LAUD, WILLIAM, Archbishop of Canterbury, was the son of a clothier in good cir cumstances, and was b. at Reading, in Berkshire, Oct. 7,1573. He entered St. John's college, Oxford, in 1589, became a fellow in 1593, and took his degree of M.A. in 1593. Ordained a priest in 1601, he soon made himself conspicuous ar the university by his antipathy to Puritanism; but being then a person of very little consequence, he only succeeded in exciting displeasure against himself. Yet his learning, his persistent. and definite ecclesiasticism, and the genuine unselfishness of his devotion to the church; soon won him both'friends and patrons. • In 1607 he was preferred to the vicarage of Stan ford in Northamptonshire, and in 1608 obtained the advowson of North Kilworth 'in Leicestershire. In both of these livings he showed himself an exemplary clergyman according to the high-church pattern—zealous in repairing the parsonage-houses, and liberal in maintaining the poor. In 1609 he was appointed rector of West Tilbury, in Essex; in 1611—in spite of strong opposition—president of St. John's college; in 1614 prebendary of Lincoln; and in 1615 archdeacon of Huntingdon. King James now began to recognize what sort of a man Laud was, and to see that he might rely on him as a valuable ally in carrying out the notions of the "divine right." Not that their :tints were quite identical—James was chiefly anxious to maintain the absolute authority of the sovereign, mad Laud the absolute authority of episcopacy. In 1617 Laud accom panied his majesty to Scotland, with the view of introducing episcopacy into the church government of that country; but the attempt failed. In 1621 he was consecrated bishop of St. Davids. After the accession of Charles I. he was translated from the see of St. Davids to that of Bath and Wells, became high in favor at court, was More than ever hated by the Puritans, and was denounced in parliament. In 1628 he was made bishop of London. After the assassination of Buckingham (q.v.), Laud became virtually the chief minister of Charles, and acted in a manner so utterly.opposed to the spirit of the times and to the opinions of the great body of Puritans in England, that one might have foreseen his ruin to be inevitable, iu spite of the royal favor. In 1630 he was chosen chancellor of the university of Oxford, the center of high-church loyalty. From this period he was for several years busily but fruitlessly employed in repressing Puritan ism. The means adopted were not only unchristian, but even detestable. Cropping the ears, slitting the nose, branding the forehead, fines, imprisonments, are not at.any time satisfactory methods of defending a religious system, but in the then temper of the Eng lish nation they were in the last degree weak and foolish. In the high-commission and star-chamber courts, the influence of Laud was supreme; but the penalty he pdid for this influence was the hatred of the English parliament and of the people generally.' In
1633 he was raised to the archbishopric i)f Canterbury, and in the same year made chancellor of the university of Dublin. The famous ordinance regarding Sunday sports; which was published about this time by royal command, was believed to be drawn up by Laud, and greatly increased the dislike felt towards him by the Puritans. His minute alterations in public worship, his regulations about the proper position of the altar and the fencing of it with decent rails, his forcing Dutch and Walloon congregations to use the English liturgy, and all Englishmen to attend the parish churches where they resided, display a petty intellect and an intolerant spirit; as other of his actions indicate that there lurked in his small obstinate nature no inconsiderable amount of cruelty and Still, it must be confessed that in the long run, Laud's ritualism has triumphed. The church of England was gradually penetrated with his spirit, and the high value which she has come to put on religious ceremonies is partly owing to the pertinacious efforts of the archbishop. This influence, in short, has hindered her from becoming as doctrinal and Calvinistic as her articles would logically necessitate. During 1635-37, another effort was made by him to establish episcopacy in Scotland ; but the first attempt to read the liturgy in St. 'Giles's church, Edinburgh, excited a dangerous tumult. Pro ceedings were finally taken against him, and on Mar. 1, 1640-41, he was, by order of the house of commons, conveyed to the Tower. After being stripped of his honors, and exposed to many indignities and much injustice, he was finally brought to trial before the house of lords, Nov. 13, 1643, on a charge of treason and other crimes. The lords, however, did not find him guilty; but the commons had previously resolved on his death, and passed an ordinance for his execution. To this the upper house gave its assent; and in spite of Latid's producing a royal pardon, he was—undoubtedly in violation of express.statute, and by the exercise of a prerogative of parliament as arbi trary as any king had ever exhibited—beheaded, Jan. 10, 1644 15. Laud had a genuine regard for learning—at least ecclesiastical learning—and enriched the university of Oxford, in the course of his life, with 1300 MSS. in different European and oriental languages; hut his exclusive sacerdotalism, his inability to understand his fellow-cres• lures, and his consequent disregard for their rights, forbid its to admire his character, though we pity his fate. His writings are few. Wharton published his DifIry in 1694; and during 1857-60, Parker, the Oxford publisher, isned The Works of the Most Reverend Father in God, William Laud, D.D., sometime Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, containing, among other things, his letters and miscellaneous papers, some of them not before puldished, and, like his Diary, of great value in helping us to form an adequate conception of the man and his time.