ABUNDANT as is the mass of material for the study of history and manners in the sixteenth century,1 there is even a greater abundance for the history, political and social, of the century of the Stuarts. There are, however, two difficulties to be faced in such an inquiry. The first is that the history of London is far more closely connected with the history of the nation during the seventeenth than during the sixteenth century. It may, indeed, be advanced that at no time, not even when London deposed Richard II. and set up Henry IV., was the City so closely involved in all the events of the time as in the seventeenth century. The City at that time reached the highest point of its political importance, an importance which vanished in the century that followed.
Therefore the historian of London has before him the broad fact that for sixty years, viz. from the accession of Charles I. to the expulsion of James II., he should be pursuing the history of the country. In this place, however, there is not space for such a history; it has already been well told by many historians; and I have neither the time nor the competence to write the history of this most eventful period. I have therefore found it necessary to assume a certain knowledge of events and to speak of their sequence with reference especially to the attitude of the City; the forces which acted on the people; their ideas; their resolution and tenacity under Charles I.; their servility and obedience under Charles II.; and their final rejection of the doctrines of passive____________________