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The History of the University of Oxford: Volume IV Seventeenth-Century Oxford$
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Nicholas Tyacke

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780199510146

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199510146.001.0001

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Tory Oxford

Tory Oxford

(p.863) 18 Tory Oxford
The History of the University of Oxford: Volume IV Seventeenth-Century Oxford

R. A. Beddard

Oxford University Press

Oxford University could not escape the political agitation set in motion by the Popish Plot. The scaremongering associated with Titus Oates's discovery of a supposed Catholic conspiracy against the life of Charles II seriously bothered Protestants. No sooner had the anti-Catholic hysteria of the capital invaded Oxford than there was a sharp revulsion of feeling against individual papists. The inbred anti-Catholicism of the nation — never far beneath the surface of Restoration politics — became ever more strident and merciless. The local magistracy made good use of the information collected by Bishop John Fell in his primary visitation of the diocese in 1676. Vice-Chancellor John Nicholas, the trimming warden of New College, was particularly active. His officious conduct in arresting the most harmless of Catholics, such as the poverty-stricken William Joyner, was seen by his critics as a bid to curry favour at Westminster in the hope of attracting preferment.

Keywords:   Oxford University, Popish Plot, papists, Titus Oates, anti-Catholicism, Charles II, Protestants, John Fell, John Nicholas, Catholics

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