William Chillingworth, 1602–44, English theologian. He was converted to Roman Catholicism and in 1630 went to Douai to study. Under the influence of his godfather, William Laud, he abjured that faith in 1634, and took holy orders (1638) in the Church of England. In 1638 he published The Religion of Protestants a Safe Way to Salvation, a defense of the Protestant view that the Bible is the sole authority in matters of religion and that the right of interpretation is reserved to the individual. He served as chaplain in the king's army in the civil war, was taken prisoner (1643), and died in detention.
See study by R. R. Orr (1967).