CHADERTON, LAURENCE (?1536–1640), Puritan divine, was born at Lees Hall, in the parish of Oldham, Lancashire, probably in September 1536, being the second son of Edmund Chaderton, a gentleman of an ancient and wealthy family, and a zealous Catholic. Under the tuition of Laurence Vaux, a priest, he became an able scholar. In 1564 he entered Christ’s College, Cambridge, where, after a short time, he formally adopted the reformed doctrines and was in consequence disinherited by his father. In 1567 he was elected a fellow of his college, and subsequently was chosen lecturer of St Clement’s church, Cambridge, where he preached to admiring audiences for many years. He was a man of moderate views, though numbering among his friends extremists like Cartwright and Perkins. So great was his reputation that when Sir Walter Mildmay founded Emmanuel College in 1584 he chose Chaderton for the first master, and on his expressing some reluctance, declared that if he would not accept the office the foundation should not go on. In 1604 Chaderton was appointed one of the four divines for managing the cause of the Puritans at the Hampton Court conference; and he was also one of the translators of the Bible. In 1578 he had taken the degree of B.D., and in 1613 he was created D.D. At this period he made provision for twelve fellows and above forty scholars in Emmanuel College. Fearing that he might have a successor who held Arminian doctrines, he resigned the mastership in favour of John Preston, but survived him, and lived also to see the college presided over successively by William Sancroft (or Sandcroft) and Richard Holdsworth. He died on the 13th of November 1640 at the age of about 103, preserving his bodily and mental faculties to the end.
Chaderton published a sermon preached at St Paul’s Cross about 1580, and a treatise of his On Justification was printed by Anthony Thysius, professor of divinity at Leiden. Some other works by him on theological subjects remain in manuscript.