There rose up in 17th century England a great conspiracy theory that gripped the nation like our own election fraud conspiracy theory.
It was said that the Pope had decided himself entitled to possession of England and would shortly be taking it by storm, assassinating the king, overthrowing Parliament, rooting out the Protestant religion and putting English cities to the torch.
Historian David Hume reports that a mere two witnesses attested to the plot, both of “infamous” character and low position. Strangely, no evidence was ever found. “No arms, no ammunition, no money, no papers, no letters . . . no traces of insurrection, fires, massacres, assassinations, invasions” were ever detected.
Hume adds, “The torrent of national prejudice ran so high that no one durst venture to oppose it.” Sound like our weak-kneed Congressional Republicans today?
Hume summarizes, “In all history, it will be difficult to find such another instance of popular frenzy.”