London was a suspicious city after years of war and religious tensions. Almost as soon as the fire began, rumours spread that it was a deliberate act of arson by the French or Dutch, or by Catholics wanting to punish London as a Protestant city. Mobs attacked foreigners living in London. False rumours of a French invasion spread. Dutch residents were also suspected because English ships were on the brink of battle with the Netherlands.
Cornelius Riedtveldt, a Dutch baker from Westminster, was set upon and his bakery looted. The king went to speak to homeless Londoners at Moorfields to assure them that the fire was not a plot.