In itself a product of the medieval conception of the fool who figured so largely in the Shrovetide and other pageants, it differs entirely from the general allegorical satires of the preceding centuries.
Parliament, which he had kept at arm's length, was hostile; he was hated by the nobility, and his general unpopularity is reflected in Skelton's satires and in Hall's Chronicle.
Garnet's Ghost was published as a broadside in 1679, but the other Satires on the Jesuits, although written at the same time, were not printed until 1681.
He was original in the dramatic setting provided for his satires.
Oldham wrote other satires, notably one "addressed to a friend about to leave the university," which contains a well-known description of the state of slavery of the private chaplain, and another "dissuading from poetry," describing the ingratitude shown to Edmund Spenser, whose ghost is the speaker, to Samuel Butler and to Abraham Cowley.