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Thomas Pickering

(1621?-1679), Benedictine monk and victim of the Popish Plot

Sitter in 6 portraits
Pickering was a Benedictine monk who acted as a steward to Queen Catherine of Braganza after Catholic priests were banished in 1675. In 1678, Titus Oates accused Pickering of trying to shoot Charles II while he walked in St James’s Park. The king’s life was supposedly only saved by a faulty flintlock on Pickering’s gun. The assassination attempt, as invented by Oates, and Pickering’s subsequent execution are illustrated in the diamonds suit of the playing cards nearby (see knave and VI). Pickering was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.

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Thomas Pickering, after Unknown artist, published by  James Caulfield - NPG D29776

Thomas Pickering

after Unknown artist, published by James Caulfield
line engraving, published 1825
NPG D29776

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