Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




In the period between 1625 and 1645, William Prynne "issued nearly a score of tracts," attacking English prelacy in general and William Laud in particular, twice suffered the severest of penalties next to death, endured lengthy imprisonment, and vanquished one of England's most powerful men, all in the name of militant Puritanism. During those twenty years, Prynne's savage but effective pen was directed almost solely to one holy end, the irrevocable defeat of the Laudian interpretation of worship by the English successors of Calvin. For Prynne there could be no thought of compromise. The forces of darkness were at work in the land, seeking to subvert the true doctrines of predestination and scripture with the idolatry of those lost years before the Reformation. The Devil had to be met and dispensed with once and for all, and to William Prynne, the Devil bore a striking resemblance to William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury (1633--1645).

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