Sir William was a friend of King James II. The site of the present 55/57 Westgate Road (The oldest s…
Sir William was a friend of King James II. The site of the present 55/57 Westgate Road (The oldest street in Newcastle) has seen a wide range of occupants, and this stretch of Westgate Street was certainly occupied from the 15th Century. In the 1680's it was the home of an Irish Roman Catholic, Sir William Creagh. He was made Mayor and Freeman of the City by Royal Mandate, this being part of James II's efforts to assert the power of the Crown - at the expense of Newcastle's privileges and independence. The King removed the incumbent Mayor and officials, ordering the electors to choose Creagh and other Royal nominees. The electors refused, on the grounds that they were "papists and persons not qualified". This action had no effect, Creagh and his cronies simply assumed office. However, his period of power was short lived. Resentment at royal interference in the city's politics, Creagh's religious sympathies and factional rivalry among the ruling elite combined to remove him. Thus, when William of Orange landed in England in October 1688, Creagh was removed from office and his political career came to an end.