London: Thomas Ratcliffe, 1666. Folio. [xxiv], 80, 225-1070, 29,  pp., including an alphabetical index of authors quoted, index of abbeys, monasteries, abbots, et. FIRST EDITION, SECOND PRINTING. With a folding engraved frontispiece. Contemporary calf; a fantastic copy from the library of the Earls of Macclesfield with the North Library armorial bookplate dated 1860 (“Sapere aude”) and blind embossed stamp of armorial on first four leaves, plus the inscription "Stanford : March 22 1716/17" on title. Item #17553
Rare second printing of the first edition, with a cancel title and an added two leaves "Explanation of the frontispiece." An exact chronological vindication… was published in three volumes and issued separately. This second volume of the series was first printed in 1665 and preceded what was entitled the first tome by a year. Apparently many if not most copies of both the first and second tomes were destroyed in the Great London Fire of 1666. Prynne’s politics had changed since his earlier works denouncing the monarchy and Charles I at the onset of the English Civil War. An ardent Puritan, he was critical of the Presbyterian and Independent factions in the Long Parliament (1640-60), and he was eventually expelled from his position in the government in 1648. After his expulsion, Prynne supported the restoration of Charles II and the installment of a national Puritan church. Following the Restoration he was rewarded with the position of the Keeper of the Records in the Tower of London where he had previously been imprisoned. The documents in the Tower formed the basis of the volumes of An exact chronological vindication which cover the whole of English history. The amazing folding engraved frontispiece reflects the restoration of Charles II and the usurpation of the Catholic church. The second tome, as Prynne notes, was “brought forth to the Worlds’ view before the first,” aimed to assert that the English kings have always held ecclesiastical jurisdiction over their people and not the Pope.
Prynne (1600–69) was a prolific pamphleteer and attorney who wrote on numerous subjects from theater to theology and published about 200 books and pamphlets during his lifetime.