RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoMS 3470-3533
Extent84 volumes
DescriptionThe Fairhurst Papers comprise: a) correspondence originally in Archbishop Laud's study at the time of his imprisonment, including Elizabethan privy council correspondence, papers of Archbishops Grindal and Whitgift on prophesying, b) a few papers of John Selden who was responsible for rescuing the material from Lambeth and c) papers of Sir Matthew Hale to whom the Lambeth material descended.
FindingAidsCatalogue descriptions based on E.G.W. Bill, Catalogue of the Fairhurst Papers (MSS. 3470-3533) (typescript, 1990). In the catalogue dates are given in New Style.
Descriptions available on the National Archives Discovery site <> as well as the Library catalogue.
CreatorNameHale, Matthew, 1609-1676, judge of London
CustodialHistoryThe papers were in the possession of Sir Matthew Hale at his death, but, in addition to his own papers, contain papers from other sources, not all of which can now be identified with certainty. Papers formerly at Lambeth Palace are contained in MSS 3470-2 and continue the series of Fairhurst Papers from Lambeth Palace purchased in 1963 (MSS 2000-19). A small quantity of papers belonged to John Selden. These are now in MSS 3513 and 3528, but it is possible that other papers also belonged to him, notably in MS. 3472. The papers of Sir Matthew Hale occupy MSS 3474-3533. Amongst them are several volumes of medical interest (MSS 3520-7), all of which probably (and MSS 3522-7 certainly) belonged to the same person, but the manner in which they came into Hale's possession is unknown. Most of the papers in MS. 3473 probably belonged to James Beaulieu, Secretary in the French language to James I. It is likely that some items (e.g. MS. 3472, ff.128-130v) originated in government circles. Loose papers of large format have been bound in MS. 3474.
In binding the papers, an attempt has been made to separate the Lambeth and Selden material from the Hale papers and papers from other sources, but this has not always been possible. MSS 3475, 3477-8, 3480-3508, 3510-11, 3515, 3517-28 were bound by Hale or shortly after his death, and their internal arrangement has not been disturbed either in the course of cataloguing or where rebinding has been necessary. Where possible these volumes have been preserved in their original bindings.
AcquisitionMSS 3470-3533 were purchased from Mr. James Fairhurst in 1988 with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Purchase Grant Fund, the Friends of the National Libraries and the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library.
RelatedMaterialMSS 2000-2019, 4267-4269, 4270-4277
PublnNoteSee Lambeth Palace Library Z664.L2 5.24 [These consist of notes made by Simon Keynes of Trinity College, Cambridge, regarding the dispersal of the Fairhurst Collection. (unpublished)]

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Related name records
NA2776Hale; Sir; Matthew (1609-1676); Knight; Judge; Antiquary1609-1676
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