Forward, Nicholas Robert Charles (2012)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Archbishop William Laud was arrested on 18 December 1640, and specific treason charges were brought forward early in 1641. However he did not stand trial until 1644. This study aims to assess the charges; consider the reasons for the significant delay between the arrest and trial; review the law of treason pertaining at the time and how this was applied to Laud; analyse the condemnatory and often vindictive views of Laud within the public sphere as reflected in the pamphlets and newsbooks of the period; and assess in detail the trial itself. Along with Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford, Laud was a principle counsellor to the king and a major hate figure for parliament who considered the two men responsible for leading the king astray during the period of the personal rule. Strafford’s trial, however, has been comprehensively studied, whereas the trial of Laud has not received the attention from historians that might have been expected. This study intends to demonstrate that Laud received a thorough trial which reflected parliament’s resolve that it could administer justice in accordance with the procedures of the time, despite the on-going conflict with the king.
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