That so clear-headed a man could have credited the lies of Oates and the other perjurers is beyond belief; and the manner in which he excited baseless alarms, and encouraged fanatic cruelty, for nothing but party advantage, is without excuse.
In 1678 the murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey was ascribed to her servants, and Titus Oates accused her of a design to poison the king.
On the 28th of November Oates accused her of high treason, and the Commons passed an address for her removal and that of all the Roman Catholics from Whitehall.
The Viscount Stafford was one of the "five Popish lords" committed to the Tower in 1678 as a result of the slanders of Titus Oates and he died by the axe in 1680 upon testimony which, as the diarist Evelyn protested, "should not be taken against the life of a dog."
Meanwhile he had tried, he says, to conquer his inclination for the unprofitable trade of poetry, but in the panic caused by the revelations of Titus Oates, he found an opportunity for the exercise of his gift for rough satire.