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Judas-Friars of the Popish Plot: the Catholic perspective on Dryden's The Spanish Fryar.

Friar Dominic, the title character of The Spanish Fryar (1681), is usually regarded as a "crude caricature of Catholicism," an advertisement for Dryden's Protestantism during the Popish Plot crisis of 1680. (1) But there is another way of looking at him. One may ask, why does Dryden make this wicked priest a Dominican at a time when Jesuits are being singled out for vituperation? Why does he call him Friar Dominic, have him refer to Saint Dominic as a "sure Card" who never fails "his Votaries," and plainly term him "this Jacobin" (II.iii.2), another name for a Dominican? (2) Evidently, he wants the reader to notice that his satire is aimed at one particular order, not all Catholic orders. As William Prynne noted long before, "no Protestants" ever wrote "so bitterly against these Popish orders as themselves do one against the other." (3) Dryden's choice seems odd, since Dominicans were a handful compared to the 120 Jesuits, 80 Benedictines and 55 Franciscans in the English mission. They were not even worth the historian's numbering. (4) Besides this, Cardinal Philip Howard, Dryden's uncle by marriage, was an eminent Dominican under whose aegis Dryden would place two of his sons after the 1688 Revolution, when they went to Rome to serve the Pope.

The answer to this riddle may be found in the trials of 1679-1680. There were actually two Dominicans who played the part of Judas Iscariot by testifying publicly against their fellow Catholics. Dryden targets a particular religious order because these Judas-Dominicans really existed, a fact which explains the loathing that lies just below the surface of his satire. For while many of the Popish Plot witnesses were former Catholics--for example, Titus Oates had been a convert and a seminarian, and John Smith, dubbed "Narrative Smith," had been a convert and a priest for seven years before conforming to the Church of England--they no longer pretended to be Catholics when they testified in the Plot. But Matthew Clay and Bernard Dennis came forward as Catholics and Dominican friars to testify in support of Titus Oates's perjuries. When a minority is persecuted, it reserves its greatest contempt for the traitors in its ranks. Who, then, in that crisis would have been more despised by the Catholics than these Dominican Judases? Dryden thus subtly declares his sympathy with the persecuted Catholics when he targets that particular religious order at that very moment in time.

In the Fryar, Dryden tries to reshape English attitudes toward "popery." While his countrymen are on the lookout for Jesuits engaged in an international regicide Plot, he presents them with a Dominican friar engaged in a local plot to rob a banker of his wife. His mode of satire reaches back to the Middle Ages: he attacks the kind of friar that Catholic poets like Dante and Chaucer had previously made the butt of their satires. Like them, he shows a wide spiritual gamut among Catholics, from wicked to good. Since Catholics were then attacked as uniformly wicked and the brood of Antichrist, it was an implicit plea for balance, if not for toleration, to show heterogeneity among them. (5) Dryden counters Protestant mythology about Jesuits by presenting his audience with the kind of priest that in his day posed a real menace to society--a Dominican friar conspiring with the Whigs to rob English Catholics of their good name and property. Alexander Pope, who remained a Catholic until death despite the pressures to conform, once observed that The Spanish Fryar was one of Dryden's three best plays. (6) He discerned plainly enough that it was not an anti-Catholic play.

If Dryden had wanted to attack Catholics in the style of that era, he would have shown his wicked priest taking orders from Rome to kill the king, not betraying a close acquaintance for personal gain. While it is true that Dryden himself describes The Spanish Fryar as a "Protestant play," he might mean an enlightened Protestant play. As poet laureate and historiographer royal, he clearly rises above Whig propaganda in this work, ignores the Jesuit scapegoats, and attacks a friar just like the two who were actually perjuring themselves for gain. We get a glimpse of his anger when he has Gomez refer to Friar Dominic as "Judas Iscariot" (II.iv.163) long before the epithet is warranted in the storyline, indeed two whole acts before the friar offers to perjure himself for gold. Moreover, he puts the heaviest blame on the friar, not on the officer who bribes him. Is this anti-clerical? Not at all, for Dante and Chaucer would have agreed with him that an old friar was far less excusable for wickedness than a young libertine.

Judas Iscariot was much on the minds of Catholics at the time, as seen in a poignant letter published in 1679, in which the Jesuit Thomas Jenison, writing from prison before his execution, tells his brother Robert, yet another Catholic bribed to maintain the perjuries of Titus Oates: "You have in some sense even outdone the malice of Judas," for Christ died for his Church, and you conspire "with the Devil to disappoint the design of Christ's Passion" by hiding "the truth from the Nation." (7) Dominic's willingness, in the Fryar, to perjure himself to implicate Gomez in a regicide plot holds up the mirror to Friars Clay and Dennis, the two Dominicans who helped convict their fellow Catholics in the Plot trials. Dryden might well expect that when the full story of the Popish Plot was known, his satire would be understood.

Matthew Clay, the first Dominican to swear on the side of Titus Oates in court, testified at the Old Bailey on June 13, 1679, at the trial of the five Jesuits: Thomas White or Whitebread, William Harcourt, John Fenwick, John Gavan or Gawen, and Anthony Turner. (8) The Jesuits were "all found guilty for being concerned in the plot," (9) and so they were hanged, drawn, and quartered as traitors, though later canonized as saints by the Catholic Church. In a letter recounting the trial, the Benedictine Peter Caryll is aghast at Friar Clay's treachery and reveals his emotion by putting two exclamation points, first after the phrase "an old Dominican Priest!" and then after his own lamentation over the sorrow and shame of it: "Proh dolor et pudor!" It is noteworthy that in The Spanish Fryar, the title character is called "old" and is also a priest, since he hears Elvira's confession. Caryll reports that when Oates brought in the witnesses "he had kept in reserve," including Friar Clay, "the whole Court gave a shout of laughter and hallow, that for almost a quarter [of an hour] the Cryers could not still them. Never was a Bear-bayting more rude and boysterous then this Tryal." (10) The crowd instantly grasped that an old Dominican priest testifying on the side of Oates clinched the case against the Jesuits.

The main point of contention at that trial was whether Oates had in fact been in London for an alleged regicide consult of Catholics in April 1678. Sixteen Catholic boys had crossed the sea from St. Omers to attest that Oates had never left the Jesuit Seminary from December 10, 1677, until June 23, 1678 (N.S.). In his Narrative, Oates had sworn that he came to London on April 17, 1678, to attend the consult and returned six days later to St. Omers. To confute the schoolboys, two older men came forward--the Protestant William Smith, Oates's former tutor at Merchant Taylor's School, and Friar Clay. Both swore they had seen Oates in London in April and May of 1678. Clay even gave vivid details, testifying that he had seen Oates in April at his friend Mr. Charles Howard's place, in a corner of Old Arundel House, and was "morally certain" he had seen him a second time in May in the same place. Oates interrupted him to tell the court with open satisfaction that Clay was a Catholic priest--"a priest in orders, as they say." During the cross-examination, the provincial Thomas White revealed that Clay was a doctor of divinity. Referring to him as "this good Doctor," he pointed out that both Clay and Smith contradicted the previous testimony of Oates-who had said he was in London for only six days--when they claimed to have seen him in April and May. White's objection was thrown out by the judge, who also discredited the boys from St. Omers as having been rehearsed.

John Speke, a Protestant who was at the trial, reported the next day that the witness who had "principally" confuted the schoolboys was "Father Clay." Speke added some important information not found in the printed trial--that Clay "had sworn formerly before the committee of Lords that Oates was in England those two months. He swore the same again yesterday and said, I confess, if there be nothing more to invalidate Mr. Oates' testimony than that he was at St. Omer's, that would not do, for he had already sworn that Oates was in England those months and should swear the same again." (11) Thus, Speke revealed that Clay had given the same testimony earlier before a close committee of Lords and that he had been crucial at the trial for establishing Oates's credibility. Clay himself realized his value to the government, for in 1682, when the tide turned against the Plot, he pleaded with the king for "accommodations for his old age, he having attended in town about these two years in the public service, and having done actual service against those traitorous plotters the Jesuits, at the Sessions House, and being now in great danger of mischief by the Jesuitical party." (12)

Six years later, on May 8, 1685, at Oates's trial for perjury, it was admitted in court that Friar Clay had been one of the two "home-witnesses" against the Jesuits, the second being Oates's tutor William Smith. All the others had been only "canting witnesses," obviously partisan. The Dominican friar was said to have put the seal of truth on Oates's lies: in his testimony "lay the credit of his [Oates's] being in town, when the witnesses, which came from St. Omers, say he was beyond sea." The Attorney General explained to the jury that Clay had been suborned during his imprisonment in the Gatehouse six years earlier and had struck a "bargain" with Oates and William Waller only three or four days before the trial of the five Jesuits. Lawrence Davenport then testified that Oates had visited "old Clay" in his prison-chamber "several times" to warn him he would be put to death "as a priest" if he did not swear what he was told. At the time, Davenport was a prisoner, too, but he "had the government and care of some of the prisoners" as his "livelihood," and this is how he came to overhear Clay agreeing to perjure himself, provided his gold and silver were returned to him: "with a proviso that you [Oates] would give him his gold and silver that was taken from him, being then a prisoner, under my [Davenport's] keeping in the Gatehouse, and wanting his money; if you would do that, he said, he had been a rogue before, and he could not say what he might do." (13)

That a Dominican friar under a vow of poverty should be asking for a sum of gold and silver to be returned to him seems odd. But if we join Davenport's evidence to Speke's letter cited above, it is likely that Friar Clay received that sum in payment for his perjury before the committee of Lords, and then, when he balked at repeating the same perjury in public at the trial of the five Jesuits, he was put in prison, his bribe taken away, and his life put in jeopardy until he agreed to be what he himself called "a rogue" again.

The Attorney General brought up a second witness to whom Davenport, the next day, had repeated the conversation overheard between Clay, Oates, and Waller. This man confirmed that the latter two "had been tampering with Clay" to make him swear he had dined with Oates "at Mr. Howard's house such a day of the month," though "Mr. Clay did say he knew nothing of the matter." This witness also swore that Clay was threatened with hanging as a priest if he would not testify to what he was told. In the end, "Clay agreed, if he might have his gold restored." The Attorney General called these two testimonies "a plain proof of subornation." Then Charles Howard came forth and testified that Clay and Oates had met at his place only in July 1678, after Oates's return from St. Omers. (14)

In 1685 William Smith, the second "home-witness" against the Jesuits, published a pamphlet to explain how he had been frightened into perjury. Though a Protestant, he was accused of consorting with Catholics, his license to teach revoked, his school in Islington closed, and his family left destitute. He feared to die as a traitor or linger in Newgate among the Catholics dying of disease there, so he agreed to testify that he had seen Oates in London in May. (15) At Oates's perjury trial, the Attorney General quoted Smith as saying, "I must have died for it, if I had not done it; it was only a mistake in point of time: but he [Oates] threatened me, and so did some others, too, that he would have me hanged for being in the plot, if I did not comply with him." (16)

As soon as William Smith consented to perjury, Shaftesbury called him "an Honest Man," his cant phrase for someone testifying against the Catholics. In 1688, in an interview with the hackney-coachman Francis Corral, Roger L'Estrange marveled over this illiterate coachman who, rather than perjure himself, had endured thirteen weeks of torture in 1679, chained in heavy irons and lying naked in a chill, cramped hole below ground. Corral told L'Estrange that he had also withstood attempted bribery, when Shaftesbury personally interrogated him, laying a pile of gold on the table and saying, "We are the peers of the land; and if thou wilt not confess, there shall be a barrel of nails provided for thee, to put thee in, and roll thee down a hill." At Corral's reply that he would not accuse innocent people, the earl had declared, "then thou shalt die." L'Estrange asked what had held Corral back from perjury when men more educated than he succumbed. The heroic coachman answered that in his long ordeal he had kept the Last Judgment in view. (17)

The second Dominican friar to side openly with Titus Oates was Bernard Dennis, originally Bryan MacDonagh of Sligo. He confirmed the existence of the Popish Plot at the trial of Dryden's cousin William Howard, Viscount Stafford, in November 1680, the very same month in which The Spanish Fryar premiered. Friar Dennis, a Dominican since 1668, swore that he had discussed the Plot with Oates in Spain in 1677. But someone who knew him wrote later that Dennis had been in Spain all right, but had not met Oates there. (18) When Dennis later testified against Shaftesbury in 1681, he and the other Irish witnesses were put down as "beggarly persons in their own country, some indicted and others charged with horse-stealing, burglary, perjury." (19) Yet these men had been invited to testify by the English government. For on November 28, 1679, the English Council issued a proclamation in Ireland, asking those who "could make any further discovery of the horrid Popish Plot to come in" and mentioning "the encouragement that would be given to all persons that should offer themselves as witnesses." Little wonder that by the start of 1680, "Lord Shaftesbury bragged openly that he had great discoveries of an Irish plot in readiness to produce." (20) What Raymond observes in the play, "So, now we have Plot behind the Plot" (IV.ii.187), calls to mind the Whig strategy of those years-to raise new plots like fortifications around a castle, as Roger North put it, so as to keep their own assassination plot, the Rye House Plot, hidden from view. (21) In spring of 1680, Irish witnesses came over to be examined by close committees of Commons and Lords. Dryden glances at this development when he has Gomez exclaim, "A pox on your close committees," as soon as he sees Friar Dominic whispering to Elvira (II.iv.127). At some time during that year, Friar Dennis was "enlisted" as a witness by Shaftesbury's agent, William Hetherington. (22)

Dryden's satires usually originate in something topical, and The Spanish Fryar is no exception. Although Dryden's Friar Dominic mirrors Matthew Clay in that he is both old and a Dominican priest, he seems also to mirror the more youthful Friar Dennis, in that he initially comes on stage with a wench hanging on him. (23) Since Dennis was to be a key witness at Stafford's trial only four weeks later, Dryden might be trying to undercut his credibility, particularly by showing a Dominican friar victimizing a "banker." For Viscount Stafford, against whom Dennis was soon to testify, was accused of being the "paymaster-general" or banker of the Popish Plot. In his Narrative, Oates also pictured Stafford as the "principal secretary of state" and the "chief conspirator" who had "contributed several sums of money" to advance the cause. (24) In the play, the Friar assists a libertine in putting the banker Gomez into the "Plot against the State": "let the Souldiers seize him for one of the [king's] Assassinates, and let me alone to accuse him afterwards" (IV.i.136-38). Similarly at Stafford's trial, Friar Dennis assists Shaftesbury in convicting the banker of the Plot.

At one point in Stafford's trial, Dennis echoes Friar Dominic, making it plausible that Dryden either had advance knowledge of what Dennis would testify or else added touches afterwards, before publication, to make his Judas-friar resemble Dennis. In the play, Dominic protests to Lorenzo, "do not tempt me to break my Vow of Poverty," and then accepts "Fifty Pieces" of gold to deliver a pimping letter to Elvira, thus committing treason against his host Gomez, Elvira's husband (II.iii.53-54). Likewise at Stafford's trial, Dennis testifies that "Religious persons, especially of my Order, cannot carry any money about them but what is requisite for their Journey," but then admits he accepted four pieces of eight when Oates "pulled a Bag of money, which was a very considerable sum" and paid him to go deliver a letter related to the regicide Plot. (25) Thus, in both The Spanish Fryar and Stafford's trial we have a Dominican friar in Spain violating his vow of poverty and taking gold to deliver a treasonable letter.

It is conceivable that Dryden, as historiographer royal with access to Charles II and James Duke of York, might have learned about Friar Dennis's depositions ahead of his cousin's trial and made a preemptive strike against him. It is said that Dryden's play is unrelated to Spanish history and the setting intended only to distance the story. (26) Yet the play in both high and comic plots is about a conspiracy to kill the king, and Oates claimed he first heard of such a conspiracy in Spain in 1677. References to Spain keep recurring in the trials, as when William Smith testifies in May 1678 that he talked with Oates of "his being in Spain," and when Oates swears at Langhorne's trial that he met the lawyer's sons in Spain. (27) One thing Oates never mentions, though, is that he met his fellow-perjurer William Bedloe in Spain. In 1679, Elizabeth Cellier sent the Council one of Oates's letters to show these two had met in Spain in 1677. (28)

Friar Dennis created a sensation when he appeared at Stafford's trial in Westminster Hall, before a huge assembly that included Commons and Lords, the King, the Queen, and both their retinues. The Hall was set up just as it had been for Strafford's trial in 1640, with a special gallery for foreign ambassadors and other observers. Stafford's two daughters, Anastasia and Isabella, were there, and very likely Dryden, whether as their cousin or as historiographer royal. Dennis was dressed in a religious habit, because when he stepped forward he was asked immediately if he were a friar, and he answered, "I am a Dominican Fryer." Immediately, Sergeant Maynard informed the court, "He hath a Pardon, my Lords." Dennis was then asked if he were still a Catholic, and he answered, "I am a Roman Catholick still, my Lord." (29) Tellingly, Dryden's Friar Dominic boasts that, to save himself, he will swear falsely, impeach others, "and see whose Oath will be believ'd" (IV.i.24-29). He implies that his coming to court as a Dominican friar will make his oath more credible than a layman's.

In his analysis of Stafford's trial for Europeans soon afterwards, the Jansenist Dr. Antoine Arnauld observed that old Maynard, as representative of Commons, had a pardon ready just so Dennis could appear as a friar. Arnauld said Dennis was in a class by himself among the witnesses: "Celui-cy est d'une autre espece que les autres. Il se dit Moyne Dominiquain, et assure qu'il est Catholique Romain." (30) Arnauld explained that the managers of Stafford's trial made Dennis come forward as friar only to give more weight to his words, for they knew he was about to renounce his religion: "ce qui fait voir que c'estoit quelque Moyne tout prest a devenir Apostat; et qu'ils avoient mieux aime qui parust en Moyne, afin que son temoignage fust plus considerable." (31) Indeed, Dennis's presenting himself as a Catholic friar was deceptive, for he testified a year later at Shaftesbury's trial that he had planned to conform to the national church as far back as 1677. After Stafford's death, Shaftesbury promised he would soon have a benefice in the Church of England. (32)

Even though The Spanish Fryar was staged a few weeks before Stafford's trial, Dryden had time to make additions afterwards, because his play was published only in March 1681, and the printed text is the earliest one that survives. As Susan J. Owen notes, Dryden "twice asks for a careful reading." He insists that even the "most discerning Critick" will miss things in the staging, and so "'tis my Ambition to be read ... for the propriety of thoughts and words, which are the hidden beauties of a Play, are but confus'dly judg'd in the vehemence of Action." (33) The poet hints that something important in the printed text was overlooked in the stage production. Very likely he means the subtle allusions to the Judas-Friars and Stafford's trial.

Friar Dominic closely resembles Dennis in that both Dominicans are in a conspiracy to rob a rich layman of his property. In the Popish Plot crisis, the property of accused Catholics was a major topic. At sentencing on December 7, 1680, Creswell Levinz demanded that Stafford be hanged, drawn and quartered, not merely beheaded, because it was heinous for one "of so considerable Estate and Fortune" to have entered "into so Infernal a Conspiracy as to contrive the Murder of the King." In vain did Stafford point out that he was so far from being an enemy to kings that he had impoverished his family in the 1640s to serve Charles I, when he could have "lived quietly as others did." In vain did he point out that he was accused by desperate men like Stephen Dugdale, who had been a prisoner for debt at Stafford, and Titus Oates, a man so poor he had begged for sixpence from Catholics in 1678 before he suddenly earned 700 [pounds sterling] for his testimonies against them. (34) Gomez echoes Stafford's plea when he protests that only "poor Rogues" need a Plot: "Who, I in a Plot? O Lord! O Lord! I never durst be in a Plot: why, how can you in Conscience suspect a rich Citizen of so much wit as to make a Plotter? There are none but poor Rogues, and those that can't live without it, that are in Plots" (IV.i.175-79). Gomez speaks here for the many Catholics charged in the Plot by rogues and friars suddenly grown rich on government funds. One Jesuit said the witnesses against him were all "men of desperate fortunes" who made a "trade" of "swearing fast." (35)

George McFadden observes that Dryden's play tries "to dissolve the hostility and terror of the Popish Plot into tears and laughter." (36) Indeed the comic side of the play holds up a funhouse mirror to the Popish Plot, while the serious side of the play holds up a distancing mirror to the Exclusion Crisis. Just as the Plot and the Crisis were two sides of a coin, a city and a court version of hostility toward James Duke of York, so Dryden's city and court plot are two sides of a coin. Gomez is the comic counterpart of King Sancho--for in fact Gomez is often spoken of as "king" in jest. Elvira is the low counterpart of Leonora-for both women are willing to victimize their old, impotent, yet lawful "king." Lorenzo is the libertine counterpart of scheming Bertran--for both are in rebellion against a father. Thus, only Friar Dominic is without parallel in the courtly part of the play. He functions like Judas in Spain during Holy Week--a creature to be mocked and hissed at in his wanderings.

One critic denies that Gomez deserves sympathy and insists that the old banker is simply "impotent and unlovely," a "Shylock," and an arbitrary king in his own household. (37) This judgment is too severe. Unlike Shylock, Gomez never demands repayment from Lorenzo, and if he threatens to go to law, it is only because his debtor tries to break into his house to commit adultery with his too-willing wife. It is true that Gomez resembles a stage-Jew, but he is plainly a Catholic, since he is intimidated by Dominic's threat of excommunication (which he says would outlaw him financially) into letting the friar have access to Elvira.

Gomez resembles English Catholics in that it is for the sake of his property (his wife Elivra being depicted as mere property) that he is accused of treason by former beneficiaries, debtors, and dependents. Moreover, he is old, small, and weak, and the English Catholics were of the old religion, few in number, and grown weak under laws that deprived them of their civil rights and freedom of worship. Possessing property without power, these Catholics were as vulnerable as European Jews when accused by the likes of Lorenzo--a big, young military officer with court connections who intends never to repay his debt. Lorenzo uses his sudden wealth gained by plunder in wartime to bribe his way to Gomez's wife, and when bribery does not put him in possession of her, he falsely accuses Gomez of being in "the Plot" to have him "secur'd as a Traitor" while he elopes with the man's wife (IV.i.159). Even if we suppose that Restoration theatergoers were so immoral that they sided with the libertine during most of the play, they would have been sobered up by the denouement--for Lorenzo turns out to have been trying to bed his own sister. Thus Dryden shows the audience what the Plot mania is really about-libertinism, bribery, and perjury with intent to steal the property of fellow citizens.

The Popish Plot and the Exclusion Crisis were closely linked in 1680, because there was a push to implicate the Duke of York in the regicide Plot so as to exclude him from the throne and send him into exile. In the courtly part of the Fryar, Leonora represents England as the beloved of Torrismond (James), the rightful heir to the throne. At first she is an England still enjoying the fruits of the 1640s rebellion, for she has usurped royal power from old King Sancho. In the end, however, after helping to plot the murder of Sancho (a murder which Bertran averts out of Machiavellian policy), she repents, and for love of Torrismond agrees to atone for past misdeeds. Dryden evidently hopes that England will repent of the Exclusion Bill and accept James as royal heir, despite his Catholicism. Since kings were symbolically the husbands of the nation, marriage with Leonora represents access to the crown, whereas marriage with Elvira, the wife of Gomez, represents Catholic access to property in England. From the Reformation until 1678, wealthy Catholics had a property-right that came with their inherited estates, a right to a seat in the House of Lords, where they usually voted (in the Stuart era) on the side of the king, their constant protector against persecution. But the accusations of Titus Oates led instantly to the Test Act of 1678, which barred Catholics henceforth from the House of Lords, the first step to barring them from the crown in the Act of Settlement. Lord Keeper North noted that the Whig leaders "took advantage" of that crisis to "exclude the Popish Lords out of parliament" and that some Catholics at this time conformed to the established church, "as Norfolk's heir, Shrewsbury, Cardigan's heir, Lumley." (38) To retain their seats, these peers took the Test and declared their former Catholic worship to be idolatry.

In the Fryar, Dominic argues that Gomez deserves to be accused as a traitor in the "Plot" even if innocent, because he has made insulting remarks about the Church. Here Gomez stands for the Catholics whose refusal to conform to the national church was regarded as an insult. David Haley observes that Dryden "lets Dominic steal the argument that Titus Oates invoked to hang his innocent victims" when he has him justify Gomez's being falsely accused on the ground of his religious principles: "'He has rail'd against the Church, which is a fouler Crime than the murther of a Thousand Kings ... so it is not wrongfull to accuse him.'" Haley calls this passage a "stroke of genius." (39) For in the trials of 1678-80, the judges would instruct juries to believe what Titus Oates swore even when he contradicted himself, on the ground that the religion of Catholics made them capable of all that treason. Oates invented armies of forty thousand Irish, twenty thousand English Papists, along with European armies totaling over two hundred thousand horse, foot, and dragoons, not to mention Spanish pilgrims, French, Flemish, and other confederates, all supposed to be ready in ten days' time to descend upon England. Not a trace of these "huge Armies and Armouries" was ever found, nor a single one of the hundreds of commissions and papal briefs Oates claimed he delivered to English Catholics for every high office in the land. (40)

In Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Dryden remarks that the increasing weakness of the Catholic minority invited bullying: "And every loss the men of Jebus bore,/They still were thought God's enemies the more" (90-91). He even calls them "Jebusites" to underline their harmlessness, for Jebusites lived at peace among the Jews, whereas other Protestants called them "Amalekites," to mean there could never be peace between them. We see an instance of bullying when Gomez says he will go to a judge to keep Lorenzo from entering his house, and Lorenzo replies by threatening to beat him up (III.ii.165). We see another when Gomez, having been released after his false arrest for treason, says he will go to "trie before a Civil Magistrate who's the greater Plotter of us two," and in reply Lorenzo beats him up, jeering that this is only the "Interest of my Debt," the "Principal" being yet to come (IV.i.250-60). The point is that, despite his unpaid debt and his breaking into Gomez's house, Lorenzo sees himself as immune from prosecution and free to use violence. Bruce King observes that Lorenzo's language reflects "the assumptions of Hobbes and Rochester . " (41) True, but in 1680 it reflects much more the ease with which a Catholic (or one of their known sympathizers) could be bullied.

Still another instance of bullying occurs when Gomez testifies before the judge and Lorenzo raises his clenched fist behind the judge's back to warn that a second beating is on the way. Gomez is so frightened he keeps recanting his testimony and finally gives up, saying, "Truth has been at my Tongue's end this half hour, and I have not power to bring it out for fear of this bloudy minded Colonel" (V.ii.319-64). His stammering is a funhouse mirror held up to the witnesses too scared to testify at the Plot trials--as at Langhorne's trial in 1679, where the Catholic earl of Castlemaine interrupted the proceedings to complain that one of Langhorne's last witnesses had been beaten nearly to death by the mob outside, and where Elizabeth Cellier (called Mrs. Sylliard in that printed trial) asked to be excused from testifying because the judge would not promise to give her protection from the mob. (42)

When Elvira elopes with Lorenzo, she carries off her husband's gold and jewels. Thus, while Lorenzo's soldiers are arresting Gomez for treason, she strips him of his valuables. This detail is drawn from the existing situation in London: Catholics accused in the Plot lost their valuables when William Waller pillaged their houses and seized their jewels as superstitious objects: "rich Diamonds for Roman Reliques, Necklaces of Pearl, for Popish Beads. (43)

After his conversion, Dryden looked back at the Popish Plot in The Hind and the Panther (1687) and observed that much of it was about property, especially the property-right to a seat in the House of Lords. This is why he urged that the Test Act of 1678 be repealed as restitution of the "right" that was "disseis'd" by the "great Oppressor" Shaftesbury:
   Suppose some great Oppressor had by slight
   Of law, disseis'd your brother of his right,
   Your common sire surrendring in a fright:
   Would you to that unrighteous title stand,
   Left by the villain's will to heir the land?
   More just was Judas, who his Saviour sold;
   The sacrilegious bribe he cou'd not hold.
   Nor hang in peace, before he rendr'd back the gold.
   What more could you have done, than now you doe,
   Had Oates and Bedlow, and their Plot been true?
   (3:710-9)


Note his searing reference to Judas. Dryden is referring to the relatives of the Catholic lords who assumed their seats in parliament in 1679 and who refuse in 1687 to repeal the Test Act. The word Judas also glances at the four Howard peers who did not have the grace to abstain, but voted their innocent cousin Viscount Stafford guilty of treason. (44) Dryden's point is that the victims and the persecutors in the Plot had a "common sire." Besides having the same king, many of them had a common bloodline, too. Tellingly, in The Spanish Fryar Lorenzo discovers that he is Gomez's brother-in-law, so they have a "common sire" in Alphonso. Therefore, Lorenzo has been bullying, robbing, beating, arresting, and falsely accusing his own "brother-in-law" in a regicide Plot. Yet this is exactly what was happening in the Popish Plot years.

David Haley remarks that Dryden has created in his play "a rogue friar to mask a direct criticism of Oates, the former seminarian." (45) Had he dared, Dryden would have satirized Oates directly, but it was far too dangerous to attempt it in 1680, when Oates still had the protection of Parliament. Indeed, the experience of Elizabeth Cellier that same year shows why Dryden had to be cautious. The "Popish midwife" distributed food to Catholics imprisoned for the Popish Plot in London until she was herself entrapped in the Meal-Tub Plot in 1679. After eight months of imprisonment, she defended herself so ably at her trial in June 1680 that she was acquitted of treason. Emboldened by her triumph, she was the first to attack the Plot witnesses in a sensational pamphlet entitled Malice Defeated, fearlessly acknowledging her authorship on the front page. (46) It sold for twopence, circulated widely and was quickly published abroad as La Malice Decouverte. Dr. Arnauld saw it in 1681 and said that no one could read it without having a sense of her truthfulness: "on ne le peut lire sans en estre touche; parce qu'on y trouve par tout un certain air si naturel, et tant de temoignages de sincerite and de courage, qu'on ne scauroit se persuader que la mechancete et le mensonge puissent jamais si bien contrefaire la bonne conscience et la verite." (47) Cellier exposed the torture of prisoners going on in London prisons to create witnesses for Titus Oates. She wrote in particular of how she had overheard the cries of Miles Prance, a bankrupt Catholic jeweler who was racked for days before turning into one of the chief witnesses against other Catholics. She also wrote of a prison visit to Francis Corral, the coachman tortured in vain to make him implicate the Duke of York in the murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey. Although she was accused of lying about the torture of Prance and Corral, Cellier was later vindicated by L'Estrange and by The Deposition of Francis Caryll [Corral], in the Fairfax papers. (48) In the same pamphlet, she told of the attempts made, during her eight-month imprisonment, to terrify and bribe her into giving false evidence against the Duke of York. (49) Merely for printing Malice Defeated, Cellier was arrested again on September 10, tried the next day, found guilty, pilloried three times, and given such a large fine she had to remain in prison for years. Her second trial was less than two months before The Spanish Fryar premiered. Clearly it was not yet time to be honest about the Popish Plot. This lack of freedom of speech needs to be taken into account when interpreting the Fryar. For there we read that times are so bad men "dare not speak" in Council and "could not if they durst" (IV.ii.15-16).

Dryden thus had no choice but to use witty blinds to satirize the Plot and stay out of prison. Although he targets a Dominican friar just like the two actually testifying on the Whig side, he also manages to give this character traits that belong to Titus Oates. George McFadden was the first to observe that, when Dominic accuses Gomez of being in the plot to murder King Sancho, the reader can "detect an allusion to Titus Oates." (50) Indeed, the connection between Dominic and Oates is even more specific than that, for they share two striking physical traits: just as Dominic has a chin that touches his chest, so Oates had a very long chin and a "short neck," and just as Dominic has a limp, so Oates had "an off-Leg somewhat shorter than the other." (51) Most telling of all, however, is that they use the exact same phrase when taking a false oath-in verbo Sacerdotis, upon the word of a priest. In the first scene in which he appears, Dominic swears "upon my priesthood" that he is troubled by the contents of Lorenzo's letter (II.iii.89-91), and in the next scene he swears "In verbo Sacerdotis" to the lie that Elvira is a "virtuous Lady" (II.iv.110). In the finale, Gomez insists on speaking first, exclaiming "I will, Fryar! For all your Verbum Sacerdotis" (V.ii.264-65). So by the end of the play, the oath "on the word of a priest" has become a signpost for Dominic's perjuries. And yet, a few months later Oates uses the very same expression at the trial of Stephen Colledge, where he swears: "Upon the word of a priest, what I say is true. My lord, I do say, as I am a minister, I speak it sincerely, in the presence of God, this gentleman did say these words to me." (52) James Corker comments on Oates's use of this phrase: "How notoriously didst thou act the Hireling, and prophane Sacred Epithetes, In Verbo Sacerdotis; As a Minister of the Gospel etc to serve the Associated Brethren with a cast of thy Office at Colledg's Tryal." (53) Was life imitating art? Could Oates have been quoting Dominic half a year after the hugely popular play was produced and weeks after its printing? Not likely.

There were complaints even in 1680 that the trial records were incomplete, so it is possible that Oates had used this phrase earlier in the Popish Plot trials. What is certain is that he ended his Narrative in 1678 with an oath signed, "Titus Oates, Clerk," thus vouching for his perjuries on the word of a clergyman. In addition, there is strong evidence he gave other sworn testimony in verbo sacerdotis well before Dryden's play was staged, for in a satire published in 1682, Adam Elliot, a Protestant minister, charged that Oates had engaged his "Verbum Sacerdotis" when he swore falsely that Elliot was a "Mahumetan" turned Jesuit and when he deceived the English nation by asserting "upon the word of a Priest that he commenc'd Doctor at Salamanca." (54) Now Elliot's last point refers to Oates's testimony before the Privy Council at a date prior to 1680. As historiographer royal, Dryden would surely have had access to depositions in which Oates swore on his priesthood that he had received the degree of doctor at Salamanca and had preached before Don Juan in Madrid, two things impossible for someone not ordained a Catholic priest. And of course, Oates could not be ordained to the priesthood because he could not learn Latin, then the basis of higher education. In the end, the Jesuits offered him nothing more than the place of porter at St. Omers, an offer that enraged him against Catholics. At the Plot trials, Oates constantly paraded his priestly identity: he was addressed as "Doctor" by the prosecutors and his own witnesses, and he wore a bishop's black gown and large hat, so that the phrase black locust used for Dominic in the play applies to him.

Another way Dominic resembles Oates is his willingness to murder. Oates brought in witnesses like Clay by threats of hanging, threats he could easily carry out. Similarly, Dominic urges the murder of Gomez, telling Lorenzo, "Dead-men tell no Tales; but let your Souldiers apply it at their own Perils" (IV.i.127). Later, when Gomez is rescued and goes off to the judge, Dominic complains to Lorenzo: "Ah, if your Souldiers had but dispatch'd him, his Tongue had been laid a-sleep, Colonel; but this comes of not following good counsel" (IV.i.262-64). Oates was known for cant phrases, and here Dominic uses the phrase "good counsel" for his advice to murder an innocent man.

Seen as a whole, The Spanish Fryar offers a balanced view of Catholicism, for Dryden provides a counterpoise in the serious part to his satire on the Judas-friar: he depicts noble characters endorsing the religious orders and devotions of Catholicism. A repentant Leonora says she will endow a chapel where every day "an hundred aged men" will ask "pardon" for her share in the king's murder, and she pledges to wear coarse garb and live in a "solitary Cloister" among "holy Virgins" for the rest of her life (V.ii.120-24, 198-200). There is no satire here, only respect for intercessory prayer, the cloistered life, and the vow of poverty--then three exclusively Catholic practices. At the end of the play, Alphonso declares that Dominic will be expelled from his monastery because "your Bishop's my Friend, and is too honest to let such as you infect a Cloister" (V.ii.394-95). This remark shows the Judas-friar as the exception, not the rule.

In the low satirical part, however, Dominic is called the rule, not the exception, and he is used to tar all clergy, not only the Catholic orders. The libertine Lorenzo, who has paid Dominic to pimp for him, asserts that this friar is typical of the "tribe of Levi," that is, all clergy. The despondent Gomez also judges Dominic to be typical, as does Elvira. But here Dryden sets a trap for the reader: for whoever accepts this view of the clergy embraces the opinions of a libertine, a now paranoid victim, and a would-be harlot.

The Fryar is subtly pro-Catholic if we mark the connection between the royal heir Torrismond and the Catholic Duke of York. It might be objected that the Duke of York, after he became King, stopped the performance of The Spanish Fryar, presumably because he saw it as anti-Catholic. But what if the King lacked the acumen to discern the deeper design of the play? As noted earlier, the Catholic poet Alexander Pope, when he called the Fryar one of Dryden's three best plays, showed he did not regard it as a piece of anti-Catholicism. Indeed, Torrismond's triumphant return from battle with the Moors glances at James's victorious return from Scotland in February 1680. Whereas Monmouth had gone to Scotland and only scattered the rebels, James had subdued them and left the Episcopal party in control.

In the play, Bertran-who is the heir to the former rebels and represents Shaftesbury-is "stung" with envy at Torrismond's victory and tries to degrade him in the eyes of Queen Leonora, who stands for England. Bertran tells Torrismond to his face, "The Wings of your Ambition must be clipt" (I.i.246). In his memoirs, James recalled that his return from Scotland early in 1680 cast a "damp" on the Whigs and that in particular Shaftesbury, "some time after bewaleing as it were the impotency of his malice, complain'd that the persecuting of him [James] in England, served only to make him reign as it were in Scotland." (55) The proposed marriage of Bertran and Leonora signifies Shaftesbury's attempt to pass the Exclusion Bill into law, something James believed would usher in a "commonwealth." The fatal marriage that would entrench the heirs of the former rebellion is averted in the nick of time, when Queen Leonora falls in love with Torrismond.

In the play, Bertran accuses Torrismond of being a presumptuous nobody. Likewise Shaftesbury, on 16 June 1680, came with several lords to indict James as a common recusant before a grand jury at Westminster, demanding two-thirds of his estate. Judge Scroggs dismissed the jury four days before the presentment was ready, causing parliament to vote him in November a "violator" of the "fundamental laws of the kingdom." (56) In the play old King Sancho is moribund in prison, yet in danger of being murdered outright by Bertran. This point is of special importance since Bertran's plot to kill old Sancho glances at the Whig plot to murder Charles II, a plot made known through Elizabeth Cellier in 1679, but widely dismissed as a forgery. Nevertheless, the names of the Whigs found in Cellier's Mealtub are a roster of those who would be accused of attempted regicide in the Rye House Plot in 1683. Dryden hints (as far as he safely can) that he believes Mrs. Cellier by dramatizing Bertran's regicide Plot.

In May and June 1680, Dryden's cousin Viscount Stafford petitioned for his immediate trial before the assembled Lords and Commons. This harmless old man was failing in health after eighteen months in the Tower, where, like pathetic old Sancho, he had lingered long in close confinement. David Haley comments that, in the description of the sufferings of King Sancho, Dryden has a hidden agenda--hat of trying to stir his readers to compassion for old Stafford, soon to be tried for his life: "The hero's pietas has a private meaning that goes beyond dramatic irony. The public poet induces the unfeeling audience to share his personal grief for the 'poor Lord Stafford' whom they are about to martyr." (57) Indeed, Stafford might well represent the monarchy, since he had supported Charles I in the civil wars and taken the oath of allegiance condemned by the papacy, though in recent years he had "generally given a silent vote" with the Whigs, as, for example, to dissolve the long Cavalier parliament when Shaftesbury persuaded him it was "for the interest of popery." (58)

Stafford's Memoires (1681), which tells of the Viscount's trial and death, is a work attributed to James Corker, yet a contemporary responder pointed out that the author described himself as an "Impartial" Protestant who claimed not to be defending Popery but only repeating "what Papists generally say to vindicate their innocence." (59) The responder accused "Mr. Impartial" of being a "corrupted Protestant" who ran into "Poetical Raptures" about Stafford and recriminated "upon the United Wisdom and Justice of the whole Kingdom" in the Plot trials. If any impartial Protestant was capable of going into raptures about Stafford, seeing the injustice of the Plot trials, and assisting Corker in producing these Memoires, it was surely John Dryden. One should note that during Stafford's confinement only Protestants were allowed to see him in the Tower. (60) In these circumstances, it is possible the poet visited his cousin on behalf of the family, and so would have had a poignant memory to draw on for the prison scene of Torrismond's visit to old Sancho. In 1686, Dryden chose Corker to receive him into the Catholic Church, a Benedictine whose order had "an impeccable record of loyalty to the Stuart Cause." (61) Perhaps there had also been a previous collaboration on the Memoires.

Not long after Stafford's death, the poet was invited to the wedding of Anastasia, Viscount Stafford's daughter. For this occasion he wrote an exquisite ode, "On the Marriage of the Fair and Vertuous Lady, Mrs Anastasia Stafford," a work he could not publish in his lifetime because it celebrated an alleged "traitor." Evidently Dryden was close to this afflicted family. It appears from the words of the Jesuit John Warner that Anastasia was married before 1686, that is, before Dryden's conversion. For with regard to Stafford's five daughters, Warner writes in 1686: "Three of the daughters made their religious profession in Belgium. One, [Isabella] the Marchioness of Winchester, is a widow; the other [Anastasia] married after her father's death." (62) The phrase "married after her father's death" implies not long after December 1680. This makes sense, since Anastasia would have been just past thirty then, and in this ode Dryden wishes her many children, a wish that would be inappropriate seven years later. If this dating is correct, Dryden was a Protestant when he envisioned Stafford as a saint in glory:
   The beauteous bride is of a martyr's race:
   And he above, with joy looks down,
   I see, I see him blaze with his immortall crown.
   He, on her nuptials, does his beams dispense,
   Blessing the day with better influence;
   He looks from heaven with joy, and gives her joy from thence.
   (25.30)


The poet here does not invoke Stafford in prayer, as he would if he were a Catholic, another clue that leads one to date the ode before his conversion.

Very likely Dryden dedicated his play to John Holles because Francis Holles, John's cousin, was one of the few lords (thirty-one out of eighty-six) who voted his cousin "not guilty" in December 1680. That vote would have surprised everyone, because Francis, the heir of Denzil Holles, was a Presbyterian Whig. It was extraordinary to see him voting on the side of high-church Tories like Lords Ailesbury, Chesterfield, and Clarendon. Indeed, it took great courage for Holles to do this, because to vote Stafford "not guilty" at that time amounted to saying that he did not believe in the Popish Plot and wanted to stop the charade, when even to hint such a thing was dangerous. (63) At Stafford's trial, the bias against Catholics loomed large when Lord Nottingham declared in his condemnation speech, "Who can doubt any longer that London was burnt by Papists?" There had been no mention of the London Fire in the trial.

Dr. John Morrill informs me that, in the same month Francis Holles voted Stafford not guilty, he also abstained from voting on the 2nd Exclusion Bill. In other words, he voted both Stafford and James Duke of York "not guilty." From Dryden's viewpoint, here was a Whig Presbyterian moving in the right direction, no longer marching lockstep after Shaftesbury. Dryden surely felt admiration for Francis Holles, but perhaps, if he had dedicated his play to him, it would have been too obvious that The Spanish Fryar was an attack on the Plot and its perjured witnesses. At the time, it was still very dangerous to impugn the Plot. So Dryden did the next best thing: he dedicated the play to John Holles, Lord Haughton, probably in the hope that this youth would follow his brave kinsman's examples (64) For by calling John Holles a "Protestant patron," Dryden might well mean a fair-minded Protestant, a Presbyterian like Francis Holles who could rise above partisanship and vote Stafford, the Duke of York, and other Catholics "not guilty" in the ludicrous Plot.

The satire on Friar Dominic, the dedication to one of the Holles family, and the ode for Anastasia Stafford's wedding are all connected: they reveal the poet's empathy with the persecuted Catholics in the years of the Popish Plot. T. A. Birrell is right to say that the poet's "religious interests date from at least the period 1680-82" and to insist that he is the "John Dryden" who purchased ninety-two books at the London auction of the Catholic Digby's library, on 19 April 1680. (65) Around the same time he wrote the Fryar, then, Dryden was bying a work on Church Government by Abraham Woodhead, the most learned spokesman for English Catholics in that era, (66) a work that would leave its mark on The Hind and the Panther (1687).

At Easter time, Mexicans create papier-mache Judas-pinatas, stuff them with fireworks, and blow them apart amidst cheering and conviviality. The act of repudiating the traitor-apostle generates a sense of solidarity. Friar Dominic functions as such a Judas-pinata in Dryden's play. At the end he is blown apart in reputation, and the community unites to disown him. Susan Owen rightly observes that Dryden celebrates "forgiveness" in the drama's finale, for after King Sancho turns out to be alive, even Bertran is included in the festive close. (67) Evidently, Dryden does not think it is too late for Shaftesbury and the Whigs to do as Francis Holles did, be reconciled with King Charles and James Duke of York. But Friar Dominic is not forgiven--he goes into the outer darkness. And rightly so, since he functions as the evil to be expelled for the sake of public harmony. Dryden hints that the English will find unity only if they agree to expose and expel from their midst such wicked, venal, perjured clerics as Titus Oates and the Judas-friars of the Popish Plot.

John Jay College, City University of New York New York, New York

(1.) Bruce King, Dryden's Major Plays (Edinburgh, London: Oliver & Boyd, 1966), 161; David B. Haley, Dryden and the Problem of Freedom (New Haven: Yale UP, 1997), 233.

(2.) The Spanish Fryar, in The Works of John Dryden, ed. Vinton A. Dearing and Alan Roper (Berkeley: U of California P, 1992), 14: 132. All quotations are from this edition.

(3.) Cited in Anthony Milton, Catholic and Reformed: The Roman and Protestant Churches in English Protestant Thought 1600-1640 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995), 241 n. 50.

(4.) John Miller, Popery and Politics in England 1660-1688 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1973), 40.

(5.) Milton, Catholic and Reformed, 251, 254.

(6.) Rev. Joseph Spence, Anecdotes ... Collected from the Conversation of Mr. Pope, ed. Samuel Weller Singer (London: W. H. Carpenter, 1820), 171.

(7.) The Narrative of Robert Jenison (London: F. Smith, 1679), 19.

(8.) T. B. Howell, A Complete Collection of State Trials, 33 vols. (London: T. C. Hansard for Longmans, 1816-26), 7: 402-3. On 7: 413-14, in the prosecution's summing up, Clay's testimony is presented as especially damning.

(9.) "John Speke to his brother, Hugh Speke," London, June 14, 1679, CSPD 1679-1680,176.

(10.) Warner, The History of English Persecution of Catholics and the Presbyterian Plot, 2 vols., ed. T. A. Birrell, trans. John Bligh, S.J. (London: for the Catholic Record Society, 1953), 1: 263. A portrait of St. Thomas White faces the title page. Birrell notes that Matthew Clay had a brother, Daniel Clay of Nottinghamshire, who was "a Franciscan of the Hungarian Province, incorporated with the English Province in 1655."

(11.) John Speke, CSPD 1679-1680,176.

(12.) CSPD 1680-81, 672.

(13.) State Trials, 10: 1173.

(14.) State Trials, 10: 1187-89.

(15.) The Mysteries and Intrigues of the Popish Plot laid Open: with Depositions Sworn before the Secretary of State (London: C. W., 1685).

(16.) State Trials, 10: 1175.

(17.) Roger L'Estrange, A Brief History of the Times, in 3 Parts (London: R. Sure, 1688), 3:102-6.

(18.) Abstract of the information of Eustace Comyn, CSPD 1680-81, 672.

(19.) CSPD 1680-81, 502.

(20.) Thomas Carte, An History of the Life of James Duke of Ormonde, 2 vols. (London: J. J. and P. Knapton, 1736), 2: 497-98, 588-89.

(21.) Examen (London, 1740), 235.

(22.) J. R. Jones, The First Whigs (London, New York: Oxford UP, 1961), 188.

(23.) Friar Dennis was married a few months after he became a Plot witness.

(24.) The Tryal of William [Howard] Viscount Stafford for High Treason (London: Henry Hills, 1680/1), 6; Titus Oates, A True Narrative of the Horrid Plot and Conspiracy of the Popish Party, in Diaries of the Popish Plot, compiled by Douglas C. Greene (Delmar, N.Y.: Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1977), 233-34.

(25.) Trial of Stafford, 31.

(26.) John Loftis, The Spanish Plays of Neoclassical England (New Haven: Yale UP, 1973), 99.

(27.) State Trials, 7: 402, 426.

(28.) Warner, English Persecution, 1: 215.

(29.) Trial of Stafford, 31-32.

(30.) "This one is of another species than the others. He calls himself a Dominican monk and assures us that he is Roman Catholic" (my translation). Antoine Arnauld, Apologie pour les Catholiques (Liege: Bronkart, 1681), 345.

(31.) "Which shows that this was some monk ready to become an apostate, and they preferred that he appear as monk so his testimony might have more weight" (my translation), 345. Arnauld points out, on p. 176, that virtually no one in Europe except Pierre Jurieu actually believed the English Catholics and the Jesuits were guilty of the things they were charged with in the Popish Plot. The whole Plot passed in Europe, he said, for a "hateful calumny" like that of Ahab against Naboth for his vineyard.

(32.) The Proceedings at the Sessions House in the Old-Baily, London on 24 November 1681, upon the Bill of Indictment for High-Treason against Anthony Earl of Shafsbury (London: Samuel Mears and John Baker, 1681), 30-31.

(33.) Susan J. Owen, "The Politics of John Dryden's The Spanish Fryar; or, the Double Discovery," English 43.176 (1994): 100.

(34.) Trial of Stafford, 212-13, 167, 130. Charles 11 allowed Stafford to be beheaded over the strong objections of Lord Russell. Russell himself was sentenced to be hanged and quartered in 1683 as a traitor in the Rye House Plot. The king allowed Russell in turn to be beheaded.

(35.) State Trials, 7: 386.

(36.) George McFadden, Dryden the Public Writer 1660-1685 (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1978), 221.

(37.) Duane Coltharp, "Patriarchalism at Risk in The Spanish Fryar," Studies in English Literature 39 (1999): 433, 435.

(38.) "Extracts from Lord Keeper North's MS," State Trials, 6: 1499.

(39.) Problem of Freedom, 239.

(40.) [James Corker], Stafford's Memoires Q London: N. Thompson], 1681), 44, 47, 52; Oates's Manifesto (London: n. p., 1683), 7-8.

(41.) Dryden's Major Plays, 158.

(42.) State Trials, 7: 468-69.

(43.) A Letter from Sir W. Waller to Doctor Oates concerning the Times (London: J. Smith, 1682), 2.

(44.) Kenyon, Popish Plot, 231.

(45.) Problem of Freedom, 239.

(46.) Malice Defeated and The Matchless Rogue [1680], intro. Anne Barbeau Gardiner (Los Angeles: Augustan Reprint Society #249-50, William Andrews Clark Library, 1988).

(47.) "One cannot read it without being touched, because one finds everywhere in it a certain air that is so natural, and so many marks of sincerity and courage, that one would be at a loss to persuade himself that wickedness and mendacity could ever so well counterfeit good conscience and truth" (my translation), Apologie, 275-76. See also 526-45 for a fuller discussion of Cellier's book.

(48.) L'Estrange, Brief History, 3:102-6; Memorials of the Civil War: Comprising the Correspondence of the Fairfax Family, ed. Robert Bell, 2 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1849), 2: 300-4; cited in James Heath, Torture and English Law (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1982), 174.

(49.) For more on this, see my "Elizabeth Cellier, the Popish Midwife-A Woman for All Seasons," Catholic Dossier 8 (2002): 8-15.

(50.) Dryden the Public Writer, 221.

(51.) A Hue and Cry after Dr. T. O. (London: Alex Banks, 1681), 1.

(52.) State Trials, 8: 639.

(53.) Oates Manifesto, 25.

(54.) A Modest Vindication of Titus Oates the Salamanca-Doctor (London: Joseph Hindmarsh, 1682), introduction and 34.

(55.) The Life of James the Second ... Collected out of Memoirs writ of his own hand, ed J. S. Clarke, 2 vols. (London: Longman, 1816), 1:580.

(56.) Life of James, 1: 590-91, 623.

(57.) Problem of Freedom, 235.

(58.) George W. Cooke, The History of Party (London: John Macrone, 1836), l: 159-60.

(59.) The Papists Bloudy After-Game ... in answer to a Scandallous and traiterous Libel called Stafford's Memoirs (London: for T. S., 1682), 8.

(60.) S. N. D., Sir William Howard Viscount Stafford 1612-1680 (London: Sands, 1929), 135.

(61.) T. A. Birrell, "James Maurus Corker and Dryden's Conversion," English Studies 54.5 (1973): 465.

(62.) English Persecution, 2: 449. Warner said he was composing this work in 1686, on 2: 525-26. It remained in manuscript until 1953.

(63.) Cooke, History of Party, I: 76.

(64.) Trial of Stafford, 209. I wish to thank Dr. John Morrill of Cambridge University for identifying the "Lord Holles" who voted "not guilty" as being Francis 2nd Lord Holles, and for informing me of his also having abstained from voting on the 2nd Exclusion Bill.

(65.) T. A. Birrell, "John Dryden's Purchases at Two Book Auctions, 1680 and 1682," English Studies 42 (1961): 193-217.

(66.) This work, entitled Account of Antient Church Government (London, 1662), was reprinted in 1685. See "Dryden's Purchases," 195, 214.

(67.) "Politics," 99.

Anne Barbeau Gardiner is Professor Emerita of English, John Jay College, City University of New York. She has published Ancient Faith and Modern Freedom in John Dryden's The Hind and the Panther (1998) and The Intellectual Design of John Dryden's Heroic Plays (1970). She also has published articles on Dryden, Milton, Swift, and the English Catholics of the late seventeenth century.
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