History of the Rebellion

Date: 1859

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Characters and Episodes of the Great Rebellion



Archbishop Laud


It was within one week after the king’s return from Scotland, that Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury, died at his house at Lambeth. And the king took very little time to consider who should be his successor, but the next time the bishop of London came to him, his Majesty greeted him very cheerfully with the words, "My lord’s grace of Canterbury, you are very welcome," and gave orders the same day for the dispatch of all the necessary forms for the translation. Within a month or thereabouts after the death of the other archbishop, he was completely invested in that high dignity, and settled in his palace at Lambeth. This great prelate had been before in high favor with the duke of Buckingham, whose confidant he was, and by him recommended to the king, as fittest to be trusted in conferring all ecclesiastical preferments, when he was but bishop of St. David’s, or newly preferred to Bath and Wells; and from that time he entirely governed that province without a rival, so that his promotion to Canterbury was long foreseen and expected; nor was it attended with any increase of envy or dislike.

He was a man of great parts, and very exemplary virtues, allayed and discredited by some unpopular natural infirmities; the greatest of which was (besides a hasty, sharp way of expressing himself) that he believed innocence of heart and integrity of manners formed a guard strong enough to secure any man in his voyage through this world, in what company soever he traveled and through what ways soever he was to pass; and surely never any man was better supplied with that provision.

He was born of honest parents, who were well able to provide for his education in the schools of learning, whence they sent him to St. John’s College in Oxford, the worst endowed at that time of any in that famous university. From a scholar he became a fellow, and then the president of that college, after he had received all the graces and degrees (the proctorship and the doctorship) which could be obtained there. He was always maligned and persecuted by those who were of the Calvinistic faction, which was then very powerful, and who, according to their useful maxim and practice, call every man they do not love, papist. Under this senseless appellation they created for him many troubles and vexations; and so far suppressed him, that, though he was the king’s chaplain, and taken notice of for an excellent preacher and a scholar of the most sublime parts, he had not any preferment to invite him to leave his poor college, which only gave him bread, till the vigor of his age was past. When he was promoted by King James, it was but to a poor bishopric in Wales, which was not so good a support for a bishop, as his college was for a private scholar, though a doctor.

Parliaments at that time were frequent, and grew very busy; and the party under which he had suffered a continual persecution appeared very powerful, and they who had the courage to oppose them began to be taken notice of with approbation and countenance. In this way he came to be first cherished by the duke of Buckingham, after the latter had made some experiments of the temper and spirit of the other people, not at all to his satisfaction. From this time he prospered at the rate of his own wishes, and being transplanted out of his cold barren diocese of St. David’s, into a warmer climate, he was left, as was said before, by that omnipotent favorite in that great trust with the king, who was sufficiently indisposed toward the persons or the principles of Mr. Calvin’s disciples.

When he came into great authority, it may be that he retained too keen a memory of those who had so unjustly and uncharitably persecuted him before; and, I doubt, was so far transported with the same passions he had reason to complain of in his adversaries, that, as they accused him of popery, because he had some doctrinal opinions which they liked not, though they were in no way allied to popery; so he entertained too much prejudice to some persons, as if they were enemies to the discipline of the Church, because they concurred with Calvin in some doctrinal points.

1 , by Edward, Earl of Clarendon. 7 vols. Oxford, 1859. University Press.

2 Clarendon, , vol. i, pp. 126#8211;129.


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Chicago: "Archbishop Laud," History of the Rebellion in Readings in Modern European History, ed. Webster, Hutton (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1926), 2–3. Original Sources, accessed December 6, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=M17RFCTL65U67L2.

MLA: . "Archbishop Laud." History of the Rebellion, Vol. i, in Readings in Modern European History, edited by Webster, Hutton, Boston, D.C. Heath, 1926, pp. 2–3. Original Sources. 6 Dec. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=M17RFCTL65U67L2.

Harvard: , 'Archbishop Laud' in History of the Rebellion. cited in 1926, Readings in Modern European History, ed. , D.C. Heath, Boston, pp.2–3. Original Sources, retrieved 6 December 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=M17RFCTL65U67L2.