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Collection Level Description: Laudian Collection

Reference: MSS. Laud Gr. 1-93; Laud Lat. 1-118; Laud Misc. 1-761
Title: Laudian Collection
Dates of Creation: 7th-17th century
Extent: 972 shelfmarks
Name of Creator: Laud, William (1573-1645) Archbishop of Canterbury

Language of Material: Latin, Ancient Greek, Modern Greek, English

Administrative/Biographical History

Archbishop William Laud was born on 7 October 1573, the son of a clothier at Reading. He matriculated at St. John's college, Oxford, in 1589, four years after became Fellow, and was President from 1611 to 1621, when he became bishop of St. Davids. His greater promotions came from Charles I, the bishopric of London in 1628, the archbishopric of Canterbury in 1633. As Chancellor of the University from 12 April 1629 to 28 June 1641, he took an active part in its reform and regulation, especially in the preparation of the Laudian Code of Statutes (1636), under which the University lived until 1854. In December 1640 the House of Commons impeached him for treason, but his actual trial did not begin till 12 March 1644, and on 10 January 1645 he was beheaded on Tower Hill in London. Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Scope and Content

Manuscripts collected by William Laud, consisting of Greek, Latin and miscellaneous manuscripts. The collection includes sermons; manuscripts relating to the Bible, theology, Saint Anselm, and Saint Augustine; and four volumes relating to Ireland and Irish affairs collected out of Sir Robert Cotton's library and elsewhere, by Sir George Carew, afterwards Earl of Totnes, and President of the Province of Munster, 17th century.

Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the manuscripts was given to the Library by Laud, 1635-41. MSS. Laud misc. 587 and 729 were given to the Library in the 18th century. MS. Laud misc. 760 was bought in 1910 and MS. Laud misc. 761 was bought in 1912.

Access Conditions

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Further Information

Finding Aids

Full descriptions, in Latin, are in Henry O. Coxe, Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae pars prima recensionem codicum Graecorum continens (Oxford, 1853; reprinted with corrections, 1969) and Henry O. Coxe, Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae pars secunda codices Latinos et Miscellaneous Laudianos complectens (Oxford, 1885, reprinted in 1973, with numerous corrections and additions, and an historical introduction by R.W. Hunt).

Brief one-line descriptions, with shelfmarks and short titles, are in Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. II, nos. 300-1601, vol. V, nos. 30592-3, vol. VI, nos. 35185 and 35597.

The illuminated Greek manuscripts in this collection are described in detail in I. Hutter, Corpus der Byzantinischen Miniaturenhandschriften. Oxford Bodleian Library, 4 vols. (Stuttgart, 1977-82), and the illuminated Latin and vernacular manuscripts are briefly described in O. Pächt and J.J.G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1966-73); with an unpublished supplement containing a concordance of shelfmarks and addenda (1974).

Access Points


Manuscripts, Greek

Manuscripts, Latin



Anselm | 1033-1109 | Saint, Archbishop of Canterbury

Augustine | d 604 | Saint, first Archbishop of Canterbury

Carew | George | 1555-1629 | Earl of Totnes | statesman

Laud | William | 1573-1645 | Archbishop of Canterbury


Contact Information
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Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk 26 October 2012