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Archbishop William Laud and the salvation of the Charterhouse

30 January 2015


From Dr James Thomson

Sir, - When guiding at Lambeth Palace, I always pause in the Guard Room at the portrait of Archbishop William Laud, painted in 1633 by the studio of Anthony Van Dyck. I have considerable regard for Laud and what he tried to achieve. It was, therefore, good that the Church Times carried an article about him by the Revd Adrian Leak (Faith) the day before the Church commem­orates the anniversary of his violent death on 10 January 1645.

I am ashamed to say that I was un­­aware that when Laud was a Governor of Sutton's Hospital in Charterhouse, just to the north of the City of London, he stood up to the Duke of Bucking­ham, who was keen to close the Hospital.

Fr Leak indicates that pupils at Charterhouse School have reason to be grateful to Laud. When Thomas Sutton founded his Hospital, it was for 80 elderly men and only 40 poor boys. The School moved to Godalming in 1872, but the elderly men continued to be cared for on the original site. They, too, will also be grateful to the unfortunate Laud.

James P. S. Thomson
31st Master of the Charterhouse,  2001-12
15 Nelson Terrace, London N1 8DG

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