Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss



by John Roettier: England, ca.1680, Silver, 58 mm.
Bust of Archbishop Laud in academical cap and robes. GUIL. LAVD . ARCHIEPISC . CANTVAR . X . IAN . 1644
: Three cherubs flying to Heaven, one carrying the miter and crosier of the Archbishop, the other two following with the crown, orb and scepter of Charles I, view of London with the river Thames below. SANCTI. CAROLI. PRĂCVRSOR.
Eimer 145; MI I, 315/147; v. Loon II, 273; Weiss BW831

William Laud (1573-1645) was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633. He believed in establishing a uniform church in England in Wales where the decision making process rested largely in his hands. This autocratic governance was possible during the reign of Charles I before the country was divided by civil war.

Laud was arrested in 1640 as his Laudian reforms were at odds with the Puritans of the increasingly influential Parliamentarians, who wanted to reduce the independence that the church had from the state. Laud was arrested, tried and executed in 1645 as he was considered guilty of running a state within a state.

This medal was struck in 1680 to commemorate Laud at a time when many of the ecclesiastical reforms of the Commonwealth had been reversed; he was seen as someone who had suffered in the cause of the Church and of royalty.