructions, delivereth a Packet of Let­ters to one — Churne of Witchinford, who also is, or lately, [Page 5]was alive, and dwelt near Martly. This Packet of Letters was car­ried by Coles and Churne unto Sir John P— (from whom it first came.) And before him Churne makes an Affidavit, that going early in the Morning to his Labour he struck his Bill upon a Hedge to cut a Thorne, and by and by; on the other side of the Hedg, he espy'd a Scotch Pedlar, putting up Letters hastily into his Pack, and being affrighted (as he suppos'd) he left that Packet behind in the Ditch, and went down a Lane leading to Colonel John Birch his House.

This Oath being made, and the Packet delivered, as aforesaid, and opened, it presently appeared that there was a Conspiracy on foot to stir up Rebellion in the Kingdom, and to raise an Army for that purpose; and that Capt. Andrew Yarranton was to command a Party in those Parts; for which purpose there were several Letters directed to him from some Ministers, and others: Particularly, one from Mr. Richard Baxter, Minister of Kederminster, Mr. Baxter then at London. intimating that he had provided a considerable Body of Men, well arm'd, which should be in readiness against the time appointed. Another from Mr. Ambrose Sparry the then Minister of Martly, intimating, that he had order'd him 500 l. which was lodg'd in a Friends hand,No Man so covetous of the then Clergy. (not named) and should be ready for him when-ever he sent for it. Several other Letters, and treasonable Papers, were pretended to be in that Packet; all which occasioned the raising the Militia of that County; and the City of Worcester was filled that night with Horse and Foot: Early the next morning, about two of the Clock, an Officer, with a Troop,Nov. 9. come to Mr. Yarranton's House, and seeing Lights in most of the Windows; for a season he made a halt; but anon he drew near to the House; and demanded entrance; Mrs. Yarranton told him she would open the Doors, provided he would come in with no more than two Persons besides himself; to which he assented. And when he was come into the House; he demanded of Mrs. Yarranton, where her Husband was? She answered, He was not at home. The Officer replyed, He was at home the Evening before: She told him, He was; but he is now gone to one Mr. Mitchel's House at Hitinton: But to let you see that he knows the Design you come about, he hath left his Man with a Horse ready sadled to conduct you to him. Some of the Party being Volunteers out of Worcester, observing the words and deportment of Mrs. Yarranton, went presently home again; a­mongst whom was Mr. Winter Hains an Apothecary, and since [Page 6]Mayor of Worcester, and still alive, who hath often said, that very instant he smelt the Design. The Officer, with his Party, was brought by Henry Cowell, Mr. Yarranton's Servant, to the House of Mr. Mitchell; where finding the said Yarranton, the Officer told him, He was his Prisoner, and must go along with him to Worcester; and about ten a Clock the same day they all entred the City, where all the Trained Bands of the County were up in Arms. The same day several other Persons were secured, as Mr. Ambrose Spanry Mi­nister of Martly, near which place the Sham-Packet was pretended to be found. Mr. Henry Osland Minister of Bewdly; Mr. Edward Osland of the Rocke; Dr. Jackson of Kederminster; Mr. Moore Mi­nister of Worcester; Mr. Bryan Minister of Old Swinford; Captain Wells, Cap. Wells living now at Bednal­green. Mr. Vicars now liv­ing in Smithfield Mr. Henry Baldwin, Mr. George Wilson, Mr. John Vicars, Mr. Mekine, all four of Worcester: with some scores more, which I forbear to mention, all which Persons were disposed of into seve­ral Prisons or Places of confinement, so that they could not speak one with another, having Sentinels always standing at their several Doors. Amongst the common People there was a great noise of a horrid Plot, a Presbyterian Plot, and they were so confirm'd in the belief of it, that the several Prisoners, as they marched with their Guards through the Streets, were greatly reviled and affronted.

All things continued in this posture for the space of ten days; after which time the Trained Bands would continue no longer, they were grown a little sensible of the Sham: And upon their de­parture, the Deputy Lieutenants, out of their great clemency, discharged all the Prisoners then in custody, except Dr. Jackson, Mr. Sparry, Mr. Henry and Mr. Edward Osland, Capt. VVells, and — Yarranton; only they must pay their Fees, and find good Security, not to go five miles from their Habitations, without leave first obtained from the Lord Lieutenant, or two Deputy Lieute­nants, to appear when they were sent for, and in the mean time, to keep all the King's Laws, Ecclesiastical and Civil. This done, Mr. Sparry, Dr. Jackson, the two Oslands, and Mr. Yarranton, were ordered to be kept close Prisoners in several Chambers of the George Inn in VVorcester; Jo. Shuler. Marshal. so that no Person whatsoever must come or speak to either of them but in the presence of the Marshal. The Trained Bands being gone, as was said before, to their several Homes, care was taken for the securing of these Criminals, by the dignified Clergy of VVorcester, together with some of the fattest Clergy-men of the County, who provided about 60 Foot Souldiers, [Page 7]which they arm'd, and paid, as some of them said, with double pay; which Souldiers were to attend, as Sentinels, in their turns, upon each of the Prisoners, and the rest to keep a Court of Guard in the Town-Hall of VVorcester. These were commonly called the Clergie Band; and they had for their Captain, one Mr. VVilliam Sheldon of Stoke-Prior, who hath, of a long time, as it is said, be­long'd to the Rules in Southwark.

I can't omit the acquainting you with one renown'd Act of Chi­valry, that was done in this Church-Court-Guard. It hapened that there came to Worcester a poor old Man, to enquire after the Welfare of Mr. Henry Osland his Minister, and speaking with one of these Souldiers, the Souldier liberally charged Mr. Osland with being a Traitor, a Rebel, a Plotter against the Government, with some o­ther hard Names; he stoutly defended his Minister, and said he was an honest peaceable Man, and he could never believe he was concer­ned in any Treason, or Plot against the Government. The Church Militant-Man in great Wrath laid hold of this poor old Zealot; and carried him to the Court of Guard: he that then presided in that Court-Martial was also a Church-Officer, and no meaner Man than an Apparitor; he commanded the old Man to be ty'd Neck and Heels together, charg'd him with having a Hand in this Presbyteri­an Plot, and threatned him with severe usage unless he would make a Confession. The old Man bore all this with great Patience, an­swering him never a Word, which so enrag'd this Man in Authori­ty, that he put lighted Matches betwixt his Fingers, and burnt them to the very Bone: and all this was done to force a Confession from him of a Presbyterian Plot. The Name of the Person thus tortur'd is Roger Waldern of Bewdly, who (for ought I have heard to the contrary) is still alive, and carrieth about him the sh [...]vel'd Skin, which was caus'd by those burning Matches betwixt his Fin­gers; and so are many others alive, which saw him in his Misery, and contributed their help to the healing of his Hands. Now if so small an Officer of the Church as an Apparitor, durst be so hardy as to act such a piece of Barbarity, contrary to all Law and Conscience, what may we fear and expect from those of a greater Figure, if once they come to have Power in their Hands? But this is a digression.

This feigned Plot was not only laid in Worcestershire, but in other Shires and Counties of England, as I hinted before; I could fill ma­ny Sheets of Paper, if I pleased, with Particulars: But give me leave to inform you only of some Passages in Oxfordshire which respect to [Page 8]this Plot, which fell out about the same time. There dwelt in Oxford one Mr. Matthew Martin, Mr. Mar­tin, Brew­er, in Old­street. who was then Town-Clark there; he is now a Brewer in London, and in good Reputation both for E­state and Integrity. There came one Evening to his House in Ox­ford, a Stranger with a Letter, who had no sooner delivered it, but he withdrew and went his way: when Mr. Martin had open'd it and a little considered the Contents, he took a prudent course to carry it to the Mayor, as you'l hear by and by, and to do it immedi­ately; for had he tarryed a Night or an Hour, it might have been found about him, and then Oxford had quickly been as full, or fuller, of Plotters and Prisoners than Worcester: The Copy of this memora­ble Letter I here insert word for word.

Mr. Martin,

I Pray will you warn all these Men to be all in their Arms, upon Wednes­day next in the Night; you know already where they must meet. There will come into Oxford two hundred Men all in their Arms, you know who doth Command them. Dr. Greenwood has sent to Mr. Combs the Bar­ber, to get his Party of Scholars ready that night; and I have sent to Mr. Hickman to get his Men ready at the same time; and Dr. Owen has sent to Mr. Fogge to get his Men ready at the same time; and Dr. Gawin has sent to Mr. Duke the Barber, to get his Men ready at the same time; and I have sent to Mr. Cornish to get his ready at the same time; and I have sent to Dr. Connaught to get his Men ready; and all the Scholars are to meet in Dr. Roger's Garden: And pray send the Blunderbusses thither, for I intend to be there my self: and I pray give the Bearer hereof five pounds out of the Stock: and I pray remember me to the six Men unnam'd. Five Counties are to rise that Night without fail: I need write no more to you. The Word is, God is the Word, and pray tell them all so.

In this Letter was a List of the Persons Names, he was to warn, and it is as followeth.

  • Mr. Wikes
  • Mr. Langly
  • Mr. Cave
  • Mr. White
  • Mr. Lane
  • Mr. Williams
  • Mr. Fifill
  • Mr. Townfend
  • Mr. Pitman
  • Mr. Burrows
  • Mr. Pawling
  • Mr. Walker
  • Mr. Williams
  • Mr. Jennings
  • Mr. Short
  • Mr. Griffin
  • Mr. Newman
  • Mr. Quelch
  • Mr. Phillips
  • Mr. Phillips
  • Mr. Banks
  • Mr. Prince
  • Mr. Tindall
  • Mr. Tindall
  • Mr. Carter
  • Mr. Carter
  • Mr. Sadler
  • Mr. Weller
  • Mr. Edwards
  • Mr. Dawes
  • Mr. Drinock
  • Mr. Berry
  • Mr. King
  • Mr. Carter
  • Mr. Wix
  • Mr. Siper
  • Mr. Quelch
  • Mr. Tomes
  • Mr. Barnes
  • Mr. Fifield
  • Mr. Campion
  • Mr. Lloyd
  • Mr. Dodwell
  • Mr. Nixson
  • Mr. Spur
  • Mr. Spensar
  • Mr. Hodgkins
  • Mr. Sheen
  • Mr. Bowel
  • Mr. Seal
  • Mr. Painter
  • Mr. Rogers
  • Mr. Painter
  • Mr. Rogers
  • Mr. Duke
  • Mr. Asting
  • Mr. Archman
  • Mr. Gelman
  • Mr. Titmons
  • Mr. Lark
  • Mr. Hands
  • Mr. Newman
  • Mr. Newman
  • Mr. Nixson
  • Mr. Nixson
  • Mr. Fulks
  • Mr. Fulks
  • Mr. Adkins
  • Mr. Adkins
  • Mr. Nichols
  • Mr. Nichols
  • Mr. Nichols
  • Mr. Bowel
  • Mr. Adkins
  • Mr. Houghton
  • Mr. Houghton
  • Mr. Green
  • Mr. Wiance
  • Mr. Luing
  • Mr. Ryland
  • Mr. Nixson
  • Mr. Bett
  • Mr. Stinson
  • Mr. Foge
  • Mr. Hombes
  • Mr. Adams
  • Mr. Adams
  • Mr. Andrews
  • Mr. Foye
  • Mr. Jennings
  • Mr. Langly
  • Mr. Langly
  • Mr. Phillips
  • Mr. Porter
  • Mr. Alworth
  • Mr. Millar
  • Mr. Prince
  • Mr. Cave
  • Mr. Tongue
  • Mr. Tongue
  • Mr. Tongue
  • Mr. Achman
  • Mr. Winkeil
  • Mr. Bunch
  • Mr. Digbee
  • Mr. Fifeld
  • Mr. Fifeld
  • Mr. Adkins
  • Mr. Bro
  • Mr. Tredwell
  • Mr. Bland

The Mayor of Oxford immediately dispatcheth a Messenger, with an account of these transactions to the Lord Falkland, who was then a Member of Parliament, and I think, Lord Lieutenant of the Coun­ty: the Copy of the Mayor's Letter, I think meet also to be here inserted.

My Lord,

I Do not love to give your Lordship any unnecessary trouble, yet in regard, I perceive that by occasion of a Letter left with Mr. Martin our Town-Clark, on Monday night last, there is a great noise made as if there were an in­tended rising, and meeting of armed Men in this City this last Night, which I thought might possibly come to your Lorships Ear: I thought it therefore my duty for the preventing of misreports (the first discovery of it being made to my self) to give your Lordship this true and full account of the whole matter: On Monday night last, about eight or nine of the Clock there comes a young Man to the Town-Clark's House, and desiring to speak with him, delivers him a Letter, which he said one gave him on the Road between Tetsworth and Oxford, the Town-Clark desir'd him to stay till he looked from whence it came; the young Man pretended great haste, and while he turned to the Candle to open the Letter, the young Man slipt out of his Doors, The Town-Clark no sooner read the two first Lines of it, but said, some­body had design'd evil towards him; and while he read on his Letter, called for his Man and a Lanthorn, and so soon as it came, went to Captain Griffins to shew him what he received: not finding him at home; he repair­ed to me; told me how the Letter was left with him (shewing it to me) desiring me to send to seek out Captain Griffin, that he might see the Con­tents of it: which accordingly I did, and he coming to me, we together perused the Letter, and the List of Names inclosed: and considering them both with the Circumstances, we presum'd it to be at the worst, but a de­sign to try or to intrap the Town-Clark; we could not but commend his dis­cretion in the so timely a Discovery, for the clearing of himself. I have inclosed a Copy of the Letter in such English as it is written, and a Copy of the List of Names, and because divers of them may be unknown to your Lordship, I take leave to tell you that some of them bear Arms in your Lordship's Company of Foot; others of them are Persons of known Fidelity to his Majesty, and far from what this strange Letter would suppose: tho there is a mixture also of some others with them. The Town-Clark hath made proof of the manner of his receiving the Letter, and his immediate Discovery, which I hope will acquit him in your Lordship's Judgment, as it doth in ours. My Lord, I was in my self fully perswaded, that there is nothing of such weight in this business, as that it was worthy giving your Lordship any particular account of it: Yet upon further thoughts, I conceiv'd [Page 11]it safer to err by overdoing, than to adventure on your Lordship's censure for coming short of my Duty: If I have made the Relation too tedious to your Lordship, I humbly crave and hope for Pardon.

For I am My Lord, Your Lordship's Most Humble and Faithful Servant.

A like Letter and Account was also sent to the Recorder of Ox­ford, one of their Members in Parliament, who immediatly shewed it to one of the Secretaries. And thus this pretty Project miscar­ried in Oxford, through the Providence of God, and the prudent Management of the Discoverers, to the great regret (no doubt) of those who had cunningly enough contriv'd it. I can't learn they made any further progress in it, save only that two Deputy-Lieutenants sent next day for Mr. Martin, and threatned at first to commit him to Custody, but by and by they dismiss'd him, with this Injunction, Not to go out of the City within fourteen days, without special License. And that very night came into the Town many of the Militia, who kept Guard for two days in the City.

'Tis high time now that I return to Worcester, and give you an account of the forementioned Plotters, in close Confinement there. Dr. Jackson, by the assistance of Sir R. C. gets his Enlargement: Sparry, and one of the Oslands, moved, that they might be bailed, or brought to Trial, but could obtain neither. Yarranton, and the other Osland, were altogether passive and silent, waiting to see what issue God in his Providence would put to these arbitrary and extrajudicial Proceedings; and it was not long ere they were strangely delivered: The manner was thus: On the 2d of April, 1662. the Person that was employed (as I have shewed you before) to carry the Pacquet of Sham-Letters from Sir J. P. to one Cole of Martly, acquaints his Brother how he came by the said Pacquet: His Brother, immediatly upon this Discovery, repairs to Mrs. Yar­ranton, and informs her of it. She went to Worcester, and prevails with the Marshal's Maid to deliver a Paper to her Husband, where­in [Page 12]was a Relation of the whole Matter. This being done, Mr. Yarranton having perused this Paper, and being thereby let in­to the knowledg of this malicious Design, he ordered six Actions to be immediatly entred against some of those that brought him to Prison. And the next day, (being Saturday) in the time of high Market, he took two Bed-staffs in his hands, and broke all the Windows in the Chamber where he was confin'd, and which look'd towards the Street: Upon which the Town was in an Uproar, and a Multitude of People crouded before the Chamber,The George in the High-street. in the broad Street, to know what the Matter was. He told them, how he and others were maliciously and wrongfully imprison'd, that he could give an account of the Contrivance of this Plot, and who were the Contrivers of it. On the Wednesday following, the Lord Lieutenant, and six of his Deputies, came to the Town, and sent one Fulk Fisher (an Officer of theirs) to Mr. Yarranton, to know the reason of his misbehaving himself in the place of his Confine­ment: He sent them word, He did it on purpose, that he might be brought the sooner before them, to make a discovery of the Pres­byterian Plot, which was so much talk'd of, the which he was rea­dy and willing to do. After some Debate between the Lord Lieutenant and his Deputies about this Matter, it was at last re­solved, that Yarranton should be brought before them; which was done. There he offer'd to discover to them the whole Plot, how it was laid, and by whom, and for what ends: He desired that the Doors might be set open, for he had many Friends and Witnesses without: He prayed also, that he might have Pen, Ink, and Paper, and he would write down the whole Matter, for Words might be wrested to other Intents than they are spoken. This was a while debated, but in Reason it could not be denied; and Mr. Yarranton no sooner began to write, but the Lord Lieutenant, and Sir J. P. left the Room, and went down the Back-Stairs, and after followed the rest of the Deputy Lieutenants; only Esq Bromly of Holt stay'd behind. He (it seems) was no way privy to this Design, and told Mr. Yarranton, that he was sorry with all his Heart to see such things practised, to the disturbance of honest Men, and the dis­honour of the Government. The Enemy having thus fairly quit­ted the Field, Mr. Yarranton demanded of the Marshal, what he had further now to say to him: The Marshal only made it his Request, that he would not trouble him for holding him so long in restraint, forasmuch as he was a poor Man, and had many Chil­dren, [Page 13]and did only follow the Orders of his Superiors in what he had done: Mr. Yarranton told him, he did freely forgive him.

These dangerous Plotters being now at liberty, they depart every Man to his home, and were never prosecuted, or further question'd about this Matter. There was no need of that, for the Contri­vers had now obtained their End, which was, To possess the King and Parliament, that it was absolutely necessary to make some se­vere Act against this restless Sort of Men, who not contented with the King's gracious Pardon, were always plotting to disturb the Government. Accordingly, when the Parliament met together, on the 20th of November, 1661. (to which time they were Ad­journed) the King makes a Speech to them, wherein are these Words:

‘My Lords and Gentlemen, I am sorry to find that the general Temper and Affections of the Nation are not so well composed as I hoped they would have been, after so signal Blessings of God Almighty upon us all, and after so great Indulgence and Conde­scensions from me towards all Interests. There are many wicked Instruments still, as active as ever, who labour night and day to disturb the Publick Peace, and to make all People jealous of each other. It will be worthy of your Care and Vigilance, to provide proper Remedies for Diseases of that kind; and if you find new Diseases, you must study new Remedies. Let us not be dis­couraged; if we help one another, we shall with God's Blessing master all our Difficulties. Those which concern Matters of Re­ligion, I confess to you, are too hard for me; and therefore I do recommend them to your Care and Deliberation, which can best provide for them. I shall not need to recommend, or put you in mind of the good Correspondence that ought to be kept between you for the Good of your selves and me, and the whole Kingdom; and I may tell you, it is necessary for us all. You will find, who­ever doth not love me, doth not love you; and they who have no reverence for you, have little kindness for me.’

Thus far his Majesty proceeded, and from this last Passage of his it may be understood, that they are none of the King's Friends, nor are they of his mind, who in Words or Writing do cast Con­tempt on the Parliament. No sooner was the Parliament in their Geers, but Sir J. P. one of the Knights for Worcestershire, with open mouth, informs them of a dangerous Presbyterian Plot that was on foot, and that many of the chief Conspirators were now in [Page 14]Prison at Worcester. The like Information was given by some of their Members, that serv'd for Oxfordshire, Herefordshire, Stafford­shire, and other Places. Yea, this was the general Vogue, as may appear by the printed Pamphlets of those Times. Hereupon a Bill of Uniformity in the Church is excogitated, and carried on in the Parliament, and past that Session. Few durst be so hardy now, as to make opposition against it, tho I am inform'd it was carried at last but by two or three Votes; but of that I am not certain. How­ever, out it comes, and above two thousand Ministers are ejected upon it, which caused the greatest Division that ever was in a King­dom, and was the Foundation of all those Miseries we have since felt or feared. Here the Jesuit (who stood behind the Curtain) gained his Point, and the unthinking Episcopal Man was the Cat's Foot that he made use of; so zealous were the Prelatical Clergy in promoting this Bill, that they spared for no Pains or Cost to effect it.

I could wish it were a little enquired into, what Leases the Dean and Chaplain of Westminster, granted of the Mannour of A. betwixt the 8th of May, and the 20th of November, 1661. unto any Person or Persons, that may be justly suspected to have a hand in contriving or carrying on the afore-mentioned Sham-Plot. Also that the like Enquiry might be made of the Grants of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester, about the same time, and that it may be made appear in whose Name such Leases were taken, and what they paid for them.

I have done with the first part of this Presbyterian Sham-Plot, when I have added a Passage or two more concerning Mr. Yarranton. As soon as he was discharged (as before) he goes up to London, and prevails with the Lord of Bristol, to acquaint the King with the great Wrong he had received, and with the wicked Contrivance of some of his Ministers by Sham-Plots, to divide the King from his People, and his People from one another. Hereupon an order of Councel was directed to the the Deputy Lieutenants of Worcestershire, that were then in and about London, to appear before the Councel, and to give an account of this matter, They seem'd to clear them­selves from being concern'd therein, and desired such as were in the Country might be consulted; the next post they inform their Bre­thren in the Country, how Matters stood before the Councel, & that the Lord of Bristol did patronize Mr. Yarranton, upon this Sir J. W. one of the Deputy Lieutenants, hastens up to London, and brings [Page 15]with him one Hales Now li­ving in Tenbury. (an Attorney, his Kinsman and Tenant.) Which Hales, with the Constable of St Mary Overies, and one Hal­borne a Water-man (now living in Pepper-Ally in Southwark) arrested Mr. Yarranton (when he was bowling in Winchester-Park) for High Treason, and being farther assisted by some of the Horse Guards then in Southwark, conveyed the said Yarranton in Halborn's Boat to White-Hall; where he was that Night in Custody, but on the Morrow, the Earl of Bristol sent the Kings Privy-Seal to a Friend of Mr. Yarranton's, who brought it to him, wherein it was declared, that it was the King's Pleasure he should travel where he listed, and not be molested by any Person whatso­ever, without a special' Warrant from the King. A little after Sir Kenelm Digby (Chancellor to the Queen-Mother) sends for Mr. Yarranton, and was very earnest to know from him the bottom of this pretended Plot. He relates the whole matter from the be­ginning to the end to Sir Kenelm Digby, upon which Sir Kenelm produced two Letters from Paris, signifying, that they were of Opinion in France, that we in England were taking one another by the Throat again, which inclined that King to joyn with the Dutch against the English, which after a little time came to pass. These two Letters are to be seen, as being lodged in a safe Hand, after the death of Sir Kenelm by his Executor. Mr Yarranton seeing how Matters went in London, resolved to return again into the Country, where he prosecuted Major Wild, and others for impri­soning of him wrongfully, but within six Months after a Design is laid by some of the Criminals in the former Sham-Plot, to subborn Persons to swear against him, that he had spoken Treasonable Words against the King and Government, the Witnesses were one Dainty, (a Mountebank, formerly an Apothecary in Darby) who afterwards acknowledged that he had 5 l. for his pains; the other Witness liv'd in Wales, and went by two Names. This was done at the Assizes in Worcester; the Bill being found by the Grand Jury,Twisden then Judg. Mr. Yarranton put himself upon his Trial, and tho he did not except against any one of his Jury, yet upon a full hearing of the Case they presently acquitted him, which was a great Disappoinment to the designing Gentlemen. The Clarke the of Peace (Mr. Parker) and the Officers belonging to the Ecclesiastical Court, were not a lit­tle disgusted; for now the Sham-Plot was discover'd, which had brought a great deal of Grist to their Mills, for tho the Innocent Pa­pists were conniv'd at, the turbulent Fanaticks were punsh'd by whole-sale, both in the Civil and Ecclesiastical Court.

POSTSCRIPT.

SIR,

I know you did expect from me, that I should have given you an Account of the particulars of the several Transactions as to the Shamplot, which was acted in Warwick, Glocester, Hereford, Sa­lop, Stafford, Cheshire, and Lancashire, both as to the Persons imprison'd, the day when, and by whom, and how it was managed by the Plotters, but I must beg your Excuse: for that Matter, and all its wicked Intents, and what Evil it hath been the occasion of propagating in this Nation, I understand is ready for the Press, being faithfully collected by several Persons who were great Sufferers in that Affair.

FINIS.

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