Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Laud, William (1573-1645), Archbishop of Canterbury, was the son of a Reading clothier. In 1589 he matriculated at St. John's College, Oxford, of which he became fellow in 1593. In 1601 he was ordained, and two years later was one of two Proctors of the university. In 1607 he obtained the vicarage of Stanford, Northants, and in the following year became Doctor of Divinity. After holding for a short time a living in Kent, he returned to Oxford in 1611 as president of his old college, and strongly opposed the Puritan party in the university. He became successively chaplain to the king, Archdeacon of Huntingdon, and Dean of Gloucester, and was appointed in 1621 Bishop of St. Davids. He was now intimate with the Duke of Buckingham. The accession of Charles I. greatly increased his influence, and, in spite of attacks made upon him in the House of Commons, he was promoted to the Bishopric of London in 1628. Two years later he became Chancellor of Oxford, in whose university and in the metropolitan diocese he began to impose silence on Puritan preachers and in other ways to carry out the king's views. In 1633 he was appointed Primate, and thenceforth worked to carry out uniformity and the due observance of ritual. At the same time he resisted the Romanising influences of the Queen's coterie. It was Laud who persuaded the king to force on the Scots the English Liturgy rather than that prepared by their own bishops; and he supported Strafford in his Scottish, as in other branches of his policy. On December 18, 1640, articles of impeachment were by an unanimous vote carried against him, and he was sent to the Tower in the following February. Here he had to wait for two and a half years before he was tried. In November, 1643, he was charged with endeavouring to subvert the laws and overthrow the Protestant religion; and though the judges, when consulted, declared that these charges did not strictly amount to treason, the Presbyterians obtained his condemnation to death by an ordinance of both Houses. He was executed in 1645.