‘Plots’ and dissent
The abortive Northern Rebellion of 1663
in From Republic to Restoration
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This chapter examines, in the significant contexts of contemporary plot mentalité and plot literature, a supposed plot to stage an armed rising on 12 October 1663, a rising in North-East England that would begin across the counties of Yorkshire, Durham and Westmorland, and erupt into a nationwide rebellion. It raises questions as to whether the 1663 plot was — as it has been frequently depicted — a dangerous threat to the government by some ‘desperate men’, supporters of the ‘good old cause’, who wanted to bring back the English Republic. Or, can it be seen as a mere folie du jour from a few scattered and disgruntled dissenters? Or was it, as some thought at the time, a conveniently manufactured and exaggerated affair designed for public consumption by a government who were scaremongering for their own reasons? In effect, the chapter asks just how serious was this plot and its potential Northern rebellion.

From Republic to Restoration

Legacies and departures

Editor: Janet Clare

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