OATES, TITUS: The inventor of the famous Popish Plot; b. at Oakham (9 m. s.e. of Melton Mowbray) about 1649; d. at London July 12 or 13, 1705. The son of a Baptist clergyman, he studied at Merchant Taylors' school and at Cambridge, took orders in the Church of England; was a chaplain in the navy; and entered the Roman Catholic Church with the pretense, it is claimed, of obtaining the secrets of the Jesuits; he tarried for some time in the Jesuit houses of Valladolid and St. Omer. He was expelled from these institutions for misconduct; but, while he was an inmate, he had heard of a meeting of Jesuits held in London; and "on his expulsion," as John Richard Green says, "this single fact widened in his fertile brain into a plot for the subversion of Protestantism and the death of the king." About this time (1678) there was a good deal of suppressed anxiety among the Protestants of England in view of the machinations and activity of the Roman Catholics, and the well-known sympathy with them of Charles II., and especially of the duke of York, heir to the throne. Oates took advantage of this state of the public mind, and claimed to have evidence of a huge Popish Plot for the extirpation of Protestantism. He had the matter brought to the notice of the king, who probably smiled at it; and made public affidavit to the alleged facts before Sir Edmondsbury Godfrey, justice of the peace, deposing to a narrative consisting of forty-three articles, soon after increased to eighty one, the majority of which were palpably invented. The excitement over the revelations was intense. Lord Shaftesbury, who had just been released from prison, for political reasons fell in with the popular feeling, and exclaimed, "Let the treasurer cry as loud as he pleases against Popery, I will cry a note louder." The popular agitation was increased to frenzy by the murder of Godfrey, which was construed into an attempt to stifle the plot. The two houses of Parliament instituted an investigation of the matter and concurred in the opinion that a plot existed. Five peers, including Arundel and Bellasys, were sent to the Tower. Patrols guarded the streets; chains were drawn across them, and the houses supplied with arms. Parliament at the end of the year (1678) passed a bill excluding Roman Catholics from both houses, which was left unrepealed for a century and a half. The excitement was beginning to subside, when one Bedloe, stimulated by the reward which had been offered, appeared on the scene, and again aroused the national frenzy to its former intensity by more circumstantial and irritating revelations than those of Oaten. He swore to a plot for the landing of an army and the massacre of the Protestants. Oates had been treated like a hero, and assigned rooms at Whitehall, with a pension of 1,200 pounds. But a revulsion of public feeling took place after the execution of Stafford in 1680; and the duke of York, whom he had severely accused, secured a verdict for defamation of character, in 1684. Oates was condemned to pay a fine of 100,000 pounds, and sent to prison. On the accession of the duke to the throne in 1685, Oates was tried and convicted of perjury and was sentenced to be put in the pillory annually, be whipped from Oldgate to Newgate, and from thence to Tyburn, to pay a heavy fine, to be stripped of his canonical habits, and to be imprisoned for life. Taken back again to prison, he recovered from the exceedingly severe whipping. After the accession of William and Mary, the conviction of Oates was declared to have been illegal (1689), and he was not only pardoned, but granted an annual pension of five pounds a week, which was suspended at the instance of Queen Mary in 1693, but restored and increased, in 1698, to 300 pounds per annum.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: The best modern book is J. Pollock, The Popish Plot, London, 1903. Consult further: The Discovery of the Popish Plot, London, 1679; T. Knox, The Tryal of T. Knox and J. Lane for a Conspiracy to Defame . . . Dr. Oates, ib. 1680; C. M. Clode, Titus Oates and the Merchant Taylors' Company, ib. 1890. A large literature of contemporaneous writers is indicated in the British Museum Catalogue under "Oates, Titus."


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eighth to the twelfth centuries, such as the Salic, Visigothic, Anglo-Saxon, and Lombardic, ranging from England to Hungary and from Norway to Spain and Italy (cf. MGH, Leges, v. 599 aqq., and translations in Thatcher and McNeal, Source. Book, pp. 400 sqq.). The relation to the Church is shown by the fact that the ordeal was often preceded by a two days' fast on bread and water in the case of the iron ordeal, three days if water was used, and the test took place after reception of the sacrament, that (as in Spain) the bishop blessed the iron, that often the abbeys were the custodians of the implements used, that the inquisition had recourse to it, that such adjurations were used at the sacrament preceding as: " This body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ be to thee this day a manifestation " (E. Baluze, Miacellanea, ed. J. D. Mansi, ii. 575 etc., 4 vols., Paris, 1761-64), and that exorcism of water was carried out with the use of a number of formulae still preserved in Baluze. There was in many cases a solemn ceremony in the church, while the water, iron, or plowshare was placed in the church porch and sprinkled with holy water. The Slavs of Mecklenburg (to cite only one example out of many) when converted were directed to refrain from taking oaths at sacred trees, fountains, and the like, to bring criminals to be tried by the hot iron or plowshare (E. Lindenborg, Scnptores rerum Gertnanarum, p. 215, Frankfort, 1609). Hincmar of Reims defended on symbolic grounds the ordeal of boiling water, since it combined the elements of fire and water, and thus represented the final judgment and the deluge (De divortio Lotharii, vi. in MPL, cxxv.). The ordeal of cold water he defended on the same ground as did non-Christians: " The pure nature of water recognizes as impure and rejects as incompatible human nature which has become infected with guilt."

Yet the official attitude of the Church was not consistent. Synods in numbers directed, approved, or commended its use (so Salzburg, 799; Mainz, 848; Soiesons, 853; Worms, 868, of. Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, iv. 370; Tribur, 895; Tours, 925; Seligenetadt, 1023; Mainz, 1028; Auch, 1068; Gran, 1099;

and Reims, 1157, against the Catha,ri). g. Official Gregory VII. (1073,85) approved and Ecclesiasti- used it; Calixtus II. approved it at cal Position. Reims (1119). Other ecclesiastics than

Hincmar (ut sup.) defended it, such as Guibert of Nogent (q.v.) and John, bishop of Avranches (1061); No of .Chartrea (q.v.) pronounced its decisions indisputable, while Honorius of Autun (q.v.) claimed it as a prerogative of his order (the Benedictine). In 1182 the abbey of La Sesuve received the right to enjoy the revenues proceeding from the fees charged for the process. Yet there was an intermittent undercurrent of protest beginning early. Avitus of Vienne (see Avrrus, ALcrmus ECDICIUBy-n the sixth century objected to the use of the wager of battle; Agobard of Lyons (q.v.) wrote two works against the ordeal; Pope Leo IV. (847-,855) condemned it, as did Stephen V. (885-891), Sylvester TT. (999-1003), Alexander II. (at the Fourth Lateran Synod, 1215, which forbade ecclesiastical ceremonies at ordeals), and Honorius

III. (1216-27). The civil power shows the same wavering. Charlemagne sanctioned the ordeal of the cross among his descendants in cases of dispute regarding territory; Louis le-Dtbonnaire prohibited it (816); his son, Lothair, first followed Louis, and then sanctioned it; Henry IV. in 1219 directed judicial officers to employ other methods, this being prohibited by the Church; Alexander Il. of Scot land (thirteenth century) forbade it, as did the Neapolitan code of 1231. While then the ordeal was used under Christian auspices at least as early as the sixth century it was still alive at the end of the thirteenth century in Germany, in the sixteenth it survived in Spain. During the sixteenth century the cold-water ordeal was revived in Germany for the trial of witches, and in the seventeenth was a recognized judicial procedure in France. James I. of England defended the ordeal, and in his times it was employed in Scotland, and in the nineteenth century in Belgium; while upon the basis of a con fession procured by the use of the bier-right a conviction was obtained in New York State in 1824 and is recorded in the law books. On Nov. 17, 1908, it is reported from Monticello, Ark., that an odd ordeal was proposed at a coroner's inquest, viz., that the suspect's gun be fired, it being claimed that if he were guilty, blood stains would show on the barrel. After the test, the negro who proposed it pointed out a red stain on the barrel (which proved to be a rust stain), and the accused at once cut his throat. GEo. W. GILMORE.

BIHLIOoEAPH7: Numerous German liturgical formulas for the ordeal are collected and edited by K. Zeumer in MGH, Leg., seetio V., i (1886). 599 sqq.; material is collected in Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources, vol. iv., Philadelphia, 1897. The chief work on the ordeal as employed by Christendom is F. Patetta, Le Ordalie, Turin, 1890; the best work in English is H. C. Lea, Superstition and Force, Philadelphia, 1893 (very full and satisfactory). Consult J. L. C. Grimm, Deutsche RechtB-Alterthi2mer, PP. 908 sqq., GBttingen, 1828; H. T. Buckle, Hist. of Civilis4tion, London, 1887; H. Brunner, Deutsche Rechtapewhichte, 2 vole., l;.eipsic, 1892; K. Lehmann, Das BaArpericht, in Germanietischa Abhandlunpen sum 70 Geburtstag A. von Maurers, GSttingen, 1893; J. B. Thayer, Preliminary Treatise on Evidence, vol. i., Boston, 1898. On the practise among orientale consult: E. 3chlagintweit, Die Gotteaurtheile der Inder, Munich, 1866; 3. Des, Journey to Lhasa, pp. 188 eqq., Calcutta, 1893; L. Deele, Three gears in Savage Africa, p. 76, London, 1898 Miss M. H. Kings. leg. West African Studies, pp. 162-166, London, 1899; J. G. Fraser, The Golden Bough, 3 vols., ib. 1900; C. Keller, Madagascar, pp. 95-96, ib. 1900; E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture, ib. 1903. The best sources for a study of the ethnic phase of the subject are the books of travel among primitive peoples.


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