Laud, William, Archbishop of Canterbury (1573 -1645)
William Laud was born on 7 October 1573, the only son of William Laud, clothier of Reading, and Lucy Webbe, widow of John Robinson. He was educated at the borough school of Reading and St John's College, Oxford, where he matriculated 17 October 1589, Fellow 1593, B.A. 1594, M.A. 1598, and D.D. in 1608. He was ordained deacon 4 January 1601 and priest on 5 April of the same year. He rose rapidly in the Church, becoming Dean of Gloucester in 1616, and Bishop of St David's in 1621. Under Charles I he became very powerful and was translated to the see of London in 1621 and to the Primacy in 1633. In 1641 he was impeached for high treason, tried in 1644 and executed 10 January 1645. He bequeathed to the Bodleian Library all his Greek manuscripts not otherwise disposed of, all his oriental manuscripts, and all such Hebrew printed books as were not already in the library. His whole library, numbering some 8,000 volumes, was delivered to the Bodleian Library by his executors in 1659.