MORE WORKS ON DUELLING

One of the more curious books held in the Lambeth Palace Library collection is entitled ‘The only approved guide through all the stages of a quarrel: containing the royal code of honor; reflections upon duelling; and the outline of a court for the adjustment of disputes (ref: C51.6/H18)  by Joseph Hamilton, published in 1829.

Title

Here, writing at the height of private duelling, Hamilton’s intent is to show not only the danger and lethality of the practice but also to coach a ‘gentleman’ in how to avoid being challenged and how to de-escalate the conflict if a challenge is issued. His overriding concern is private duels and how to not only comport oneself but how to change their public perception. Whilst by this time the view on legal or judicial duelling had changed, it being banned in England in 1810, private duelling was still widely practised. Even though it was legally considered murder if someone died, the courts rarely sought prosecutions. On page 34, for example, Hamilton refers to the work by James Gilchrist, ‘A Brief Display of the Origins and History of Ordeals’, who recounts 172 duels, with 63 people killed and 96 wounded. Of these only 18 survivors of these duels were sentenced in any way (this ranged from a shilling fine and 12 months in Newgate to transportation to Botany Bay for 14 years).[1]  Hamilton’s book lists the various forms of challenges that people made, as well as the reasons, and the response. He explains the rules of engagement or how to comport oneself as well as the role of seconds and observers, noting all the time the dreadful dangers that such people expose themselves to. The book is probably even more useful in the lists and examples that it provides of violations of these rules; people whom the author says act without honour, but one suspects are acting out quite common behaviour.

Introduction

Before we come to the duels in the book it should be said that the introduction is a quite spectacular example of one of my favourite bits of early modern publishing. This being the deep unease, although less so than earlier periods, of being seen to publish a work for money. It may have been acceptable for hacks but it was not something a gentleman did. And so the book starts with a long winded justification for his desire to produce a code for duelling, his extensive submissions of the manuscript to the finest literary, political, and military characters of the age, and only after being assured of the approbation was he moved to publish.

The author of the book is very much set against the practice of duelling and having failed in attempts to ban the practice he is set in this book to try to limit or soften the outcome. The society in which he lived was, according to this work, one in which a gentleman might, for the slightest offence, be challenged to a deadly combat. He writes quoting a London editor that ‘Duels have become so common that we cease almost to hear of their immediate causes’ continuing ‘it is deemed by those who record passing occurrences, quite sufficient to say, that a meeting took place between two gentlemen’. Whilst one is tempted to accuse the writer of hyperbole – the book is by its nature polemical – between 1785-1800 there are surviving accounts of 206 duels in London alone.[2] This only accounts for those mentioned in the relevant pamphlet literature and only those in London. Many took place in the greens outside the city so the number is by necessity higher: for example the Irishman Sir Jonah Barrington states that 227 duels were fought during one year.[3] By the 1830s these duels were still a popular pastime and it is this light that Hamilton attempts to set out a codified system in which chivalry and justice can be served whilst avoiding duels.

This is reflected in the first rule ‘No duel can be considered justifiable which can be declined with honour, therefor an appeal to arms should always be the last resort.’ Of note, this ruling is supported by the author’s claim that, because these rules have been sanctioned by the commander of the British army and a great many worthies that he quotes in the front of the book, anyone who attempts to deviate from the rules can be considered not to be a gentleman and the matter referred to a court of honour. The book continues, laying out rules for who can offer a duel; the offended party; how to apologise with dignity; who can take part. Judges, jurors, literary editors, can all refuse in order to preserve their ‘perfect independence’. It offers rules on when to resort to the law, on occasions of violence or abusive treatment. There are rules as to how to act if one gentleman ‘unfortunately assaults’ another, whereon you are meant to apologise and give the other person a stick or a horsewhip.

Many of the rules are concerned with how to pick a second and ensure that he too is a ‘gentleman of honour’ and his duty to promote reconciliation between the two parties. It is also his duty to pick the time and place, preferably close to ‘surgical assistance’ and without too many obstacles over which to carry your friend’s body. He is also responsible for rejecting an ‘extravagant proposition’ for example that the duellist should ‘fight across a table, or at handkerchiefs length or hand to hand; using daggers, knives, rifles, blunderbusses’.

By the time we reach rule 40, and there are more to come, we have moved on to how to ensure the fairness of the duel. That any advantage of ground should be decided by tossing coins, no ‘boast, trick, threat, or stratagem that may wound the feelings of the combatants’ may be used. For example, you may not wear eyeglasses unless you habitually wear them. There are rules saying that if fighting with pistols you should never fight by highways, hedges, or the ridgeway of fields as the lines can provide references for aiming making the duel more dangerous.

Finally, his rules state that you must never abandon the wounded duellist in the field without securing a proper conveyance for him as gentlemen should always leave with the same dignity as when they arrived.

Having lain out rules for duelling and attempting to limit their effect the author is then interested in showing that contrary to popular belief, engaging in duels is neither a fair nor honourable thing. It is interesting to note that whilst providing examples of humorous or polite ways people have refused duels ‘Your behaviour last night has convinced me you are a scoundrel; and your letter this morning that you are a fool. If I should accept your challenge, I should myself be both’. He still paints the picture of a violent society; the letter continues that the gentleman carries ‘a sword to prevent assassination and to chastise insolence a cane’. This is a recurring feature in these responses. Some ask to make things right and that it was never their intention to offend (page 27). Some refuse due to God and duty (page 26). But they all say how they make sure to carry a sword in order to defend themselves. The author seems to take no issue with this interestingly.

Contents

Contents2

To show the inherent unfairness and dishonourable nature of duelling, after pointing out that some people can fight and shoot much better than others, the author makes an interesting statement. ‘Duels for private quarrels were so repugnant to common sense that they were not practiced by the Greeks or Romans or other civilized nations of antiquity’. It appears that there were no duels in England until the reign of Henry VIII and it is a custom borrowed from the French. Referring back to the previous blog post on duelling regarding the book by John Selden one gets a very different view. There duelling, albeit primarily court duels, did not only have nothing to do with any French tradition being firmly Scandinavian in origin. It also had a long and proud tradition in history, particularly Greek and Roman. As was said before neither position is historically accurate and neither author would necessarily take that as a damning criticism. Apparently after all true honour has been the same in all ages and is not changeable on the fashions or opinions of mankind. Nothing ahistorical here.

The answer proposed to the difficulty of how one resolves such cases without duels is a peculiar one. Hamilton suggests that a series of ‘Courts of Honour’ should be set up throughout Europe. He offers to be the registrar of such a court, until a suitable gentleman can be found. This court would then settle all questions on the point of honour. He does go into some detail on how this system might work, who should form its ruling board, and how votes on submissions, written only, should be decided. These courts do have historical precedent and for a far more detailed study see ‘The Duel in Early Modern England: Civility, Politeness and Honour’ by Markku Peltonen. There were pamphlets written against such courts claiming that they encouraged the underlying theory of courtesy and took duelling theory seriously.[4]

Such a court, he says, should exist in every city, shire, and county town throughout the empire to prevent duels arising from trifling cases. In aid of this the final, and largest, part of the work is concerned with recounting nearly one thousand accounts of quarrels and duels. The intention is to use them as precedents in such a court and to enumerate the various causes of duels. There are too many to provide a full account here but the work is well worth reading for anyone interested in this subject matter – both as a social and cultural phenomenon that would disappear within a few decades and as an account of how people thought about their culture and history; an example of the arguments and appeals that would sway a contemporary audience.

NOTES

[1] Gilchrist, James P. 1821. ‘A Brief Display of the Origin and History of Ordeals: Trials by Battle; Courts of Chivalry or Honour; and the Decision of Private Quarrels by Single Combat: Also, a Chronological Register of the Principal Duels Fought from the Accession of His Late Majesty to the Present Time’. Printed for the Author.

[2] Shoemaker, Robert B. “The taming of the duel: masculinity, honour and ritual violence in London, 1660-1800”, ‘The Historical Journal’ 45, no. 3 (2002), pp. 525-45.

[3] Hurley, John W. 2007. ‘Shillelagh: the Irish fighting stick’. Pipersville, PA: Caravat Press.

[4] Peltonen, Markku. 2006. ‘The duel in early modern England: civility, politeness and honour’. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

John Selden on duelling

There have been many books written over the years regarding the art of duelling and fencing, from the Walpurgis manuscript circa 1300, now held at the Royal Armouries, Leeds, through to 19th and 20th century treatises detailing its evolution into the more familiar sport. Held within the printed books collection at Lambeth Palace Library are a series of pamphlets and books purporting to inform the reader about the correct way of managing oneself in a duel, the correct form, and its long history. Here we shall look at one of the earliest, published in 1610. This is a rich and interesting subject and one well served by the vibrant and eclectic collection held at Lambeth Palace Library.

(P)45.C 13.04 title page

The duello or single combat from antiquitie deriued into this kingdome of England, with seuerall kindes, and ceremonious formes thereof from good authority described [reference: (P)45.C 13.04] concerns itself not only with the correct forms and approach to duelling but also its history. Written, according to the introduction, in 1610 by John Selden and reprinted by William Bray, this book aims to tell the history of duelling and its proud tradition. Its author, John Selden, was a well-known lawyer and historian and was heavily involved with, if not fully supportive of, the Parliamentarians during the Civil War. Interestingly enough he was appointed to take control of the clerks and keeper of the records in the Tower during the Interregnum and was instrumental in creating what we now know as the Parliamentary Archives.  In this work Selden balances his work between legal duels, that being duels to decide legal matters, and private duels, that being matters of honour or quarrels. He was interested in their history, provenance and evolution. He was writing at a time when judicial duels were still part of proceedings and the procedures of the criminal appeal were still supported by a ‘wager of battle’. Indeed, a judicial duel in 1631 was only stopped from going ahead by Charles I.[1]

In this book, as in others, appeals are made to ideas of honour and antiquity. Throughout Selden’s book the duel is presented as not only a right but a sensible and logical way to solve cases and disputes. He argued that due to its finality and clear outcome it is preferable in the most serious situations. As a result, much of the text is concerned with the question of intricate legalities and precedents.

(P)45.C 13.04 preface.jpg

That being said, attempting to read this work as an accurate description of the descent of duelling, or an accurate account of its historic evolution, is akin to reading Livy, Saxo or Herodotus. Some of what he says is somewhat historically accurate, but it is probably by mistake. The purpose of this history is to support his argument, through references to antiquity and the Bible. See for example the influence of French law on the development of English duelling; there was, according to Selden, none – it was derived from the Normans and hence Scandinavia. This is of course entirely inaccurate. As an amusing aside, this insistence on a distinctly English and manly or worthy style of combat can be seen throughout English writing of this time; see for a particularly pertinent example the fencing manuals of George Silver.

The exact manner of this legal duel is laid out in the book. Once both parties have agreed to the duel a surety is given: ‘Defendants for performing his defence by his body’ and ‘Appellants for deraigning [arranging] the battell’. Once the appointed day arrives they ‘arraying themselues in conuenient armes’ [dress themselves appropriately]. To ensure that both parties attend ‘the Defendant [has been] continually remayning [remaining] in safe custody’. The combatants take each other’s hand and recite:
This heare you whome I holde by the hand, which say you are called by the Christian name of Iohn that I Peter such a yeare, such a day and place, (as is expressed in the Appeale) did not feloniously cause, nor compasse the death (if the appeale bee of murder) of Thomas your father (brother, or &c.) nor did to this felony assent as you haue before supposed, so GOD shall mee helpe and the Saintes.

To which the Appellant replies:
This heare you whome I hold by the hand, which say you are called by the Christian name of Peter that you are forsworne, and therefore for sworne, because such a yeare, such a day, and in such a place, you did felloniously with mallice prepensed, with such a kinde of weapon giue a deadly wound in such a place of the body of Thomas my father, whereby hee dyed within one houre after as I haue before said against you, so helpe mee God and the Saintes.

As you can see there is a certain formality and form attached to this; there is a clear statement of what happened, to who, and how. Of note if the loser of the duel survived in addition to being judged guilty of the crime they were also considered guilty of perjury.[2]  Following this the combatants are detained and forbidden from speaking to one another until the combat.

Click here for a 14th-century image from the Brabant Chronicle, showing two men duelling. The work of Hans Talhoffer also gives an idea of how combatants may have dressed, for example solo longshield or duel between a man and a woman.

When it comes to the main event, Selden has us put aside images of knights in armour or the interchange of blades. “They are to fight, saith Britton, their heades vncouered, handes and feete naked, with two bastons tipt with horne of one length, and euery of them a quadranguler shield without other weapon”.

Early trials by combat did indeed allowed a variety of weapons, particularly for knights. This seems to have been the preferred choice, particularly for commoners or lower orders. They were allowed a rectangular leather shield and could be armed with a suit of leather armour, bare to the knees and elbows and covered by a red surcoat of a light type of silk called sendal. This took place on a designated duelling ground that was typically sixty feet square. The combat was to begin before noon and be concluded before sunset.

In practice, each of the parties facing trial by combat was assisted by a second, often referred to as a squire. The role of the squires was to attend the battle and to arrange the particulars of the ceremony. Over time, squires would meet and resolve the disputes during negotiations over combat. Ample time was made for this by creating a process for checking the saddle and bridle of horses for prayer scrolls and enchantments (it is worth noting here that he is speaking of historical practice; however, for a Puritan Selden shows a remarkable lack of issue with the more talismanic aspects of Christianity) and requiring litigants to exchange gloves  and sometimes to go to separate churches and give five pence to the church.

The fullest account of a duel that appears in the book is that of John of Ansley, Knight, against  Thomas Catrington, Esquire, of Treason, viz. ‘that hee for a great sum of mony yeelded vp the Castle of S. Sauiours in the Isle of Constantine in France to the French, when as hee might well haue defended it, hauing sufficient of all prouision’. We are told that a day was appointed, and the duel was to take place at Westminster.

‘An exceeding conflux of people was from all parts of the kingdom. A little time after [the accusers enters the square], the defendant is thus demanded. Thomas of Catrington defendant, appeare to defend thy cause, for which Sir Iohn of Ansley Knight and appellant hath publiquely & in writing appealed thee. and thus thrise by an Herehault [herald]. At the third proclamation, the Esquire appeares mounted on a steed [bearing the arms of Thomas, who, when hee approached the lists, dismounted himself. The Esquire entring the lists on foote, the constable & Marshall produce a certaine Indenture made before them, by consent of the parties, conteining the articles of the accusation, which were there publiquely read. Catrington began to offer exception at some of them, thereby thinking to haue some-what extenuated the blottes [stains] laide on him. But the Duke of Lancaster seeing him in delayes, with an oath openly menaced him, that vnlesse according to the Duello-lawes hee would admitte all in the indenture, which was drawne by his assent, as free from beeing taxt for insufficiency of forme, hee should bee presently drawne and hanged as a traitor. Wherevpon the Squire ceased from his exceptions, and entended onely the Combat. Sir Iohn Ansley, and after him this Catrington, tooke oath of the truth of his cause, that hee was free from all vse of Art Magique, that he did not carry with him any hearbe, stone, or other kinde of experiment of Witchcraft, as hoping thereby for victory. The Combat it selfe followes betweene them. First Launces, then Swords, afterwards Fauchions are their weapons. The Squire had still the worst, euen untill Ansley, although with some hazard and doubt, got the adiudged victory.’

Following this is a description of the roles of judges, constables and marshals and their place in antiquity. Again, there is more interest here in accounting and providing precedent for their use than any real historical inquiry.

This is accompanied by detailed descriptions of how private suits might result in a judicial duel largely revolving around rights of inheritance and land possession. This is a much shorter section discussing briefly the manner of the fights and the ceremony surrounding them.

This work of Selden was written at a very interesting time. Over the next few decades all of the old certainties of the previous generations would be overthrown. It is very much a work looking backwards not only in its subject matter but in its approach to history. Much of the work quotes from Geoffrey of Monmouth and presents a fanciful history of an ahistorical past. The practice of duelling, specifically judicial duelling, was very rare when this book was written, although it was not taken off the books until the 1800s. The work captures a view, possibly a nostalgia, for a simple time.

Click here to see a historical recreation from the pages of Hans Talhoffer showing a judicial duel between a man and a woman from the 15th century.

NOTES

[1] Toomer, G. J. John Selden : A Life in Scholarship. Oxford-Warburg Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
[2] Low, Jennifer A. Manhood and the Duel : Masculinity in Early Modern Drama and Culture. Early Modern Cultural Studies. New York ; Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Coming to a Close

The latest blog post comes from Alexandra Wade (Preservation Project Assistant), who tells us about the conservation work that has been carried out on Lambeth Palace Library’s manuscript collection over the past 18 months.

In May of 2017 I joined the conservation team at Lambeth Palace Library as a Preservation Project Assistant. I was assigned to a specific project to clean and box 590 volumes in the early manuscript sequence; a project funded by the National Manuscript Conservation Trust (NMCT).

“In 2013 a cataloguing project funded by the Library Trustees completed in 2013, prompted a closer look at the collections condition and storage as well as promoted further use of this material. It was decided that a clean and re-boxing program was needed to protect and preserve the collection from environmental and handling damage as well as prepare the material for the move to the new library building in 2020.

MS 466

The binding of MS 466 

The early part of the manuscripts sequence contains a number of volumes from the Augustinian priory of Llantony, and they include such treasures as an Anglo-Saxon glossed psalter from the early 11th century (MS 427). Consequently, they are among the most important part of the holdings and a central resource for those using the Library’s reading room and other public services. They also form the subject of requests for loans to exhibitions, such as MS 306, a collection of 15th/16th century chronicles once owned by the antiquary John Stow, which was lent to Palace Green Library, Durham, for the ‘Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt’ exhibition in 2015.”[1]

The overall focus was to undertake a programme of condition checking, cleaning and protecting.  This started with: a quick survey to identify initial conservation issues, which led on to mechanically dry cleaning each manuscript; whilst collecting any fragments including debris in the gutters; and to create a bespoke phase box.

MS 253

Ingress dirt within MS 253

Most of the collection is parchment which is often very susceptible to moisture. The material can expand in damp conditions rapidly and dramatically and we were keen to avoid this issue. By choosing a dry mechanical cleaning method we were able to remove the dust but add no dry or wet particulates to the original material.  A smoke sponge was used; originally developed for removing fire damage and soot from a wide range of materials; it is now a staple in conservation studios. Preservation Equipment Limited describes it as: “made of either vulcanized natural rubber, or our synthetic latex free material.”[2] The sponge is made with very tightly packed air bubbles throughout. When one puts pressure on the sponge when holding it, it creates a slight vacuum, sucking material and debris up into the sponge. It had a very positive effect on the text, paper and parchment. A decision was made not to take the sponge over the text. The inks used on texts of this age can be unstable and prone to breaking apart under pressure, therefore the sponge was only used on the marginalia and blank areas of the leaves.

brushes and sponge

Examples of hakes brushes and smoke sponge used in dry cleaning

To clean the main body of the leaves a hake brush was used. These are: “[f]lat, wide, soft, white goat hair brushes, gentle enough for delicate Japanese papers and tissues. Used for dusting, washing, sizing, mounting, gluing or spreading any thin media.”[3] Although exceptionally soft, these brushes are unable to be taken over red, green, or blue inks as these inks are more unstable than black ink and will lift if disturbed. Cleaning was carried out around these areas. Over time I acquired a selection of other natural hair brushes in different sizes that allowed removal of dust and debris from the guttering and from the folds in the pages.

The library and stores will be moving to a new, purpose-built building in 2020, therefore for the past year the conservation team has been packaging the volumes ready for transportation. To do this in-house a Zund project cutter was purchased which allows templates to be designed to suit our needs. There are two kinds of boxes: four flap and clam shell, which are allocated depending on the depth of the volume.

4

The manuscript sequence is now boxed

Using a book measurer, the exact dimensions of every book were taken and using the catalogue as reference, the correct name and item number were confirmed. Boxes are produced flat and then folded before fitting them to the book. We chose not to use a template that would require glue to assemble them but instead used tabs. This reduces the risk of adhesives finding their way onto the books over time and creating a conservation issue in the future.

Whilst undertaking the cleaning items of interest were found in the guttering of the books. Things such as: pressed flowers, finger nails, flies, and loose leaves of other material have all been found in texts. Instead of removing this material it has been kept it in situ, sometimes housed in an acid free paper to protect it if required. The manuscript number is written onto the envelope; should it ever be separated from its original document it can be slipped back into place. In the interest of maintaining the provenance of the item and the text, the additional piece must be re-inserted where it was found.  There has been a push in recent years to examine bindings, and the material that may be trapped in a binding and in the debris in the guttering. Such information may add provenance and understanding to the way the contemporary owners of these books lived, worked, and studied.

9

An unlucky fly within the pages of MS 20

The additional finds have been well received by tour groups and MS 573, within which the Islamic Star of David shown below was found, is to be the subject of our Item of Interest blog for this month. The additional finds (dust, pollen, seeds, hairs, friable pigment etc) can be scientifically analysed further to enhance any provenance data or to discover new historical context.

Judgements were made on the condition of the manuscript and in some cases, it was decided to place handling suggestions on the box and on the digital records. Consideration was given to: how secure the manuscript block was, if the manuscript leaves were detaching from the binding, the effectiveness of the binding cover as a protection for the manuscript leaves, specific damage to leaves, evidence of pest damage, and weakening of the binding components (both structurally and materially)-balanced alongside the risk of producing the manuscript to search room readers and for filming. This safeguards the manuscript from poor handling practices and protects the manuscript from stress damage. This first phase of cleaning allowed us to flag materials that may need future conservation in a further phase of work.

BeforeAfter2

An example of damage and the ingress dirt that can accumulate

The project was showcased to students visiting from Camberwell College of Arts and West Dean College, and tour groups from various backgrounds. By being in the studio I have been able to learn from the projects that colleagues are undertaking at the same time, some of which overlap with this project. I have also attended courses and lectures on topics that correspond with the collection and undertake additional research. Being able to handle, inspect, and work on the books provides depth and further understanding to their remote learning. It has been a great pleasure and privilege to be able to work on this project and the experience afforded to me has been invaluable.

conservation evening
Examples of manuscripts ready to exhibit at a Conservation Evening event

In total we have now cleaned 552 manuscripts and boxed 554.

[1] J. Atkinson, ‘Initial report’, National Manuscripts Conservation Trust, 2016 P. 1

[2] Preservation Equipment Limited, Smoke Sponges [website], 2018, https://www.preservationequipment.com/Catalogue/Cleaning-Products/Sponges-Cloths/Smoke-Sponges (accessed 2/06/2018)

[3] Preservation Equipment Limited, Hake Brushes [website], 2018, https://www.preservationequipment.com/Catalogue/Equipment-Tools/Brushes/Japanese-Brushes/Hake-Brushes (accessed 2/06/2018)

April update from the Library and Record Centre

Lambeth Palace Library and the Church of England Record Centre regularly embark on new projects and acquire and catalogue new material, from rare books and manuscripts to modern publications.  Every two months, we post here a brief update on some of our latest acquisitions, projects and upcoming events, to keep you up-to-date with our most recent news.

billyNew books!

Enjoy reading one (or more!) of our recently acquired new books.  Highlights include:

Magazines and journals

Lambeth Palace Library also collects a variety of magazines and journals.  You are very welcome to visit the Reading Room to consult these too.  Journal rackA few titles for which we have recently received new issues are:

Upcoming events

Lambeth Palace Garden Open Days with Great Hall entry and exhibition

Every first Friday of the month until September, 12 noon to 3pm

An opportunity to visit the Palace’s beautiful 11-acre gardens, enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake, and purchase plants and honey from the gardens.  The 17th century Great Hall will also be open throughout the Open Days, with a chance to view a display of highlights from the Library’s collections.  Do come along and bring your friends and family.

There is an entrance fee of £5, which will go to a chosen charity each month, and there is no need to book.

Watercolour of Lambeth Palace

“Mysteries” Demystified: The Making and Meaning of the Lambeth Articles (1595)

A talk by Professor Nicholas Tyacke (University College London)

Tuesday 8 May, 5.15pm (admittance not before 4.45pm)  

Nicholas Tyacke’s books include Altars Restored: the changing face of English religious worship, 1547-c.1700.  The event is run in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500-1800.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at www.nicholastyackelambeth.eventbrite.co.uk, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 4 May. 

Whitgift2

Reformation on the Record: the legacy of libraries

Monday 4 June, 2 – 4pm

The dissolution of monastic and pre-Reformation libraries destroyed the established structures of learning, but also provided opportunities for other institutions and individuals to form collections during the following decades. This workshop will explore the development of new libraries (such as Lambeth Palace Library, founded in 1610) and their role in preserving pre-Reformation books and manuscripts.

Led by period specialists, this workshop will offer you the chance to learn about the aftermath of the Reformation, looking in particular at some original examples of the books and manuscripts which survived the dissolution of the monasteries.

Please come to the Library entrance on Lambeth Palace Road.

This is a joint workshop with The National Archives.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reformation-on-the-record-the-legacy-of-libraries-tickets-43653612129, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org 

RefonRecord

New Perspectives on Seventeenth-Century Libraries

Robyn Adams (Centre for Editing Lives & Letters, UCL):
Donations to the Bodleian Library in the Early Seventeenth Century,
Katie Birkwood (Royal College of Physicians Library):
Digging Deeper into the Marquess of Dorchester’s Library,
Jacqueline Glomski (Centre for Editing Lives & Letters, UCL):
Religion and Libraries in the Seventeenth Century

Tuesday 5 June, 5.30pm (admittance not before 5pm) 

This event will showcase some recent research on library formation, both public and private, in the seventeenth century. Three short talks will deal with patterns of book selection and acquisition as revealed by individual practice and in seventeenth-century theoretical writing on bibliography. The presentations will discuss the potential for research on seventeenth century libraries and the application of digital methods to this research.

In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at www.seventeenthcenturylibraries.eventbrite.co.uk, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 25 May.

Great Hall

Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, followed by a lecture and afternoon tea

Dr Peter Blayney: Printing the 1559 Book of Common Prayer: events without precedent

Thursday 5 July, 2.30pm (admittance not before 2pm)

An authority on the history of the early modern book trade, Peter Blayney’s most recent book is The Stationers’ Company and the Printers of London, 1501–1557 (2013).

This meeting, open to Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, will be followed by tea. Friends should book in advance with Juliette Boyd, Lambeth Palace Library, juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org  or telephone 020 7898 1400, not later than Friday 22 June.  Please join the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library http://www.lambethpalacelibrary.org/content/friends

xxH5145 A4 1559 sig2A1r

Recently catalogued in the Sion College Library Collection

More and more of the Sion College collection is now available through our online catalogue for you to search – with almost 15,000 items to browse, many of which can be requested in the Reading Room.

Cataloguing continues to reveal not only interesting volumes, but also bibliographic insights into the history of the collection. Recent additions to the catalogue include this 1824 edition of Peter Schmidtmeyer’s Travels into Chile, over the Andes (B17.10/Sch5), which added colour to the cataloguer’s desk with the multiple hand-coloured lithographs which feature in the volume. From scenes of everyday life and cultural activities, to curious wildlife the book is one of a number of works to be found in Sion which examines travel and exploration.

B17.10_Sch5

One of the many lithographs to be found in B17.10/Sch5

An elusive armorial ink stamp was found in an early 18th century work called Jus canonicum universum which was written by Anaklet Reiffenstuel (A95.5/R27). Printed in black and featuring a coronet and fleurs-de-lis at its centre, the image is surrounded by text reading: “Scipio prior de Guglielmis”. Do you know anything about this former owner or do you have any ideas about their identity?

A95.5_R27

Unidentified armorial ink stamp, A95.5/R27

If you’re interested in helping us to identify former owners or interpret inscriptions, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are now over 300 images which have been uploaded to the Sion Provenance Project so far. We’ve already received contributions and suggestions from people across the globe, but there are still plenty of pieces of detective work to be done and you can help. Why not go to the Project page and see what you can do? More images are being regularly added, so keep your eyes peeled.

The Sion Team will be heading to Crieff in May to give a presentation on the Sion Provenance Project at the Annual Meeting of the Independent Libraries Association. The talk will focus on the efforts that have been made to publicise the Sion College collection and engage the wider community through our crowdsourcing initiative. We want to inspire other libraries to engage with crowdsourcing and provenance research and we’re hoping that the Sion Provenance Project might be of especial interest to independent libraries who are seeking a novel means of capturing new audiences and expanding their reach.

Archive news

New acquisitions

The Friends of the Library have acquired a manuscript relating to the family of Daniel Wilson (1778-1858), Bishop of Calcutta, and a diary of Sir Henry Longley (1833-1899), son of Archbishop Longley.

Longley

Collections in focus

We continue to mark the centenary of the First World War with a blog post concerning Dick Sheppard, who ministered to soldiers at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and another relating to post-war clergy training. The archive collections document subjects which continue to be topical: the World Council of Churches, which celebrates its 70th anniversary, features in the papers of the prominent ecumenist Oliver Tomkins (1908-92), Bishop of Bristol. The evangelist Billy Graham features in the papers of several 20th-century Archbishops and other collections. Literary associations include the marriage record of the poet John Milton, whose Paradise Lost recently featured on Radio 4, and the writer Henry James, the origin of whose story The Turn of the Screw was told to him by Archbishop Benson at the Archbishops’ country residence, Addington Palace.

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The collection continues to support the Archbishop’s ministry, with an image from the Macdurnan Gospels forming a gift during a visit to Ireland. Both the Library and Record Centre feature in a new database recording collections relating to crime and punishment, including records of the National Police Court Mission, a forerunner of today’s probation service.

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Archives in print and the media

The 200th anniversary of the Incorporated Church Building Society, whose archive the Library holds including numerous church plans and other images, is marked by a new book. Other publications relating to the collections include an article on a portrait of Martin Luther formerly held in Lambeth Palace (Steffen Weisshaupt, “Anglican (Re-) Presentation? Two Paintings of Luther at Lambeth Palace”, Anglican and Episcopal History, vol 86, no 4, Dec 2017, pp. 396-418).

Free seats

In the Conservation studio…

Conservation StudioThis year in the conservation studio, conservator Alex Wade has been working on a funded project to clean and box 590 books in the early manuscript series. Here’s Alex to give an insight into what is involved in her work:

“These volumes contain some of our most precious and oldest pieces and are filthy. Dirt can penetrate the surface of the text and stain the material.

“I am completing anywhere between two to four books per day, the books get smaller in size as I progress through the series, meaning that I will be aiming to complete up to six books per day in the future. I am boxing one bay ahead of where I am cleaning to ensure that the material is transported safely from the store to the conservation studio. To do this I measure the book height, width, and depth and input those measurements into the Zund cutting machine and create a custom-made box. This protects the material from handling and storage damage, as well as defending it against the fire defence, water misting system we will have in place in the new library.

ToolsCleaning

“To do the cleaning I use a smoke sponge which is a natural material, soft sponge to wipe and dab away surface dirt. It is quite heavy duty and can remove a wide variety of surface debris. Once this has been done I go along the surface with a soft brush called a hake brush to make sure that there is no residue left behind.”

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Don’t forget you can also keep up-to-date with our news and events, and enjoy glimpses of some of the treasures in our collections, by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, as well as on our blog

February update from the Library and Record Centre

Lambeth Palace Library and the Church of England Record Centre regularly embark on new projects and acquire and catalogue new material, from rare books and manuscripts to modern publications.  Every two months, we post here a brief update on some of our latest acquisitions, projects and upcoming events, to keep you up-to-date with our most recent news.

New books!

An insular odysseyEnjoy reading one (or more!) of our recently acquired new books.  Highlights include:

Magazines and journals

Journal rackLambeth Palace Library also collects a variety of magazines and journals.  You are very welcome to visit the Reading Room to consult these too.  A few titles for which we have recently received new issues are:

Pencils at the ready!

This year Lambeth Palace Library has once again taken part in the #ColorOurCollections social media campaign spearheaded by the New York Academy of Medicine. Libraries and special collections were invited to design and submit colouring sheets using copies of images from their holdings that could be enjoyed for free by the public. Lambeth has created a colouring book which showcases some of the wonderful illustrations which can be found within our astounding collections.  If you want to try your hand at adding wild colours to woodcuts or enlivening an engraving, the sheets are available to download here. We’d love to see some of your finished attempts, so please do email examples to jessica.hudson@churchofengland.org

Color

Upcoming events

An evening with the Library’s conservators

With an opportunity to view the conservation studio and discuss techniques and treatments with the Library’s conservation staff Thursday 19 April, 6-7:30pm (admittance not before 5:45pm)

Tickets £15 per head (£10 for Friends of Lambeth Palace Library), to include a glass of wine. Numbers will be limited. Please note that the conservation studio is reached by a medieval spiral staircase.

Friends and guests are welcome, but please book in advance with Juliette Boyd, Lambeth Palace Library, juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org or telephone 020 7898 1400, not later than Friday 13 April.

Conservation work

“Mysteries” Demystified: The Making and Meaning of the Lambeth Articles (1595)

A talk by Professor Nicholas Tyacke (University College London) Tuesday 8 May, 5.15pm (admittance not before 4.45pm)  

Nicholas Tyacke’s books include Altars Restored: the changing face of English religious worship, 1547-c.1700.  The event is run in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500-1800.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at www.nicholastyackelambeth.eventbrite.co.uk, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 4 May.

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New Perspectives on Seventeenth-Century Libraries

Robyn Adams (Centre for Editing Lives & letters, UCL):
Donations to the Bodleian Library in t
he Early Seventeenth Century,

Katie Birkwood (Royal College of Physicians Library):
Digging Deeper into the Marquess of Dorchester’s Library,

Jacqueline Glomski (Centre for Editing Lives & Letters, UCL):
Religion and Libraries in the Seventeenth Century
Tuesday 5 June, 5.30pm (admittance not before 5pm) 

This event will showcase some recent research on library formation, both public and private, in the seventeenth century. Three short talks will deal with patterns of book selection and acquisition as revealed by individual practice and in seventeenth-century theoretical writing on bibliography. The presentations will discuss the potential for research on seventeenth century libraries and the application of digital methods to this research.

In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries. All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at www.seventeenthcenturylibraries.eventbrite.co.uk, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 25 May.

Great Hall

Recently catalogued in the Sion College Library Collection

The Sion Team are working hard to catalogue the collection and are adding new records to the online catalogue each week which you can explore. In addition, more material is being uploaded to the Sion Provenance Project and your help would be greatly appreciated. Can you decipher inscriptions or help identify historic owners? Why not get involved, and visit the Sion Provenance Project website and contribute your ideas and suggestions?

sion coronationAn interesting item recently discovered is Edward Walker’s A circumstantial account of the preparations for the coronation of His Majesty King Charles the Second, and a minute detail of that splendid ceremony (B94.2/W15(1)). This is the first work in a bound volume of three published accounts of the coronation ceremonies of kings and queens. Printed in 1820 from Walker’s contemporary manuscript, it describes in great detail the preparations for the crowning of Charles II in May 1660, his journey from Dover to London, and the pomp and ceremony of his coronation at Westminster. The other two works in the volume describe respectively the coronation ceremonies of George III and Queen Charlotte in September 1761, and of George IV on 19 July 1821. As fascinating as these accounts are, it is the unique additions to the Sion College Library copies which make them especially interesting. Each of the three descriptions has been extra-illustrated with various memorabilia from the coronations, including numerous portraits of the monarchs, plans of the processions and contemporary newspaper clippings. Souvenir prints of the ceremonies, some coloured by hand, have been bound with the volume, as have several tickets issued to gain access to Westminster Abbey, the processions and even the coronation services themselves. Together these items form a one-of-a-kind record of these historic occasions.

Archive news

New acquisitions and newly-catalogued items

Sections from the papers of Archbishop Runcie from 1987 have been made available for research. For more information please see the online archives catalogue. The Friends of the Library have acquired Latin verses of Thomas Keble (MS 5127), adding to the collection of material on the Keble family. The Library also acquired, by kind gift of a descendant of Mary Sumner, an addition to Mothers’ Union material: a photograph of Mrs Sumner (shown below), also picturing her husband George Henry Sumner, Bishop of Guildford, and Randall Davidson, Bishop of Winchester, later Archbishop of Canterbury (MU/PHOTO/4/3). One of our 2016 accessions, an account of Bishop Thirlby’s journey to Rome in 1555 (MS 5076), featured in the National Archives review of collecting.

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Collections in focus

New posts on the Library blog have included the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282, the 50th anniversary of the charity Crisis at Christmas, and Anglican-Methodist relations. We continue to mark the centenary of the First World War with a blog post concerning the Mothers’ Union roll of honour. The Library also holds letters of the writer R C Sherriff, whose famous play Journey’s End is the basis of a new film. He was a friend of Gerald Ellison, Bishop of London, whose papers the Library holds. As this year sees the centenary of votes for women, readers may wish to revisit our blog post on women’s suffrage. This year also sees the 200th anniversary of the Incorporated Church Building Society, whose archive the Library holds.

New additions to our image database

Further additions to the Library’s image database include material relating to witchcraft (below) and further volumes from the collection of Greek manuscripts.

1597.15.03TPr

Archives in print and the media

The British Records Association published an article by Matti Watton, “Seven hundred years since a spade cost sixpence: Records of the Lambeth Palace garden”. The garden also featured in Gardeners’ Question Time. The Library featured in a BBC World Service programme on the Renovationist Church in Russia, a reform movement following the Revolution of 1917 which is documented in the archive of Archbishop Davidson and that of Canon John Douglas, a pioneer of relations with the Orthodox Churches whose papers the Library also holds. The Library holds extensive sources on Orthodox relations which of course continue to form part of the Archbishop’s ministry with his visit to Russia in 2017. The Society of St John the Evangelist, records of which are accessible at the Church of England Record Centre, forms the subject of a project on the Cowley Fathers during the First World War. A 15th-century printed book from the Library’s collection will appear on exhibition in Bruges from March onwards.

CERC update

ASBcoverRecords of the Committee of the Alternative Service Book dated 1967-1988 are fully catalogued and available here.

Henry H. Willmore Collection dated 1935-1940 (notes made by Henry H. Willmore on church spires and stone coffins) are fully catalogued and available here.

 

Don’t forget you can also keep up-to-date with our news and events, and enjoy glimpses of some of the treasures in our collections, by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, as well as on our blog.