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punishments in different countries : judgment of death had been passed on him for a robbery in Normandy; and he had just obtained his discharge from confine
ment in Newgate, when the proclamation induced him Nov. to offer himself a candidate for the reward of 5001. * In 7. his first deposition, taken before the king and the two
secretaries of state, he declared upon oath that he knew nothing of the plot, but had seen the dead body of Godfrey at Somerset-house ; that, according to his informant, the jesuit Le Fevre, Godfrey was stifled between two pillows by Le Fevre himself, with the aid of Walsh, another jesuit, of lord Belasyse's gentleman, and of a waiter in the queen's chapel ; that he had been offered two thousand guineas to help in removing the corpse, and that it was at last carried away on Monday night at
nine of the clock, by three persons unknown to him, 8. but retainers at Somerset-house. The next morning he
related the same in substance before the house of lords. To a question respecting Oates, he answered by denying all knowledge of that informer: but adder, contrary to his testimony of the day before, that he had been told by Walsh and Le Fevre of the commissions received by the earl of Powis and lord Belasyse, and of authority to appoint other officers given to lord Arundell. This provoked the king to exclaim: “Surely the man has received “ a new lesson during the last twenty-four hours ! :p
The memory of the informer continued to improve. 12. In another deposition, made also upon oath, he recol
lected that in the beginning of October he had been solicited to commit a murder for a reward cf 4000l.; that Godfrey was inveigled into the court of Somersethouse about five in the evening ; that he was not stitled with pillows (that story contradicted the finding of the coroner's inquest), but strangled with a linen cravat; that the body was deposited in a room which Bedioe A.D. 1678.]
* Burnet, ii. 158. Echard, 951. Florus Anglo-Bavaricus, 127.
† Burnet, ii, 137. L Journ. xiii. 31
HIS SUBSEQUENT REMINISCENCES.
pointed out to the duke of Monmouth; that he saw standing round it the four murderers and Atkins, clerk to Mr. Pepys, of the Admiralty ; and that it was removed about eleven of the clock on the Monday night*. In two parts of this deposition he was unfortunate: he had selected for the time of the murder the very hour when Charles was at Somerset-house on a visit to the queen; an hour when such a transaction must have been instantly discovered, because a company of footguards had been drawn out, and a sentinel stationed at every door; and he had pointed out as the place of concealment of the body the room which was appropriated to the use of the queen's footmen, who were there in waiting at every hour of the day.”.
But his succeeding reminiscences were of much Nov. greater importance. At first he knew nothing of the 12. plot: now he remembered that during his travels he had become acquainted with English monks, friars, jesuits, clergymen, and nuns, all of whom were anxious to acquaint him with the particulars of the great design for the re-establishment of catholicity in England. From them he learned that at first it was proposed to confine the king in a monastery, but afterwards to kill him; that another person, unless he would consent to hold the crown of the pope, would be also set aside, and the government be administered by commission, with the lord Arunde at its head; that the duke of Norfolk, the marquess of Worcester, and the earl of Shrewsbury, were too loyal to be trusted with any knowledge of the plot; that ten thousand men were to land at Bridlington, in Yorkshire, and put themselves under the command of lord Belasyse; that an army of twenty or thirty thousand friars and pilgrims was to sail from Corunna to Milford-haven, and to join the catholics of Wales
L. Journ. 348. 350. + James (Memoirs), i. 527. “ The king told me," says Reresby, “ that “ Bedloe was a rogue, and he was satisfied that he had given some false "evidence concerning the death of sir Edmondbury Godfrey." Reresby, 72.
under the earl of Powis and lord Petre; that the king, the dukes of Monmouth, Ormond, and Buckingham, the earl of Shaftesbury, and the lord Ossory, were to be murdered by persons whose names he stated, the military in London by assassins stationed at the door of every ale
ase, and the citizens by a force of forty thousand men secretly organized, and consisting of papists or protestants in the pay of the papists ; that all who refused to conform to the catholic worship were to be “utterly extinguished ;" and that there was not a catholic in England, of quality or credit, who had not received information of the plot, and been sworn on the sacrament to lend to it his aid, and to keep it secret *.
It will excite surprise that in the three kingdoms there could be found an individual so simple or so prejudiced as to give credit to this marvellous tale of bloodshed and treason. But in times of general panic nothing is too absurd for the credulity of the public. The deposition of Bedloe was hailed as a confirmation of that of Oates; it served to fan the flame, to add to the national delirium ; new addresses were made to the king, and new proclamations and arrests followed. Yet the champions of the plot, those who sought to bring home to the accused the charges against them, saw with uneasiness that there was nothing in these additional informations to constitute Bedloe a second witness in conjunction with Oates. The reader, however, will soon discover how the A.D. 1678.]
L. Jourq. 351, 353. At this time Luizancy appeared again upon the stage; but his residence for the last three years at Oxford disabled him, however he had been disposed, from acting an important part among the informers. He had already expelled from England St. Germain, almoner to the duchess of York: he now ex pelled La Colombiére, successor to St. Germain. Having composed a memorial for Du Vicquier, a Frenchman, he introduced him first to the bishop of London, and then to the lord chancellor. La Colombiére was imniediately arrested, and committed on the 16th of November. The former accused him at the bar of the house of lords of haviug said that the king was a catholic at heart, and that the power of the parliament would not last for ever; of having perverted protestants, and sent missionaries to Virginia. The lords noted that these were matters of dangerous consequence, and on the 21st addressed the king to send Colombiére out of the kingdom. Four weeks later the zeal of Luzancy
was rewarded with the vicarage of Dover-court. L. Journ. xiji, 367, 36 Conspirations d'Angleterre, 1680, pp. 360, 370.
OATLS ACCUSES THE QUEEN.
difficulty was removed by the effrontery of the new informer, who on the trials of the prisoners found it convenient to forget much of his previous testimony, and to, substitute other particulars, which, though entirely new harmonized better with the fictions of his brother impostor.
These discoveries by Bedloe had served to occupy the public attention during the debates on the bill for the exclusion of Catholics from parliament: the moment the duke of York was excepted by the clause in his favour, a new and most extraordinary intrigue was set on foot. The reader will recollect that Shaftesbury, in his zeal to prevent the succession of that prince, had ventured to propose to the king a divorce for the purpose of having issue by another wife; and now with the same view a Mrs. Lloyd, at the suggestion of Dr. Tunge, waited on Charles and solicited a private audience for Titus Oates, who wished to confide to his majesty some Nov secret and important information tending to criminate the queen. He heard her with tokens of incredulity and impatience; and, when she hinted the possibility of a divorce, sternly replied that he would never suffer an innocent woman to be oppressed*.
Oates, however, was admitted to tell his tale to the 24. king, then made his deposition on oath before secretary 25. Coventry, and afterwards was twice examined by the privy council. He stated that in July he saw a letter in which it was affirmed by Wakeman that the queen had teen brought to give her assent to the murder of the king; and that one day in August he accompanied several jesuits to Somerset-house, and was left in the antechamber, when they were admitted to the queen. The door stood at jar; he had the curiosity to listen, and heard a female voice exclaim, “I will no longer suffer “ such indignities to my bed! I am content to join in
• L. Journ. xiii, 399. James (Memoirs), i. 529. “He said to me", (Dr. Burnet) " that considering his faultiness towards her in other things,
it a horrid thing to abandon her.” Burnet, 9.
procuring his death, and the propagation of the catho“ lic faith :” soon afterwards the jesuits retired; he looked into the room, and saw no other woman than the queen. There was much to throw discredit on this story. Oates had never given any intimation of it before; he had not mentioned the traitorous letter, when he made the charge against Wakeman; and he had solemnly declared upon oath that he knew of no other
persons implicated in the crime besides those whom he Nov. had already named. Charles ordered the earls of Ossory 26
and Bridgewater to conduct the informer to Somersethouse, and oblige him to point out the room and ante. chamber which he had described. He was led into every part, he repeatedly visited every chamber, and was at length compelled to acknowledge his inability to discover the place. The king, convinced that the story had been suggested to him by some enemy of the duke, ordered the guards who had been assigned for his security to keep always in his company, and to allow no person to see him, or to speak with him in private*.
Bedloe followed, as a second witness, to support the testimony of Oates. He too, if we may believe him, had
been at Somerset-house; he had witnessed a conference 27. between Catherine and two French clergymen, in the
presence of lord Belasyse, Coleman, and some jesuits; and was subsequently told by Coleman that at the first proposal of the king's murder the queen burst into tears, but that her objections had been removed by the French: men, and that she had reluctantly signified her consent. Bedloe, however, was more cautious than Oates. His former difficulty in finding the chamber, in which he had seen the body of Godfrey, proved to him a useful lesson; and he assigned for the scene of this consultation a place in which he could not be liable to error, the gallery of the chapel, while he, as he pretended, remained on the floor below. But why had he hitherto concealed
* L. Journ. 388. 391. James (Memoirs), i. 529. Clar. Corres. i. 52. 56.