Bedloe, Capt. William

, better known on account of his actions than his writings, having been a principal and useful evidence in the discovery in the popish plot, in the reign of Charles II. See the Eng. Hist, for that period; and the “Life of capt. Bedloe,” which contains nothing extraordinary but the aforesaid discovery, written by an unknown hand, and published 1681, 8vo. He was an infamous adventurer of low birth, who had travelled over a great part of Europe, under different names, as well as disguises. Encouraged by the success of Gates, he turned evidence, and gave an account of Godfrey’s murder, to which he added many circumstances of villainy. A reward of 500l. was voted to him by the commons. He is said to have asserted the reality of the plot on his death-bed; but it abounds with absurdity, contradiction, and perjury and still remains one of the greatest problems in the British annals. He died Aug. 20, 1680. Jacob informs us, he wrote a play called the “Excommunicated Prince,” printed 1679, but Wood says it was written by one Thomas Walter, M. A. of Jesus college, Oxford. 2


Biog. Dram. Jacob’s Lives.