Canterburies Doome

Prynne, William (1600-1669).  London : Printed by John Macock, for Michael Spark senior, at the sign of the Blue Bible in Green Arbour, 1646.

Canturburies Doome title pageWilliam Prynne was a contentious Puritan attorney who is remembered for his numerous books and pamphlets about legal history, religion and politics, and for his ability to antagonize others. His training had been Puritanical and at one point he appealed to Parliament to suppress anything written against Calvinistic doctrine. He also took in hand the task of reforming manners of the age, and attacked its fashions and follies as if they were vices. He wrote against the custom of drinking healths and against men wearing their hair long and women wearing it short. He then wrote a large book against stage plays, published in 1632, entitled Histriomastix, which purported to show that plays were unlawful, incentives to immorality and condemned by Scripture, the Church fathers and even the wisest of pagans. This earned him the enmity of William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury and he was fined, pilloried, lost his ears and jailed as it was felt he had cast dispersions on the king and queen. A prime mover in the later trial of Laud, this work, Canterburies Doome, records Laud’s trial and downfall.

-- Kevin Butterfield