William Prynne

William Prynne

William Prynne was born in Swanswick, near Bath, in about 1602. After completing his education at Oxford University Prynne became a lawyer. Prynne was a Puritan and he was highly critical of the religious policies of Charles I. As a result he was branded on both cheeks with S L (seditious libeller).

In 1637 Prynne, Henry Burton and John Bastwick had their ears cut off for writing pamphlets attacking the religious views of the William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Prynne was released from prison in 1640 and during the Civil War supported the Parliamentary army. In 1648 he was elected to the House of Commons.

However, he was also critical of the policies of Oliver Cromwell and was imprisoned for his outspoken opposition to the decision to execute Charles I.

After the Restoration Prynne was appointed by Charles II as the royal archivist in the Tower of London. William Prynne died in 1669.