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.

This month’s new accessions

Some highlights from our recent new acquisitions include:


Upcoming events

London’s Unseen Chapels: From the Notebooks of Canon Clarke

Wednesday 22 March, 6pm-8.30pm (admittance, by ticket only, from 5pm)In Lambeth Palace Library Great Hall.

Page from Canon Clarke's notebook (Clarke/1/1)

An event to celebrate the life and work of Canon Basil Fulford Lowther Clarke (1908-1978). From the age of fifteen, Basil Clarke kept a record on the architecture and architects of Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches and Chapels which he visited, predominately in England and Wales but also in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division, Lambeth Palace Library, and the Church of England Record Centre, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, are mounting a joint exhibition which brings to life the hidden world of London’s chapels.

The event will include a lecture by Dr Jennifer Freeman, architectural writer, lecturer, historian and former Director of Historic Chapels Trust, entitled ‘London’s Churches and Chapels; a Miscellany’, followed by a wine reception. Please follow the link to register your interest for this free event: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/londons-unseen-chapelsfrom-the-notebooks-of-canon-clarke-tickets-31716408632

An evening with the Library’s Conservators

Thursday 6 April, 6pm-7.30pm (admittance not before 5.45pm).  In Lambeth Palace Library conservation studio.

Conservation studio
Library conservation studio

An opportunity to view the conservation studio and discuss techniques and treatments with the Library’s conservation staff.

Tickets £10 per head, to include a glass of wine. Numbers will be limited. Please note that the conservation studio is reached by a medieval spiral staircase. Please book in advance with Juliette Boyd, Lambeth Palace Library, juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org  or telephone 020 7898 1400, not later than Friday 31 March. 

Liturgical Books and the Medieval Library: A talk by Dr Tessa Webber (Trinity College, Cambridge)

Tuesday 6 June, 5.30pm (admittance not before 5pm). In Lambeth Palace Library Great Hall

MS 455 f.28: Sarum Hours
MS. 455 f.28

It has long been conventional in the history of books and book collections of the Middle Ages to draw a distinction between liturgical books and library books. In practice, however, the use made of the books and the arrangements for their storage and custody suggest that the distinction was sometimes less clear-cut. Tessa Webber will examine such evidence to question how far the conventional bi-partite categorisation of books as ‘liturgical’ and ‘library’ reflects the way in which books were conceived during the Middle Ages.

In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries. All are welcome, but those wishing to attend are asked to register with juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Monday 5 June.


Archives news: Runcie Papers, CFR, library records and digitised Book of Hours

Portrait of Archbishop Runcie from Lambeth Palace
Portrait of Archbishop Runcie from Lambeth Palace

Records from 1986 which form part of the papers of Archbishop Runcie were released for research. Cataloguing work was completed on the records of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) relating to the Orthodox Church in Russia and the Ukraine, and also included the CFR publications bureau which facilitated contact between clergy and others in the UK and contacts overseas. Descriptions of the photographs in the CFR archive are now also available. For more information on these collections please see the online archives catalogue. Work to re-catalogue the Library’s historic records 1785-1952 has been completed and has produced a new source guide on the Library website.

Additions to the image database include MS 3338, a late 15th-century Book of Hours (Use of Rome), written in Italy in humanist script. Further blog posts relating to the Library’s collections on the First World War cover army chaplains, and the ration book of the Lambeth Librarian, Claude Jenkins. Library material continues to feature on the website of the John Newton Project.

Record Centre update: Queen Victoria Clergy Fund, Hospital Chaplaincies Council, Mowbray Wippel and Warham Guild papers

The collections listed below have been fully catalogued. Links to the online catalogue are included in the names.

  • Queen Victoria, from Prints 023/142
    Queen Victoria, depicted in Prints 023/142

    Queen Victoria Clergy Fund – formed to raise support and funds both from diocesan bodies and the laity to augment the incomes of poor clergy, similar to the efforts made by Queen Anne’s Bounty (founded in 1704) and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (founded in 1836). It emerged directly from two lay organisations dedicated to ameliorating clerical hardship – the Tithe Redemption Trust (or Fund) in 1846 and the Church of England Incumbents’ Sustentation Fund in 1873 – both of which were ultimately absorbed into the Queen Victoria Clergy Fund (in 1899 and 1897 respectively). This collection contains materials relating to the operation of the QVCF and its subsidiary funds between 1848 and 1995,

  • Hospital Chaplaincies Council The Hospital Chaplaincies Commission was appointed by the Church Assembly in 1946 to enquire into the Church’s ministration to mentally ill people in institutions, to consult with the Minister of Health re. the future of the provision of such a service in the National Health Service (NHS), the specific training for the role, and the status of chaplains in other types of health institution.
  • Mowbray Wippel and Warham Guild papers This collection comprises designs and photographs of completed works by church furnishers A.R Mowbray and Company Limited; brochures and catalogues of church furnishing companies including A.R Mowbray, and material relating to the Warham Guild prior to its merger with Wippell Mowbray Church Furnishing Limited.

‘Books and their owners’: recently exhibited items from the Sion College Collection

Owl illustration from [A68.7/K52]
This week, an array of material from the Sion College Collection (now held at Lambeth Palace Library) was showcased in an exhibition focussing on books and their owners.  Highlights from the exhibition included:

  1. Eastern Orthodox Church. Pentēkostarion, Moscow, 1704 [A32.2/P38] Some of the books in the Sion College collection have travelled great distances over their long lives. They have crossed borders, survived wars and conflagrations, and passed through the hands of numerous owners. Inscriptions on the endpapers of this Russian liturgical text record that it was taken from Sebastopol during the Crimean War on 9th September 1855, the day after the fall of the Great Redan. Removed by Charles Kinnear, surgeon on HMS Rodney, it was then gifted to the Scottish epidemiologist, Dr James Ormiston McWilliam, who served as medical officer to the Niger expedition. The book arrived in Sion College in 1867 through an acquaintance of McWilliam’s, the Reverend Joseph Maskell.
  2. Antiquae musicae auctores septem Graece et Latine, Amsterdam: Louis Elzevir, 1652 [G81.1/M47] Though long regarded as a key work on the history of Ancient Greek music, the Sion copy of Antiquae musicae auctores septem Graece et Latine is especially notable for the rich provenance that it displays. As well as extensive marginalia, on the front flyleaf of the book there is a manuscript inscription which reads “J W Callcott. Bought of Mr. Faulder Bond St. out of the collection of Dr. Shepherd, Canon of Windsor” and it has proved possible to trace each of the individuals named and thereby understand the intriguing hands that the volume has passed through during its history. John Wall Callcott (1766-1821) was a renowned English composer, famed for the glees that he composed including Drink to me only with thine eyes. He purchased the book from Robert Faulder (1747/48-1815), a bookbinder and bookseller who operated from New Bond Street in the late 18th century, who was once hauled to court under suspicion of libel. Faulder acquired the book from the collection of Dr Anthony Shepherd (1721-1796) who rose to fame as an astronomer and held the position of Plumian Professor at the University of Cambridge from 1760 until his death in 1796. Described by one of his contemporaries as “dullness itself”, a little colour is added to his character through his friendship with Captain Cook, who named the Shepherd Islands after him. This brief example illustrates well the intriguing links and unexpected histories that can be uncovered through cataloguing.
  3. The alchemist's laboratory, seen in [A68.7/K52]
    Khunrath, Heinrich. Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae, Hanau, 1609 [A68.7/K52] Heinrich Khunrath (c.1560-1605) was a German physician, philosopher and influential alchemist who worked in the court of Emperor Rudolph II. His most famous work is the Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae [Amphitheater of eternal wisdom], a treatise on the mystical aspects of Christianity and alchemy which contains the engraving entitled “The first stage of the great work”, better-known as the “Alchemist’s laboratory”. This copy came to Sion College from the extensive library of Edward Waple (1647-1712), Vicar of St. Sepulchre’s and Archdeacon of Taunton. A lifelong bibliophile with a fine taste in books, Waple left more than 3,000 volumes to Sion College Library in his will. 


Screenshot from ColorOurCollections
Screenshot from ColorOurCollections

This year Lambeth Palace Library contributed to the #ColorOurCollections initiative spearheaded by the New York Academy of Medicine. Not only did we use the hashtag to highlight Lambeth Palace and Sion College Library material on social media (joining some 3,755 tweets on Twitter), but we also registered as one of 105 participating organisations on the main website and submitted a sample of colouring book pages for users to download and enjoy. Thus far the website has received over 300,000 views and has gained some media interest. You can see Lambeth’s contribution here (http://library.nyam.org/colorourcollections/participating-institutions/), but there are plans for a larger scale project form Lambeth in the future.

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.

December 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.

Library Advent Calendar!

There’s still time to join us on Facebook every morning until Christmas as we open a door of our Library Advent Calendar onto a different Christmas scene from our collections.  Find our Facebook page here or follow the hashtag #LPLAdventCalendar.

MS 1563 f.12

This month’s new accessions

Some highlights from our most recent new acquisitions at Lambeth Palace Library include:

For more regular updates on new accessions to the library, please follow us on Facebook.

News from the Archives

Cataloguing work was completed on the records of the Council on Foreign Relations relating to the Roman Catholic Church from the 1930s to the 1980s, and on the papers of Michael Harper relating to the charismatic movement within the Church of England. The Library acquired, by the gift of its Friends organisation, a manuscript containing religious points and poetry opposing Tractarianism and Romanism, reflecting the contentious atmosphere of the 1850s on these topics (MS 5085). Work to re-catalogue the Library’s historic records continues. For more information on these collections please see the online archives catalogue.

Lambeth Conference 1930 (LC 171/3)

Items from the Library’s collections documenting the relationship between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Church of England were displayed during the visit of the Patriarch to Lambeth Palace. The papers of John Stott were used by the Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings, Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion, in a lecture at the Pontifical Urbaniana University on Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue on Mission, 1977-84. Records from the archive of the Incorporated Church Building Society featured in a blog post on the architect Thomas Atkinson.

Douglas 78 f.126

Church of England Record Centre update

  • On 25th November, as a part of Explore your Archive day, we held an open day which was also reported here.
  • Gordon Lansdown Barnes collection has been fully catalogued. He was an ecclesiologist, a local historian and an architectural photographer with a national reputation. The collection consists of notebooks with notes on churches and church architecture, papers and MS notes on various Victorian architects (including H. Woodyer), research material on London churches and churches in England, and a huge collection of photographs of church architecture in the UK.
  • Corporation of the Church House papers: The Corporation of Church House collection contains materials relating to the formation and operation of the Corporation of Church House between 1798 and 2003. The collection contains written and typed notes, correspondence, newspaper cuttings, reports, minutes books, deeds and leases, photographic materials, books and articles.

Recently catalogued from the Sion Collection

Highlights among the material recently catalogued from the Sion College Collection (now held at Lambeth Palace Library) include:

  1. Scot, Reginald. Scots discovery of witchcraft: proving the common opinions of witches contracting with devils, spirits, or familiars … to be but imaginary … London: E. Cotes, 1654. [C60.6/SCO8] This landmark treatise by Reginald Scot was one of the first to take a more sceptical view towards witches. Scot believed the prosecution of those accused of witchcraft to be an irrational and un-Christian practice. The book also contains some of the first published material on magic, an exposé showing how charlatans used tricks to fool the public.
  2. Reynolds, John. The triumphs of Gods revenge against the crying and execrable sinne of murther, London: A. Maxwell, 1670. [K71.4/R33] The volume was once in the collection of the royal printer Thomas James, whose wife, Eleanor James organised a major bequest of his books to Sion College following his death in 1711. Reynold’s work was first published in 1621, however the Sion copy is the fifth edition of the moralistic but sensational stories. Reynolds claimed that his stories were translations from original French accounts, but in fact they were of his own composition. The work includes numerous engravings depicting the vengeance wrought by God on murderous sinners, illustrated in cartoon strip style. The Sion copy is especially notable as it has been printed without one of its engravings, leaving a blank space where the image should have been above the text.
  3. Sartorius, Johannes. Paraphrases in omnes prophetas, tam maiores quatuor, quàm minores duodecim, Basel: J. Oporinus, 1558. [A26.20/T63] This paraphrase of the Prophets came to Sion College Library from the extensive collection of Lazarus Seaman, an English clergyman and nonconformist minister. Over his life Seaman amassed a library of more than 5,000 books which was sold at public auction upon his death in 1675, the first time an auction of this kind had been held in England.
  4. Twyn, Brian. Antiquitatis Academiae Oxoniensis apologia, Oxford: Joseph Barnes, 1608. [D74.1a/T94] The engraved bookplate of “Mr. Smart Lethieullier of Alldersbrook in Com Essex” was found inside this volume during cataloguing and is the first book discovered so far in the Sion Collection to have belonged to him. Lethieullier (1701-1760) was the High Sheriff of Essex from 1758 and was in fact the son of the Sheriff of London, Sir John Lethieullier (1632/3–1719). Smart was an avid antiquarian who wrote numerous papers on the subject, including the first comprehensive account of the Bayeux Tapestry written in English (1732-3).

Social media

Don’t forget that you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, as well as on our blog. Join us for some fantastic insights into treasures from our collections, dating from the 9th century to the present day.

MS 459 f.89

October 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.

Our latest modern accessions

Some highlights from our most recent new acquisitions at Lambeth Palace Library include:

Upcoming events

Page of music from the Arundel Choirbook (MS 1)Concert of Tudor Polyphony performed by The Sixteen

Wednesday 26 October, 7.30-8.30pm (followed by reception). In Lambeth Palace Great Hall

The Arundel Choirbook was created in 1525 and is one of very few part-books to have survived the Reformation. It reveals a wealth of extraordinary music and is one of the jewels of the collection of Lambeth Palace Library.   In a rare performance, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen will give voice to the Arundel Choirbook. The Sixteen will perform pieces by Ludford and Fayrfax, complemented with works by Sheppard, a younger contemporary of Fayrfax. The pieces will be introduced by Dr David Skinner (Director of Music at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge), an expert in Tudor polyphony. Concert-goers will have a rare chance to see The Arundel Choirbook itself, which will be on special display. The concert, organised by the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, will be held in the magnificent, and recently restored, Great Hall of Lambeth Palace and will be followed by a Reception, hosted by the Marquess of Salisbury, Chairman of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library. Lambeth Palace Library holds records from the 9th century to the present day and is considered second only to the Vatican Library in the importance of its ecclesiastical collections.

Tickets cost £60 (includes reception). To book a ticket please go to the website of the National Centre for Early Music or phone the box office on 01904 658338.

1488-5jChristmas reception

For the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library and their guests. Wednesday 7 December, 6pm. In the Guard Room, Lambeth Palace

Tickets £10 per head, to include mulled wine and mince pies.  Those wishing to attend should send their names in advance to Juliette Boyd, Lambeth Palace Library, Juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org or telephone 020 7898 1400, not later than Friday 2 December.  Admittance not before 5.30pm via the main gatehouse of Lambeth Palace.

News from the Archives

Title page from H5133 920.O8Newly catalogued archive material includes a 15th-century Register made for Archbishop Thomas Bourchier and including various information relating to the Diocese of Canterbury. Also received by donation were further papers from the 1990s relating to the Medical Forum of the Churches Council for Health and Healing; two watercolours of Lambeth Palace Chapel dating from 1928; and additional papers of C R Dodwell, Lambeth Librarian, relating to the history of the Library in the 1950s. Work to re-catalogue the Library’s historic records continues. For more information on these collections please see the online archives catalogue. There are new research guides on map collections and on using clerical directories for research, and guidance on using the Incorporated Church Building Society has been updated. A blog post focused on the 350th anniversary of the Fire of London. The Lambeth Apocalypse remains on exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge as part of its exhibition Colour: The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts. Library holdings continue to be the subject of research publications, such as the insanity of the Earl of Portsmouth in the 1820s which features in the records of the Court of Arches.

Church of England Record Centre update

  • Page from Clarke/1/1Canon Clarke’s archive containing written and typed notes, correspondence, newspaper cuttings, manuscripts, guide books, photographs and postcards concerning the architecture and architects of Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches, predominately in England and Wales but also in Europe, Asia, Africa and America is now fully catalogued and available to be searched via the online catalogue here.
  • A selection of the Clarke archive (31 notebooks) has been digitised and is being uploaded to Luna.
  • Papers of the Secretary to the Church Commissioners have been fully catalogued and are available to be searched via the online catalogue here.  Also reading a blog entry on the collection is most recommended.
  • The archive of the Advisory Council for the Church’s Ministry is now fully catalogued and available here. Charting the history of the recruitment, selection and training of candidates for ordination over the period 1966 to 1991 the archive includes minutes of meetings of the Council and its numerous Committees, correspondence and papers, College Inspection Reports and much more besides.

Sion College Library Provenance Project

Ownership stamp of Adrien Maillard in Sion A94.2/R19We have now added our 300th item to the Sion College Library Provenance Project, the online gallery of images of provenance evidence from the library of Sion College. The project has attracted more than 16,500 views and many visitors have assisted in our research by transcribing inscriptions or identifying previous owners. Item number 300 was a 1650 work on papal primacy written by Jean Ravenau, entitled “De quartis et portionibus Ecclesiasticis …” [A94.2/R19]. The book once belonged to Adrien Maillard, an advocate to the French Parliament whose ownership stamp appears on the title page, pictured to the right.

Social media

Our new Lambeth Palace Library Instagram account now has over 1000 followers!  Thank you to all those who have joined us so far.  Don’t forget that you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, as well as on our blog. Join us for some fantastic insights into treasures from our collections, dating from the 9th century to the present day. Marbled edges

‘Faith seeking understanding’: Finding Saint Anselm at Lambeth Palace Library

Today marks the launch of the second year of The Community of Saint Anselm, a community of prayer, theological reflection and service, based at Lambeth Palace and established by Archbishop Justin Welby for Christians aged 20-35. The Community draws its name from Saint Anselm of Canterbury – a Benedictine monk, renowned scholar and Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1114.  Standing out in history as a teacher, philosopher and theologian (Vaughn, 2012), Anselm expounded the close relationship between knowledge of God and love of God, encapsulated in his motto, ‘faith seeking understanding’.  It is therefore fitting that his prayers, letters and theological texts find a home among the manuscripts and earliest of printed books treasured in the Library of Lambeth Palace.

Arms of Archbishop Anselm, from MS 555 f.4

Anselm himself was committed to monastic life and learning.  Despite being turned away when he first sought to become a monk at the age of 15, he went on to become an influential Prior and Abbot of Bec monastery in France, where he taught the monks and wrote a number of works that gained him a reputation for deploying reason to understand faith, and developing the ontological argument for the existence of God (Shannon, 1999). These works can be found in a number of manuscripts held at Lambeth Palace Library, dating from the 12th to 15th century.  The earliest of these is a manuscript compilation of Anselm’s treatises and a collection of his letters, compiled and copied in the 1120s by historian and monk, William of Malmesbury (MS 224).

MS 224 f.152r, with headline and numbers added in red by Archbishop Parker

When asked to become Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093, Anselm saw it as his duty to lead the church in moral and doctrinal teaching, and to continue to develop his own understanding alongside that of his monks at Christ Church Canterbury (Shannon, 1999). It was here that the second earliest volume of Anselm’s work held at the Library was made, in the late 1120s: a major collection of letters that remained at the Cathedral Priory until the Dissolution (MS 59). 

MS 59 f.64

Along with several of the Anselm manuscripts in the Library today, both of these volumes feature in Archbishop Abbott’s catalogue of Archbishop Bancroft’s personal library, the founding collection of Lambeth Palace Library in 1610.  They also bear the classmarks of Cambridge University, where they would be preserved during the Commonwealth occupation of Lambeth Palace.  A list of contents written in the hand of Archbishop Sancroft in both volumes shows the care afforded to them on their return to Lambeth, while headlines added in MS 224 by Matthew Parker, Archbishop to Elizabeth I, and annotations in MS 59 believed to indicate Thomas Cranmer’s ownership (Selwyn, 1996), demonstrate that these volumes had long been the subject of close attention by earlier Archbishops. One annotator’s references to ‘alius liber epistolarum’ in MS 224 suggest that these volumes may even have been studied side by side.  Further enforcing the long-standing esteem in which Anselm’s works were held, these works can also be found adorned within presentation volumes, such as a fine late 14th or early 15th century illuminated copy of his meditations copied alongside work from Bernard of Clairvaux and undoubtedly prepared for a dignitary (MS 194).

MS 194 f.1

Thomas Becket requested Anselm’s canonization in 1163, shortly after his own appointment as Archbishop, and a copy of the Bull of Pope Alexander III responding to this request can be found in Lambeth’s collections (MS 159 f.76v). It lies within a volume of Saints’ Lives, bound for Archbishop Sancroft, which also contains a Life and Miracles of Anselm written by his chaplain and secretary, Eadmer of Canterbury, as well as the only known copy of Anselm’s Life written by John of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres, on Thomas Becket’s request. The presence of a second bull regarding his canonization, however, listed within Archbishop Morton’s Register for 1494, suggests that he may not actually have been canonized until three centuries later (Reg. Morton 1, f.220).

The path did not run straight for Anselm, however, and the earliest archival item in the Library’s collections to make reference to him evidences the more troubled aspects of Anselm’s career. Thought to date from 1100, the document is a notice from King Henry I in Latin and English, confirming the ownership of Anselm and the Canterbury monks of all the lands that they held in the time of King Edward and King William I (CM/XI/1).  This marked the return of lands confiscated by William II after Archbishop Lanfranc’s death, which were temporarily given back as a condition of Anselm’s acceptance of the Archbishopric, but seized again in 1095 as part of the long-running Investiture Controversy over whether the King or Pope had primary authority to invest ecclesiastical symbols of office. Even after this notice, the Controversy continued and, having already spent five years of his office in exile in 1095-1100, Anselm was exiled again from 1103-1106, until the dispute was settled at the Synod of Westminster in 1107 (Kemp, [n.d.]).


It was during the earlier of these periods of exile during his tenure as Archbishop that Anselm completed what is often considered his greatest work, Cur Deus homo (“Why God was man”). This is the text printed in the earliest of 7 incunabula containing Anselm’s work held in Lambeth’s collection. Printed between 1474 and 1500 in the continental printing centres of Strasbourg, Passau, Nuremberg and Basel, they illustrate Anselm’s ongoing influence.  This first printed edition of Cur Deus homo is believed to have been printed in 1474 in Strasbourg by George Husner (F220.A6 [**]). Demonstrating Anselm’s typically rational approach, it is formulated as a dialogue between Anselm and his student, Boso, and argues for the necessity of Jesus’ nature as fully human and fully divine in order to atone for mankind’s sin against an infinite God (Williams, 2016). This copy was purchased in 2002 by the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library.

Cur Deus homo f.1r (F220.A6 [**], 1474)
This work features again amongst Lambeth’s incunabula, in an edition printed 11 years later in 1485 in Passau by Johann Petri (F220.A6 [**]).  Here it is bound with Anselm’s short narrative on the Passion of Christ, De planctu Marie, which again takes the form of a dialogue, this time between Anselm and the Virgin Mary, and aimed at a young audience. Bound with a copy of 5th-century priest Julianus Pomerius’ treatise, De vita contemplative, it still retains its original 15th century wooden boards and clasp, and was presented to the Library by the Friends in 2000.

F220.A6 [**] (1485) manuscript pastedown and printed title page
The attention of eminent writers, scholars and theologians is evident in these incunabula.  Opera [et] tractatus beati Anselmi archiepiscopi cantuariēn ordinis Sancti Benedicti (1491), carries a donor inscription gifting the book to Archbishop Tait from R.C. Jenkins in 1869 ([ZZ]1491.2). This was most likely the theological writer Robert Charles Jenkins, rector of Lyminge with Paddlesworth in Kent, and a frequent correspondent with Tait.

Donor inscription from Jenkins to Tait in [ZZ]1491.2, front pastedown
Significantly, one late 15th century edition of Anselm’s works ([ZZ]1500.7) has been signed by historian and martyrologist, John Foxe, who would later include Anselm’s history and letters in his Actes and Monuments. The copy retains its early 16th century blind-stamped binding by Nicholas Speirinck and, along with several of these incunabula, contains fine examples of manuscript waste used in the printed volume’s pastedowns. Its title handwritten on the fore-edge reminds us of the book’s history in libraries at one point shelved with the fore-edges displayed, while a second copy of this edition, transferred from Sion College Library, displays the staple marks of hasps from its previous residence in a chained library (L40.4/43). Sion’s copy also retains a contemporary blind-tooled calf binding with a dragon motif, listed on the animals roll as made in Cambridge.

John Foxe’s inscription on the title page of [ZZ]1500.7
Anselm’s presence in the collections continues throughout the centuries, with further volumes of his works and studies on them dating from the 16th century through to the modern day.  As the second year of the Community of Saint Anselm gets underway, these volumes are further testimony to the influence of this faithful monastic theologian at Lambeth Palace and in Christian thought from the 11th century to today.

Title page of D. Anselmi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi … in omnes sanctissimi Pauli apostoli epistolas enarrationes … printed in 1533 in Coloniae (E2649.(A6) [**])

Further reading and bibliography

  • Kemp, John Arthur, ‘Saint Anselm of Canterbury: Archbishop and philosopher, in Encyclopaedia Britannica (n.d.)
  • Selwyn, D.G., The Library of Thomas Cranmer (Oxford, 1996)
  • Shannon, William H., Anselm: the joy of faith (New York: Crossroad, 1999)
  • Sharpe, Richard, ‘Collecting Anselm’, in Lambeth Palace Library: treasures from the collection of the Archbishops of Canterbury, edited by Richard Palmer and Michelle P. Brown (London: Scala, 2010), pp.38-39
  • Vaughn, Sally N., Archbishop Anselm 1093-1109: Bec missionary, Canterbury Primate, Patriarch of another world (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012)
  • Williams, Thomas, ‘Saint Anselm‘, in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta (2016)

August 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.

Our latest modern accessions

Some highlights from our most recent acquisitions include:

For more regular updates on new accessions to the library, please follow us on Facebook.

Upcoming events

Lambeth Heritage Festival

LWatercolour of Lambeth Palaceambeth Palace Library is delighted to be the main partner for this year’s Lambeth Heritage Festival, a month-long showcase of the very best of Lambeth’s heritage and history. The Festival runs throughout September, and is led by Lambeth Archives and the Lambeth Local History Forum. The full programme can be viewed here.

Lambeth Palace Library will be offering the following events:

A Monument of Fame: Lambeth Palace Library’s Collections and Work

Saturday 3 September, 11.45am-12.30pm
At Michael Church, 131 Burton Road, SW9 6TG (part of a day of events for Lambeth Archives Open Day – full details on pages 26-27 of the Festival Brochure)

Lambeth Palace Library, founded in 1610, has a rich collection of manuscripts and archives, dating from the ninth century covering the history of the Church of England as well as wider British and Commonwealth history. This talk gives an overview of some of this fascinating material and of how it is used today.

‘Lambeth and its Palace’ Exhibition

Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from  Monday 5 September to Thursday 29 September, with the exception of 26 September and the afternoons of 22 and 29 September, entry at 11am, 12 noon, and 3pm. At Lambeth Palace

An exhibition of images, documents and objects from the collections of Lambeth Archives and Lambeth Palace Library, displayed in Lambeth Palace’s seventeenth-century Great Hall. The exhibition explores the history of the Palace, the surrounding area, and its role in Lambeth’s history. Entry is by timed, escorted groups only, meeting at the main gate of Lambeth Palace. Duration of visit is 45 minutes.

Booking essential for groups of five or more: email archives@churchofengland.org or phone 020 7898 1400.

Library Open Afternoons

Mondays 12 and 19 September, 12 pm-3pm
At Lambeth Palace Library

Visit our reading room and learn more about our collections, services, and talk to staff.  Entry is via the Library entrance on Lambeth Palace Rd. There is no need to book. Contact archives@churchofengland.org or 020 7898 1400 with queries.

Exploring Eden:

Adam and Eve in [ZZ] 1488.5A Symposium exploring how the Garden of Eden has inspired the design, making, and imagining of gardens.
Wednesday 5 October 2016, 10am to 4pm, Lambeth Palace Great Hall

A partnership between Lambeth Palace Library and the Garden Museum.


  • Dr Jennifer Potter, author of Strange Blooms: The Curious Lives and Adventures of the John Tredescants and The Rose on ‘the Tredescants’ quest for Eden.
  • Dr James Bartos, garden historian, on ‘The Spirituall Orchard: God, Garden and Landscape in the 17th Century’.
  • Scott Mandelbrote, Director of Studies in History, Peterhouse, Cambridge on ‘Eden: the Bible and the Gardeners’.
  • Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum, on ‘The search for Paradise from Captain Bligh to Stanley Spencer’.
  • Margaret Willes, author of The Making of the English Gardener on ‘Working Class Edens’.
  • Tom Stuart-Smith, landscape designer, on ‘Revisiting Paradise’.

The Symposium is also an opportunity to see books and manuscripts from Lambeth Palace Library, including plans of the Palace gardens, introduced by Giles Mandelbrote, Librarian of Lambeth Palace Library. At lunchtime you can visit the Palace gardens with Head Gardener, Nick Stewart.

£60 (£45 for Friends of Lambeth Palace Library and Friends of the Garden Museum) to include lunch. Please visit http://ow.ly/VZ4k302cM1Z or contact stephanie@gardenmuseum.org.uk

Concert of Tudor Polyphony performed by The Sixteen

Page of music from the Arundel Choirbook (MS 1)Wednesday 26 October, 7pm (entry from 6.15pm), Lambeth Palace Great Hall

Sacred music by Robert Fayrfax, Nicholas Ludford and John Sheppard. This concert, held in the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace, will focus on works from the Arundel Choirbook (Lambeth Palace Library MS 1), which will be on display. Followed by a reception in the Guard Room.

Tickets will cost in the region of £60 and further details will be available later in the year on the Library’s website. Those wishing to register interest should send their names in advance to Juliette Boyd, Lambeth Palace Library (Juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org)

News from the Archives

Broughton Missal (MS 5066)Newly catalogued archive material includes a letter of the divine and Hebraist Hugh Broughton (1549-1612) given by the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library. Also received by donation was an album of photographs and other material collected by Cecil Douglas Horsley (1903-1953), bishop of Gibraltar, largely relating to the 1948 Lambeth Conference. A further section of the papers of the Council on Foreign Relations (1933-1982) relating to the Orthodox Churches was completed. Interns catalogued files relating to the relationship of the Incorporated Church Building Society with individual dioceses, and enhanced catalogue data for the plans of Lambeth Palace created by the architect Edward Blore (1787-1879) and for one of the manuscripts relating to early modern Ireland collected by Sir George Carew (1555-1629). Work to re-catalogue the Library’s historic records continues. For more information on these collections please see the online archives catalogue.

Items in the Library collection relating to Thomas Becket were displayed at a symposium on the medieval Archbishop. Some of the items are also available to view in the online image database. Further additions have been made to the image database using the ‘book’ display feature, including the Broughton Missal acquired in 2015.