William LaudWilliam Laud (7 October 1573 – 10 January 1645) was an English churchman, appointed Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 during the personal rule of Charles I. Arrested in 1640, he was executed in 1645.
In matters of church polity, Laud was autocratic. Laudianism refers to a collection of rules on matters of ritual, in particular, that were enforced by Laud in order to maintain uniform worship in England and Wales, in line with the king's preferences. They were precursors to later High Church views. In theology, Laud was accused of being an Arminian and opponent of Calvinism, as well as covertly favouring Roman Catholic doctrines (see Arminianism in the Church of England). On all three grounds, he was regarded by Puritan clerics and laymen as a formidable and dangerous opponent.
Laud favoured scholars, and was a major collector of manuscripts. He pursued ecumenical contacts with the Greek Orthodox Church.
The pun "give great praise to the Lord, and little Laud to the devil" is a warning to King Charles attributed to Archibald Armstrong, the official court jester. Laud was known to be touchy about his diminutive stature. Provided by Wikipedia