The Tryals of Robert Green, Henry Berry, & Lawrence Hill for the...
Victims of the Popish Plot of 1678 [Trials]. [Popish Plot]. [Green, Robert (d.1679)], Defendant. [Henry Berry, Henry (d.1679)], Defendant. [Hill, Lawrence (d.1679)], Defendant. The Tryals of Robert Green, Henry Berry, and Lawrence Hill, For the Murder of Sr. Edmond-bury Godfrey, Knt. One of His Majesties Justices of the Peace for the County of Middlesex; At the Kings-Bench Bar at Westminster, Before the Right Honourable Sir William Scroggs Knt. Lord Chief Justice of the Court, And the Rest of His Majesties Judges There; On Monday the 10th of February 1678/9. Where, Upon Full Evidence They Were Convicted, And Received Sentence Accordingly, On Tuesday the Next Day Following. London: Printed for Robert Pawlet, 1679. [iii], 92 pp. Folio (11" x 7"). Recent period-style quarter calf over marbled boards, negligible light fading to spine. Moderate toning to text, minor stains and spark burns to a few leaves, light soiling to title page "4" in tiny hand to its upper margin. $450. * Only edition. One of the cruelest hoaxes in British history and the inspiration for a wave of anti-Catholic violence, the Popish Plot was the invention of Titus Oates, an Anglican clergyman, and his friend, Dr. Israel Tonge, a cleric and passionate anti-Catholic. They pretended to have discovered a Jesuit plot to assassinate the King, massacre Protestants, and set James, Duke of York, the King's Catholic brother, on the throne. The trial of Green, Berry and Hill was one of its most shameful episodes. In October 1678 Godfrey, a justice of the peace to whom Oates first described the plot, was found dead in a ditch, apparently the victim of murder. The Catholic community was blamed and Green, Berry and Hill were eventually hanged for his murder. Many questions about this case remain, however, including the exact circumstances of Godfrey's death. One theory holds that Godfrey was killed by Oates and his supporters to underpin their own invented plot, another that he was murdered for reasons unconnected with any Catholic plot. It is also possible that Godfrey committed suicide; when his body was found it was manipulated to fit the plot scenario. In any event, Godfrey was buried in an elaborate funeral as a martyr to the Protestant cause. This event stoked the fires of anti-Catholic hysteria, provoked a political crisis that threw the right of roy.
Book number 72074