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.


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 periodicals archive ?
The letters of the controversialist William Prynne to Archbishop William Laud from the Tower of London in the 1630s dwelt on the traditional garb of bishops.
William Laud himself was, of course, the most obvious target.
Traditionally interpreted as the result of the rise of a militant puritanism, it came to be seen, following several important publications by Tyacke in the 1970s and 1980s, as the result of a militant anti-Calvinism spearheaded by Richard Neile and William Laud, bishops in the established Church.
However, his starting point is to establish the reputation which Ussher enjoyed at the end of his career, where his wide learning but also his moderate and agreeable personality earned him admirers from the likes of William Laud, Thomas Wentworth and Peter Heylyn, but more unexpectedly from a wider body of churchmen and statesmen including Cardinal Richelieu, William Prynne and Oliver Cromwell.
They were staunchly anti-clerical, and strikingly anti-episcopal: they had reason to detest the likes of William Laud and Matthew Wren for their harrying of non-conforming clergy; their promotion of ceremonies and Canons that seemed to smack of 'popery'; and for their brutal treatment of those, like Burton, Bastwick, and Prynne, who would criticise them.
As well as books on William Laud, Sir Edmund Backhouse, Hitler and Philby, Trevor-Roper wrote a full-length study of the English revolution and--later in life--an intellectual biography of the Paracelsian physician and Hugenot emigre, James I's court doctor, Theodore de Mayerne, whom he painstakingly followed through the archives of Switzerland, France and England.
It is in his essays, therefore, on the destruction of the Cheapside Cross, the opposing political fortunes of William Laud and William Prynne, or the literary constructions of sectarian dangers that Cressy has offered us much food for thought by showing us the tremendous power of certain symbolic acts when they are revealed within their full cultural contexts.
As Nonconformists faced increasing persecution under the episcopacy of William Laud, clergy and laity alike struggled with the quandary of whether to stay in England and fight for Church reform or to escape to the wilderness of New England where they might enjoy the blessings of a purer Christianity.
The essential idea of the book is to survey the arts in England during the 1620s and '30s, in the reign of Charles I and of his principal ecclesiastical advisor, William Laud, archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 until his death in 1640.
Augustine, Anselm and Thomas a Becket all became saints and Thomas Cranmer, William Laud and John Whitgift changed the face of British faith.
This may help to explain why such clergy as Richard Mon tagu, Richard Neile, John Cosin, and William Laud advanced a sacramental vision of the ministry bordering on popery," while maintaining, if sometimes disingenuously, a hostile stance toward the Roman church in general.
And did the policies implemented by Archbishop William Laud and his colleagues in the 1630s constitute a bold and aggressive attempt by an innovating `Arminian' clique to destroy a `Calvinist' consensus?