We’ve been trying to understand how the Maddoxes of Shropshire, England, might have been affected by the English Civil War (1642-1651) and the Restoration (1660). These events almost certainly played a role in Edward Maddox‘s emigration from England sometime after 1661. In America, Edward’s records demonstrate strong anti-Papism, possibly implying that he was aligned against King Charles II (who was in favor of religious freedom) during this tumultuous period.
A fellow Maddox researcher, David Pugh, recently found evidence that an Edward Maddox was ejected from England in 1670 after spending time in London’s infamous Newgate Prison. A 14 February 1670 warrant offers to set him free if he “gives security for his good behavior and transports himself abroad.”
Newgate was known for its horrifying conditions – including dungeons, starvation, exposure, extortionist guards, and more. Public punishments such as hanging, drawing and quartering attracted 17th-century crowds, and sealed the prison’s reputation. London-In-Sight offers a description.
Edward Maddox might have been among allies at Newgate. During the late 1600s the prison housed a number of well known anti-monarchists and anti-Papists, such as Titus Oates, who had fabricated the 1678-1681 Popish Plot and instigated violence against Catholics. Oates alleged that there was an extensive Catholic conspiracy to assassinate Charles II.
Oates’ Popish Plot sounds very similar to the conspiracy by Edward Maddox’s friend, Parson John Waugh, in March 1688/9. Waugh falsely claimed that Maryland Catholics were crossing the Potomac River with Seneca Indians to murder Virginians in their sleep. Waugh and Edward Maddox’s other friend George Mason (grandfather of the Founding Father) would be punished for the subterfuge. Perhaps Waugh and his friends were copying Oates?