The propagandist and conspirator, Robert Ferguson, so-called, The Plotter, has always been something of a puzzle to historians; his conversion from Whig to Jacobite following the Glorious Revolution has always been particularly troubling. This essay argues that Ferguson's winding career was far from unusual in the late Stuart era. Many politicians, prelates, playwrights and publicists altered their principles or even their religion within the fast changing political environment of Restoration and Revolution England. Secondly, this essay takes Ferguson seriously as a sophisticated political theorist, arguing that his political principles, from Whig to Jacobite, remained fairly consistent and revolve around his understanding of England's ancient constitution. His political life took many twists and turns, but his basic ideology remained the same.
Date of this Version
"Turn-Coats and Double-Agents in Restoration & Revolution England: The Case of Robert Ferguson, The Plotter," Eighteenth Century Studies, 42/3 (2009): 363-78.