William Sheppard, sergeant-at-law, a great stickler, during the ascendency of the Rump, for the reformation of the law and the correction of manners, thus sets forth certain grievances, and, like a good Samaritan, propounds a remedy for them in his work, entitled ‘Englands Balme.’
The character of this puritanical reformer’s liberality may be estimated by his proposed remedies for the abuses of the [Pg 143] press
“That there is no certain and clear law to punish prophane jesting, fidling, ryming, piping, juggling, fortune-telling, tumbling, dancing upon the rope, vaulting, ballad-singing, sword-playing, or playing of prizes, ape-carrying, puppet-playing, bear-baiting, bull-baiting, horse-racing, cock-fighting, carding, dicing, or other gaming; especially the spending of much time, and the adventuring of great sums of money herein.
James’s, when [Pg 144] he had merely “rooked” a gay city ‘prentice of five pounds at a shilling ordinary in Shire Lane
“That to the laws already made: 1. That it be in the power of any two justices of the peace to binde to the goode behaivour such as are offensive herein. 2. 3. (more…)