The Sentence on Prynne, Burton and Bastwicke, 30 June 1637

Dr Bastwick spake first, and (among other things) said, had he a thousand lives he would give them all up for this cause. Mr Prynne . . . showed the disparity between the times of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, and the times then (of King Charles), and how far more dangerous it was now to write against a bishop or two than against a King or Queen: there at the most there was but six months imprisonment in ordinary prisons, and the delinquent might redeem his ears for £200, and had two months' time for payment, but no fine; here they are fined £5,000 a piece, to be perpetually imprisoned in the remotest castles, where no friends must be permitted to see them, and to lose their ears without redemption. There no stigmatizing, here he must be branded on both cheeks . . . He challenged the prelates to a fair dispute, and he would maintain against them, that their prelatical jurisdiction over presbyters and their calling is not jure diving [by divine right]; as he would maintain also against all the lawyers that the issuing of writs and process in the prelates' own names, and under their own seals, is against law, and entrenches on the king's prerogative and the subject's liberty. He said, if the people but knew into what times they were cast, and what changes of laws, religion and ceremonies had been made of late by one man [Archbishop Laud], they would look about them. They might see that no degree or profession was exempted from the prelates' malice; here is a divine for the soul, a physician for the body, and a lawyer for the estates,' and the next to be censured in Star Chamber is likely to be a bishop . . . The Archbishop of Canterbury, being informed by his spies what Mr Prynne said, moved the Lords then sitting in the Star Chamber that he might be gagged and have some further censure to be presently executed on him; but that motion did not succeed. Mr Burton spake much while in the pillory to the people. The executioner cut off his ears deep and close, in a cruel manner, with much effusion of blood, an artery being cut, as there was likewise of Dr Bastwick. Then Mr Prynne's cheeks were seared with an iron made exceeding hot which done, the executioner cut off one of his ears and a piece of his cheek with it; then hacking the other ear almost off, he left it hanging and went down; but being called up again he cut it quite off.

[Source:John Rushworth (1706, abridged edition) Historical Collections volume two, pp. 293 ]