Restoration England seethed with intrigue, real and imagined. Titus Oates, a serial perjurer, caused 15 executions through his fabricated accusations of a ‘Popish Plot’. Most genuine plots were anti-Catholic; Yorkshire hosted two republican cabals in 1663, while the Rye House plot (1683) aimed to assassinate the king and his Catholic heir, the Duke of York (the future James II), to secure the Duke of Monmouth’s accession. Monmouth mounted a genuine rebellion against his uncle, James II, which was swiftly crushed. However, James’s pro-Catholic policies were so unpopular, William of Orange was invited to succeed him. Like Monmouth he landed in the West Country; unlike Monmouth, support snowballed, and James fled, enabling the bloodless Glorious Revolution. Scotland witnessed the suppression of the Covenanters’ Presbyterian rebellion in the ‘Killing Time’. After assassinating the Archbishop of St Andrews, the Presbyterians lost their leader at Airds Moss (1680). William’s forces went on to crush Jacobite uprisings in Scotland and Ireland.
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