The treason trial of Patrick O'Collen,
for conspiring to assassinate Queen Elizabeth

During the course of her reign, Queen Elizabeth was the target of a number of assassination attempts. As the conflict with Spain intensified, so did the threats to her life, especially from disaffected Catholic elements. Suspicion of aliens mounted, and increased emphasis was placed on loyalty to the Crown from English and Irish subjects. Details of one such plot involving an Irishman, Patrick O'Collen, emerged in 1594. O'Collen had served in the Low Countries in the regiment of the traitor Sir William Stanley, as part of the forces of the king of Spain. He was recruited by Stanley's lieutenant, Jacques Francis (alias Jacome Francischi), to come to England to murder the queen. However, the conspiracy was discovered, and O'Collen was apprehended, convicted of treason and subsequently executed.
Catalogue reference: KB 8/51, no. 1 (1594)



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