RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoMS 511
Extenti, 149 ff.
DescriptionThe Prisoners Apology. By a true and proper description, division and defintion of High Treason, declaring her enormitie to be in every privat act, either of an insolent Goayler, detayninge any of his Maiesties loyall subiect lawfullie discharged; or of a corrupt Justicer wilfullie condemninge the cause, or imprisoninge the person of the sayd subiect contrary to lawe and iustice ... and of their necessarie remedies'.
Temp. Charles I [1625-1649].

The author, John Cusack, describes himself as a native of Ireland (f. 1v) who has suffered oppression for ten years including a false judgment at Wood Street Counter, London [a prison in the City primarily for debtors] (f. 2r); he had previously appealed to James I (f. 1v). He also mentions his university education of twelve years (f. 6r); records his other books on the relief of debtors, bastardy, testaments, and other aspects of law (ff. 11v-12r); and claims to be the heir apparent of a Lord Chancellor [?Sir Thomas Cusack (?1505-1571), Lord Chancellor of Ireland].
On John Cusack (seemingly the same as the author of this work), his petitions, legal suits and the presentation of a treatise to the King, see 'Calendar of State Papers Foreign and Domestic', 1611-18, pp. 327-328 (Cusack's letter of 11 Nov. 1615); 1625-28, p. 476 (Cusack's letter of 17 Nov. 1626).

The manuscript appears to be autograph, with occasional authorial corrections (eg. ff. 45v, 101r) and two sections of text replaced with new text neatly pasted over. The elegant binding suggests this may be the copy presented to Charles I.

f. i. blank.
f. 1r. Title page.
ff. 1v-6v. Dedication to Charles I, signed by 'Your Maiestys opressed but not deiected subiect John Cusacke'.
ff. 7r-12v. Letter to the Lords and Judges of the Court of Exchequer. Signed by John Cusacke.
ff. 13r-147r. Text, in 33 chapters. Heading at f. 13r (preceding chapter one): Proofes of high treason in a Goayler or other officers detayninge any his Maiesties loyall subiect in prison by his privat authoritie'.
ff. 147v-149v. blank.
FindingAidsNew description by Richard Palmer, 2011
PhysicalDescriptionLimp vellum binding, tooled in gold, with a centrepiece of the arms of Charles I set within the Garter and surmounted by a crown.
Brown silk ties. Edges of leaves gilt.
196 x 156 mm.
Paper leaves.
CustodialHistoryM. R. James was unable to trace the provenance of this manuscript; he stated that it was not among the Lambeth manuscripts taken to Cambridge during the Commonwealth period (see M. R. James, 'A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Lambeth Palace: The Mediaeval Manuscripts' (Cambridge, 1932), p. 714).

First catalogued by Edmund Gibson, Lambeth Librarian from 1696, with the shelf mark 'quarto MS. 186' (LR/F/39, f. 153r).

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Related name records
NA2179Charles I (1600-1649); King of England, Scotland and Ireland1600-1649
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