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" and there I leave it."-Burnet's Own Times, vol. ii. p. 203,
"They are too wise" (says MAY, in his History of the Long Parliament), "who are not content sometimes to won"der."
Such persons as are desirous of forming correct conclusions upon the Plot of the Jesuits in the reign of Charles II and also on the murder of Sir Edmondbury Godfrey (a Protestant Magistrate who had at that time rendered himself obnoxious to the Papists by taking the depositions on the above occasion), may, in addition to BURNET and RAPIN, consult BAXTER'S LIFE AND TIMES, where they will find that no doubt rested on his mind as to the guilt of the Papists and Jésuits in those transactions. It may be observed of Baxter, that he lived in the period in question, and may be depended upon for an inflexible adherence to truth; nor will MR. DALLAS himself object to his testimony, when he finds that MR. Fox calls him "a pious and learned Dissenter of exemplary cha
racter, always remarkable for his attachment to monarchy, "and for leaning to moderate measures in the differences between the Church and those of his persuasion.”—See Mr. Fox's History of the Reign of James II. p. 96.
BAXTER thus expresses himself: "About October, 1678, "fell out the murder of Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, which "made a very great change in England. One Dr. Titus Oates "had discovered a Plot of the Papists, of which he wrote “out the particulars very largely; telling how they fired the City, and contriving to bring the Kingdom to Popery, and "in order thereto to kill the King: he named the Lords, "Jesuits, Priests, and others, that were the chief contrivers, "and said that he himself had. delivered to several of the "Lords their Commissions; that the Lord Bellasis was to "be General, the Lord Peters Lieutenant-general, and the "Lord Stafford Major-general, the Lord Powis Lord Chan"cellor, and the Lord Arundel of Wardour to be Lord Treasurer. He told who were to be Archbishops, Bishops,
&c. and at what Meetings, and by whom, and when all was ❝contrived, and who were designed to kill the King: he first "opened all this to Dr. Tongue, and both of them to the King " and Council: he mentioned a multitude of Letters which he "himself had carried, and seen, or heard read, that contained "all these contrivances; but because his father and he had 66 once been Anabaptists, and when the Bishops prevailed, "turned to be Conforming Ministers, and afterwards he (the "son) turned Papist, and confessed, that he long had gone "on with them, under many Oaths of Secrecy, many thought "that a man of so little conscience was not to be believed; "but his Confessions were received by some Justices of the "Peace, and none more forward in the search than Sir Ed"mondbury Godfrey, an able, honest, and diligent Justice. "While he was following this work; he was suddenly missing, and could not be heard of. Three or four days after, hé was found killed near Marybone Park: it was plainly found "that he was murdered. The Parliament took the alarm "upon it, and Oates was now believed; and, indeed, all his "large Confessions in every part, agreed to admiration. "Hereupon the King proclaimed pardon and reward to any "that would confess, or discover the murder. One Mr. Bed"low, that had fled to Bristol, began and confessed that he "knew of it, and who did it, and named some of the men, "the place, and time: it was at the Queen's House, call"ed Somerset House, by Fitzgerald and Kelly, two Popish "Priests, and four others, Berry the Porter, Green, Pranse, "and Hill. The Priests fled; Pranse, Berry, Green, and “Hill were taken: Pranse first confessed all, and discovered "the rest aforesaid, more than Bedlow knew of, and all the "circumstances; and how he was carried away, and by whom; "and also how the Plot was laid to kill the King. Thus "Oates's testimony, seconded by Sir Edmondbury God "frey's murder, and Bedlow and Pranse's testimonies, be "came to be generally believed. Ireland, a Jesuit, and two "more, were condemned, as designing to kill the King: Hill,
"Berry, and Green were condemned for the murder of God"frey, and executed; but Pranse was, by a Papist, first ter"rified into a denial of the Plot to kill the King, and "took on him to be distracted, but quickly recanted of this, " and had no quiet till he told how he was so affrighted, and "renewed all his testimony and confession.
"After this, came in one Mr. Dugdale, a Papist, and "confessed the same Plot, and especially the Lord Stafford's "interest in it; and after him, more and more evidence daily "was added.
"Coleman, the Duchess of York's Secretary (and one of "the Papists' great plotters and disputers), being surprised, "though he made away all his later papers, was hanged by "the old ones that were remaining, and by Oates's testimony. "But the Parliament kept off all aspersions from the Duke "(afterwards James II.): the hopes of some, and the fears ❝ of others, of his succession, prevailed with many." * "There came afterwards from among the Papists more and "more converts that detected the Plot against Religion "and the King: after OATES, BEDLOW, EVERARD, DUG“DALE, and PRANSE, came JENNISON, a Gentleman of Gray's "Inn; SMITH, a Papist; and others."-Baxter's Life and Times, Part iii. pp. 183 and 186.
MR. DALLAS next ventures on an assertion (p. 39), that "LORD STAFFORD, who was beheaded for his part in the "Plot, was an innocent victim of his pure attachment to "God."
It is difficult to comprehend upon what principle MR. DALLAS has ventured upon so positive an assertion of LORD STAFFORD's innocence.
BURNET, who was sent for by that nobleman after his condemnation, had frequent communication with him, and appears to have possessed much of his confidence, states that, although he denied any intention of killing the King, he yet admitted to him (BURNET) that he could discover many "other things, that were more material than any thing that was
yet known, and for which the Duke of York" (afterwards James II.)" would never forgive him; and of these, if that "might save his life, he would make a full discovery:" in consequence of which, BURNET adds, he was examined by the House of Lords; but on his endeavouring to criminate THE EARL OF SHAFTESBURY, the House would hear no more.
This information goes strongly to shew that LORD StafFORD had at least been engaged in the design of establishing Popery, as it is otherwise difficult to conceive how any part of his confession could have criminated the Duke of York; and with respect to the design upon the King's life, which was deposed to by the witness TURBERVILLE, BURNET, after throwing some shade upon that person's testimony, adduces the following remarkable circumstance in corroboration of it:
"When Turberville" (says he) "was near death, he "sent for Mr. Hewes, the Curate of Saint Martin's, who 66 was a very worthy man, and from whom I had this account "of him: Turberville looked on himself as a dead man
at the first time he came to him; but his disease did no way affect his understanding or his memory: he seemed to "have a real sense of another state, and of the account that ❝he was to give to God for his past life. Hewes charged him ❝ to examine himself, and if he had sworn falsely against any
man, to confess his sin, and glorify God, though to his own "shame. Turberville, both in discourse, and when he re❝ceived the Sacrament, protested that he had sworn nothing "but the truth, in what he deposed, both against LORD STAF“FORD and THE EARL OF SHAFTESBURY, and renounced the "mercies of God and the benefit of the death of Christ, if he "did not speak the plain and naked truth without any re"servation, and he continued in the same mind to his death; "so here" (says BURNET)" were the last words of dying men
against the last words of those that suffered. To this" (he observes)" may well be added, that one who died of sick"ness, and under a great depression in his spirits, was less able to stifle his conscience, and resist the impressions that
"it might then make on him, than a man who suffers on a "scaffold, where the strength of the natural spirits is entire, 66 or rather exalted by the sense of the cause he suffers for: "and we know that CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION IN THE "CHURCH OF ROME, GIVE A QUIET TO WHICH WE DO NOT "PRETEND, WHERE THESE THINGS ARE HELD TO BE ONLY "MINISTERIAL AND NOT AUTHORITATIVE." Burnet's Own
Times, vol. ii. p. 203, Edit. 1724.
What right, then, had MR. DALLAS to assert, that LORD STAFFORD was "an innocent victim?" If BURNET, whose peculiar opportunities supplied him with the best means of information, felt unable to acquit LORD STAFFORD, in his own judgment; how does it happen, that, at this distance of time, MR. DALLAS feels so much confidence in his innocence, and expects the public to agree with him in opinion, without presenting them with one single fact which may establish that opinion?
With regard to the sentiments which HUME has thought proper to express on the subject of the Popish Plot in the reign of Charles II. it may be observed, that, without entirely adopting DR. JOHNSON's opinion respecting HUME, namely, that "upon his own principles he had no motive to "speak the truth," or his other observation, that "truth "did not afford him sufficient food, and therefore he betook "himself to error;" it is certain, and has been universally admitted, that HUME's recapitulation of the evidence adduced on that occasion against the conspirators, is the most partial, slovenly, and garbled statement, which could well have been compiled. With what face could that historian have left on re cord such a fallacious testimony to the innocence of the Jesuits and Catholics in that affair, when he had before him the body of evidence produced against them on oath, and when he himself admits, that "the restless and enterprising spirit of the "Catholic church, particularly of the Jesuits, is in some de
Such zeal of that its mis
gree dangerous to every other communion? "proselytism" (says he) "actuates that sect,