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This Great Firebrand : William Laud and Scotland, 1617-1645 (Vol 36) (Hardcover) (Leonie James)
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William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury (1633-45), remains one of the most controversial figures in British ecclesiastical and political history. His rise to prominence under Charles I, his contribution to the framing and implementation of highly contentious religious policies, and his subsequent and catastrophic downfall remain central to our understanding of the coming of civil war. This book presents Scotland as a case study for a fresh interpretation of Laud, his career and his working partnership with Charles I. This approach throws much needed light on the depth of Laud's engagement in kirk affairs and reveals the real reasons for his ostensible abandonment by the king in 1641, enabling a better understanding of Anglo-Scottish politics in the early Long Parliament as well as developments connected to religion and the 'British Problem'. Importantly, the book demonstrates that Laud's involvement in Scotland was broadly consistent with, although differing in detail from, his approach in England and Ireland. It represents a major contribution to key debates on the nature of religion and politics in the 1630s and early 1640s and to current thinking on the role of Charles I and William Laud in the formulation of ecclesiastical policy, the 'British problem', and the causes of the British Civil Wars. LEONIE JAMES is Lecturer in History at the University of Kent, Canterbury.