William Prynne (1600-1669)

HE was a learned man, of immense reading, but is much blamed for his unfaithful quotations. His manner of study was thus: he wore a long quilt cap, which came two or three, at least, inches 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....

He was burgess of the City of Bath, before and since the King's restoration. . . . Upon the opening of the Parliament, viz. letting in the secluded members, he girt on his old long rusty sword (longer than ordinary). Sir William Waller marching behind him, as he went to the House, William Prynne's long sword ran between Sir William's short legs and threw him down, which caused laughter.

From Aubrey, Brief Lives, ii. 174-5.

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