William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1645 | For All the Saints

Elevated to the see of Canterbury in 1633, William Laud had already been King Charles’ principal ecclesiastical adviser for several years…

Source: William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1645 | For All the Saints

“Laud’s reputation remains controversial to this day. Honored as a martyr and condemned as an intolerant bigot, he was compassionate in his defense of the rights of the common people against the landowners. He was honest, devout, loyal to the king and to the rights and privileges of the Church of England. He tried to reform and protect the Church in accordance with his convictions – though these attempts at reform were marred by his treatment of those who strenuously disagreed with him theologically and liturgically. In many ways he was out of step with the views of the majority of his countrymen, especially in his espousal of royal Stuart views of the ‘Divine Rights of Kings.’ The historian Nicholas Tyacke rates Laud as one of the greatest of the Archbishops of Canterbury, not giving him complete approval, but recognizing that his contribution to the future of the English Church was of major importance.”