The controversial archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Church of England, William Laud, is beheaded. An enemy and persecutor of the Puritans and a staunch defender of the "divine right of kings", he found himself on the wrong side of history when the Puritan revolution began in the 1640s.
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Personal Postscript — I have trouble understanding why human beings have always been so murderous. As a case on point, the fate of William Laud baffles and horrifies me. I might understand (but would never condone) his fate if I better understood 17th century English history. However, in the big picture of things, I remain convinced that religion and politics should never be mixed.