With a little help from our Friends 4: A Rare Sarum Missal & a Unique Set of Prayers for Mary I

The Friends of Lambeth Palace Library not only help to purchase material for the Library but they also facilitate other parties who wish to donate books or manuscripts to the Library. A significant accession that has come to us in this way is a copy of Missale secundu[m] vsum insignis ecclesiae Sa[rum] printed in Rouen in 1510 for the English market, and which is only otherwise known from a surviving fragment. It was presented to the Library through the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library by the Green family of Oklahoma City in 2014.

Title page

Title page showing St George slaying the Dragon.

It is a very attractive volume and retains a contemporary blind-tooled Cambridge calf binding over wooden boards (although it has been re-backed). Printed in red and black, it has typeset music on a four-line stave, as well as several fine woodcuts. As with many missals that were printed on paper at this time, the four leaves of the Canon of the Mass are printed on vellum. As this was the most used part of the book, vellum was used for durability. The Canon also contains two full-page illustrations (The Crucifixion and God the Father) with contemporary hand-colouring (see below).

Hand-coloured woodcut of God the Father from the Canon of the Mass

Hand-coloured woodcut of God the Father from the Canon of the Mass

The book was purchased by the Greens in 2013 from the sale of the Mendham Collection by the Law Society and they subsequently offered it to the Lambeth Palace Library. Mr Richard Linenthal of the Friends looked after the practicalities and legalities of the transfer. In 2014 Mr Steve Green (see below) presented the book to Lord Salisbury, Chairman of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, who formally accepted it on the Library’s behalf.


Lord Salisbury accepts the book from Mr Steve Green on behalf of the Friends

The Mendham Collection was substantial library of Catholic and anti-Catholic books and manuscripts assembled by the Anglican clergyman and controversialist Joseph Mendham (1769–1856) and this item contains a number of notes in Mendham’s own hand. Mendham bequeathed his extensive collection to his nephew, the Rev. John Mendham. Subsequently, John’s widow, Sophia, placed the books in the care of Charles Hastings Collette, a solicitor in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, who presented many of the books to the Incorporated Law Society in Chancery Lane. The books had been on loan to the University of Kent since 1965 and were being held at Canterbury Cathedral Library when the controversial decision to sell the collection was taken.

However, Mendham was not the only owner of the book to leave marks of provenance in the book. The book also has the armorial bookplate of the Coventry antiquary Thomas Sharp (1770-1841), which has been initialed by him. The earliest owner of the book that we can discern was Sir Adrian Fortescue (1476-1539), a relation of Anne Boleyn. Sir Adrian was arrested as a precaution in 1534 after his son-in-law, Silken Thomas, launched his rebellion but was released later that year. He was arrested again in 1539 and was included in the act of attainder of that year. Condemned to death for treason he was executed on Tower Hill on 9 July 1539. No details of Sir Adrian’s alleged treason were ever given. It has been speculated that the allegation of treason was due to his refusal to accept Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church of England. However, Richard Rex thinks this is unlikely, pointing out that not only did he cross out the papal title in his book of hours and missal but also used bidding prayers which recognised Henry VIII as head of the Church. Indeed, there is a note in the missal in his own hand dated 1536, affirming Henry VIII’s authority over the English church and ending “God save the kyng”. Rather, Rex thinks that the reason for Sir Adrian’s execution might have been his connection with the Pole family through his wife. During the sixteenth century Sir Adrian came to be venerated as an English martyr and was beatified in 1895.

Notes in the hand of Sir Adrian Fortescue

Notes in the hand of Sir Adrian Fortescue

Pasted into this book is another rare item, a single sheet containing three prayers in Latin (Oratio, Secreta and Postcommunio) for Mary I entitled Prayers or collectes to be sayd in the Masse for the Quenes highness, beinge with childe (see below). Mary married Philip of Spain in July 1554 and was thought to be pregnant by autumn 1554, with a celebratory procession and mass being held in St Paul’s in November. By early the next year it was clear that Mary was not pregnant and therefore it is likely that this sheet was printed in late 1554. It is the only known printed copy of these prayers to survive but there is another version of these prayers copied into a missal printed in Paris in 1516 for the bookseller Jean Petit that is now at York Minster Library. Michael Carter notes that there are some minor differences between the printed and manuscript version of the prayers but concludes that they are so minor that there can be little doubt that the version of the prayers in the missal at York is based on the printed sheet.

Prayers for Mary

The only existing copy known of three prayers for Queen Mary during her supposed pregnancy

We are most grateful to the Green family for saving this wonderful book for the nation and to the Friends for facilitating the gift.

Further Reading

Richard Rex, ‘Blessed Adrian Fortescue: a Martyr Without a Cause?’, Anelecta Bollandiana, 115 (1997), pp. 307-353.

Sotheby & Co., Highlights from the Mendham Collection : the property of the Law Society of England and Wales. London: Sothebys, 2013.

Michael Carter, ‘Unanswered Prayers: a Cistercian Missal at York Minster Library’, The Antiquaries Journal, 95, (2015), pp. 1–11 (available at doi:10.1017⁄s0003581515000414).

An Unrecorded Cheap Repository Tract: The Rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram

A guest post by Dr David Stoker, formerly of the Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University.

The tile page of The Rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram

The tile page of The Rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram

The publications of the Cheap Repository for Moral and Religious Literature (usually known as the Cheap Repository Tracts) were the literary sensation of the last five years of the eighteenth century. Around one hundred and twenty seven titles were published by the English religious writer and philanthropist Hannah More, together with a small band of helpers, to counteract the ‘corrupt and vicious little books and ballads which have been hung out of windows in the most alluring forms or hawked through town and country.’ They were a means of providing the common people with ‘religious and useful knowledge … an antidote to the poison continually flowing thro’ the channel of vulgar and licentious publications.’ A committee was established which issued a prospectus for the project early in 1795. The tracts sought to point out the pitfalls of drunkenness, debauchery, idleness, gambling, riotous assembly, and seeking to rise above one’s station, whilst simultaneously praising the virtues of honesty, industry, thrift, patience and an acceptance of one’s pre-ordained place in society. Others dealt with contemporary political issues such as the evils of slavery or corrupt electoral practices. They did so by means of ballads and short instructive tales published as chapbooks or broadside ballads, emulating traditional forms of Street literature. One in three were designated ‘Sunday Reading’ and contained simplified Bible stories or else a specifically religious message.

The scheme proved to be enormously successful. During the first six weeks (March 3-April 18, 1795) 300,000 copies were sold wholesale. This figure had more than doubled by July; and by March 1796 two million had been disposed of. They were not just a publishing phenomenon in Great Britain. Separate editions were printed in Dublin and copies were soon taken to America and reprinted there. Beilby Porteous, the Bishop of London, sent copies to the West Indies and to Sierra Leone, and hoped that missionaries would introduce them into Asia.

There are five series of the English tracts: the earliest examples were printed by Samuel Hazard of Bath between March and May 1795. By May 1795 he could no longer cope with the demand and was joined by John Marshall, an established London printer and publisher of Street literature. Between January 1796, and November 1797, Hazard was demoted to the role of distributor and Marshall took over as sole printer. However, following a dispute with Hannah More in November 1797, he was dismissed from his post and the printing contract given to his rival, John Evans. Marshall was unhappy with his treatment by More so during 1798 and 1799 he published a further seventy three titles of his own, which are similar in content and appearance to the official tracts and are often confused with them. Most of the titles went through several editions and there has been widespread confusion in the bibliographical record, with many editions remaining unlisted and numbers of ghost entries with the same edition being listed twice but under different formats.

From visits to libraries in the UK and North America, I have amassed a large number of digital photographs of title pages and other bibliographical details, which has proved to be the most effective way of identifying editions. I began reporting this information to the English Short-title Catalogue (ESTC) about two years ago, and John Lancaster, a volunteer editor of the ESTC database, has been working with me since then. We have discovered many new editions and variants to existing editions, and have removed a number of ghost entries, but we had no expectation of finding an entirely new title. This is because virtually all of the known titles also appear in one or more collected editions of the tracts published between 1796 and the 1830s. However, a visit to Lambeth Palace Library in March of this year identified the following.

The rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; shewing the dreadful end of them and their party. Being a story calculated to instruct all persons belonging to the Societies of United Englishmen, or United Irishmen; and earnestly recommended to such as may be invited to join them, Sold by J. Evans, (Printer to the Cheap Repository for Moral and Religious Tracts,) No. 41 and 42, Long-Lane, West-Smithfield; and J. Hatchard, No. 173, Piccadilly, London. By S. Hazard, Bath. And by all booksellers, newsmen and hawkers, in town and country.

The work contains the usual series title ‘Cheap Repository’ on the title page, but does not appear in any of the collected editions, nor is it mentioned in the major published studies of the tracts. It does not appear on the Worldcat database, or the catalogues of the British Library, Bodleian, or Cambridge University. One copy only is listed on the UK COPAC database – the one I saw at Lambeth Palace Library. At the time of its discovery it did not appear on ESTC (but has now been added under the reference number N504854).

The tract is a retelling of the Biblical story of Korah and his brothers who rebelled against Moses and of their subsequent destruction; drawing parallels with the contemporary situation in Ireland and warning the populace of the dangers of insurrection. From the opening phrase – ‘At a time when rebellion has broken out in Ireland,’ the tract can be dated, quite accurately to the early summer of 1798, when there were fears that the continuing Revolution in France might give rise to a similar situation in the British isles. The date is confirmed by the names and addresses given in the imprint. There are no indications of authorship but Hannah More wrote more than half of the official tracts and remained associated with the scheme throughout 1798, although the title does not appear in her collected works. In common with other Cheap Repository Tracts the title page contains the statement ‘Entered at Stationers Hall’ but no trace of any entry has been found in the microfilm copies of the Stationers’ Register.

Exactly why this tract was not reprinted .with the other Cheap Repository Tracts and why only a single copy now appears to survive, is not clear. The virtual suppression of the Rebellion by mid-July of 1798, leading to the Act of Union in 1800 may have been a factor.

The First World War and Bishop Winnington-Ingram

This is a further blog post in a series to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. We have recently acquired this photograph of Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram (1858-1946), Bishop of London 1901-39, one of a set of photographs of Bishops and other clergy (MS 5069) kindly donated to the Library. Pictured here in uniform, the Bishop was a strong advocate of Britain’s cause during World War One and he visited the Western Front in 1915, the Grand Fleet at Rosyth and Scapa Flow in 1916, and Salonica in 1918. He also served as chaplain to the London Rifle Brigade.

Bishop Winnington-Ingram in uniform

Bishop Winnington-Ingram in uniform

His official papers held here at Lambeth, which are not voluminous in comparison to the length of his episcopate, do not include material relating to the First World War. However, the Library does hold an additional volume (MS 3406) which includes a few letters from leading naval and military commanders of the First World War: Admirals John Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher, John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty, and Field Marshal Sir William Robertson. The volume also includes a list of officers confirmed at St. Omer on Palm Sunday 1915, and a two-page printed item by Bishop Winnington-Ingram recounting his impressions of ‘The British Soldier’s Religion’ arising from his visit to the Front. He reflects on over 50 services held in the open air and in cinemas and warehouses, and observes that some of the men waiting to be confirmed had “the mud of the trenches still wet on their puttees”. The Library also holds items which he published in connection with the National Mission of Hope and Repentance, an initiative begun in 1916 to renew the country’s religious life in wartime.

For more information on Library sources for the First World War, please see our research guide, timeline and online catalogues.

Archbishop William Wake (1657-1737)

Code it be Magic: References for Archbishops’ Papers

Why do the Library’s collections of material for Archbishops of Canterbury have such a varying array of reference codes, often including abbreviations, names, numbers or slashes? What lies behind this array of identifiers, each of which should be unique for an orderable archival object, and how do they reflect the collections’ long history?

The earliest records of the administration of Archbishops of Canterbury are the Archbishops’ registers, which don’t have a reference code as such, so the register of Matthew Parker (1504-1575) is Reg. Parker for example. More extensive official papers of Archbishops, which exist from the mid-17th century but not in great quantities until the mid-19th, were traditionally bound into volumes and referenced by the Archbishop’s name and then the volume number, from eighteenth century material for Archbishop Thomas Secker (1693-1768) such as ‘Secker 2’ to more modern material such as ‘Coggan 31’ which includes requests for Archbishop Coggan to pray for rain during the long hot summer of 1976.

Currently work is progressing on the papers of Archbishop Robert Runcie (1921-2000), and his material is housed in archive quality folders with each file having an alphanumeric code which identifies the series of which it forms a part. This could be the so-called ‘main’ section, which reflects the main filing system used within Lambeth Palace at the time or series relating to specific activities, such as Anglican Communion visits (ACV). Some material was not managed as part of these series, so has a reference which reflects that; examples include photographs (PHOTO) and diaries (DIARIES). Further such material relating to senior staff from the period will be added to the catalogue in due course.

From 1933-1982 the Council on Foreign Relations served as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ‘foreign office’ and its papers were managed separately. Cataloguing work on these is ongoing and the material has the reference CFR. From 1982 its functions were merged into the main Palace administration, so relevant material is within the Runcie papers.

For many earlier Archbishops, some papers which might be considered to be their official material are within the Library’s sequence of manuscripts, which have the reference MS. Often these are items which have entered the Library well after the period of office of the relevant Archbishop. A good example is MS 3274, which are papers of Archbishop Charles Manners Sutton (1755-1828), and which include letters from numerous bishops and politicians. They were acquired through the help of the Friends of the Library in 1984.

The best way to identify relevant material within the Archbishops Papers is to use our online catalogue of archives and manuscripts, where relevant references should be visible in the ‘Order No’ field. But don’t be surprised if they take a variety of forms.

Sion College Library Provenance Project


Richard Rawlinson (1690-1755), a bibliophile and bishop of the Church of England, donated many books to Sion College Library (A83.2ap/H22)


Gilt armorial stamp of Sion College Library

Sion College Library was founded in the early 17th century for the clergy of the City of London. The Sion collections, now held by Lambeth Palace Library, have been greatly enriched over the centuries by numerous donations and bequests. These collections strongly reflect the very wide community of citizens who supported Sion College Library: everyone from nobility, surgeons and attorneys to merchants, stationers and many of London’s clergy. The names of each donor were listed by the College in a volume known as the Book of Benefactors (see Sion L40.2/E64 for a transcription), but many of the books also contain physical evidence of their previous owners.


Do you recognise this hand-painted armorial bookplate found in a Lutheran Bible of 1536? (A13.6/L97)

With a major project currently underway to catalogue the 30,000 early printed books in the Sion collections, it has become clear that marks of provenance are both numerous and varied, and that evidence of previous ownership, such as bookplates, inscriptions, ink stamps and armorial bindings, can reveal the history of an individual book. Inspired by the University of Pennsylvania’s wonderful Provenance Online Project (POP), the Printed Books team here at Lambeth have created the Sion College Library Provenance Project:

18th century bookplate of the Dutch sea captain, J. G. Michiels (A96.6/J23)

18th century bookplate of the Dutch sea captain, J. G. Michiels (A96.6/J23)

The project’s home page allows you to view all of our images, organised in chronological order with the most recent shown first. There are also separate sets for each different category of provenance mark (with most types divided into “identified” and “unidentified” examples): – Identified bookplatesUnidentified bookplatesIdentified inscriptionsUnidentified inscriptionsIdentified bindingsUnidentified bindingsIdentified stamps Unidentified stampsIllegible inscriptionsSion College Library marksBinding wasteAnnotations. You can also browse the collections using the tags we have added to each entry.

In addition to showing the different marks of provenance within the Sion collections, the project also aims to seek your collaboration and comments to help decipher and identify as many of our provenance marks as possible. If you know of any information that would help identify an entry, please feel free to sign in and leave us a comment or transcription! We look forward to hearing from you.

Click here to visit the project: Sion College Library Provenance Project

A83.2a B14E (2)

Can you decipher this inscription? Let us know! (A83.2a/B14E)

The Printed Books Team

Herborising and the High Church – the story of the Reverend Richard Thomas Lowe (1)

This year Lambeth Palace Library and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Library, Art & Archives have been engaged in a collaborative project looking at the role played by clergymen in the study and progress of natural science. The intimate links between members of the clergy and the development of science may to some seem unexpected, but the significant role of clergymen has been both influential and far reaching. With potential postings to far flung locations, time between pastoral duties and reverence for the natural world, these educated men were well placed to undertake scientific investigations. It is these links which the collaborative project has sought to explore, focusing primarily on the complex and intriguing character of the Reverend Richard Thomas Lowe (1802-1874). Lowe’s achievements as a naturalist have been obscured as a result of the controversies he caused on Madeira in relation to his clerical practices during his time as chaplain on the island in the 19th century. This series of blogs posts will examine this tale of ecclesiastical intrigue – it is a story of suspicion, principles and unwanted innovation which is revealed through our respective library and archival collections.

IMG_1240 Lowe edited

Photographic image of Richard Thomas Lowe, courtesy of the National Archives (J 121/2416).

Lowe first journeyed to Madeira as a Travelling Bachelor in 1826 following his graduation and ordination as deacon (on Christmas Day 1825) in Christ College Cambridge. He arrived on the island’s shores in company with his ailing mother, Susanna Lowe (his father having died when he was an infant). The trip was to be cathartic, spiritual and educational – a heady mixture. For Lowe’s mother the island offered comfort from the ravaging symptoms of consumption (tuberculosis or TB). Madeira was effectively an island sanatorium; its temperate climate offered respite and comfort from the debilitating disease. For Susanna’s son, however, Madeira presented an opportunity. Although it had been explored by the likes of Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), Lowe was convinced that fresh discoveries lay waiting to be made by an intrepid naturalist.


View of Madeira from 1807 (The English Church in Madeira by H.A. Newell, 1931, plt. 3. Lambeth Palace Library, H5697.M2).

After many months of exploring the island’s natural riches, Lowe decided to remain on Madeira (he had return to England briefly to receive his MA and be ordained as a priest in September 1830). He was soon presented with an opportunity which would boost his professional prospects. In 1831 the chaplain on the island, the Reverend William Deacon, offered Lowe the position of temporary chaplain to the flock of residents and visitors who attended the little English Church on the island (now known as the Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity). Deacon was to return to England for a time and was in need of a reliable and capable locum. Lowe had made a favourable impression both with Deacon and the congregation – he was the natural choice to fill the position. The temporary role was fortuitous, but Lowe may well have had his sights fixed upon more. It was generally known that Deacon was amid a wrangle over his salary. This was to be reduced by £100 a year and in protest he was to remove himself to England until the matter was resolved.  There were, however, suggestions that Deacon’s sojourn would become a permanent move and his position would fall vacant – Lowe, was in a prime position.

Lowe fulfilled the role of locum with care and diligence. He preached to his receptive congregation and the established pattern of worship continued without aberration. The only difficulty for Lowe, was the limited time he was left with for his botanising over the course of the season (the sheer volume of the sick who resided on the island kept the chaplains of Madeira very busy, offering succour and comfort where they could), but he was a dedicated clergyman and continued to minister to the best of his ability. All seemed to be going well, but his spell as spiritual leader was put to an abrupt end – Deacon returned early and Lowe stood aside.


Exterior view of the English Church on Madeira as it appeared in 1844 (The English Church in Madeira, by H.A. Newell, 1931 plt. 5. Lambeth Palace Library, H5697.M2).

For the time being Lowe could dedicate his time solely to his natural history research (find out more on Kew’s Library, Art & Archives blog). Soon, however, the foundations laid during his temporary position yielded fruit. Around 1832/33 Deacon retired and Lowe was once again in a position to step neatly into his shoes. He wrote excitedly to his great friend Sir William Hooker (1785-1865) (who had been Professor of Botany at Glasgow University and then famously Director of Kew from 1841) to tell him of the “comfort of a permanent provision and employment in my profession”:

I am sure you will be glad to hear I am likely to succeed at the end of the year to the Chaplaincy of this place, under circumstances peculiarly gratifying…the Brit[ish] Residents have unanimously & of their own accord entirely, come forward, drawn up and submitted a memorial in my favour to the Government (Directors’ Correspondence 58/179).

All did not quite commence without incident. Lowe refused to assume the position of chaplain until he had officially received word from the Government and the Bishop of London – much to the fury of Madeira’s consul Henry Veitch (1782-1857) who held sway on the island. He withheld Lowe’s salary and threatened to appoint another chaplain if the current nominee was unwilling. Lowe backed down and settled into his role, being officially recognised as chaplain on 31st December 1833.

For the time being the skies seemed clear and life resumed its tranquil rhythm, but storm clouds were brewing.
A5 leaflet HerborisingYou are warmly invited to come and view our collaborative exhibition “Herborising and the High Chiurch…” which runs until 20th July 2015 in the Reading Room at Kew.


Charles Blomfield, Correspondence between the Lord Bishop of London (1846) [ Lambeth Palace Library, H5133 472.11]
Herbert Andrew Newell, The English Church in Madeira (1931) [Lambeth Palace Library, H5697.M2]
Foreign chaplaincies: three letters to the Lord Bishop of London (1853) [Lambeth Palace Library H5150 12.13]
RBG Kew: Library, Art &Archives, Directors’ Correspondence 58/179
RBG Kew, Library, Art & Archives: Directors’ Correspondence 58/171
Patrick H. Armstrong, The English Parson-naturalist  (2000)                                                               Roy Nash, Scandal in Madeira: the story of Richard Thomas Lowe (1990)


Dr Richard Palmer has begun a project to produce new online descriptions of the early catalogues of Lambeth Palace Library 1610-1785, funded by the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library.

The first catalogue of the Library Records, 1612 (ref: LR F1 f68r)

The first catalogue of the Library Records

New descriptions have been completed of the early catalogues of the Library up to the transfer of the books to Cambridge. In addition work began on a guide to the catalogues, shelf marks and other physical evidence of the collection and its arrangement over the centuries. This now covers the early history of the Library until the return of the collections from Cambridge in 1664, including accounts of the catalogues produced at Cambridge and the shelf-marks added there. Photographs are being taken as the work progresses. The guide will be hosted on the Library’s website.

Of special interest is the new description of LR/F/57, which has hitherto been overlooked by scholarship. This is a catalogue of the printed books, made in preparation for their return to Lambeth in 1664 and probably delivered to Lambeth with them. It begins as a packing list, recording the books in the order of the barrels in which they were placed for transport. Then the compiler gives up the task, recording the rest in the order of the shelves from which they came.