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Screw Plot

(The). 1708, when Queen Anne went to St. Paul's to offer thanksgivings for the victory of Oudenarde. The tale is that the plotters took out certain screw-bolts from the beams of the cathedral, that the roof might fall on the queen and her suite and kill them.

`Some of your Machiavelian crew
From heavy roof of Paul
Most traitorously stole every screw,
To make that fabric fall;
And so to catch Her Majesty,
And all her friends beguile.

Plot upon Plot (about 1713).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Screw Plot from Infoplease:

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