William Laud

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable
William Laud
Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop William Laud
PredecessorGeorge Abbot
SuccessorWilliam Juxon
Personal details
Born(1573-10-07)7 October 1573
Reading, Berkshire
Died10 January 1645(1645-01-10) (aged 71)
Tower Hill, London
EducationReading School
Alma materSt John's College, Oxford
SignatureWilliam Laud's signature
Feast day10 January

William Laud (7 October 1573 – 10 January 1645) was an English archbishop and academic. He was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633, during the personal rule of Charles I. Arrested in 1640, he was executed in 1645.

In matters of church polity, Laud was autocratic. Laudianism refers to a collection of rules on matters of ritual, in particular, that were enforced by Laud in order to maintain uniform worship in England and Wales, in line with the king's preferences. They were precursors to later High Church views. In theology, Laud was accused of being an Arminian and opponent of Calvinism, as well as covertly favouring Roman Catholic doctrines (see Arminianism in the Church of England). On all three grounds, he was regarded by Puritan clerics and laymen as a formidable and dangerous opponent.

Laud favoured scholars, and was a major collector of manuscripts. He pursued ecumenical contacts with the Greek Orthodox Church.

The pun "give great praise to the Lord, and little Laud to the devil" is a warning to King Charles attributed to Archibald Armstrong, the official court jester. Laud was known to be touchy about his diminutive stature.

Early life

Laud was born at Reading, Berkshire on 7 October 1573, the only son of William Laud, a clothier, and Lucy, née Webbe, widow of John Robinson, another clothier of the town, and sister of William Webbe, Lord Mayor of London. He was educated at Reading School, and went in 1589 to St John's College, Oxford, matriculating on 17 October. In 1593 he became a fellow of the college. He graduated B.A. in 1594, M.A. in 1598, and D.D. in 1608. As an undergraduate Laud had for his tutor John Buckeridge, who became president of St John's College in 1605.[1]

Laud was ordained deacon on 4 January 1601, and priest on 5 April in the same year. On 4 May 1603, he was one of the proctors for the year.[1]

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