A SONG of the Light of the three Nations turn'd into DARKNES


A SONG of the Light of the three Nations turn'd into DARKNES


Or Otes made Free-man of Whitington's Colledge, for Perjury, Scandalum Magnatum, and something like Treason.

Digital Object

Image / Audio Credit

Huntington Library Bridgewater, Shelfmark: HEH 134252, EBBA 32136

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Come all our Caballers & Parliament Votes
That stick'd for hanging & cuting of throats,
Lament the misfortune of perjured Otes.
Who first must be Pillor's and after be Hang'd.

What Devil suspected this, 5 years agon,
When I was in hopes to hang up half the Town,
I Swore against Miter and Cursed the Crown.
But now must be Pillor'd and after be Hang'd.

I cursed the Bishops and hang'd up the Priests,
I swore my self Doctor yet never could Preach,
But a Cant full of Blasphemy all I could reach.
I now must be Pillor'd, and after be Hang'd.

Now Otes is i'th' Cubboard & Manger with Colt,
The Caldron may boyl me for fear I should molt,
here I've ne'r a Bum for a VVheel-Barrow jolt.
Yet now must be Pillor'd and after be Hang'd.

My forty Commissions and Spanish balck Bills,
Invisible Armys lodg'd upon Hills,
Such old perjur'd Nonsence my Narrative fills.
That I now must be Pillor'd and after be Hang'd.

My twelve pounds a Wee I want to support
For stinking i'th' City and fouling the Court,
Like Devil in Dungeon I'm now hamper'd fort.
Yet first must be Pillor'd and after be Hang'd.

They hang us in order, the Devil knows how,
'Zounds all the e're put one paw to the Plow,
I ne'r fear'd the Devil would fail me till now.
That I first must be Pllor'd & after be hang'd.

For Calling the Duke a Papist and Traytor,
I often have call'd the King little better,
I'm fast by the heels like a Beast in a Fetter,
I first must be Pillor'd and after be Hang'd.

I swore that the Queen would Poyson the King,
That VVakeman had monys the Poyson to bring,
When I knew in my heart there was no such thing.
I now must be Pillor's and after be Hang'd.

I'm Resolv'd to be hang'd dead drunk like Hugh Peter
If I can but have my Skin stuft with good Liquor,
Then I shall limp to old Tapskie much quicker.
But I first must be Pillor'd and after be hang'd.

Method of Punishment






Printing Location

London Printed for J. Dean, Bookseller in Cranborn-street near Newport House in Leicester-Fields 1684.


Wikipedia: Titus Oates (15 September 1649 - 12/13 July 1705) was an English perjurer who fabricated the "Popish Plot", a supposed Catholic conspiracy to kill King Charles II.

The Popish Plot
Oates and Tonge wrote a lengthy manuscript that accused the Roman Catholic Church of approving an assassination of Charles II. The Jesuits in England were to carry out the task. In August 1678, King Charles was warned of this supposed plot against his life by the chemist Christopher Kirkby, and later by Tonge. The king was unimpressed but handed the matter over to his minister Earl of Danby, who was more willing to listen, and who was introduced to Oates by Tonge.

The King's Council interrogated Oates. On 28 September Oates made 43 allegations against various members of Catholic religious orders äóî including 541 Jesuits äóî and numerous Catholic nobles. He accused Sir George Wakeman, the queen's physician, and Edward Colman, the secretary to the Duchess of York (Mary of Modena), of planning to assassinate the king.
Although Oates probably selected the names randomly or with the help of the Earl of Danby, Colman was found to have corresponded with a French Jesuit, which condemned him. Wakeman was later acquitted.
Others Oates accused included Dr William Fogarty, Archbishop Peter Talbot of Dublin, Samuel Pepys, and Lord Belasyse. With the help of the Earl of Danby the list grew to 81 accusations. Oates was given a squad of soldiers and he began to round up Jesuits, including those who had helped him in the past.

On 6 September 1678, Oates and Tonge approached an Anglican magistrate. On 12 October, Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, an Anglican magistrate, disappeared and was found dead five days later in a ditch at Primrose Hill. He had been strangled and run through with his own sword. In September Oates and Tonge had sworn an affidavit in front of Godfrey detailing their accusations. Oates exploited this incident to launch a public campaign against the "Papists" and alleged that this murder had been the work of the Jesuits.

On 24 November, Oates claimed the Queen was working with the King's physician to poison the King, and Oates enlisted the aid of "Captain" William Bedloe, who was ready to say anything for money. The King personally interrogated Oates, caught him out in a number of inaccuracies and lies, and ordered his arrest. However, a couple of days later, Parliament forced Oates' release with the threat of constitutional crisis.
Oates soon received a state apartment in Whitehall and an annual allowance of £1,200. Oates was heaped with praise. He asked the College of Arms to check his lineage and produce a coat of arms for him. They gave him the arms of a family that had died out. There were even rumours that Oates was to be married to a daughter of the Earl of Shaftesbury.

After nearly three years and the executions of at least 15 men who are now thought to be innocent of the Plot, opinion began to turn against Oates. The last high-profile victim of the climate of suspicion was Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh, who was executed on 1 July 1681. Judge William Scroggs began to declare more people innocent, as he had done in the Wakeman trial, and a backlash took place.

On 31 August 1681, Oates was told to leave his apartments in Whitehall, but remained undeterred and denounced the King, the Duke of York, and just about anyone[who?] he regarded as an opponent. He was arrested for sedition, sentenced to a fine of £100,000 and thrown into prison. When James II acceded to the throne, he had a score to settle. He had Oates retried and sentenced for perjury to annual pillory, loss of clerical dress, and imprisonment for life. Oates was taken out of his cell wearing a hat with the text "Titus Oates, convicted upon full evidence of two horrid perjuries" and put into the pillory at the gate of Westminster Hall (now New Palace Yard) where passers-by pelted him with eggs. The next day he was pilloried in London and a third day was stripped, tied to a cart, and whipped from Aldgate to Newgate. The next day, the whipping resumed. The judge was Judge Jeffreys who stated that Oates was a "shame to mankind".

Oates spent the next three years in prison. At the accession of William of Orange and Mary in 1688, he was pardoned and granted a pension of £5 a week but his reputation did not significantly recover. The pension was later suspended, but in 1698 was restored and increased to £300 a year. Titus Oates died on 12 July or 13 July 1705.





“A SONG of the Light of the three Nations turn'd into DARKNES,” Execution Ballads, accessed July 17, 2024, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/836.

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