Bishop Atterbury was tried for conspiring to procure the restoration of the Pretender. He is said to have composed the speech in which Dr. Sacheverell defended himself in his own trial. Atterbury was convicted and banished from the kingdom. Pope gives an account of and excuse for his own blunders at the trial.
"I never could speak in public: and I don't believe that if it was a set thing, I could give an account of any story to twelve friends together, though I could tell it to any three of them with a great deal of pleasure. When I was to appear for the Bishop of Rochester, in his trial, though I had but ten words to say, and that on a plain point, (how the Bishop spent his time whilst I was with him at Bromley,) I made two or three blunders in it: and that notwithstanding the first row of lords (which was all I could see) were mostly of my acquaintance." —Spence's Anecdotes.
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