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21 September 2014
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Myths and Legends
Charles II portrait
Charles II: restoration king

© Mary Evans Picture Library
The competing legends of Farnley Wood

The Farnley Wood Plot of 1663 was an attempt by a group of West Riding men to revolt against Charles II’s restoration government. However, in the event, there was no battle as the group disbanded before taking any action, but still the 26 participants paid for their actions with their lives. In the wake of this abortive rebellion, a war of words and opinion began brewing about the very existence of the attempted rebellion, and the role played by informers in orchestrating the plot and incriminating the supposed instigators.

Two rival legends of the Farnley Wood Plot have developed, each portraying a very different version of the event. Unfortunately for those attempting to ascertain their historical validity, these rival legends reveal more about their adherents than those in starring roles. More...

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