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A Plague of InformersConspiracy and Political Trust in William III's England$
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Rachel Weil

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300171044

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300171044.001.0001

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Loyalty and Credibility in the Lancashire “Sham Plot”

Loyalty and Credibility in the Lancashire “Sham Plot”

(p.217) Chapter 6 Loyalty and Credibility in the Lancashire “Sham Plot”
A Plague of Informers

Rachel Weil

Yale University Press

Two plot “discoveries” of the 1690s, the Lancashire Plot of 1694 and the Assassination Plot of 1696, had very different consequences for the credit of the government. This chapter focuses on the Lancashire Plot, which allows a glimpse of post-1688 England at a moment of intense uncertainty. The trial and subsequent doubts about it played into a wide crisis of credit and credibility for the government, occurring at a time when the “credit of the government” was quite literally at stake, in a financial sense. The Lancashire Plot also highlighted the profound tension between the government’s promise to secure liberty, which itself justified the Revolution of 1688, and the need to protect Williamite England from its enemies, raising painful questions about whether the new regime really differed from its predecessor.

Keywords:   Williamite regime, plots, government, credibility, Revolution of 1688, liberty

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