|James II and VII of England and Scotland|
No other action could have sent a stronger signal that with the king’s defeat all resistance to usury in Britain had come to an end. It confirmed the reign of disorder and its empire of Usura*, with the political creed of Whiggism at its heart.
Concommitant with the Calvinism of the victorious puritans was the opening up of the amoral economic sphere where, in the words of Marx, life could be led in the ‘spirit’ of Judaisim by all.
‘Practical necessity and the pursuit of one’s own advantage’ ** would rule the day and all political action would be directed towards supporting that end.
Hence the sequence of events, in quick succession, that would change the direction of world history and be the source of conflict, death and misery to the present day.
The monarchy was restored in 1660, though Charles II reigned very much in the shadow of the newly empowered parliament. He was harmless to Whiggish economic ambitions. He ruled as an Anglican, hiding his religious and political sympathies until his deathbed conversion to Roman Catholicism. However, the brother who succeeded Charles as James II of England and James VII of Scotland posed a problem to the Whigs.
He had landed in England with Charles as a seasoned and successful military campaigner, having served in the armies of the French King, Louis XIV. Thus it was as a military man he returned, which is why Charles appointed him Lord High Admiral. He held the position for 13 years with much success in the Dutch wars, building up the fleet and developing the use of gunpowder and artillery.
A strong and military-minded king was risk enough to Whiggish commercial ambitions, but when it was discovered that he too had converted to Roman Catholicism, then his fate was sealed.
The Dutch had no love of James for more reasons than religion. Whilst he was head of the navy during the Dutch wars in 1666, English warships had sailed into the city of West Terschelling in the Netherlands and, on the 19th and 20th August, sank a large merchant fleet of 140 ships. During the same action West Terschelling was burnt down and completely destroyed.
It is highly likely that the Dutch started the Great Fire of London only two weeks later in an effective act of retaliation. The colourful Pudding Lane accident found in subsequent Whig histories is an outrageous coincidence pedalled as truth by the heirs to the collaborators with the Dutch.
James II distinguished himself bravely as the leader of firefighting operations during the Great Fire. ‘The Duke of York hath won the hearts of the people with his continual and indefatigable pains day and night in helping to quench the Fire’, wrote a witness in a letter on 8 September. ***
Whig plotters would have no trouble persuading potential adventurers from the financial centre of Amsterdam of the prize at hand. Access to new markets and use of English military power for financial and commercial ends was in prospect. This induced the assemblage of a huge Dutch invasion force behind the bogus claim to the throne of William of Orange.
33 years after Cromwell signalled that England was open to usury, financial interests inside and outside the country had collaborated to depose the last living embodiment of divinely sanctioned power. William and Mary were figureheads. Money ruled. Only six years later, the Bank of England was established.
*I have employed Ezra Pound’s collective noun describing the distended western economy with its lopsided foundation upon banking and the principle of "interest". Held within the term is the perennial struggle between the usurer and the producer
**See Marx and the Judaic metaphor in Thought Pieces.
***Spelling modernized for clarity; quoted by Adrian Tinniswood, By Permission of Heaven: The Story of the Great Fire of London. London: Jonathan Cape (2003) p.80.