THE short reign of James afforded to the City a time of continual surprises and ceaseless anxiety, with the corresponding emotions of joy, sorrow, disappointment, and despair.
The reign began with an assurance that the established government, that of Church and State, would be respected and maintained. The King, however, showed
what he understood by the proclamation when he continued to receive the customs which had been settled on Charles for life, and which could not be exacted by his successor without the assent of Parliament. James announced his intention of speedily calling a Parliament at the same time as he proclaimed his continuance of taking the customs. In the same illegal way he took over the excise duties.
Meantime the Mayor and Aldermen, in accordance with the successful craft of Charles, were mostly nominees of the King; they were instructed to admit to the liveries of the City Companies none but persons of "unquestionable loyalty"; so that, as Charles had provided, the whole of the governing bodies in the City we're mere creatures of the Court.
One can hardly be surprised at the arrest and punishment of Titus Oates when James succeeded. At the same time to flog a man all the way from Aldgate to Newgate, and two days afterwards from Newgate to Tyburn, seems, short of the