|The Most Reverend and Right Honourable
|Church||Church of England|
|Ordination||5 April 1601|
|Consecration||18 November 1621|
|Born||7 October 1573
Reading, Berkshire, England
|Died||10 January 1645(1645-01-10) (aged 71)
Tower Hill, London, England
|Alma mater||St John's College, Oxford|
|Feast day||10 January|
Often highly ritualistic, these were precursors to what are now known as High Church views.
In theology, Laud was accused of Arminianism, favoring doctrines of the historic Church prior to the Reformation and defending the continuity of the English Church with the primitive and medieval Church, and opposing Calvinism.
On all three grounds, he was regarded by Puritan clerics and laymen as a formidable and dangerous opponent.
Laud favoured scholars, was a major collector of manuscripts, and pursued ecumenical contacts with the Greek Orthodox Church.
Laud was born at Reading, Berkshire on 7 October 1573, the only son of William Laud, a clothier, and Lucy, born Webbe, widow of John Robinson, another clothier of the town, and sister of Sir William Webbe, Lord Mayor of London.
In 1593 he became a fellow of the college.
He graduated B.A. in 1594, M.A. in 1598, and D.D.
When Laud was going through his exercises as candidate for the degree of Bachelor in Divinity, in 1604, he contended “that there could be no true churches without diocesan episcopacy.” For this the young aspirant was sharply and publicly rebuked by Dr Holland, who presided on the occasion; and who severely reprehended the future Primate of All England as "one who sought to sow discord among brethren, and between the Church of England and the Reformed Churches abroad."
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 University proctors for the year.
Under James I
When Buckeridge left St John's in 1611, Laud succeeded him as President, but only after a hard patronage struggle reaching high circles at court.
Eventually King James brushed aside irregularities in the election, settling matters in Laud's favour.
Laud became Dean of Gloucester in 1616.
By local custom, the table stood in the middle of the choir, as was then usual in a parish church, rather than at the east end as was typical of cathedrals.
Laud believed he had the king's blessing to renovate and improve the run-down building, but he offended his bishop, Miles Smith.
Neile was Laud's consistent patron.
But at the end of 1621, and despite the king's view of Laud as a troublemaker, Laud received the relatively unimportant see as Bishop of St David's.
Laud became a confidant of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, at the end of the reign.
In a three-day series of private debates with Percy in 1622, Laud was introduced to argue the Protestant case on the final day; pamphlets followed.
He then displaced John Preston as religious adviser to the Duke, a change that became clear around December 1624.
Historians believe Laud, who never married, had homosexual leanings, which he nevertheless seems to have managed discreetly.
His private diary does contain evidence of erotic dreams he had about Buckingham and other men.
Under Charles I
1625 to 1628
Laud ascended rapidly to a position of influence in the period 1626 to 1628, advancing not alone but with a group of like-minded clerics who obtained bishoprics.
A few days later, Buckingham told him outright that he was to succeed as Archbishop of Canterbury, when George Abbot died.
He immediately changed the Chapel services to privilege prayer over preaching, since King Charles's views were the opposite of his father's.
Bishop of London, and "Thorough"
After this breakthrough in church politics, it becomes meaningful to define "Laudians" or "Lauders" as his followers.
Historian Mark Perry argues that by 1626 in private consultations with the king and Buckingham, and in his public role in the House of Lords, Laud was a highly effective parliamentarian and a key adviser and policy-maker.
Laud distrusted parliamentary bargaining, and was always determined to resist all encroachments upon the royal prerogative, especially in matters of taxation.
His strong positions were the focus of attack during his trial in 1644.
When Wentworth was posted to Ireland in 1632, Laud brought his personal correspondence from him rapidly to the king's attention.
It is in this correspondence, in 1633, that the term "Thorough" appears.
In practical terms it meant the pursuit of ambitious policy objectives, on behalf of the king, disregarding special interests, and, particularly, legalistic prevarications.
Cottington observed that Laud could not keep his temper in Council meetings, and by 1637 Laud found he could not follow Wentworth in imagining their push for rigid policies would succeed.
Archbishop of Canterbury
Trial and execution
Further information: Trial of Archbishop Laud
Apart from a few personal enemies like William Prynne (and possibly Archbishop Williams), Parliament showed little anxiety to proceed against Laud; given his age (68 in 1641), most members would probably have preferred to leave him to die of natural causes.
In the spring of 1644 he was brought to trial which ended without a verdict: as with Strafford, it proved impossible to point to any specific action seen as treasonable.
His collected works in seven volumes were published between 1847 and 1860 in the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology.
Emeritus Professor at Cambridge, Patrick Collinson, an expert in Elizabethan Puritans, in 1980 published this rebuke of Laud in his book on the decades until 1625: "the greatest calamity ever visited upon the English Church".
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William Laud.