(1683) In English history, an alleged Whig conspiracy to assassinate Charles II because of his pro-Catholic policies. The plot drew its name from Rye House at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, near the road where Charles was supposed to be killed as he traveled from a horse meet. The king's unexpected early departure supposedly foiled the plot, which was later revealed by an informer. The facts remained cloudy, but the main plotters included the duke of Monmouth, Lord William Russell, Algernon Sidney (1622–83), and Sir Thomas Armstrong. The last three were tried, convicted of treason, and beheaded.
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(1678) In English history, a fictitious but widely believed rumour that Jesuits planned to assassinate Charles II and replace him with his brother, the Catholic duke of York (later James II). The rumour was fabricated by Titus Oates, who gave a sworn deposition of his “evidence” to a London justice of the peace. When the latter was found murdered, a panic among the people was followed by accusations and trials, leading to the execution of about 35 innocent people. When Oates was finally discredited, the panic subsided.
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(1605) Conspiracy by English Roman Catholic zealots to blow up Parliament and kill James I. Angered by James's refusal to grant more religious toleration to Catholics, a group of conspirators led by Robert Catesby (1573–1605) recruited Guy Fawkes to their plot. One member warned his brother-in-law Lord Monteagle not to attend Parliament on the appointed day (November 5, 1605), and Monteagle alerted the government. Fawkes was arrested in a rented cellar under the palace at Westminster, where he had concealed 20 barrels of gunpowder. Under torture, he revealed the names of the conspirators, and they were all either killed while resisting arrest or executed in 1606. The plot bitterly intensified Protestant suspicions of Catholics.
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