PRIMS Full-text transcription (HTML)

QUERIES UPON QUERIES OR Enquiries into certain QUERIES UPON Dr. PIERCE'S Sermon at Whitehall, Feb. 1.

The third Edition.

Printed for R. Royſton, Bookſeller to his moſt Sacred Majeſty.


Queries upon Queries.


WHether for the Papiſts with reſtleſſe importunities to ſollicite for an indulgence, be to ſit down peace­ably and grant themſelves erroneous? Do they call that only a ſitting down peaceably, not to grow outragious, and arming themſelves with publick force to fight for their Re­ligion? or is it not moreover not to repine at their preſent hap­pineſs, and to deſiſt from craving any publick favour? If you grant your ſelves erroneous, is it fit you ſhould be indulg'd in your errours? Is it not favour enough to be Conniv'd at, when there are ſuch ſanguinary laws in force againſt you, which, if his Majeſty ſo pleas'd, might be put into execution? Or if he ſhould gratifie you, ſince you are ſo erroneous as to advance the Pope's Supremacy above that of Kings, whether when you have gathe­red ſtrength by being cheriſhed under his wing, will you not take the boldneſs to aſſert what you have now the confidence to affirm, and proceed from humble deſires of publick favour and indulgence, to impudent demands of publick Countenance and ſettlement? If ſo, whether it be not ſeaſonable to give the King a Caveat againſt ſuch Diſſenters, who are wont to ſit down peaceably no longer then they muſt needs?


Though his Majeſty had declared his Reſolution againſt your Doctrines before, yet was that Reſolution ſo ſtrong that 'twas impoſſible to fortifie it? or were there like to be no aſſaults made againſt it? If not, whence come your frequent deſires of a2 Toleration? If there were, was there not need alſo of a Con­firmation? Do you not too much over-value the Courtiers, when you ſay they neither know the Fathers and other Authors, nor can judge of thoſe quotations the Sermon does referre to? If they don't know, nor can't judge, muſt you needs imply them ſo ſtupid as to be incapable of inſtruction? If they have no reaſon to ſuſpect them, nor ability to view or diſprove the quotations, why may they not ſatisfie themſelves without an Ocular ſearch? If they have, they are ſubmitted to their Examination as well as yours, and 'tis no queſtion but you will both find them to be exact. How could the Preacher know but that ſome of you would hear him? He might aſſure himſelf you were uſually preſent, though not as Auditours, yet as Spies; if not to be converted by it, yet to pick quarrels at the Sermon. And preſuming you there, why might he not intend to convert you, when he knew that what he delivered was able to perſwade you, if it did not meet with prejudices more invincible then your judgments to ſubdue? Might not the Diſcourſe be directed to check your inſolence, who upon the King's Declaration began to walk un­disguis'd? or to prevent the growth of Popery, that though you compaſs'd Sea and land, yet you might gain no more Proſelytes by your induſtry? or &c.

Querie III.

Suppoſe we ſhould ſay, by what was from the Beginning we mean Primitive examples: Can theſe be no rule of Reforma­tion, becauſe we are not to doe as men have done, but as men ought to doe? Does not the ſame Reaſon deſtroy all Patterns, and oblige us to abſtain even from doing well, becauſe others have done ſo before us? Chriſt, to reform the Phariſees, ſends them to the Beginning for a Rule; we, to reform the Romaniſts, ſend them to the Beginning too. If Chriſt did as he ought, why may not we imitate him, and at the ſame time doe what has been3 done, and what ought to be done? If not Blaſphemy. If to doe as has been done, and as ought to be done, which you ſo carefully diſtinguiſh, be inconſiſtent; Is it not eaſy to inferre, becauſe the Papiſts doe now as they have done, therefore they doe not as they ought to doe? Suppoſe again, that we underſtand Primi­tive Rules contain'd in Scripture: As for thoſe Articles which lye plain and open, they need not the Light either of yours, or ours, or anothers Interpretation to diſcover them; ſo that your Dilemma has no horns, or but blunt ones: As for the other, the Querie is, whether you or we more cloſely follow the con­feſs'd Rules of interpretation. If you have, do you not lay that crime to your own charge, which we endeavour but to prove you guilty of, a partiality in your own cauſe? If we have, why do you ſtill hugge your own errours, and not rather cloſe with our Truths, while our Arms are open to embrace you?

Querie IV.

When you imply that the Preacher in Contending only for the old Proteſtant way, contended not for that which was from the Beginning: what do you mean by the old Proteſtant way? That good old way, before it had the Name of Proteſtant, or after? If before, it was and is the ſame way which was from the beginning; and did not he in contending for it, contend for that which was from the beginning? If after, he confeſſes 'twas ſo call'd p. 36. becauſe the Aſſertors of it proteſted againſt the cruel edict of Worms, and that the Title was almoſt as novel as a very great part of the Roman Creed is; why then do you ſay, that he contended only for the New, when 'twas indeed for the old Proteſtant way? When you ſay, that the Eaſtern Churches claim a greater Antiquity then ours; do you mean, the Articles of their faith were more Ancient, or they were more early in em­bracing them? If the former; why is it not prov'd? If the latter; what is it to the purpoſe? Do we pretend to have re­ceiv'd4 the Chriſtian faith before all other Churches? or rather do we not avow our ſelves to own the ſame Truths, which if they receiv'd ſooner, yet both of us from the Beginning?

Querie V.

It had been ſaid, Serm. p. 10. That in matters of Indiffe­rencie which are brought into the Government, every Church has the liberty to make her own Conſtitutions; but we are to look upon nothing as an Article of Faith, unleſs it comes from the Beginning, &c. Which paſſage did you reade, or no? If not, why do you undertake to make Queries upon it? If you did, why do you talk of Surplices, Organs, Biſhopricks, Officials, Pluralities, &c. and take ſo much pains to no purpoſe, unleſs it be to amuſe the ignorant and unobſerving Reader? Did the Sermon ſay all things muſt be reduced to what they were in the Beginning, or only Articles of Faith? And are Organs, &c. Articles of Faith? While you perſonate the Fanatick, don't you talk as impertinently as if you indeed were one? But, perhaps, the whole Querie was rais'd on purpoſe to tell the world, the Preacher had Pluralities. If ſo, why had you not withall told us, how he came by them? Not by purchaſe, but deſert? not by ſeeking, but acceptance, when they were caſt upon him? That they are Dignities, not Cures? But ſetting all this aſide, Do you think him worthy of his Prefer­ments, or not? If not, why do you beſtow one upon him? for he was never Canon of York till you made him. If you do, why do you envy him, and diſcover this envy, in reckoning his being Chaplain to the King as one of thoſe Preferments, when the world knows there's nothing but trouble and honour, no Emolument at all? Whether therefore is it lawful to diſ­ſemble and falſifie, or no? If not, why do you doe it? If it be, ſure from the Beginning, unleſs among the Romaniſts, it was not ſo.



Whether there be any Hereſie in the world which never had a Beginning? If not, whether it may not be ſaid to be­gin with its firſt Authour and raiſer? If ſo, whether all of the ſame perſwaſion may not derive their Antiquity from him? Why then may not the Diſciplinarians fetch theirs as far as the Heretick Aerius, who ſays as plainly as Epipha­nius can make him ſpeak, that a Biſhop does not at all excel a Presbyter, either in order, honour, or dignity? Whether was S. Peter any more then an ordinary Presbyter or no? If he was, then he was not the firſt Presbyterian, as you would have him. If he was not, how come his Succeſſours to be Biſhops? If a Presbyter and a Biſhop be all one, why does not the Biſhop of Rome level himſelf with his brother Presbyters? And why may not the Socinian look upon Sabellius, who, if Epiphanius ſpeaks truth, did think ſuch a thing as that the Son and holy Ghoſt were no Gods, or not coequal and coeternal with the Father? But to ſtir that no farther which ſtinks already, To what end is your whole ſixth Querie directed? Is it any advantage to your Cauſe, whether the Anabaptiſts look upon Agrippi­nus, the Solifidians upon Eunomius, or no? Are you angry that ſuch petite hereſies ſhould have founders of ſo great names, while your own great one pretends to S. Peter, but has in­deed none? Were you not afraid, leſt the other parts of your Pamphlet ſhould fall under the cenſure of the Preacher's pen, and therefore endeavour'd by ſuch little plots to divert him? If you were, Whether your whole Religion, like your Queries, have any more then a flattering outſide, not to be ſearch'd into by a ſeverer eye then that of a Novice?


Querie VII.

When Chriſt tells S. Peter, his faith ſhould not fail, did he mean it ſhould be impoſsible to deceive him? Are thoſe Scri­ptures that ſpeak of full Aſſurance of faith, to be underſtood of full perfection of knowledge? When our Saviour ſays that the gates of Hell ſhall not prevail againſt his Church, are the words to be underſtood of infallability or perpetuity? To enter into Heaven through perſecutions and tribulations, is it not to be ſaved ſo as by fire? Were not thoſe impriſon'd ſpirits, the ſouls of thoſe who periſh'd in the Flood, and were reſerv'd in ſome ſafe, but tolerable cuſtody, till Chriſt came and preach'd Repentance to them, which, upon their delivery, immediately vaniſh'd? Or if Purgatory be that priſon, is it not an excellent employment for the Pope to be the Gaoler? Was Maximilian the ſecond forc'd by the Proteſtants, or by the Reaſonableneſs of the thing it ſelf, to write that Letter aſſerting Prieſt's Mar­riage, conſidering all which Thuanus ſays is, that he did it Re ipsâ urgente? Why is it not as lawfull to marry, as to keep a Concubine, one being allowed by God, the other by the Pope Only? Why did Scotus ſay that Tranſubſtantiation was not a Truth before the Lateran Council, if he might not be quo­ted for it? And when he ſays non fuit dogma fidei, who taught you thus to conſtrue it, that 'twas onely forecaſt till then? May not a man be damn'd for eating that bread, and drinking that wine unworthily, which repreſents the Body and Bloud of Chriſt? Again, Did Chriſt give the Bread to any but Diſciples and Miniſters, or not? If not, why doe you not withhold this from the Laity too? If he did, how does it appear that he gave them not wine alſo? If there were none beſides Diſciples preſent at the Adminiſtration, how could Chriſt give either Bread or Wine to them, they being not there to receive it? If there were any, by the ſame evidence by which it appears they7 were there, is it not clear likewiſe that they received both? When the Chriſtians went from houſe to houſe breaking Bread, would it not be a hard caſe, if they ſhould have no drink to it? Did they not encourage Nero to cloath them with Beaſts-skins by confining themſelves to Horſe-meals, it being fit their garb ſhould be ſutable to their fare? Suppoſe the Jewiſh Litur­gy was in Hebrew, could not the Jews underſtand that Hebrew, no, not their Mother-tongue? Were not the Proſelytes to their Religion proficients in their Language too? If not, how came they to be Proſelytes, the only probable way of their Conver­ſion being either by reading the Jew's Books, or converſing with their perſons? and could they doe either without underſtan­ding their Language? If they were, though the Jewiſh Litur­gy were in Hebrew, why could they not underſtand it? You grant the Primitive Liturgies were in Greek and Latine; were not they the moſt Common Tongues, one of the Eaſtern, the o­ther of the Weſtern world? If ignorance of the Tongue had been requiſite, why did they ſuffer them to remain in ſuch known Languages? If praying in an unknown Tongue was eſta­bliſhed by primitive practice before Gregory the Great's time, was that practice corrupt or no? If it was, why did he eſtabliſh it by an Eccleſiaſtical Law? If not, how do you reconcile it with S. Paul's command to pray with underſtanding? 1 Cor. 14. If Invocation of Saints were heard of in Ignatius his time, it was not in Chriſt's, who forbids us to pray to Angels, which ſure are greater Favourites then the Saints. If an Univerſal Supre­macy was from S. Peter by right, though it could not be got till Boniface the third; did Gregory the Great know that it was his Right, or no? If he did, why was he ſo injurious to S. Peter himſelf, and that See, as to diſclaim it, and that with ſo much ſpleen and indignation, as to call him Antichriſt who ſhould uſurp it? If not, how comes the Enquirer to be wiſer then his Holineſs? If that Pope was Infallible, then Omni­ſcient too; and if you know more then he, you muſt know more8 then he who knows all things; then likewiſe Boniface muſt be Antichriſt, becauſe Gregory ſays ſo: If he was not, how did his Succeſſours gain that Prerogative, who had far leſs knowledge then himſelf?

Querie VIII.

May not the Catholick Church have many parts, and yet preſerve its unity? As in the ſame Natural body there are ma­ny Members, yet but one Body. Are not the Churches of the ſeveral Kingdomes of Chriſtendome theſe parts? Whether is it poſſible for Corruptions either in Doctrine or Government to creep into them? If not, how came they into the Church of Rome? If it be, is the Church ſo corrupted to be Reform'd or not? If not, why does not our Saviour permit the Phariſees quietly to enjoy their old Cuſtomes of Divorce? If a Member be diſeaſed, may we not endeavour after a Cure? If it may be Reform'd, what Phyſician muſt we conſult? Muſt we go to Rome for a Remedy? from thence poſſibly come our Cor­ruptions, and can we expect a Reformation from them? Will the ſame Enemy that ſow'd our Tares, pull them up too? Can the ſword which made the wound, become the plaiſter? Is not every King Supreme in his own Dominions? Have we nopt the ſame warrantable Rules of Reformation, plain Scri­pture, Natural Reaſon, and Moral Prudence, which others have? If we are Corrupt, why may not he reform us? Does Chriſt bid us follow a Multitude to doe evil? or rather are we not com­manded to let them depart from us, and purge our ſelves to a Primitive integrity? Is that one way we are all bid to be of to be found in the Roman or the Engliſh Church? If you ſay in the Roman, where do you reade that? If in the Engliſh, do you not walk in a wrong way, becauſe in a way that is not ours?


Querie IX.

Were our Reformers here in England members of the Catho­lick Church, or no? If not, then the Roman Church is no part of the Catholick, becauſe they were of the Roman Faith, and yet according to you not Catholicks. If they were, may the ſame perſon be a member of the Catholick, and the Head of a particular Church, or not? If not, do you not ſplit your ſelf upon thoſe dangerous Aſſertions, That a King can be no Chriſti­an, or a Chriſtian no King? If he may, why may he nor re­form the Church he is Head of, as head of that part, though not as a Member of the whole? If therefore thoſe Members of our Church who deſire a farther Reformation, were Heads of it too, they might reform us: but ſo long as they are only Mem­bers, I think they may not; what think you? If it be your judgement, that they may, why might not our firſt Reformers, though Members of the Roman Church, yet reform it? If you think that the Head only can reform, whether is the King Head of the Church which is in his own Kingdome or no? If not, are you not traitorous, while you go about to rob him of his Supre­macy, and do you not deſerve favour and indulgence from him? If he be, why do you quarrel with our firſt Reformers, when you know the chief of them was the King?

Querie X.

Whether thoſe points commanded to be believ'd by the Council of Trent upon pain of damnation, were to be believ'd upon that ſevere penalty, before the ſitting of that Council. If they were, then thoſe are damn'd who died before the Crea­tion of thoſe Articles, becauſe they did not believe them; how then fare the ſouls of our Sires? If not, was not that a Che­ritable Council, to make the way to Heaven narrower then10 Chriſt had left it? But ſuppoſing, with you, that they were not neceſſary, the Querie will be, whether they were lawful before it. If they were, then were they not added by the Council of Trent, as you acknowledge they were, but eſta­bliſh'd by a more Ancient Sanction: If not, could that Coun­cil make an Article of Faith, which is beyond the power of any Authority under heaven to doe? Gal. 1. 8. Can that which is unlawful in it ſelf, be made lawful by a Command? or may the daughters drink poiſon, becauſe they are bid to doe ſo by their Mother? or if they might, is not Rome a kind Mother, that will preſcribe it? Suppoſe again, that thoſe points were Antece­dently indifferent, ſuch as might be believ'd, or might not; were they enjoyn'd becauſe they might be believ'd, or be­cauſe they might not? If becauſe they might, then either that doctrine may be believ'd which is not Apoſtolical, contra­ry to S. Paul; or thoſe Injunctions were Apoſtolical, contra­ry to your ſelves, who confeſs they were New. If becauſe they might not, Oh the power of the Council of Trent, which can make us believe thoſe things that an Angel from Heaven may not do! How does it now follow, becauſe a lawful Magiſtrate may command a lawful thing to be done upon pain of damnation, diſobedience to a lawful command being damna­ble; therefore the Council of Trent may as well command things to be believ'd that are utterly unlawful, upon the ſame pe­nalty?


What do you mean by the Church? The virtual Church, as you are pleas'd to call the Pope? or the Repreſentative Church, as you alwaies ſtyle your Councils? or, as we un­derſtand it; The whole Company of Believers? If you take it in this latter ſenſe, the Scriptures and the Primitive Fathers were to be found in the Church; why might we not then have11 recourſe to them? When we ſuſpected that the Pragmatical Romaniſts deliver'd to us Traditions of men, inſtead of the Doctrines of the Goſpel, might we not conſult thoſe Oracles for ſatisfaction? If in the two former ſenſes, why might we not run from the Church, i. e. from the Pope and his Councils, to the Scriptures and Fathers? If we might, have you any reaſon to be angry with our Reformers for doing what you allow them? If not, do you not advance your own Conſtitutions a­bove thoſe of the Scriptures and the Fathers, while you will us to obey yours and ſlight theirs? Again, Let us by the Church underſtand the whole number of Chriſtians that liv'd betwixt Chriſt's daies and thoſe of our Reformers, call'd by you the Eſſential Church; was there not in that great Intervall of time a ſucceſſion of different Ages and Centuries? Did not a part of this whole number of Chriſtians fill up thoſe ſeveral Ages? Do we not call thoſe the Primitive Chriſtians, that the Primi­tive Church, which liv'd and flouriſh'd in the Age of Chriſt, or the Centuries next ſucceeding? Had not you in the latter Ages, by entertaining new Articles of Faith, by introducing other Doctrines then what were from the Beginning, corrupted your ſelves, and ſo became Separatiſts from the Primitive faith, truth, and Church? Why might not our Reformers then make a ſeceſsion from the corrupted Romaniſts, as they did from the purer Chriſtians? If there be any difference in the Schiſms, 'tis this; you ſeparated from the Primitive by defiling, we from you by reforming our ſelves: And which, I pray, is the greater credit?


Whether when the Proteſtants left Rome, they did not take the Scriptures, the Primitive Church, and the four firſt general Councils along with them. If they did not, why don't you12 ſhew us that Iota as to which they left them? If they did take them, is it any doubt whether they left them?


Whether he that ſaid Jeruſalem was the Mother Church of the Jews, did not ſay Antioch was the Mother, at leaſt the eldeſt, Church of the Gentiles? If ſo, is it poſſible that Rome ſhould be their Mother too? If there be two mothers, muſt not Rome, which was the latter, be a ſtep-mother to them? And are they not like to lead a proſperous and happy life under ſuch an indul­gent Matron, who is wont even to kill her children out of very kindneſs to them?


If S. Peter brought Chriſtianity into Britain, as Gildas ſayes, and you conſent, whether this will not exempt the Britiſh Church from any ſubjection to the See of Rome. If ever Peter was there (which is a queſtion not to be decided) did he bring it hither before he carried it thither, or after? If before, why muſt we, who were the firſt Chriſtians, truckle under Rome that is our junior? If after, was it while he was living, or after his Death? If while alive, what will become of your pretenſions, that he ſeated himſelf at Rome, there exerciſed Epiſcopal Au­thority, and dying there bequeath'd his chaire to Clemens, or Linus, and the ſucceeding Popes? If in his abſence he left a Deputy, it will ſeem ſtrange that one mans head ſhould fit ano­thers ſhoulders: If not, 'twill be more ſtrange that the body ſhould tarry there while the head travail'd into England. If after his Death, are we not beholding to him that he would riſe out of his grave, and take ſuch a long journey to plant the Goſpel here? And will it not become you who are ſo much devoted to S. Peter, to own us for your Superiors, if for no other Reaſon, yet for the miraculous plantation?



Whether you doe well to make a Compariſon between Henry 8. and Phocas, who was indeed an incomparable villain. Was not one a King by Birth, the other of an obſcure parentage, and by merit but a Centurion? One came to his Crown by right­full ſucceſſion; the other to the Empire by the unnatural mur­ther of his Maſter Mauritius and his children. One had reaſon to be diſpleas'd at Clement 7. who had ſo often deluded him in his appeals, ſo long uſurp'd what was his Right; the other had not the ſame reaſon to be diſpleas'd at Cyriacus, who could not in­vade his Right, that had no other Right to be invaded but what bloud and rapine could give him to the gallows. Suppoſe he had been the lawfull Emperour, if he had denied Cyriacus the Title of Univerſal, and made himſelf ſupreme within his own Dominions, he had done well, And did H. 8. who was indeed our lawful King, doe any more then throw off the Pope, and reſtore his own Supremacy to himſelf? You applaud Phocas his juſtice for robbing Conſtantinople, and placing the Title of Univerſal in the Biſhop of Rome, that being the chief Seat of his Empire; would you have been content if H. 8. when he degraded Cle­ment, had made the Biſhop of London Univerſal, that being the Metropolis of his Kingdome? If not, do you not doe to others as you would not be done to your ſelves, in permitting Phocas to ſtrip Cyriacus, and not ſuffering King H. to doe the like to you? If you would, why do you appropriate that title to your ſelves, while you confeſs that, if the King had ſo pleas'd, the Biſhop of London might have been as Univerſal as my Lord of Rome is?


S. Peter ſaies Chriſt is the Corner-ſtone, 1 Pet. 2. 6. you ſay S. Peter is: which muſt we hearken to? If S. Peter were a14 pillar, could he be a Corner-ſtone too? Whether S. Paul knew S. Peter or no? If not, why did he not excuſe himſelf for re­buking him, as he did for his reviling the High prieſt, with an I wiſt not who he was? If he did, ſure he knew him to be not ſo much, or no more then his equal, when he rebuk'd him ſo openly, and made no Apology for his boldneſs neither. Whether the Pope be not S. Peter's ſucceſſour, as in his Chair, ſo in his Diſsimulation too, becauſe he can pretend to humility in the midſt of so great pride, and exactly counterfeit it, while he has ſuch an Abſolute Autority. Whether from this Humility does not proceed his ſo inveterate Enmity to Ambition in others, that he will not ſuffer them to aſpire beyond his own great toe. Whether S. Paul might not be born among the Jews, and yet Preach among the Heathens; and ſo though he were an Hebrew of Hebrews by parentage, yet be an Apoſtle of the Gentiles by employment? If the Pope be Lord of Kings, as you ſay, does he not Lord it over God's heritage? Are Kings, no part of God's heritage? Does not Chriſt's Vicar too much diſgrace his maſter, by condeſcending ſo farre as to be the ſervant of the ſervants of God? They that rule over the Gentiles exerciſe Lordſhip; but do our Lords Biſhops rule over the Gentiles? A Gentile and a Heathen, you ſay, are all one: and is it not enough to make us Hereticks, but you muſt make us Heathens too? and ſo neither keep Faith with us, becauſe we are Hereticks, nor ſuffer us to hold the ſame Faith with you, becauſe we are Heathens?


Dan. Nicols, R. P. D. Arch. Cant. Capel. Domeſticus.

About this transcription

TextQueries upon queries: or Enquiries into Certain queries upon Dr. Pierce's sermon at Whitehall, Feb. 1
AuthorDobson, John, 1633-1681..
Extent Approx. 35 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 9 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A81581)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 137015)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Early English books, 1641-1700 ; 2481:17)

About the source text

Bibliographic informationQueries upon queries: or Enquiries into Certain queries upon Dr. Pierce's sermon at Whitehall, Feb. 1 Dobson, John, 1633-1681.. The third edition.. [2], 14 p. Printed for R. Royston, bookseller to his most Sacred Majesty,[London] :[1663]. (By John Dobson.) (A reply to: Certain queries upon Dr. Pierces sermon at Whitehall Feb. 1.) (Dated at end "Martii 21. 1662/3". Royston worked in London.) (Reproduction of original in the Folger Shakespeare Library.)
  • Catholic Church -- Controversial literature -- Early works to 1800.
  • Certain queries upon Dr. Pierces sermon at Whitehall Feb. 1 -- Controversial literature -- Early works to 1800.

Editorial statement

About the encoding

Created by converting TCP files to TEI P5 using tcp2tei.xsl, TEI @ Oxford.

Editorial principles

EEBO-TCP is a partnership between the Universities of Michigan and Oxford and the publisher ProQuest to create accurately transcribed and encoded texts based on the image sets published by ProQuest via their Early English Books Online (EEBO) database ( The general aim of EEBO-TCP is to encode one copy (usually the first edition) of every monographic English-language title published between 1473 and 1700 available in EEBO.

EEBO-TCP aimed to produce large quantities of textual data within the usual project restraints of time and funding, and therefore chose to create diplomatic transcriptions (as opposed to critical editions) with light-touch, mainly structural encoding based on the Text Encoding Initiative (

The EEBO-TCP project was divided into two phases. The 25,363 texts created during Phase 1 of the project have been released into the public domain as of 1 January 2015. Anyone can now take and use these texts for their own purposes, but we respectfully request that due credit and attribution is given to their original source.

Users should be aware of the process of creating the TCP texts, and therefore of any assumptions that can be made about the data.

Text selection was based on the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). If an author (or for an anonymous work, the title) appears in NCBEL, then their works are eligible for inclusion. Selection was intended to range over a wide variety of subject areas, to reflect the true nature of the print record of the period. In general, first editions of a works in English were prioritized, although there are a number of works in other languages, notably Latin and Welsh, included and sometimes a second or later edition of a work was chosen if there was a compelling reason to do so.

Image sets were sent to external keying companies for transcription and basic encoding. Quality assurance was then carried out by editorial teams in Oxford and Michigan. 5% (or 5 pages, whichever is the greater) of each text was proofread for accuracy and those which did not meet QA standards were returned to the keyers to be redone. After proofreading, the encoding was enhanced and/or corrected and characters marked as illegible were corrected where possible up to a limit of 100 instances per text. Any remaining illegibles were encoded as <gap>s. Understanding these processes should make clear that, while the overall quality of TCP data is very good, some errors will remain and some readable characters will be marked as illegible. Users should bear in mind that in all likelihood such instances will never have been looked at by a TCP editor.

The texts were encoded and linked to page images in accordance with level 4 of the TEI in Libraries guidelines.

Copies of the texts have been issued variously as SGML (TCP schema; ASCII text with mnemonic sdata character entities); displayable XML (TCP schema; characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or text strings within braces); or lossless XML (TEI P5, characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or TEI g elements).

Keying and markup guidelines are available at the Text Creation Partnership web site.

Publication information

  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A81581
  • STC Wing D1755A
  • STC ESTC R231409
  • EEBO-CITATION 99899957
  • PROQUEST 99899957
  • VID 137015

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.