- David Walker
Rudd, Anthony (1548/9–1615), bishop of St David's, was born in Yorkshire before 9 June 1549. He was admitted socius minor at Trinity College, Cambridge, on 6 September 1569, and socius major on 7 April 1570. He graduated BA (1566–7), MA (1570), and BTh (1577), and incorporated in that degree at Oxford on 9 July the same year. He proceeded DTh at Cambridge in 1583. At an unknown date, he married Anne Dalton; three sons, Anthony, Robert, and Richard, survived.
After a brief stay at Shudy Camps, Cambridgeshire, Rudd was rector of Stathern, Leicestershire (1579–84); and on 10 January 1584 he was installed as dean of Gloucester, an office he held until his appointment as bishop of St David's. He was consecrated by Archbishop Whitgift at Lambeth on 9 June 1594, when his age was stated to be forty-five, and installed at St David's on 24 July 1594. He was 'A most excellent preacher, whose sermons were very acceptable to Queen Elizabeth'; and the queen on one occasion, after hearing him preach, 'commanded Archbishop Whitgift to signifie unto him that he should be his successor' (Fuller, 10.68–9). An invitation to preach for the queen in 1596 was a prelude to disaster, however. Whitgift, thought to be 'too mortified a man intentionally to lay a train to blow up this archbishop-designed', advised Rudd that the queen 'preferred plain sermons, which came home to her heart'. Choosing the text 'O teach us to number our days that we may incline our hearts unto wisdom', he 'touched on the Infirmities of Age' and bade the queen note 'how Age had furrowed her face and besprinkled her hair with its meal' (ibid., 10.69). Elizabeth declared that 'he should have kept his arithmetic to himself' and said roundly 'I see that the greatest clerks are not the wisest men' (Neale, 220). The prospect of Canterbury disappeared.
Rudd was a conscientious bishop. In his administration of the diocese he 'wrought much on the Welsh by his wisdom and won their affection' (Fuller, 10.69). On his arrival he found the bishop's palaces ruined and decayed and not fit for a bishop to use. He took part in the Hampton Court conference in 1604 and showed some sympathy for the moderate views expressed by Reynolds. Rudd opposed the oath framed against simony in the convocation of 1604, arguing that patron and clerk should both take it. On occasion, he supplied the government with information on the recusants in his diocese.
In his will, dated 25 January 1615, Rudd made many charitable bequests. He died aged sixty-six on 7 March 1615 and was buried at Llangathen church, Carmarthenshire, 'in which parish he had purchased a good estate and built a handsome seat (with a very decent chapel with a curious pulpit, ornamented with painted glass) called Aberglasney' (Yardley, 103). His wife, Anne, survived him. The estate continued in the family until 1701.
- tomb, Llangathen church, Wales