William Laud was born in Reading in Berkshire on 7th October 1573. He was appointed as the Archbishop of Canterbury during the personal rule of Charles I.
He was –
First Lord of the Treasury – 1635–1636
Dean of Gloucester – 1616–1621
Bishop of St David’s – 1621–1626
Bishop of Bath and Wells – 1626–1628
Bishop of London – 1628–1633
Archbishop of Canterbury – 1633–1645
Chancellor of the University of Oxford – 1630–1641
President of St John’s College, Oxford – 1611–1621 (this was his old college and the scene of his burial and the east range of the Canterbury Quadrangle there is depicted in the background of his window by A. K. Nicholson at Chester Cathedral)
Chancellor of the University of Dublin – 1633–1645.
He was arrested in 1640 and imprisoned in the Tower of London. He was tried for treason in 1644 and was executed by being beheaded at Tower Hill on 10th January 1645 at the age of 71.
He is recorded to have owned two pets one a tortoise and the other a cat from Smyrna (seen depcited in his window at Chester Cathedral) gifted to him by Lady Roe who was the daughter of his first patron, Sir Thomas Cave of Stanford, Northants she brought it on her return from the east.