Prynne, William (DNB00)
PRYNNE, WILLIAM (1600–1669), puritan pamphleteer, born at Swanswick or Swainswick in Somerset in 1600, was the son of Thomas Prynne by his second wife, Marie Sherston. His family is said to have been originally derived from Shropshire; his great grandfather was sheriff of Bristol in 1549; his father farmed the lands of Oriel College at Swanswick. Prynne was educated at Bath grammar school, and matriculated from Oriel College, Oxford, on 24 April 1618. He graduated B.A. on 22 Jan. 1621, was admitted a student of Lincoln's Inn in the same year, and was called to the bar in 1628 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500-1714, iii. 1217; Peach, History of Swanswick, 1890, pp. 36, 48). With law Prynne combined from the first the study of theology and ecclesiastical antiquities. His training had been puritanical, and, according to Wood, he was confirmed in his militant puritanism by the in- fluence of Dr. John Preston (1587-1628) [q. v.], who was then lecturer at Lincoln's Inn (Athenæ, iii. 845). In 1627 he published his first book, a theological treatise entitled ' The Perpetuity of a Regenerate Man's Estate,' followed in the next three years by three others attacking Arminianism and its teachers. In the preface to one of them he appealed to parliament to suppress anything written against calvinistic doctrine and to force the clergy to subscribe the conclusion of the synod of Dort (A Brief Survey of Mr. Cozens his cozening Devotions; Gardiner, Great Civil War, ii. 14). At the same time Prynne took in hand the task of reforming the manners of the age, and attacked its fashions and its follies as if they were vices. After proving that the custom of drinking healths was sinful, he demonstrated that for men to wear their hair long was 'unseemly and unlawful unto Christians,' while it was 'mannish, unnatural, impudent, and unchristian ' for women to cut it short (Health's Sickness. The Unloveliness of Lovelocks, 1628).
About 1624 Prynne had commenced a book against stage-plays, on 31 May 1630 he obtained a license to print it, and about November 1632 it was published. The 'Histriomastix ' is a volume of over a thousand pages, showing that plays were unlawful, incentives to immorality, and condemned by the scriptures, the fathers, modern Christian writers, and the wisest of the heathen philosophers (for an analysis see Ward, English Dramatic Literature, ii. 413). Unluckily for the author, the queen and her ladies, in January 1633, took part in the performance of Walter Montagu's 'Shepherd's Paradise.' A passage in the index reflecting on the character of female actors in general was construed as an aspersion on the queen. Similarly, passages which attacked the spectators of plays and magistrates who failed to suppress them, pointed by references to Nero and other tyrants, were taken as attacks upon the king. The attorney-general, Noy, instituted proceedings against Prynne in the Star-chamber. After a year's imprisonment in the Tower (1 Feb. 1633), he was sentenced (17 Feb. 1634) to be imprisoned during life, to be fined 5,000l., to be expelled from Lincoln's Inn, to be deprived of his degree by the university of Oxford, and to lose both his ears in the pillory. Prynne was pilloried on 7 May and 10 May, and degraded from his degree on 29 April (Rushworth, ii. 220, 247; State Trials, iii. 586; Laud, Works, vi. i. 234). On 11 June he addressed to Archbishop Laud, whom he regarded as his chief persecutor, a letter charging him with illegality and injustice. Laud handed the letter to the attorney-general as material for a new prosecution, but when Prynne was required to own his handwriting, he contrived to get hold of the letter and tore it to pieces (Documents relating to William Prynne, pp. 32-57; Laud, Works, iii. 221; Gardiner, History of England, vii. 327-34). Even in the Tower Prynne contrived to write, and poured forth anonymous tracts against episcopacy and against the 'Book of Sports.' In one, 'A Divine Tragedy lately acted, or a Collection of sundry memorable Examples of God's Judgment upon Sabbath-breakers,' he introduced Noy's recent death as a warning. In an appendix to John Bastwick's 'Flagellum Pontificis,' and, in 'A Breviate of the Bishops' intolerable Usurpations,' he attacked prelates in general (1635). An anonymous attack on Wren, bishop of Norwich, entitled 'News from Ipswich' (1636), brought him again before the Star-chamber. On 14 June 1637 Prynne was sentenced once more to a fine of 5,000l, to imprisonment for life, and to lose the rest of his ears. At the proposal of Chief-justice Finch he was also to be branded on the cheeks with the letters S. L., signifying 'seditious libeller' (Rushworth, iii. 380; A New Discovery of the Prelates' Tyranny, 1641; Laud, Works, vi. i. 35). Prynne was pilloried on 30 June in company with Henry Burton and John Bastwick. All bore their punishment with defiant courage. Prynne, who was handled with great barbarity by the executioner, made, as he returned to his prison, a couple of Latin verses explaining the 'S. L.' with which he was branded to mean 'Stigmata Laudis' (ib. p. 65; 'A Brief Relation of certain Passages at the Censure of Dr. Bastwick, Mr. Burton, and Mr. Prynne,' Harleian Miscellany, iv. 12). His imprisonment was henceforth much closer. He was deprived of pens and ink, and allowed no books except the Bible, the prayer-book, and some orthodox theology. To isolate him from his friends he was removed first to Carnarvon Castle (July 1637), and then to Mount Orgueil Castle in Jersey. The governor, Sir Philip Carteret, and his family treated Prynne with much kindness, which he repaid by defending Carteret's character in 1645 when the latter was accused as a malignant and a tyrant (The Liar Confounded, 1645, pp. 33- 45). He occupied his imprisonment, since he was debarred from theological controversy, by writing a verse description of his prison, meditations on rocks, seas, and gardens, a complaint of the soul against the body, and polemical epigrams against popery. Rhyme is the only poetical characteristic they possess (Mount Orgueil, or Divine and Profitable Meditations, 1641; A Pleasant Purge for a Roman Catholic, 1642).
As soon as the Long parliament assembled, Prynne's petition for redress was presented to it by his servant, John Brown. An order was immediately made for his transmission to London, and on 28 Nov. he and Burton made a triumphant entry into the city (cf. Baillie, Letters, i. 277; Clarendon, Rebellion, iii. 57). The House of Commons declared the two sentences against him illegal, restored him to his degree and to his membership of Lincoln's Inn, and voted him pecuniary reparation (April 20, 1641) (Commons' Journal, ii. 24, 123, 366; Rushworth, iv. 74). A bill for reversing the proceedings against him was introduced, but as late as October 1648 the question of his compensation was still unsettled (Commons' Journal ii. 366; vi. 65).
When the civil war broke out, Prynne became one of the leading defenders of the parliamentary cause in the press. At first he had used his freedom to prosecute his attack on episcopacy (The Antipathy of the English Lordly Prelacy both to Regal Monarchy and Civil Unity; A New Discovery of the Prelates Tyranny, 1641). He now showed that the bishops and the king's ministers had been fellow-workers in the design of introducing popery (The Popish Royal Favourite; Rome's Masterpiece, 1643 ; cf. Laud's Works, iv. 463). He proved by historical precedents that the parliament's cause was legal, that the parliament had the supreme control of the armed forces and of the great seal of the realm, and that the text 'Touch not Mine anointed' did not prohibit Christian subjects from defending themselves against their kings, but kings from oppressing their Christian subjects (A Sovereign Antidote ; Vindication of Psalm 105, ver. 15, 1642; The Sovereign Power of Parliaments and Kingdoms; The Opening of the Great Seal of England, 1643).
In 1643 Prynne became involved in the controversy which followed the surrender of Bristol by Nathaniel Fiennes [q. v.] Together with his friend Clement Walker, he presented articles of accusation against Fiennes to the House of Commons (15 Nov. 1643), managed the case for the prosecution at the court-martial, which took place in the following December, and secured the condemnation of the offending officer ( True and Full Relation of the Trial of Nathaniel Fiennes, 1644). Prynne was also one of the counsel for the parliament at the trial of Lord Maguire in February 1645 (Gilbert, Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland, 1641-52, i. 618-639; The Subjection of all Traitors, &c. 1658).
But Prynne prosecuted Laud with even more animosity than he had pursued Fiennes. He collected and arranged evidence to prove the charges against him, bore testimony him- self in support of many of them, hunted up witnesses against the archbishop, and assisted the counsel for the prosecution in every way. A barrister remarked, 'The Archbishop is a stranger to me, but Mr. Prynne's tampering about the witnesses is so palpable and foul that I cannot but pity him and cry shame of it' (Laud, Works, iv. 51). By a refinement of malice, Prynne was specially charged with the duty of searching Laud's room in the Tower, and even his pockets, for papers to be used against him (ib. iv. 25). He published a mutilated edition of Laud's 'Diary' under the title of 'A Breviate of the Life of William Laud,' and a volume intended to serve as an introduction to his trial called 'Hidden Works of Darkness brought to Public Light' (ib. iii. 259). After Laud's execution, Prynne was charged by the House of Commons (4 March 1645) to produce an account of the trial, and published 'Canterburies Doom, or the first part of a complete History of the Commitment, Trial, &c., of William Laud' (folio, 1646). But other controversies prevented him from finishing the book. Prynne's hatred of independency was as great as his hatred of episcopacy, and from 1644 he poured forth a series of pamphlets against it (Independency Examined, Unmasked, and Refuted, 1644). He attacked John Goodwin (Brief Animadversions on Mr John Goodwin's Theomachia, 1644), and fell foul of his old companion in suffering, Henry Burton (Truth triumphing over Falsehood, 1645; cf. Hanbury, Memorials of Independency, ii. 385). He controverted and denounced John Lilburne, and loudly called on parliament to crush the sectaries (Just Defence of John Bastwick, 1645; The Liar Confounded, 1645; Fresh Discovery of some prodigious new wandering blazing Stars, 1645). Yet, while vehemently opposing the demands of the independents for liberty of conscience, Prynne was equally hostile to the demands of the presbyterian clergy for the unrestricted establishment of their system. 'Mr. Prynne and the Erastian lawyers are now our remora,' complains Robert Baillie in September 1645 (Letters, ii. 315). Prynne maintained the supremacy of the state over the church, and denied in his pamphlets the right of the clergy to excommunicate or to suspend from the reception of the sacrament except on conditions defined by the laws of the state (Four Serious Questions, 1644; A Vindication of Four Questions, 1645; Suspension Suspended, 1646; The Sword of Christian Magistracy Supported, 1647). He was answered by Samuel Rutherford in 'The Divine Right of Church Government and Excommunication,' 4to, 1646 (cf. Hanbury, Historical Memorials of Independency, iii. 191). Prynne also came into collision with Milton, whose doctrine of 'divorce at pleasure ' he had denounced, and was replied to by the poet in a passage in his 'Colasterion.' Milton also inserted in the original draft of his sonnet 'On the Forcers of Conscience' a scornful reference to 'marginal Prynne's ears' (Masson, Life of Milton, iii. 315, 470).
During 1647 the breach between the army and the parliament turned Prynne's attention from theology to politics. He wrote a number of pamphlets against the army, and championed the cause of the eleven presbyterian leaders whom the army impeached (Brief Justification of the Eleven Accused Members, 1647; Full Vindication and Answer of the Eleven Accused Members, 1647; Hypocrites Unmasking, 1647). With this indefatigable activity in pamphleteering he contrived to combine no small amount of official work. Since February 1644 he had been a member of the committee of accounts, and on 1 May 1647 he was appointed one of the commissioners for the visitation of the university of Oxford. In April 1648 Prynne accompanied the Earl of Pembroke when he came as chancellor to expel recalcitrant heads of houses (Wood, Annals, ii. 569-73). In November 1648 he was elected member for Newport in Cornwall, and, as soon as he took his seat, distinguished himself by his opposition to the army. He urged the commons to declare them rebels, and argued at great length that the concessions made by Charles in the recent treaty were a satisfactory basis for a peace. His speech, which according to its author converted many of the audience, was four times reprinted during the next few months (Gardiner, Great Civil War, iv. 264, 267; The Substance of a Speech made in the House of Commons by William Prynne, the 4th of December, 1648). Two days later Pride's Purge took place. Prynne was arrested by Colonel Pride and Sir Hardress Waller, and kept prisoner first at an eating-house called Hell, and then at the Swan and King's Head inns in the Strand. He protested in letters to Lord Fairfax, and by printed declarations on behalf of himself and the other arrested members (Walker, History of Independency, ed. 1661, pt. ii. pp. 35, 51, 62, 81, 84, 92, 114, 120, 123, 126). He published also a denunciation of the proposed trial of the king, which was answered by a collection of extracts from his own earlier pamphlets (True and Perfect Narrative of the Officers and Army's Force upon the Commons House; Brief Memento to the Present Unparliamentary Junto; Mr. Prynne's Charge against the King).
Released from custody some time in January 1649, Prynne retired to Swanswick, and began a paper war against the new government. He wrote three pamphlets against the engagement to be faithful to the Commonwealth, and proved that neither in conscience, law, nor prudence was he bound to pay the taxes which it imposed (A Legal Vindication of the Liberties of England against all Illegal Taxes and Pretended Acts of Parliament, 1649). According to Wood, he had judiciously conveyed his property to a relative first. The government retaliated by imprisoning him for nearly three years without a trial. On 30 June 1650 he was arrested and confined, first in Dunster Castle and afterwards in Taunton (12 June 1651) and Pendennis Castles (27 June 1651). He was finally offered his liberty on giving security to the amount of 1,000l. that he would henceforward do nothing against the government; but, refusing with his usual indomitable courage to make any promise, was released unconditionally on 18 Feb. 1653 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1652- 1653, p. 172; A New Discovery of Free State Tyranny, 1655). On his release Prynne returned to pamphleteering with fresh vigour, but assailed the government less directly than before. He exposed the machinations of the papists, showed the danger of quakerism, vindicated the rights of patrons against the triers, and discussed the right limits of the Sabbath (A Brief polemical Dissertation concerning the Lords Day Sabbath, 1655; The Quakers Unmasked, 1655; A New Discovery of some Romish Emissaries, 1656). The proposal to readmit the Jews inspired him with a pamphlet against the scheme, which contains materials of value for the history of that race in England (A Short Demurrer to the Jews long-discontinued Remitters into England, 1656). The offer of the crown to Cromwell by the ' petition and advice' suggested a parallel between Cromwell and Richard III, who had also been petitioned to accept the English crown (King Richard the Third Revived, 1657). Similarly, when the Protector set up a House of Lords, Prynne expanded the tract in defence of their rights which he had published in 1648 into an historical treatise of five hundred pages (A Plea for the Lords, 1658).
All these writings, however, attracted little attention, and it was not till after the fall of Richard Cromwell that he regained the popular ear. As soon as the Long parliament was re-established, Prynne got together a few of the members excluded by 'Pride's purge' and endeavoured to take his place in the house. On 7 May he was kept back by the guards, but on 9 May he managed to get in, and kept his seat there for a whole sitting. Haslerig and Vane threatened him, but Prynne told them he had as good right there as either, and had suffered more for the rights of parliament than any of them. They could only get rid of him by adjourning the house, and forcibly keeping him out when it reassembled (A True and Perfect Narrative of what was done by Mr. Prynne, &c. , 1659; Old Parliamentary History, xxi. 384). On 27 Dec., when the parliament was again restored after its interruption by Lambert, Prynne and his friends made a fresh attempt to enter, but were once more excluded (ib. xxii. 29; Brief Narrative how divers Members of the House of Commons were again shut out, 1660). From May 1659 to February 1660 he never ceased publishing tracts on the case of the 'secluded members' and attacks on the Rump and the army. Marchamont Nedham, Henry Stubbe, John Rogers, and others printed serious answers to his arguments, while obscure libellers ridiculed him as 'an indefatigable and impertinent scribbler' (The Character or Earmark of Mr. W. Prynne, 1659 ; A Petition of the Peaceable and well-affected People of the three Nations, &c.; Wood, Athenæ, iii. 853). Still his pamphlets roused popular opinion in favour of the 'secluded members,' and on 21 Feb. 1660 Monck ordered the guards of the house to readmit them. Prynne, girt with an old basket-hilted sword, marched in at their head amid the cheers of the spectators in Westminster Hall, but as he entered the house his 'long sword got between Sir William Waller's short legs and threw him down, which caused laughter' (Pepys, Diary, 21 Feb.; Aubrey, Letters from the Bodleian Library, ii. 509). The house appointed him to the pleasant task of expunging the votes against the secluded members, and charged him to bring in a bill for the dissolution of the Long parliament (Commons' Journals, vii. 847, 848, 852). In the debate on the bill Prynne asserted the rights of Charles II with the greatest boldness, and claimed that the writs should be issued in his name. 'I think he may be styled the Cato of this age,' wrote an admiring royalist (Carte, Original Letters, ii. 312; Clarendon State Papers, iii. 696). He also helped to forward the Restoration by accelerating the passing of the Militia Bill, which placed the control of the forces in the hands of the king's friends (Ludlow, Memoirs, ed. 1894, ii. 248). A letter which he addressed to Charles II shows that he was personally thanked by the king for his services (Notes and Queries, 8th ser. viii. 361).
When the Convention parliament was summoned, Prynne was returned both for Ludgershall and Bath, but sat for the latter place, and presented an address from it to Charles II on 16 June 1660 (Bathonia Rediviva). No member of the Convention was more bitter against the regicides and the supporters of the late government. On every opportunity he endeavoured to restrict the scope of the Act of Indemnity. He successfully moved to have Fleetwood excepted, and urged the exclusion of Richard Cromwell and Judge Thorpe. He proposed to force the officials of the Protectorate to refund their salaries and to disable or punish indiscriminately large classes of persons (Old Parliamentary History, xxii. 339, 352, 366, 369, 412, 428; Ludlow, Memoirs, ii. 277). Prynne showed great zeal for the disbanding of the army and was one of the commissioners appointed to pay it off (Old Parliamentary History xxii. 473). In the debates on religion he was one of the leaders of the presbyterians spoke against the Thirty-nine Articles, denied the claims of the bishops, urged the validity of presbyterian ordination, and supported the bill for turning the king's ecclesiastical declaration into law (ib. xxii. 375, 385, 409, 414, 421, xxiii. 29). Returned again for Bath to the parliament of May 1661, Prynne asserted his presbyterianism by refusing to kneel when the two houses received the sacrament together (Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. p. 170). A few weeks earlier he had published a pamphlet demanding the revision of the prayer-book, but the new parliament was opposed to any concessions to nonconformity. On 15 July a pamphlet by Prynne against the Corporation Bill was voted scandalous and seditious; he was reprimanded by the speaker, and only escaped punishment by abject submission (Kennett, Register, p. 495; Commons' Journals, viii. 301). He was again censured on 13 May 1664 for making some alterations in a bill concerning vintners and ale-sellers after its commitment (ib. viii. 563). In January 1667 Prynne was one of the managers of Lord Mordaunt's impeachment (ib. viii. 681). He spoke several times on Clarendon's impeachment, and opposed the bill for his banishment. On constitutional subjects and points of procedure his opinion had great weight, and in 1667 he was privately consulted by the king on the question whether a parliament which had been prorogued could be convened before the day fixed (Grey), Debates, i. 7, 65, 153; Clarendon, Continuation of Life, §1097).
As a politician Prynne was during his latter years of little importance, but as a writer his most valuable work belongs to that period. Shortly after the Restoration he had been appointed keeper of the records in the Tower at a salary of 500l. a year. In January 1662 Prynne dedicated his 'Brevia Parliamentaria Rediviva' to Charles II. The state papers contain several petitions from Prynne for additional accommodation in the Tower, in order to facilitate his work in transcribing and arranging the records (Cat. State Papers, Dom. 1661-2 p. 627, 1665-6 p. 346). Anthony Wood found him affable and obliging towards record-searchers. 'Mr. Prynne received him with old-fashion compliments, such as were used in the reign of King James I, and told him he should see what he desired, and seemed to be glad that "such a young man as he was should have inclinations towards venerable antiquity," &c.' (Life of Anthony Wood, ed. Clarke, ii. 110). Ryley, Prynne's predecessor, spread reports that Prynne ne-glected his duties, but Prynne's publications during his tenure of office refute the charge (Pepys, Diary, ed. Wheatley, iv. 133).
Prynne died unmarried on 24 Oct. 1669 'in his lodgings in Lincoln's Inn, and was buried in the walk under the chapel there, which stands upon pillars' (Wood, Athenae, iii. 876). His will is printed by Bruce (Documents relating to William Prynne, p. 96). He left his manuscripts to the library of Lincoln's Inn, and a set of his works to Oriel College, Oxford. The college also possesses a portrait of Prynne in oils. Two others belong respectively to the Marquis of Hastings and the Marquis Townshend. An engraved portrait of Prynne is given in his 'New Discovery of the Prelates' Tyranny,' reproductions of which are frequently found in his later pamphlets. Lists of engraved portraits are given by Granger and in the catalogue of portraits in the Sutherland Clarendon in the Bodleian Library.
Prynne published about two hundred books and pamphlets. 'I verily believe,' says Wood, 'that, if rightly computed, he wrote a sheet for every day of his life, reckoning from the time he came to the use of reason and the state of man' (Athenæ, Oxon. iii. 852). According to Aubrey, 'his manner of study was thus: he wore a long quilt cap, which came two or three inches at least over his eyes, which served him as an umbrella to defend his eyes from the light; about every three hours his man was to bring him a roll and a pot of ale to refocillate his wasted spirits: so he studied and drank, and munched some bread; and this maintained him till night, and then he made a good supper' (Aubrey, Letters from the Bodleian Library, ii. 508). To this habit Butler refers in 'Hudibras' when he addresses the muse
In point of style Prynne's historical works possess no merits. He apologises to his readers in the epistle to vol. ii. of his 'Exact Chronological Vindication' for the absence of 'elegant, lofty, eloquent language, embellishments, and transitions,' and he understates their defects. The arrangement of his works is equally careless. Yet, in spite of these deficiencies, the amount of historical material they contain and the number of records printed for the first time in his pages give his historical writings a lasting value.
Full lists of Prynne's works are given by Anthony Wood and by Mr. John Bruce. Many of his polemical pamphlets have been already mentioned. The following are his most important books: 1. 'Histrio-Mastix: the Players Scourge or Actors Tragedy,' 4to, 1633. A Dutch translation was published at Leyden in 1639. On the publication of this work and for contemporary references to it, see Collier's 'History of English Dramatic Poetry,' ed. 1879, i. 465, and Ward's 'English Dramatic Poetry,' ii. 413. Voltaire criticises it in the twenty-third of his 'Lettres sur les Anglais.' In 1649 was published ' Mr. Wil- liam Prynne his Defence of Stage Plays, or a Retractation of a former book of his called "Histrio-Mastix,"' which is reprinted in Mr. W. C. Hazlitt's ' English Drama and Stage,' 1869. It is not by Prynne. Two answers to Prynne were written by Sir Richard Baker: 'Theatrum Redivivum,' 1662, 8vo, and 'Theatrum Triumphans,' 1670, 8vo. 2. 'The Sovereign Power of Parliaments and Kingdoms,' in four parts, 1643, 4to. This was held to be the most conclusive vindication of the constitutional position of the parliament (Vicars, God's Ark, 1646, p. 203). It was answered in 'The Fallacies of Mr. William Prynne Discovered,' Oxford, 1643, 4to. 3. 'The Opening of the Great Seal of England,' 1643, 4to; reprinted in the 'Somers Tracts,' ed. Scott, iv. 551. 4. 'Hidden Works of Darkness brought to Public Light, or a necessary Introduction to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Trial,' 1645, fol. 5. 'Canterbury's Doom, or the first part of a Complete History of the Trial of William Laud,' 1646, fol. 6. 'The first part of an Historical Collection of the Ancient Councils and Parliaments of England,' 1649, 4to. 7. 'A Short Demurrer to the Jews long-discontinued Remitter into England,' 1656, 4to; answered in 'Israel's Cause and Condition pleaded,' by D.L. 8. 'A Plea for the Lords and House of Peers,' 1658, 4to. This is an expansion of 'A Plea for the House of Lords,' 1648, 4to. 9. 'A Brief Register of the several kinds of Parliamentary Writs,' 1659, 4to; the second, third, and fourth parts were published in 1660, 1662, and 1664 respectively. 10. 'The Signal Loyalty and Devotion of God's true saints towards their Kings,' 1660, 4to. This contains an account of the coronation of James I, reprinted in vol. ii. of the publications of the Henry Bradshaw Society, 1892, 8m 11. ' An exact Chronological Vindication and Historical Demonstration of our British, Roman, &c., Kings' Supreme Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction over all Spiritual or Religious Affairs within their Realms,' 3 vols. fol. The first volume, published in 1666, ends with the death of Richard I; the second, published in 1665, with the death of Henry III. The third, published in 1670, is also called 'The History of King John, King Henry III, and King Edward I.' A fourth volume was left half printed, a copy of which is in the library of Lincoln's Inn. An allegorical frontispiece to vol. ii. represents Prynne presenting his work to Charles II on his throne. The triple crown of the pope is falling off as he beholds it. 12. 'Aurum Reginae, or concerning Queen Gold,' 1668, 4to. 13. 'Brief Animadversions on the Fourth Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England, compiled by Sir Edward Coke,' 1669, fol. 14. 'An Exact Abridgment of the Records in the Tower of London, collected by Sir Robert Cotton,' 1689, fol.; the preface is dated 1656-7.[A Life of Prynne is given in Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses (ed. Bliss, iii. 844), partly based on John Aubrey's notes for Wood, which are printed in Letters written by eminent persons in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, from the originals in the Bodleian Library, 1813. John Bruce collected materials for a life of Prynne, and wrote an account of Prynne's early life, which were edited by Mr. S. R. Gardiner for the Camden Society in 1877 under the title of Documents relating to the Proceedings against William Prynne. A Life of Prynne, by Mr. S. R. Gardiner and Mr. Osmund Airy, is in the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Some particulars on his history and that of his family are contained in Mr. R. E. M. Peach's History of Swanswick.]