Through his friendship with Sir William Hicks Strype obtained access to the papers of Sir Michael Hicks, secretary to Lord Burghley, from which he made extensive transcripts; he also carried on an extensive correspondence with Archbishop Wake and Bishops Burnet, Atterbury and Nicholson.
His first important appearance as a controversialist was against Edmund Calamy "the younger" in reference to conformity (1703-1707), and after this he came into conflict with Francis Atterbury, first on the interpretation of certain texts and then on the whole Anglican doctrine of non-resistance.
His attachment to the Stuarts also caused him to remain a non-juror, and on the discovery of the plot of Atterbury, whose secretary he was, he was forced to flee to France.
Thus in the earlier part of the period named, Atterbury and Swift lived in Church Lane, Steele and Smollett in Monmouth House.
First as the associate of Steele, with whom he quarrelled, and of Addison, whose esteem for him survived all differences, afterwards as the intimate comrade of Pope and Arbuthnot, the friend of Congreve and Atterbury, Parnell and Gay, he entered deeply into the literary life of the period.