Popish Plot

An alleged Jesuit conspiracy in England to assassinate Charles II* and to replace him by the Roman Catholic James, duke of York, sworn to by Titus Oates* in 1678. Oates, who had twice been expelled from Roman Catholic seminaries, fabricated the story for his own advancement, in association with a fanatical Jesuit called Israel Tonge. Their story was sufficiently credible to cause panic, and the ensuing witchhunt hurried some thirty-five suspects to the scaffold before Oates was discredited as liar and perjurer.