RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoCM
Extent55 files
TitleCartae Antiquae et Miscellaneae (Lambeth Charters)
DescriptionComprises records of the Archbishops from the 12th century onwards. The series was continued with the addition of archiepiscopal records, and various acquisitions dating from the late 12th century to the 20th century.

The collection thus presented to the public is drawn from so many sources, and is of such complexity, that some attempt must be made to unravel the individual threads.

Records of archiepiscopal administration
By far the largest single group of records represented is inevitably that of the archiepiscopal administration. There is a large group of important early charters, principally royal, which as Mr. Collins pointed out, bore for the most part endorsements by which they could be related to the cartulary entries in Lambeth 1212 (Collins, op. cit.; K. Major, Acta Stephani Lantfon, C. & Y., 1945-6, 158-9, discusses the sources and composition of Lambeth 1212). It is perhaps worth noting that some at least of these were by 1633 'in the truncke in the late Lord Archbishop's bedchamber' (Tanner ms. 88, f. 24) which contained inter alia 'a charter of Edward the first for a faire and markett at St. Nicholas in Thanett' (XI, 78) and 'a charter of Henry II de saca et soco' (perhaps XI, 2). There is also a mass of title deeds to properties in Bekesbourne, Sevenoaks and Knole which were acquired by Archbishop Bourchier during the fifteenth century and held by his successors until Cranmer surrendered them to the Crown in 1537. The exchanges which followed this and other surrenders brought into Cranmer's hands for a time the properties of some Kentish religious houses (V. C. H. Kent, II, 136, 148, 171), notably Dover, Langdon and Malling, and a few of the muniments of these houses, presumably acquired at this time, remain with the archiepiscopal charters.

The management of the archiepiscopal estates is recorded for the most part in the court rolls and accounts listed by Miss Sayers, and in the records returned to Lambeth by the Church Commissioners (Sayers, op. cit.; Owen, op. cit. ) but a few counterpart leases and officers' patents of the early seventeenth century, which were presumably once sent in to Gurney House, and some household, personal and estate vouchers of Whitgift's time (similar vouchers and some accounts are bound up in Lambeth ms. 807), seem to have strayed from the main series and are now among the Carte, together with an interesting grant of the Canterbury mint made in 1533 to a London goldsmith (II, 3).

The register was the principal medieval record for all provincial and diocesan business and few other documents can be expected to survive from this period, but there are two ordinations of chantries (V, 145; X, 37) which are of some interest and, for the later period, a number of informal petitions concerning tithes, incumbents and schoolmasters, which were presumably addressed directly to the Archbishop. There are also some comperta of a visitation of Kentish parishes made in 1563 and a number of unions of benefices in Canterbury, made in accordance with the act of 17 Car. II, c. 1. The formal provincial records accumulated in the office of the vicar general, if they were not incorporated in the registers, but a few stray documents concerned with the administration of vacant sees and the conduct of metropolitan visitations, chiefly for the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, are among the Carte.

Similar strays have been noted from other 'independent' branches of archiepiscopal administration, but from earlier periods. So little has survived from the records of the Court of Arches before 1660 that any scrap of evidence is useful, even a single leaf from a register of citations (VI, 100). XI, 42 seems to be an exhibit in a case concerning the property of an alien priory, heard before the Dean of Arches in the church of St. Mary of Arches in 1241. A letter of proxy executed in 1271 (X, 18) shows the system of tuitorial appeal to Canterbury in full action at that time. XVIII, 3 is a roll of depositions produced in an Arches case of the early 14th century and XIX, 10 contains interrogatories in a case of about 1500. Strays from the records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury are slightly more numerous: they include four sets of case papers in disputed testamentary cases of the mid sixteenth century, three slightly earlier administration accounts and five excellent probate inventories of the late fifteenth century.

The new administrative and judicial agencies created in the sixteenth century were even less directly under the Archbishop's eye than the earlier courts and few of their records can be expected here. The Faculty Office had from the first an entirely independent set of records (D. S. Chambers, Faculty Office Registers, 1534-49, Oxford, 1966), but there are here a few royal confirmations of papal dispensations which, like some of the papal documents in mss. 643-4, bear an endorsement of exhibition, during 1537, before Anthony Huse n.p., and which may be part of a file associated with the business of that office. The Court of Delegates is represented by no more than an exemplification of a sentence (XIII, 2) which is scarcely part of its records, and the missing records of the High Commission are not much illumined by the papers in two cases of Puritanism (XII, 15, 16, 19) and by a group of letters concerning the imprisonment of Humphrey Fen and other supporters of the Book of Discipline (IV, 184-198), which is already known from other sources. The occurrence of these strays in the Archbishop's own records is not easy to explain, though it seems certain that some Prerogative Court records had in fact remained in Lambeth until 1857 and were removed directly from there to Somerset House (Canterbury Administration, I, 419-23) and that the Arches records were similarly held at Lambeth at some point (ibid., 421,489) and that the 'strays' in the Carte had in fact been left behind.

The role of the Archbishop after 1532, as the principal channel of communication between the Church and the Crown, resulted in the accumulation at Lambeth of records which were, at any rate at first, of an informal and personal nature and which resembled the memoranda of a modern statesman far more nearly than anything yet produced by an Archbishop. Such memoranda were obviously the personal papers of the Archbishops; they were often lost or removed elsewhere (the best example of this is the Parker accumulation at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and particularly the 'certificates' of 1563 in mss. 97, 122 and 580. M. R. James Catalogue ..... Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 2 vols. 1912, and R. Vaughan and J. Fines, 'A Handlist .....' Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, III, part 2 (1960). Other examples are in B. M. Harleian mss. 594 and 595 and some are among the Tanner and Rawlinson manuscripts in the Bodleian Library: Quarto Catalogues, 1860 and 1862) yet it is clear that Archbishop Abbot, at least, had made some effort to preserve them systematically in his paper study. The list drawn up in 1633 contained such things as:

'f. 29. In shelf n°4° touching the armes by the clergie . . . eighteene certificates of horse and foote founde by the clergie without date in one bundell . . .
f. 38 v°. The state of the clergie in the diocese of Assaph Gloucester Sarum London Wigorn' Bristol.
f. 47 v°. In shelf n°25° touching ecclesiasticall courtes ... a briefe of certificates made to the archbishop touching ecclesiasticall courtes.'

Many of the papers noted in the 1633 list are not now at Lambeth, yet a surprising number of them, and of others very like them but not now recognizable in the list, remained to be incorporated in the Carte. The earliest of them is the group of documents concerning Warham's dispute with his suffragans about the probate jurisdiction in 1513 (XI, 83-85). There is a copy of letters patent of 28 January 1542-3 granting a seven year monopoly of the printing of mass books, graduals and other service books to Richard Grafton and Edward Whitchurche, but apart from this and a few returned mandates for the 'royal' visitations of 1534 the papers do not begin until 1558. The royal visitation which followed hard on the accession of Queen Elizabeth I included in its instructions to the commissaries who carried it out, the delivery of injunctions and the administration of an oath of recognition of certain articles (Strype, Annals, I, 245). For the purposes of visitation the clergy of several dioceses were grouped together. The subscriptions made by clergy and schoolmasters to the restoration of state jurisdiction over the church, the abolition of all foreign power over the church and the administration of sacraments according to the Prayer Book, in two of these groups, London Norwich and Ely, and Lincoln and Lichfield, have survived here (XIII, 57, 58, 63) (Strype op. cit., I, 255 mentions having seen them at Lambeth but gives no reference). Some later subscriptions to the Royal Supremacy, the Prayer Book and the Articles of Religion have also been preserved. In a few cases the subscriptions were plainly those made during a metropolitical visitation (E.g. Buckingham archdeaconry, 1584-5 XIII, 62) but the subscriptions for Canterbury itself and for London cover much longer periods and the presence of the latter is inexplicable.

It is, perhaps, in the surveys or certificates concerning the clergy that the most interesting and valuable of this sixteenth-century material is to be found. Mention has already been made of Parker's 1561 survey, which was primarily concerned with residence (E. Cardwell, Documentary Annals of the Reformed Church of England, Oxford, 1839, I, 275) but the later returns preserved at Lambeth are principally directed to discovering the qualifications and intellectual state of the parochial clergy. They fall into two groups, the first of which, dated 1576-7, was made in response to an archiepiscopal mandate of 14 September 1576 and seems to be associated with the deliberations of the convocation of March 1575-6, which were said to be principally on this topic (Strype, Grindal, 290). There are returns here for the dioceses of Hereford and Gloucester and the archdeaconries of Middlesex and Leicester; Canon Foster found in the Lincoln diocesan records and printed a copy of a similar return for the archdeaconries of Lincoln and Stow (Lincoln Episcopal Records in the time of Bishop Cooper, Lincoln Record Society 2, 1912, 157-213). The second and much larger group of returns was made in response to a letter sent out by Whitgift in January 1592-3 and according to Strype (Strype, Whitgift, II, I2l and appendix 292-3),

'a Parliament being within a month to come together to prevent such complaints against the clergy of ignorance and insufficiency, the Queen, moved as is probable by the archbishop, required now speedily, before the Parliament sat, an exact account of all the ministry in general'.

A similar order went to the Archbishop of York (Tanner 88 f. 21 'The Queen's letters 13 Jan. 1592 to the Archbishop of Yorke to cause a certificate to be made of all ministers beneficed and serving cures, the names degrees and Conversations'). Returns made to Whitgift have survived for Oxford, Gloucester, Coventry and Lichfield, Peterborough and Rochester; York and Chester returns are also in the Carte. Only the Gloucester returns are named in the 1633 list, which also mentions a series of others that have evidently not survived. The value of these returns both for evidence of the clergy's qualifications and for individual biographical information need scarcely be emphasised.

A canon of 1597, apparently inspired by the contemporary movement to reform church courts, required from diocesan bishops returns of the numbers of excommunicates within their diocese and such a return has survived for Lincoln for 1598-9 (XII, 22, 61). Other returns, of ordinations and institutions at Worcester and Peterborough, are evidently fulfilling a similar requirement.

Many of the documents thus accumulated can be attributed to the archiepiscopate of John Whitgift, and his personal interests are well represented, not only in the vouchers mentioned above, but also in various papers originating from his period as Bishop of Worcester and vice-president of the Council of the Marches. Thus, as Bishop of Worcester, he made a return of recusants in his diocese about 1577 (IV, 183), acted as commissary in the metropolitical visitation of Hereford cathedrals in 1582 (C.S.P.D. 1581-90, 69, 106) and collected a mass of papers relating to Fabian Philipps and the Council of the Marches (I, 84-111). His zeal against recusancy was well known and as in January 1594-5 he was ordered by the Privy Council to draw up a schedule of recusants then at liberty on bond (W. R. Trimble, The Catholic Laity . . . . , 1964, p. 148), it was doubtless at his instigation that the recusancy bonds now in IV, were collected together (this seems to be the implication to be drawn from VI, 86a). These and the other Whitgift papers are not mentioned in the 1633 list and perhaps represent a store of records kept elsewhere than in the paper study and therefore less vulnerable.

Additions, chiefly 'foreign', made after 1660
A series of additions was made to the records at Lambeth after 1662 and most of them are in some way represented in the Carte. A few of these additions result from the activities of Archbishop Sheldon: correspondence about collections for plague victims in 1665, inquiries into the state of hospitals with a view to providing for seamen maimed in the Dutch wars, and attempts to raise funds, by means of briefs, for the ransom of Algerian prisoners. Much more was added, however, by the sorting of episcopal and capitular records which must be presumed as a result of the Parliamentary order already referred to. Little evidence has yet been discovered as to how, when and by whom this large scale operation took place, but proof of its inefficiency can be seen in documents missing from some capitular records (e.g. a mid 17th eentury lease book is missing from the Lincoln chapter records), and in the inexplicable presence of strays in others (Ely chapter records include small quantities of records of the Manchester collegiate church, and strays found at Worcester and Norwich were returned to Ely in the later 19th century). Even clearer evidence of this can be seen in the 'foreign' records which form so large a part of the Carte. The Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, for example, are represented not only by counterpart leases and bonds of the early seventeenth century but also by a large number of charters, principally relating to the almonry, and including King John's invitation to the prior and monks to return to England after the interdict had been lifted (XI, 7). There are also a number of estate letters and memoranda, a large section of which relates to the drainage of Romney Marsh. Similarly, the deans and chapters of Gloucester and Worcester and the Bishops of Carlisle, Winchester and Worcester have contributed small groups. There are a number of interesting documents from Rochester Cathedral, including apparently some of the muniments of Leeds Priory, most of the property of which passed to Rochester at the Dissolution (V. C. H. Kent, II, 164). It is the episcopal records of Norwich, however, which have left most trace in the Carte (and in the classes of papal bulls and estate documents). There are medieval administrative documents of considerable interest and importance, including records of the collection of first fruits in the fifteenth century. Even more important there are charters and manorial records of the abbey of St. Benet of Holme, most of the possessions of which passed to the see of Norwich by Act of Parliament (27 Henry viii, c. 45, VCH Norfolk, II, 336). Some of them were labelled 'Norwich' by a seventeenth-century hand, perhaps during sorting. When Matthew Wren compiled his memoranda from the records of the see of Norwich, before 1638, he included large numbers of quotations from St. Benet records which were then with those of the bishop (U.L.C, Ely Diocesan Records, G. 2. 4, cols. 111-114) but if any of these were returned to Norwich in 1662 they were very soon acquired by Thomas Tanner and have found a home in the Bodleian Library (W. H. Turner and H. O. Coxe, Calendar of the Charters .... Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1878, passim). Yet others, related to the first fruit lists named above, had been at Bungay and found their way to the British Museum before 1891 (Procs. Suffolk Institute of Archaeology, vii, 1891, 91 et seq.).

It seems likely that the collections of Brian Walton, later Bishop of Chester, relating to the London Tithe dispute of 1634-8, which now form CM VII, VIII and IX and mss. 272-3, reached Lambeth only after 1660. Whatever the means by which they came, they are undoubtedly of great interest, not only for antiquarian details about London parishes, of which they are full, but also for the picture they give of Walton's extremely vigorous and efficient organisation of the clergy's campaign (for the dispute see: C. Hill, Economic Problems of the Church from Archbishop Whitgift to the Long Parliament, Oxford, 1956, 275-88, T. C. Dale, The Inhabitants of London in 1638, 1931, and V. Pearl, London and the Outbreak of the Puritan Revolution, Oxford, 1961).

Enough has been said to explain the multiplicity of interests which are represented by this collection, but in conclusion it is perhaps desirable to draw the reader's attention to certain documents of specific individual importance. The unsealed chirograph (VI, 121) by which Geoffrey the Prior of Christ Church granted demesne lands at Copton to some of his tenants, represents admirably the information on Kentish economic and social history which is available here. There is a repetition by Archbishop Chichele of a bull restraining the activities of barber surgeons (XXII, 46) and the appointment of an otherwise unknown papal collector (XXII, 24). Four documents (II, 52-4; XI, 42) relate to thirteenth-century cases concerning the English possessions of French religious houses. There is a varied and interesting group of Hertfordshire title deeds, the provenance of which is quite unknown (XIV and XV, passim), a file of documents about the status of the Rolls Chapel (XVI. 13), a formulary drawn up for the use of clerks in manorial courts in the early fourteenth century (XVIII, 1) and finally, a presentation deed under the Great Seal of England, by warrant of the councillors of state acting during the illness of King George V in 1929 (XIX, 13).
AccrualsNot accruing

Archiepiscopal Documents

Archiepiscopal Administration

Royal Charters: I, 43; III, 15; IV, 1; VI, 113-117; X, 109; XI, 1-6, 8-13,15, 20-22, 24, 26-29, 78-81, 96; XII, 11-13, 23a, 31, 42; XIII, 1-2,19-21, 23, 24
Other early charters: XI, 17-19, 35, 50, 55
Titles to land acquired in 15th century: II, 37-8, 47-8; IV, 21; V, 28-35, 39, 43-4, 47, 55, 62-69, 90-1, 93-6, 130-5, 137-90; X, 8-10, 36-90, 99, 104-5, 116-118, 122-4, 126-7, 131, 133-5, 137; XV, 5; XX, 6
Patents of officers: I, 2, 5-42, 44, 66; II, 3, 14, 80; XII, 52; XXI, 2
Leases and Lease bonds: II, 58; III, 61; IV, 18-19, 41; V, 52; VI, 80; X, 20, 21, 96, 98, 120; XII, 46-7
Estate papers. II, 95; III, 4-5, 7-12, 16; V, 5, 15
Titles to monastic properties acquired in 16th century: Dover Priory: V, 8; X, 23; XI, 60, 72; XIII, 6 (ii); Eastbridge Hospital: II, 70; VI, 77; XI, 46; XII, 41; Langdon Priory: III, 43; Lesnes Priory: V, 45, 56-7, 59-61; X, 28-31, 149; XII, 14; Malling Abbey: V, 97-107, 129; X, 144
Diocesan administration: I, 45-54; II, 33-4, 40, 62; IV, 97; V, 1, 6, 9, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26; VI, 62-3, 78, 90, 97; XI, 37, 44, 57, 73-6, 97; XII, 58-9; XIII, 44, 50, 54
Metropolitical rights: VI, 75; XI, 83-5
Metropolitical visitations: II, 11, 19, 57, 77, 79; VI, 51, 53, 72, 74; XII, 42; XVIII, 10-13
Royal Prohibitions: II, 83, 87; VI, 99; XI, 86-7; XII, 51
Jurisdiction in vacant sees: II, 24, 28-9, 35, 50, 69, 82; V, 7, 16, 25; XI, 33, 93; XIII, 40
Collection of clerical subsidies (principally Archbishop Parker): I, 55, 60-65, 67-83; VI, 103; XVIII, 5, 14
Court of Arches: II, 52-4; VI, 66, 100; X, 18, 24; XI, 39, 41-2, 58; XVIII, 3; XIX, 10, 21, 23-4
Prerogative Court of Canterbury: II, 67, 71-6, 88, 92; III, 1-2, 6; IV, 15-17, 20; VI, 50; XVI, 1; XVII, 9, 12; XVIII, 6, 8, 9, 15, 16; XIX, 3, 5,6
Relations of Canterbury and York: XI, 25
Faculty Office: IV, 8-11; XI, 36, 62, 65-71; XII, 44-5, 50, 54
Court of High Commission: IV, 184-98; XII, 15-16, 19

Archbishop and National Church

Metropolitical visitation of 1534; II, 1, 49, 55-6, 63, 65, 78; VI, 71; XI, 56; XII, 56; XIII, 28
Patent for printing liturgical books: XI, 77
Recusants' bonds: IV, 22-40, 42-77, 80, 129-140, 142-82; VI, 85
Subsidy of armour 1590: I, 56-59
Subscriptions: V, 18; XIII, 57-63
Surveys of clergy: XII, passim
Commissions concerning liturgy etc.: V, 3; XL 92, 94, 95; XII, 24, 60; XIII, 3
Returns of excommunicates, ordinations and institutions: XII, 22, 28, 61; XIII, 38, 42, 65; XIX, 7
License to paint royal arms: II, 13
Post-restoration briefs etc.: II, 5-6, 15-16; IV, 2-7; VI, 1-47, 150; XIV, 3-8, 32

Archbishop, Personal

Cranmer: XVI, 11
Whitgift: I, 84-111; IV, 183, 199; V, 2, 11-14, 21, 27; VI, 81, 84, 86, 93, 93a, 104, 112, 151-76; XIX, 2
Bancroft; II, 4, 86; VI, 52; XII, 27, 29, 53

'Foreign' Documents Mis-sorted after 1662

Dean and Chapter of Canterbury
Priory estates, especially almonry, charters: II, 2,40-1; V, 82-3,85-9,92; X, 108; XI, 7, 14, 47; XII, 32-4; XVII, 2-5; XIX, 26-7
Almonry cartulary: XIII, 15
Priory estate management: II, 27, 91; V, 54, 58; VI, 82, 89, 92, 119-27, 129-49; X, 97, 128; XII, 20; XIII, 27; XVI, 2-6, 8-10
Romney marsh: II, 51, 90, 94; III, 3, 14; VI, 83, 96; XII, 21; XVII, 8; XIX, 8, 20
Leases and other estate papers, post 1540: I, 3; II, 93; III, 17-33, 35-42, 44, 46-60, 62-83, 85-87; IV, 78-9, 81-96, 98-127, 141; VI, 64-5, 101-2, 106-8, 110-11; XVI, 12; XIX, 1; XX, 7
Dean and Chapter of Norwich: VI, 128
Dean and Chapter of Rochester: V, 42; X, 1, 3, 26, 113; XI, 61
Leeds Priory : II, 41-6, III, 89-134; V, 48, 84, 108-11; VI, 94; X, 13, 14, 129, 148; XI, 23, 45, 51-2
Dean and Chapter of Worcester: VI, 59, 70
Bishop of Carlisle: VI, 60; XI, 34; XII, 35
Bishop of London: III, 88
Bishop of Norwich
Administrative records of bishop: II, 31-2, 64; VI, 58; X, 19, 106; XI, 48; XII, 30; XIII, 55
Charters and leases: II, 34; X, 25, 136, 138-42; XI, 43; XII, 37-8
First fruits records: XVII, 6-7; XVIII, 2; XIX, 9
St. Benet of Holme: II, 30; V, 36-8, 50, 70-81, 112-128, 136; X, 12, 32-35, 91-2, 95, 102, 107, 119, 121, 125, 132; XI, 32, 49
Bishop of Salisbury: VI, 55
Bishop of Winchester: II, 21; X, 93-4; XI, 30; XII, 18
Bishop of Worcester: II, 22-3, 25-6; VI, 61; XII, 36
For the catalogue of the collection by Davis Wilkins, Lambeth Librarian to at least 1720, see MS. 1038.
A. C. Ducarel, in the short period between 13 and 25 July 1758, copied or abstracted and indexed by subject and place the list made by Wilkins (Slatter, op. cit., 100-101), and this manuscript list and index [now LR/F/50-52], a copy of which is also among the Stowe manuscripts in the British Museum (Stowe 124), remained in use in the Library for the next century and a half, until S. W. Kershaw (Librarian 1883-1909) made and annotated a typescript copy of the index for the use of readers (LR/F/53). Notices of the manuscripts after Ducarel's day are singularly slight. John Topham, who was Lambeth librarian from 1790 to 1803, told the Royal Commissioners on the Public Records that 'the chief part are of the reign of Henry VIII and subsequent thereto' (Report on Public Records, 1800, 388). Henry Todd, Topham's successor, printed the headings of Ducarel's catalogue in his own account of the Lambeth manuscripts (Todd, 267-8) and Kershaw recorded that the volumes had been bound (that is, presumably, re-bound) 'about 1846 at Archbishop Howley's expense'. A few of the documents were noted in the transactions of local historical and archaeological societies (notably in Archaeologia Cantiana and Sussex Archaeological Collections; much of this activity was due to Kershaw's energetic publicity) and there was an increasing use of the collection as the century proceeded. The volumes became very dilapidated and during the re-organization of the library after the second world war it was decided to break them up, and, while retaining the old means of reference, to keep the documents loose in boxes. Unfortunately it was not always possible to identify the documents from Ducarel's brief descriptions when they were detached; some had been wrongly labelled, and to save confusion it was decided to make an entirely new catalogue, while retaining the old arrangement. This catalogue, when completed in 1959, was duplicated and circulated by the National Register of Archives. It was revised for publication (D.M. Owen, A catalogue of Lambeth manuscripts 889 to 901 (Carte Antique et Miscellanee) (1968) [CM I-XXII]. This gives more detailed information about their custodial history) and the opportunity was taken to add descriptions of a series of loose documents which have reached the library, sometimes from unknown sources, in some cases from the bequests of Dr. F. C. Eeles and Canon Claude Jenkins, and also to transfer and describe charters and other documents which had originally been included in the class called 'Court rolls and surveys'. These additional documents appear in the list below as CM. XIV to XXII. At the same time estate documents (for these see J. E. Sayers, Estate Documents at Lambeth Palace Library, a short catalogue, 1965) and papal documents originally placed with the Carte have been transferred to the collections to which they appear to belong, and their new numbers are indicated at the appropriate points in the catalogue.
Other catalogue records based on:
Carte Antique et Miscellanee: supplementary series: a catalogue (typescript available in the Library) [CM 23-55].
I.J. Churchill, East Kent Records. A calendar of some unpublished documents and court rolls in the Library of Lambeth Palace (Kent Records, vol. 7, 1922) (published) [now CM 31-36].

CM I-XIII also noted in H.J. Todd, A catalogue of the archiepiscopal manuscripts in the library at Lambeth Palace (1812), under MSS 889-901 and on pp. 267-268.
CreatorNameArchbishop of Canterbury
The late Dr. Irene Churchill published a list of Canterbury muniments (Table of Canterbury Archbishopric Charters', Camden Miscellany XV (1929) ) which was drawn up about 1330 and which appears to be our only evidence, apart from the cartulary known as Lambeth ms. 1212, about the medieval charters of the Archbishops. Miss Churchill concluded, and Mr. Collins has elaborated the theme (A. J. Collins, 'The Documents of the Great Charter 1215'; Proc. of the British Academy XXXIV, 233-79. See also Canterbury Administration, I, 546) that the charters were kept when the list was compiled, and presumably until the Dissolution, in a special treasury at St. Gregory's Canterbury. The registers, the central record of archiepiscopal administration, were carried about with the Archbishop, although some specialised branches, notably the Court of Canterbury (the Court of Arches) and the Prerogative Jurisdiction began in the later middle ages to 'go out of court' and to set up their own record departments (the most recent discussions of this theme are in the Lambeth Lectures of 1960, published as Medieval Records of the Archbishops of Canterbury, 1962, J. Sayers, The Medieval Care--' Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research xxxix (1966) and F. R. H. Du Boulay, The Lordship of Canterbury, 1966). Meanwhile the commissary who exercised the Archbishop's powers within the diocese of Canterbury had been accumulating a store of records at Canterbury (B. L. Woodcock, Medieval Ecclesiastical Courts in the Diocese of Canterbury, Oxford, 1952), as his successors continue still to do.

Little contemporary evidence is available about the record keeping of the archbishops, as distinct from their 'departments', after the Reformation, but it is clear that Archbishop Parker examined the charters (his characteristic red chalk marks are visible on II, 1; XI, 13, 36, and he inserted several other charters into his (printed) work, De Antiquitate Ecclesie Cantuariensis (1572) now Lambeth ms. 959) and may well have been responsible for transporting them from Canterbury to Lambeth. Here many of them undoubtedly were when, in 1633, on the death of Archbishop Abbot, a list was made of records in his 'paper study' and chamber, which now forms part of Bodleian ms. Tanner 88. Dr. D. M. Barratt has shown that some at least of the contents of the study were later acquired by John Selden and remained in his library ('The Library of John Selden and its later History', Bodleian Library Record, III, 1951) and during the past year a considerable quantity of other 'Selden' records, the exciting history of which Mr. Bill has recently told ('Records of the Church of England recently recovered by Lambeth Palace Library', Journal of Society of Archivists, III, no. 1, April 1965), have been recovered by the Lambeth Library. The recovered records belong for the most part to the sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century papers which formed the principal contents of the study in 1633, but enough earlier records appear in the list to make it clear that they too were at that time in Lambeth (the list mentions a number of royal charters, 'quedam bulle papales and copies of others' (f. 45 v°), medieval rolls of the Palace court and of the archiepiscopal liberties (f. 58 v°) and two cartularies (f. 58) ).

Selden seems to have had access to the Lambeth records when he was a member of the Parliamentary committee which arranged the transfer of Bancroft's library to Cambridge (D. M. Barratt, op. cit., p. 139; A. Cox-Johnson, 'Lambeth Palace Library 1610-64', Trans. Cambridge Bibliographical Society, II, part 2, 1955), but the fortunes of the records left behind when he had made his choice, and the Library had gone, is somewhat obscure. The books and records in Laud's study had been sealed by the Clerk of Parliament during 1644 on the order of the House of Lords (Journals of the House of Lords, VI, 583) and many of them have subsequently appeared in other places (notably in the Bodleian Library. R. W. Hunt and others, A Summary Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, i, xvi and index). A large number of the records at Lambeth must, however, have been affected by the appointment, in November 1646, of Trustees for the sale of church lands (Journals of the House of Commons, IV, 716b), with a 'register' who was instructed to: 'methodise and put in good order all charters, evidences and writings belonging to the late archbishops and bishops and all books of survey and other things to be delivered to his care and custody, to be kept by him as records and make catalogues of them and fit them in such manner as the subject may readily see and have copies (if he desire it) of whatsoever be brought into the Register's office and be under his charge and custody'.

There is no doubt that many financial and estate records and probably charters, were taken from Lambeth to the register's office, which was in Gurney House in Old Jewry, and the treatment they there received is described in an original petition, evidently of about 1660, which seems to have been addressed to the Upper House of Convocation and which is now preserved in the Sancroft papers in Bodleian ms. Tanner 141, f.109: 'Whereas by ordinance of Parliament 16 Nov. 1646 the lands belonging to Archbishops, Bishops, etc. were exposed to sale by several contractors and trustees and by that and other subsequent ordinances a strict command was laid upon the surveyors appointed by those trustees not only to survey the same Bishops lands but to search and seare (sic) the evidences books and charters belonging to them and to bring them to the said trustees then sitting at Gourney House in the Old Jury London which as farre as came to their view was effected accordingly but the said evidences bookes and charters were brought in a promiscuous and disorderly way and made altogether uselesse.

That by an act of Parliament so called 30 Aprill 1649 the evidences books and charters of the Deanes and Chapters lands were likewise brought in to Gourney house in the like confused manner.

And afterwards in the yeare 1654 by the then authority the said books charters and evidences being so lodged in Gourney house, were removed promiscuously to the Excise office in Broad Street where att this day they remain trodden under foot upon the flore in a farre greater confusion then before.

The premisses considered. It is humbly offered and propounded by William Ryley an auntient clerke of the Records in the Tower for 35 yeares last past and his sonne who hath likewise bene brought up in the said Records for 14 years. That they may be entrusted with the same Evidences, Bookes and Charters, for the decent and orderly methodising seperating or sorting of them and setting out to every severall bishoppricke and deane and Chapters their owne bookes Charters and Records particularly that they may be againe possessed of them according to Justice and Equity and that they, being authorised to effect the same, may be encouraged by the said Bishops Deanes and Chapters for their pains care and charge taken therein, to whom they wholly submit themselves.'

Others were also interested in the disorderly heaps, for on 6 August 1660 (Journals of the House of Commons, VIII, 112, 428) William Ayloffe and his son were said to have: 'come into the public office in Broad Street where the Record Books and Surveys relating to Bishops and Deans and chapters Lands are kept for His Majesty's service and the publick, and put the petitioners out of possession, sealing up the doors, breaking open the locks of several rooms where the records are and possessing themselves of the key of the door belonging to the Treasury and are daily ransacking among them . . .'

The Ayloffes were admonished to return the keys and whatever else they had taken and no further mention of the records occurs until 1662 when, on 13 May, the presentations and institution books of the Commissioners for the approbation of public preachers were transferred to the charge of the archbishop 'who is desired to take care that the same may be preserved in perpetuity for publick use' and at the same time Mr. Michael Mallet and Mr. William Ayloffe were ordered to: 'deliver all such surveys and other records and writings concerning the Archbishopricks, bishopricks, and Deans and Chapters which are in their hands unto the Archbishop of Canterbury who is desired to take care for the Preservation thereof and to dispose of the same to the respective Bishops Deans and Chapters who are therein concern'd if he shall think fit' (Journals of the House of Commons, VIII, 112, 428).

There thus passed to Lambeth the Triers' Records and the Parliamentary Surveys (D. M. Owen, 'Canterbury Archiepiscopal Archives in Lambeth Palace Library', Journal of Society of Archivists, II, no. 4, Oct. 1961) and also a mass of books and charters which must, by agencies not yet discovered, have been sorted and distributed throughout the country. It may be remarked that the Dean and Chapter of Ely allowed £1.0.0 to Dr. Pearson 'for his expenses in taking out the records and sending them down to Ely' in 1661 and 7s. 0d. in 1664 'for a box and carriage of it of writings belonging to Ely church, of Mr. Dugdale's sorting' (Ely Dean & Chapter, Treasurer's Accounts).

When Archbishop Sheldon had recovered the archiepiscopal library from Cambridge, he set about making a suitable home for it in the gallery over the cloisters, and here, at its West end, were kept the manuscripts and records. Serious work on the arrangement and cataloguing of the printed books and manuscripts was begun by Henry Wharton, Sancroft's librarian, who left behind a catalogue of the manuscripts, which is now Lambeth ms. 580 and who noted briefly: 'immensa chartarum registrorum brevium testamentorum, codicillorum, aliorumque ius resque ecclesiasticas spectantium congeries, nullo ordine digesta, sed tumultario coacervata' (M. D. Slatter, 'A. C. Ducarel and the Lambeth Manuscripts' Archives III, 1957-8).

From this mass he selected and caused to be bound up a series of papal documents (Lambeth mss. 643 & 644) and copied or noted a few charters which can be identified (Lambeth ms. 580, ff. vii v°-xi v°. Certificates of the election of suffragans sent to Archbishop Anselm (II, 35, 35a), Richard II to the University of Oxford (XI, 28), King John to Archbishop Hubert (2) (XI, 11 & 12), Henry IV to Archbishop Arundel (VI, 113), Henry II to Archbishop Theobald (XI, 2) ).

There are a few notes in Wharton's catalogue in a hand which also endorses a very large number of the documents listed below, and which has previously been identified with that of Sancroft (Slatter, op. cit., 101). It is certainly very like Sancroft's hand, but after careful comparison with a catalogue of the Lambeth manuscripts, which is known to be in the hand of Edmund Gibson (Lambeth, LR. F. 39. I am obliged to Miss J. E. Sayers for help on this and the following point) who succeeded Wharton as librarian, there seems little doubt that the endorser is Gibson. He seems to have done little more than this, for it was David Wilkins who numbered them and prepared a brief and rather uninformative catalogue (Lambeth ms. 1038. The numbers on the documents were seen to be in Wilkins' hand when they were compared with this catalogue and with Lambeth, LR. F. 40, which is also in Wilkins' hand). Some one, whether Gibson or Wilkins himself is not clear, had already mounted the documents in thirteen large volumes before Wilkins made his list, the labour of which perhaps led him to the unkind aspersions on his predecessors which so distressed Todd (Todd i, note b. The letter is printed in J. Nichols, Letters on Various Subjects to and from William Nicolson, 1809, II, 478; the original letter is mounted in Alexander Chalmers' copy, U.L.C. adv. c. 64. 2).
CustodialHistoryThe assembling and arrangement of the Carte
Almost every group of documents named above contains at some point an endorsed number in a late seventeenth-century hand. The recusants' bonds in IV, for example, are numbered xi and xii, the vouchers in V are xiii, the London tithe papers, xxiv to xxxi, a Rochester charter (X, 1) xxxv, a Norwich charter (X, 91) xxxvii. With a single exception (XI, 96) the numbers run in consecutive, though not complete sequence, through the present arrangement. Many of them must have been written on paper wrappers which have now disappeared and there seems little doubt that they represent an arrangement by bundles, which was obviously the first stage in the creation of this class of Carte. Careful study of the bound volumes of papers among the Tenison manuscripts at Lambeth (Mss. 639-40, 643-4, 671, 675, 685, 688, 720-22, 727-30, 732-3, 735-7, 757, 789-98, 807, 833, 847, 859, 863 are of this type and mss. 943, 948-50, 952-4, 959, 1028, 1060, 1072, 1100-1102, 1104-5, 1118-1124, 1144, 1153-57, from the later groups, are closely related to them), some of which closely resemble the Carte in content, might well reveal more endorsements of this sort. The arrangement thus made was very largely by subject or type of document: leases, whatever their origin are placed together in I and II, bonds detached from leases and those entered into by recusants appear together in III, a large number of royal charters are placed together in XI. The analogy of the Papal Documents detached by Wharton suggests that he may perhaps have inspired this arrangement.

This artificial collection was brought together and numbered as MSS. 889-901 in the early 18th century, but was disbound and renumbered as CM I-XX in the early 1960s. Dorothy Owen's catalogue referred to familiarity with 'the feeling of confusion and dismay created by the spectacle of so inchoate a mass of parchment and paper' experienced by any user of the Lambeth Carte Miscellanee. Apparently originating in the papers kept at Lambeth by the Archbishops for their own use (with subsequent additions), but the foundations are largely obscured.

Series continued from CM 23-55.
RelatedMaterialThese form part of the archives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, which also comprise: Archbishops' papers (AP), Bishops' Meetings records (BM), Convocation records (Conv), Court of Arches records (Arches), Faculty Office records (F), Lambeth Conference papers (LC), Temporalities records (ED and T), and Vicar General records (V). They relate in particular to Estate Documents (ED).

CM 50 formerly comprised manorial records relating to the archiepiscopal estates, found among the material which the Public Record Office received on the removal of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills from Somerset House to the PRO. The PRO transferred the manorial records to the Library in 1974. The CM 50 documents have been removed to Estate Documents and added into series of miscellaneous rolls.
PublnNoteVarious CM references cited in 'Canterbury 1162-1190', edited by C.R. Cheney and Bridgett E.A. Jones. London: Oxford University Press for British Academy, 1986. lxxviii, 283p., 8 plates. (English episcopal acta, 2) [Lambeth Palace Library H5107.C2]

Geoffrey Yeo, "Record keeping at St. Paul's Cathedral", 'Journal of the Society of Archivists' (1986) [Lambeth Palace Library Z664.L2 6.21]

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DS/UK/4394Archbishop of Canterbury
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