Charles II

There were two separate forces behind the Popish Plot (known to some Catholics as the Presbyterian Plot).  One was political. For many years the old Cromwellian Lord Shaftesbury and the puritan (Whig) faction had been stoking the fires of religious hatred against Catholics and France, in a long game to end absolute monarchy and once again to depose a king. Charles II openly favoured religious toleration of Catholics.  This meant a significant minority in parliament always voted with...