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The Oxford English Literary HistoryVolume V: 1645–1714: The Later Seventeenth Century: Companion Volume$
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Margaret J. M. Ezell

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Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780191849572.001.0001

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Public Spectacles: The Popish Plot and Public Mass Media

Public Spectacles: The Popish Plot and Public Mass Media

Chapter:
II. Public Spectacles: The Popish Plot and Public Mass Media
Source:
The Oxford English Literary History
Author(s):

Margaret J. M. Ezell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780191849572.003.0013

The Exclusion Crisis arose over the Whig party’s attempt to block the Catholic James Duke York, from inheriting the throne. It led to a series of public demonstrations playing on fears of a fictional Catholic treason plot created by Titus Oates, the Popish Plot. As series of treason trials based on perjured testimony and forged documents led to the execution of several Jesuit priests in 1679, while the Queen’s physician Sir George Wakeman was acquitted. Whig politicians encouraged anti-Catholic sentiments with public pope-burning pageants, scripted processions held on Queen Elizabeth’s birthday.

Keywords:   Popish Plot, pope-burning pageants, Titus Oates, Catholicism, Exclusion Crisis, Jesuits

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