The Most Rev. William Laud
(1573-1645)

Dean of Gloucester (1616-1621) and Archbishop of Canterbury (from 1633)

Died aged c. 72

William Laud, 7 October 1573 to 10 January 1645, was a priest in the Church of England, appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by Charles I in 1633. A key advocate of Charles' religious reforms, he was arrested by Parliament in 1640, and executed towards the end of the First English Civil War in January 1645. A firm believer in Episcopalianism, or rule by bishops, 'Laudianism' refers to liturgical practices designed to enforce uniformity within the Church of England, as outlined by Charles. Often highly ritualistic, these were precursors to what are now known as High Church views. In theology, Laud was accused of Arminianism, covertly favouring Roman Catholic doctrines, and opposing Calvinism. On all three grounds, he was regarded by Puritan clerics and laymen as a formidable and dangerous opponent. His use of the Star Chamber to persecute opponents like William Prynne made him deeply unpopular. Laud favoured scholars, was a major collector of manuscripts, and pursued ecumenical contacts with the Greek Orthodox Church. The pun "give great praise to the Lord, and little Laud to the devil" is a joke attributed to Archibald Armstrong, Charles' court jester; Laud was known to be touchy about his diminutive stature.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

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In this building, which incorporates a 12C Abbot's Lodging lived William Laud, Dean of Gloucester 1616-21, later to be Archbishop of Canterbury, accused of treason and beheaded on Tower Hill.

Church House - College Green, Gloucester, United Kingdom where they lived (1616-1621)