William Laud

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Laud, William,

1573–1645, archbishop of Canterbury (1633–45). He studied at St. John's College, Oxford, and was ordained a priest in 1601. From the beginning Laud showed his hostility to Puritanism. He became president of St. John's College in 1611, dean of Gloucester in 1616, and bishop of London in 1628. Laud thought of the English church as a branch of the universal church, claimed apostolic succession for the bishops, and believed that the Anglican ritual should be strictly followed in all churches. To accomplish these ends, Laud, working closely with Charles I, tried to eliminate Puritans from important positions in the church. As chancellor of Oxford (from 1629) he carried out many reforms, strengthened moral and intellectual discipline, and stamped out Calvinism to make Oxford a royalist stronghold. In 1633, Laud became archbishop of Canterbury and continued on a larger scale his efforts to enforce High Church forms of worship. Through the courts of high commission and Star Chamber he persecuted and imprisoned many nonconformists, such as William PrynnePrynne, William
, 1600–1669, English political figure and Puritan pamphleteer. Beginning his attacks on Arminian doctrine in 1627, he soon earned the enmity of William Laud.
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. The tyranny of his courts and his identification of the episcopal form of church government with the absolutism of Charles brought about violent opposition not only from the Puritans but also from those who were jealous of the rights of Parliament. Supporting Charles and the earl of Strafford to the end, Laud was impeached (1640) by the Long Parliament. Found not guilty of treason by the House of Lords (1644), he was condemned to death by the Commons through a bill of attainder.

Bibliography

See biographies by A. Duncan-Jones (1927) and H. Trevor-Roper (2d ed. 1962).

Laud, William

 

Born Oct. 7, 1573, in Reading, Berkshire; died Jan. 10, 1645, in London. English church leader.

Laud, on the eve of the English Bourgeois Revolution of the 17th century, was one of the closest advisers of King Charles I and was the most hated by the people. In 1633 he became the archbishop of Canterbury (head of the Anglican Church). The church policy of Laud was aimed at harmonizing the dogma of the Anglican Church with Catholicism. He strove to strengthen the role of the church as a weapon at the service of absolutism. He inspired the cruel persecutions of the Puritans. In the beginning of the revolution he was accused of state treason. Laud was executed by order of the court of the Long Parliament.

References in classic literature ?
In his younger days he had practically learned the meaning of persecution from Archbishop Laud, and he was not now disposed to forget the lesson against which he had murmured then.
Moreover, competing positions in the debate over the ritual and governance of church could evolve over time and be recast ideologically in the face of altered circumstances: in short, how one defended episcopacy in 1641, after Archbishop Laud had been dispatched to the Tower, might be different from how one did so during the Laudian ascendancy of the 1630s.
What he didn't tell us was what became of the God-fearing, royal loyalist Archbishop Laud when Cromwell came to power.
His scholarly reputation had already been established by his first book, a re-evaluation of the unlovable Archbishop Laud, 'an interfering old bugger' as Hugh described him to his brother.
Stratford shoulders away the symbol of empty achievement as he kneels before his 'ghostly father' Archbishop Laud, shortly himself to be decapitated, who extends his blessing through the bars of his cell.
For example, we learn about readers of Foxe's book from Archbishop Laud to John Bunyan, about the provenance of various copies, about how some copies were wom out from too much reading, about the explorers who carried the Book of Martyrs to the New World, and about the tendency of subsequent generations to add their own events (such as the Gunpowder Plot) to Foxe's master narrative.
In June 1635 Archbishop Laud had him thrown into the Fleet prison for performing marriages in the colony and preaching in church, activities for which Winslow claimed scriptural support.
In addition, he demonstrates how the changes within the Church of England brought about by Archbishop Laud gave room for the Baptists to grow.
The antiprelatical tracts--which include Of Reformation (1641), Of Prelatical Episcopacy (1641), Animadversions (1641), and The Reason of Church Government Urged Against Prelaty (1641-42)--attack the residually-Catholic ceremonialism and episcopal hierarchy of the Stuart church under Archbishop Laud.
Alan Ford continues this theme by examining the Arminian ambitions of Archbishop Laud and his efforts to usurp the enforcing authority and conformity from the Church of Ireland.
Users of the catalogue who know the collections of the Bodleian will immediately recognize the names of several of its benefactors, who also gave to St John's, including not only Archbishop Laud himself, but also Nathaniel Crynes (by an oversight recorded in the index of owners as 'Nicholas') and Edward Bernard.
Selden's disappointment--not helped by the interval he spent imprisoned between 1629 and 1631--reinforced his interest in natural law theorists such as Grotius, and it says much for his impartiality that he became an admirer of archbishop Laud if only for that prelate's protection of a surprising range of scholarly activity during his primacy.