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. 


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 


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


“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.”


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

Christmas 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.

Happy Christmas from all the staff at Lambeth Palace Library and the Church of England Record Centre!  

Our Christmas opening times can be viewed here – we reopen after Christmas on Tuesday 2nd January. The online catalogues of both Lambeth Palace Library and the Church of England Record Centre (including our image database) can be searched via our website at any time.


Library Advent Calendar!

Join us on Facebook for the final days of our Library Advent Calendar, as we open a door every morning onto a different Christmas scene from our collections.  Find our Facebook page here or follow the hashtag #LPLAdventCalendar.

Day 15 MU-PM-16-4-1This month’s new books!

Some highlights from our most recently acquired new books include:

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

Upcoming events

Dr David Starkey:  ‘Henry VIII and Luther: A Reappraisal’

StarkeyTuesday 6 February, 5.15pm (admittance not before 4.45pm)

David Starkey is the author of important books on Henry VIII and the Tudor court and is well known as a regular contributor to both radio and television. 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.davidstarkeylambeth.eventbrite.co.uk, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 2 February.

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, 6pm-7.30pm (admittance not before 5.45pm)

Conservation workTickets £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.

News from the Archives

Newly-catalogued collections include papers of Derrick Sherwin Bailey (1910-84) [MSS 5124-5126], a clergyman who served on the Church of England Moral Welfare Council, dealing with issues of sexual ethics. He gave evidence to the Wolfenden Committee for its report on homosexuality, published in 1957. The material complements existing collections, including records of the Moral Welfare Council at the Church of England Record Centre.

Moral welfareThe Library also received the kind gift of an impression of the Vicar General’s seal, belonging to Archbishop Laud, recovered in digging the foundations of London Bridge in 1827, and presented by Viscount Melville to Archbishop Howley in 1830. It was formerly owned by Walter Money, the noted historian, antiquarian and archaeologist.

Vicar General Seal

The Friends of the Library purchased an unpublished treatise dating from c.1660 by an unnamed female writer [MS 5121] and a manuscript of three tracts from George Morley (d. 1684), Bishop of Worcester [MS 5122]. The Friends are also funding a further project to enhance catalogue descriptions to the records of the Court of Arches.

Further blog posts included information on the archive of Parish and People relating to movements for change in the 20th-century Church. The archive of the Council on Foreign Relations featured in the Church Times. The Library was used for filming for David Starkey’s ‘Reformation: Europe’s Holy War’. The Church of South India marked its 70th anniversary; the Library holds records relating to its inception in 1947. Events of interest to Library users include the Reformation London symposium and an exhibition at Fulham Palace, former home of the Bishops of London. Other useful resources, complementing sources in the Library relating to the Great War, include a digitised index of army chaplains from 1914-18 at the Museum of Army Chaplaincy.

Parish and people

Uncovering the history of books in the Sion College collection

The Sion College Library collection is more discoverable than ever before as we have continued to add records to our online catalogue. Along the way we are gaining some fascinating insights into the histories of some of the books in the collection. Interesting discoveries of monastic books have recently been made, including an edition of Giuseppe Simone Assemani’s (1687-1768) Kalendaria ecclesiae universae (A82.0/AS7), which was printed in Rome in 1755. Originally intended as a twelve-volume set, only six volumes were produced which were translated from Latin into Greek. The text examines the Church calendar and Slavic Christian Saints, but the provenance of this copy is particularly intriguing. Woodcut armorial bookplates appear on the endpapers of each volume along with a red armorial ink stamp on the half-title pages, evidence that the book once belonged to Kloster Muri (“Monasterii Murensis”), a Benedictine Cloister located near Muri in Aargau, Switzerland, that was abolished in 1841. From here it appears to have travelled to the nearby Aargauische Kantonsbibliothek (indicated by the red stamp), eventually forming part of Sion College’s holdings.


Provenance of a more domestic nature appears in a collection of Lent-sermons, Quadriga salutis. Two early 18th century inscriptions were left by William Baker marking the birth of two of his children, who were named after their parents, Mary and William. It is not uncommon for significant family events to be found recorded in this way within a family Bible or on the flyleaves of another treasured book. They provide a useful document through which we can build an intimate picture of different households, charting their expansion and their unfortunate contraction following the passing of relatives. In this instance they also give us a charming insight into the possible accents and pronunciations used by the individuals, some of the text here being written out phonetically:


“Mary Douglas of William and his wife, bourn ys th. 12th dey of Jan:ry helf anower before 12 of ye clock mid time a day” (A67.3a/C24 08,).


“No[vem]b[e]r 15th 1717 Will son of Will Baker and Mary his wife was bourne at 3 of ye clock in ye morning” (A67.3a/C24 19).

Robert Beverley Jr. (ca. 1667-1722) was an historian of early colonial Virginia, as well as a planter and political figure. His most notable work is his History and Present State of Virginia, published originally in London in 1705, which documents the history of early life in the colony. This French translation held in the Sion collection was printed in Amsterdam in 1707 and is an unmatched source for the Virginia of its time with sections on Native Americans, politics, flora, fauna, and agriculture (B81.10/V81B). The book also has a noble provenance, containing the bookplate of Ludwig Rudolph (1671-1735), Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg and Prince of Wolfenbüttel.


Other significant owners are also coming to light as we explore the Sion collection. A recent exciting find was the armorial binding of the Royalist Sir Nicholas Crisp (1599?-1666), with his gilt stamped arms appearing on Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Diui Thomae Aquinatis doctoris angelici Opera omnia  (A51.2/Aq5).


The stamp was added to the Sion Provenance Project and we were subsequently contacted by the British Armorial Bindings Database, who informed us that is was as yet unrecorded. We are now contributing data relating to other stamps that have been identified, helping to update and extend the information already in the database.

Help us to uncover history on our Sion Provenance Project!

The Sion Provenance Project continues to grow with more material being added which you can peruse or you can offer us much appreciated help by having a go at deciphering inscriptions or identifying former owners of some of the Sion volumes. Perhaps over the Christmas period you might want to have a go?! We’d love to hear your comments and suggestions and we would be especially grateful if you could help us spread the word about the project and get more people involved!

Screenshot 2017 cropped

Remembering Reformation before the Reformation

Today we are excited to present a guest post from Dr Ceri Law, AHRC Postdoctoral Research Associate for the Remembering the Reformation project based at the Universities of Cambridge and York.

Historia Ioannis Hussi
Historia Ioannis Hussi et Hieronymi Pragensis: martyrum et confessorum Christi (Nuremberg: Katharina Gerlach, 1583), a8v. H4917.(H4) [*]
The ‘500th anniversary of the Reformation’, as 31 October 1517 has repeatedly been referred to, has been a very big deal indeed. The celebration of this anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses (an event which, as many historians have pointed out, may well have never happened) proved stimulating. Books, events and projects years in the making have come to fruition, media (old and new) has been full of documentaries, articles and trending hashtags on Luther, anniversaries and the Reformation.

This, then, was a major cultural event, and anything that helps people to become interested in and learn about the past and the place that religious change played in history is, I think, very much to be welcomed. However, there is a danger that in remembering 31 October 1517 we forget a lot else, and this is what this blog post is about. Here I want to focus on one item from Lambeth Palace Library which features in a digital exhibition prepared by ‘Remembering the Reformation’, the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project, based at the Universities of Cambridge and York that I work for (you can find out more about the project at our website: https://rememberingthereformation.org.uk/, and you can find the digital exhibition at https://exhibitions.lib.cam.ac.uk/reformation/).

Hus woodcutThis is a striking woodcut showing the execution of the Czech theologian Jan Hus at the Council of Constance in 1415. Surrounded by flames and made to wear a cap covered with devils, marking him out as a heretic, this, as the Latin caption tells us, is Hus ‘while he gave his own body to be burned for Christ’. It is part of a late sixteenth-century text which celebrates Hus and his follower, Jerome of Prague (also executed as a heretic at the Council of Constance) as martyrs.

Gold-tooled armorial binding belonging to Archbishop Whitgift

We get some sense of what Hus meant to later generations of reformers if we look at the owner of this book, John Whitgift (c. 1530-1604), who became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1604 (we know that this book belonged to Whitgift because, like many other books in Lambeth Palace Library, it was bound in his arms). In one of his works Whitgift noted that ‘Master Hus, Hierome of Prague, &c, were stirred up even by God to preach his truth, and open the door of his word again’; in this he was expressing a very common Protestant view. In the famous Acts and Monuments of John Foxe (The ‘Book of Martyrs’), too, Hus is celebrated as a proto-Protestant martyr. Like John Wyclif (d. 1384) in England – sometimes described as the ‘Morning Star’ of the Reformation – Hus could be used as evidence of a Protestant history that extended back beyond 1517.

Admittedly, this commemoration of Hus was itself often part of the celebration of Martin Luther. Part of Hus’s importance for later reformers was the role he was supposed to have played in predicting Luther. It was claimed that Hus had declared before his death that another reformer, one that the Catholic Church would not be able to silence, would come 100 years after him. For Luther the 102 years between this and 1517 was close enough (on this see another item in the exhibition, a Lutheran timeline, which has been researched by my colleague Dr Bronwyn Wallace). The celebration of Hus was also part of efforts to answer a constant Catholic criticism of the reformers: ‘where was your church before Luther?’. Having, and commemorating, a history was part of the claims to legitimacy made by various Protestant groups.

But thinking about Hus can also help us, too, to remember the Reformation – and to do so in a way that questions the centrality of Luther and 1517. Hus reminds us that there had been movements that challenged the ideas and authority of the Catholic church long before Luther. The idea of Luther as the start of something new, as a decisive break with the past is a very influential one, but it’s an idea that we should question. The Lutheran Reformation was of huge significance, but it didn’t mark a neat dividing line, as was once suggested, between ‘medieval’ and ‘modern’.

Books and their Owners III: The Prayer Book of Elizabeth I

Christian Prayers and Meditations in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Greeke, and Latine. London: John Day, 1569

At Lambeth Palace Library we hold the only surviving complete copy of Christian Prayers and Meditations in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Greeke and Latine (London: John Day, 1569). As with the books that we have looked at previously in this series of blog posts, this volume has inscriptions showing its provenance. Notes on the flyleaves outline how it passed from hand-to-hand from the time it was removed from the Wardrobe at Whitehall in the 1640s by a Mr Jolliffe, one of the Keepers, until it was given by Sir Charles Cottrell to Thomas Tenison, Archbishop of Canterbury (1694 to 1715).  Tenison, in his turn, presented the book to Lambeth Palace Library. However, the evidence for this volume’s first owner, Queen Elizabeth I, is less direct but no less convincing.


Christian Prayers and Meditations is beautifully illustrated and has been called ‘a Protestant Book of Hours’.  It is clearly meant to be associated with the monarch; it contains woodcuts of the Royal arms as well as a fine woodcut portrait of Elizabeth with the attributes of Kingship around her (see below). The title page shows the tree of Jesse (above), while the borders in the first part of the book depict the life of Christ and associated Old Testament scenes and those in the second part of the volume show a Dance of Death. Throughout the book the woodcuts have been carefully hand-coloured. The distinctive palette used to colour the illustrations indicate that the work was done by artists employed by Archbishop Matthew Parker at Lambeth Palace. This copy was clearly meant for someone important.


Day took much of the text of this collection of prayers from Henry Bull’s Christian Prayers and Holie Meditations, which had been published the previous year. Some of the prayers included in the volume were original compositions, however. Several of the prayers refer to the Queen in the first person. One such prayer, A Prayer for wisdom to governe the Realme, is somewhat reminiscent of Elizabeth’s famous Tilbury speech in its wording, with phrases such as “I thy handmaide, being by kinde aweake woman… ” Other prayers that refer to the Queen in the first person include four prayers for use in time of sickness. It has been suggested that the Queen composed these prayers as well as the prayers in Greek, Latin, Spanish and Italian that appear at the end of the book herself. Indeed, they have been published as part of her collected works. S. W May, however, takes the contrary view and argues that, while the publication of the book was approved by the Queen, the prayers in it were not written by her.

Whatever the truth about the authorship of the prayers the Lambeth Palace Library copy has a unique textual variation which gives a clue to the original owner of this copy of Christian Prayers and Meditations.  Unlike other copies of this book, references to the Queen in the Litany are in the first person, providing clear evidence, as Robert Harding has pointed out, that this copy was meant for the Queen’s personal use. Taken together with the evidence that the book came from the palace at Whitehall and that it was coloured in Parker’s workshop here at Lambeth, it is safe to conclude that this was a presentation copy for Elizabeth. Whether she ever used it is a very different matter!

Further reading

Robert Harding, “The Prayer Book of Elizabeth I” in Richard Palmer and Michelle P.  Brown, Lambeth Palace Library: Treasures from the Collection of the Archbishop of Canterbury. London: Scala, 2010

Elizabeth Evenden. Patents, Pictures and Patronage: John Day and the Tudor Book Trade. London: Ashgate, 2008

Leah S. Marcus, Janel Mueller, Mary Beth Rose (eds.),  Elizabeth I: Collected Works. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000

R. S. Luborsky and E. M. Ingram,  A Guide to English Illustrated Books 1536-1603. Tempe: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies,1998

S.W. May, ‘Queen Elizabeth Prays for the Living and the Dead’, in P. Beal and G. Ioppolo (eds.), Elizabeth I and the Culture of Writing. London: British Library, 2007

S. W. May (ed.) Queen Elizabeth I: Selected Works. Washington Square Press: New York, 2005

Books and their Owners I: Private Devotions


Thys prymer of Salysbury use. Paris: Thielman Kerver, 1534. Shelfmark: 1534.46

The Lambeth Palace Library copy of Thys prymer of Salysbury use (Paris, 1534) is a fine example of how the physical evidence left behind in a book by its readers can give us an insight into the times in which they lived. Books of Hours (Horae), also called primers, were books of private devotions for use by the laity and were popular from the later medieval period until the sixteenth-century. This example, printed in Paris for the English market on the cusp of the English Reformation, although mainly in Latin, contains several popular devotions in English, such as The Days of the Week Moralized and The Manner to Lyve Well. Inscriptions in the book recording births suggest that this primer was owned by the Constables, a prominent Catholic family from the East Riding of Yorkshire. However, in accordance with various Royal proclamations, rubrics mentioning indulgences have been erased from it (see opening), as have all mentions of the Pope and St Thomas Becket. The crossings out made by this book’s owners have generally left the text legible, suggesting that they were following the letter of the law but did not necessarily not agree with it. Furthermore, the presence in this primer of devotional woodcuts dating from later in the sixteenth century attest to its post-Reformation use. Three woodcuts have been pasted in: a hand-coloured woodcut of St Roche, an image of John the Baptist and John the Evangelist and the Arma Christi, depicting the wounds of Christ. Two others, a depiction of the Pentecost and the image of the Virgin feeding the Christ Child (see above), have been sewn in.

This book was purchased for the Library by the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library in 1994 and was displayed in our 2012 exhibition, Royal Devotion: Monarchy and the Book of Common Prayer. It attracted a lot of comment from our visitors and the postcard of the Virgin and Child was one of our bestsellers. Visitors were intrigued by the story it told about the turbulent times of the mid-sixteenth century and touched by the insight it gave into one family’s devotional life. Indeed, it was the books annotated by their owners, such as the Book of Hours of Richard III where he inscribed a note about his birthday in the calendar and the Order of Service for the 1953 Coronation, with notes by Archbishop Fisher about how to conduct the service, that really captured the imagination of the public during the exhibition. Over the next few months we will publish pieces about books and manuscripts from the collection which have been annotated in some way by their former owners.