RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
LevelFile
Alt Ref NoMS 959
Extent2 vols, foliated consecutively 1-397.
TitleMATTHEW PARKER: DE ANTIQUITATE BRITANNICAE ECCLESIAE
Date12th century - 17th century
DescriptionA printed copy of 'De antiquitate Britannicae ecclesiae & privilegiis ecclesiae Cantuariensis cum archiepiscopis 70' attributed to Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, and privately printed for him by John Day at Lambeth Palace, 1572-74 (STC 19292). With extensive manuscript marginalia by Sir John Parker (1548-1619), son of the Archbishop, and John Joscelyn, or John Joscelin (1529-1603), Parker's Chaplain and Latin Secretary, who collaborated with the Archbishop in producing the 'De Antiquitate' (and to whom John Parker attributed authorship of the work, see f. 36r), and by two later owners, William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury (1617-1693) and Henry Wharton (1664-1695). Interleaved with further notes and numerous original documents, 12-16th cent., numbered by A.C. Ducarel (see below) 1-59.

MS. 959, vol. one.
ff. 1-11. New leaves added in the binding of 1758, including (ff. 4r-10r) an account of the 'De Antiquitate' and a list of its interleaved documents written by Andrew Coltee Ducarel (1713-1785), Lambeth Librarian, and dedicated to Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, 15 July 1758. This was later published by Ducarel as Appendix IX in his 'The history and antiquities of the archiepiscopal palace of Lambeth' (London, 1785). An earlier draft, dated 12 May 1757 and dedicated to Archbishop Matthew Hutton, is in MS. 1998, ff. 91-98.
f. 12r-v. List of interleaved documents, in the hand of William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury.
ff. 13-14. Warrant of Henry Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel, to Robert Gavell, his keeper of the great park of Nonsuch Palace, that Archbishop Parker may hunt and have such deer as he shall write for. 22 August 1571. Original document. Printed in part in Andrew Coltee Ducarel, 'The history and antiquities of the archiepiscopal palace of Lambeth' (London, 1785), appx, p. 52. With a draft warrant, written on re-used vellum, from Parker to the keeper of the park at Nonsuch.
f. 15r-v. Notes relating to the sees of Canterbury and York, from a book of Chancellor Watkinson [probably Henry Watkinson (1628-1712), Chancellor of York], taken in 1698 by Thomas Gale [Thomas Gale, antiquary, d. 1702]. With further notes in other hands, one by Henry Wharton referring to MS. 959: 'Almost all the additions and notes in this book are of the handwriting of John Parker, son of Archbishop Parker ...'.
f. 16r-v. 'The abstract of the libertie and priviledge geven to the sea and myter of Canterburye'. A copy (16th cent) of an inspeximus charter, 2 June, 2 Henry VIII [1510]. This leaf is bound in reverse order.
f. 17r-v. Letter from Boniface IV (Pope 608-615) to Ethelbert, King of Kent. A copy (16th cent) from a register of St Augustine's Canterbury in the possession of John Twyne (d. 1581) of Canterbury. With a note in another hand rejecting the dating of the letter to 610 by William Thorne and mentioning Eadmer's dating to 615. This is not the letter from Boniface to Ethelbert dated 615 (one of the Canterbury forgeries) which is printed in M. Winterbottom ed, 'William of Malmesbury, Gesta Pontificum Anglorum', 2 vols (Oxford, 2007), vol 1 p. 62 and vol 2 p. 41.
ff. 18r-29v. 'Augustinus'. Printed, with pagination 1-24. With a note in the hand of John Parker attributing the text to George Acworth (died between 1581 and 1586): 'Thes 24 pages of Augustins life wear thus begun by George Acworth d. of ye law, at ye appointment of Matthew Parker ... and the lives of all ye Archbishops shold have in this course bene perfected ... but deth prevented it'.
ff. 30r-33v. 'Ex libro veterum chartarum Ecclesiae Cantuariensis'. Extracts (16th cent) from charters relating to the see of Canterbury 7-13th century. At f. 31r-v, in another hand, is a copy (also 16th cent) of the report on proceedings at a court at Penenden Heath in 1072 concerning losses sustained by the Archbishopric of Canterbury (see David R. Bates, 'The land pleas of William I's reign. Penenden Heath revisited', in Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, vol 51, 1978, pp. 1-19). This copy was taken from a manuscript formerly owned by Nicholas Wotton, Dean of Canterbury, in the possession of [Robert] Glover, Somerset Herald.
ff. 34r-35v. Notes on the history of the see of Canterbury in the hand of John Parker, with a list of manuscript sources ('Authors from whence I have taken and set down notes').
f. 36r. Title page of the 'De Antiquitate', printed, with notes in the hand of John Parker, one attributing the work to John Joscelin: 'This historie was collected and penned by John Josselyn ...' (the note is printed in Ducarel, appx, p. 41). Reproduced in 'Lambeth Palace Library: Treasures from the Collections of the Archbishops of Canterbury', ed. Richard Palmer and Michelle P. Brown (London, 2010), p. 115.
ff. 36v-127v. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 128r. Notes (16th cent.) from Parliament rolls, 14-15th cent, concerning the Archbishops of Canterbury.
f. 129r-v. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 130r-v. Extract from a chronicle concerning the death in 1181 of Roger de Pont L'Eveque, Archbishop of York, and the inquisition by Henry II concerning his money. A copy (16th cent) on vellum.
f. 131r-v. Letter from Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Henry II, written during illness in expectation of death, commending the Church to the King [between 1154 and 1161]. Original document (12th cent.) on vellum. A copy of this letter in the hand of Archbishop William Sancroft, probably from this manuscript ('ex orig. vel exemplari saltem MS') is in MS. 577, f. 92v. Printed as number 54 amongst the letters of John of Salisbury in J.P. Migne, 'Patrologia latina' vol. 199.
At f. 131v are copies (16th cent) of a letter from Henry II to Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1154 concerning his coronation, and of a charter from King John to Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury, granting that lands held by gavelkind of the church of Canterbury (terras quas homines de feodo ecclesiae Cantuar tenent') should in future be held by knight-service ('in feoda militum'). 4 May 1201.
ff. 132r-152v. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia. Pasted in at f. 149v is a coloured drawing of arms described incorrectly in a 16th century hand as 'arma Archiepiscopi Cantuar cuiusdam'. The arms are of Christopher Bainbridge (d. 1514), Archbishop of York.
f. 153r-v. Writ of King John dated Portchester, 18 July, 15 John [1213], submitting to the mandate of Pope Innocent III for the release of Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, from suspension. Original document on vellum, seal missing. A note on this document, in the hand of John Parker, is at f. 152v. Cf. CM I/43.
ff. 153a-162. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 163r-v. Extract (16th cent) from the chronicle of Ralph de Diceto concerning the ban on the marriage of priests imposed by Pope Gregory VII in 1074. At f. 163v are copies by John Parker of documents instancing the replacement of gavelkind by knight-service after the grant of 1201 (see f. 131v) including the case of a grant of land by Edmund of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Thomas de Okholte vel Acholte in 1242. The original was held by John Parker amongst papers related to the Diggs family [his daughter Margaret married Thomas Diggs]; he also copies here letters patent of John Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury, evidencing the transfer of land from the Acholte family to the Diggs family in 1348.
ff. 164r-171v. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
ff. 172r-173r. Extract (16th cent) from Matthew Paris, concerning the metropolitical visitations of Boniface of Savoy, Archbishop of Canterbury.
f. 173v. Copy by John Parker of the payment of homage by Johannes Paable for the manor of Westgate [Canterbury], March 1288.
ff. 174r-175v. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 176r-v. Composition between Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, and Boniface of Savoy, Archbishop of Canterbury, concerning justices to be sent by the King to hear pleas in the manor of Tonbridge. London, 'die jovis proxima post festum sancti Johannis', 1259. Original indenture on vellum, with seal of Richard de Clare (seal incomplete).
ff. 176a recto-verso. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 177. Mandate of Robert Kilwardby, Archbishop of Canterbury, against the carrying of the cross of the Archbishop of York in the diocese of Canterbury. Lafford, 6 Non. Oct [ie. 2 October]1274. Original document on vellum, with fragment of seal.
f. 177a recto-verso. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 178. Letter from Walter Bronescombe, Bishop of Exeter (c.1220-1280) to Robert Kilwardby, Archbishop of Canterbury, acknowleging receipt, and reciting the text, of a mandate from Kilwardby for the excommunication of Llywelyn ap Grufydd (d. 1282), Prince of Wales, for rebellion against Edward I. 5 kal. April. 1277 [28 March 1277]. Original document, on vellum.

MS. 959, vol two
ff. 178a-179. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 180r-v. Notes (16th cent) concerning Barnwell Priory, Cambridge, with copies from the 'Liber memorandorum' of the Priory concerning the coming of Henry III with an army in 1267 and a writ De quo warranto in 1285. For an edition, see J.W. Clark, ed, 'Liber memorandorum ecclesie de Bernewell' (Cambridge, 1907), pp. 122-3, 167-8. On the Priory see VCH Cambridge and the Isle of Ely vol 2, 1948, pp. 234-249.
ff. 181-185. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 186. 'Provisiones et emptiones circa dictam intronizationem' A printed list (16th cent) , with costs, of provisions for an enthronement banquet. With a note in the hand of Henry Wharton: 'Printed by the command of Archbishop Parker with other memoirs of the same kind'. A note by John Parker suggests that the document relates to the enthronement of Archbishop Robert Winchelsey in 1295. It appears however to relate to the enthronement of Archbishop William Warham in 1504, as printed in William Somner, 'Antiquities of Canterbury' 2nd ed (London, 1703), Appx to the Supplement, pp. 27-28.
ff. 186a-190. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 191. A note (original), on precedence amongst bishops, with a reference to precedence during the archiepiscopate (1294-1313) of Robert Winchelsey. 14th cent. With an annotation by John Parker concerning the statute of 31 Henry VIII cap 10.
ff. 191a-220. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 221. Manor of Charing, Kent. Grant by Cardinal Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, to John Ive, of land at Charing 'ad voluntatem domini secundum consuetudinem manerii'. Lambeth, 20 April 1478. Original document on vellum with fragment of seal. With an added note (16th cent): 'Coppie hold land in Kent contrarie to ye general received opinion'.
ff. 221a-346. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia. The marginalia include (f. 244v) a family tree of Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury, to 1571, and an epitaph on Chichele. Both are printed in Ducarel, appx., p. 43.
f. 256. Copy (16th cent) of a bull of Alexander VI confirming to the Archbishop of Canterbury the prerogative in proving wills. 5 kal. March 3 Alexander VI [25 Feb 1495]. The copy is taken 'ex registro Henrici Dene Archiep. Cant. fol 4'; in listing this document in 1757, Ducarel noted that no such register was extant (Ducarel, appx, p. 43).
ff. 256a-265. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 266. Receipt given by George Legh on behalf of the Prior of Christ Church Canterbury to the Archbishop of Canterbury [William Warham] for the annual rent of land at Lambeth Marsh. 9 November 13 Henry VIII [1526]. Original document on paper, with fragment of seal.
ff. 266a-281. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 282. Receipt signed by Sir Thomas Cheyne, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, to Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, for his annual fee of £40 as High Steward of all the Archbishop's lands. 16 Nov. 32 Henry VIII [1541]. Original document on paper.
ff. 282a-294. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 295. List of the Visitors appointed by Elizabeth I for all the dioceses of England and for the University of Cambridge, 1559. Original document (16th cent), on paper.
f. 296. Mandate from Sir William Cecil, Sir Anthony Cooke, Matthew Parker and the other Visitors of the University of Cambridge, requiring the appearance of John Young (1514-1582), Master of Pembroke College. 13 Jul 1559. Original document on paper, with traces of seal (f. 296r). With a further document indicating that, since Young could not be found in person, the mandate was fixed to his seat in the College Chapel. 17 July 1559. (f. 296r).
ff. 296a-298. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
ff. 299-315. Series of letters concerning the reluctance of Matthew Parker to accept the Archbishopric of Canterbury, 1558-59. See John Strype, 'The life and acts of Matthew Parker...' 3 vols (London, 1821), vol 1, pp. 71-79; and John Bruce and T.T. Perowne, eds, 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker, D.D. Archbishop of Canterbury' (Cambridge, 1853).
f. 299. Letter (original) from Sir Nicholas Bacon to Matthew Parker, summoning him to London for a meeting concerning his future. 9 Dec. 1558. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', p. 49.
f. 300a. Letter (original) from Sir William Cecil to Matthew Parker, summoning him to London on behalf of the Queen. 30 Dec. 1558. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', p. 53.
f. 300b. Letter (original) from Sir Nicholas Bacon to Matthew Parker, summoning him to London in the Queen's service. 4 Jan. 1558/9. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', p. 53.
f. 300c. Letter (retained copy) from Matthew Parker to Sir Nicholas Bacon, expressing willingness to attend Bacon in London or Newmarket, and concerning Bacon's illness ('this insolent quartane'). 20 Dec 1558. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', p. 52.
f. 301. Letter (retained copy) from Matthew Parker to Sir Nicholas Bacon, in reply to Bacon's letter of 9 Dec 1558, pleading ill health as a reason for not coming to London; he expresses a reluctance to accept high office and a preference to remain at Benet College, Cambridge. n.d. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', pp. 50-52.
ff. 302-303. Letter (original) from Sir Nicholas Bacon to Matthew Parker, summoning him to Court. 17 May 1559. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', p. 68.
ff. 304-305. Letter (original) from Sir Nicholas Bacon and Sir William Cecil to Matthew Parker, summoning him speedily to London in the Queen's service. 19 May 1559. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', pp. 68-9.
f. 306. Letter (original) from Sir Nicholas Bacon and Sir William Cecil to Matthew Parker, summoning him speedily to London. 28 May 1559. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', p. 69.
f. 307. Letter (autograph draft) from Matthew Parker to Elizabeth I, pleading to be excused from taking office as Archbishop of Canterbury. n.d. [probably June 1559]. With a note by John Parker, 'D. Parkers own hand writing to Q. Elizabeth in excuse of his unmeteness to that place'. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', pp. 69-71.
f. 307a. Letter (original) from Sir William Cecil to Matthew Parker concerning publication of John Jewel's 'Apology' and other matters. 1 Jan. 1561/2. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', pp. 161-2.
ff. 308r-315v. Letter (autograph draft) from Matthew Parker to Sir Nicholas Bacon concerning his reluctance to accept the Archbishopric. 1 March [1559]. With a note by John Parker, '... hand writing of d. Parker'. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', pp. 57-63.
f. 316. Privy Council letter (original) to Matthew Parker, thanking him for his work in bringing Dr. Smyth [Richard Smyth (d. 1563), theologian] to conformity; Smyth to go to Oxford to make public declaration of his conformity. 28 Aug 1559. Signed by Sir William Cecil and three other members of the Council. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', p.74.
f. 317r-v. 'The names of the gentlemen which accompanied Mons. Montmorency coming into England the xxth June 1572 & departed the vth of July following'. An account of the embassy to Elizabeth I of Francois, Duc de Montmorency (1530-1579) and Paul de Foix de Carmain (1528-1584) to ratify the Treaty of Blois and negotiate a marriage between Elizabeth I and Francois of Alencon (1555-1584), Duke of Anjou and Alencon, with a list of jewels and other gifts given to them.
f. 318r-v. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 319. Letter (original) from Edwin Sandys (?1519-1588), afterwards Archbishop of York, to Matthew Parker concerning the Elizabethan religious settlement and expressing his discontent. 30 April 1559. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', pp. 65-66
f. 320. Letter (original) from Thomas Young (1507-1568), Bishop of St. David's and afterwards Archbishop of York, to Matthew Parker, expressing his unwillingness to transfer to another see. 3 May 1560. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', pp. 114-5.
f. 321. An acquittance given by Matthew Parker to Sir John Byron, of Newstead Abbey, Notts., for £120. 10 1/2d, a year and half's rent for the parsonage of Rochdale, Lancs; and also for £200 appointed to the Archbishop by Sir Nicholas Bacon by an indenture bearing the same date. 26 Nov. 4 Eliz. [1561].
f. 322r-v. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 323. Letter (original) from Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London (and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury), to Matthew Parker, concerning discontent in the Province of Canterbury about payment of the subsidy. 3 Oct. 1562.
f. 324. Receipt given by Matthew Parker to Sir William Dansell, receiver to the Queen of the revenues of her Court of Wards and Liveries, for £18. 19s. 6d., the third part of the profits of the manor of Fleet in Ash next Sandwich, part of the inheritance of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford and in the Queen's Majesty's possession by reason of his minority, for a year and a half. 18 April, anno 12 Eliz. [1570]. With an added note in the hand of John Parker. Cf. the note on the manor printed in the 'De Antiquitate' at f. 58v of MS. 959.
ff. 324a-327. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
ff. 328-328a. Letter (original) from John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, concerning several legal cases. 10 June 1563. See 'Correspondence of Matthew Parker', pp. 176-7.
ff. 329-331. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 332r. A note in the hand of Matthew Parker of revenue and gifts given 1559-63. Annotated 'This written by Archbishop Parker hymself who best knew what hymself did'.
ff. 332a-333v. 'The trw estate of ye Archbishoprike of Canterberie tempore Matthaei Parker Archiepiscopi'. An account of annual income and expenditure of Archbishop Parker, with a check roll of his household. n.d. In the hand of John Parker.
ff. 334-334a recto. blank.
f. 334a verso. Copy of a grant of Queen Elizabeth to Archbishop Parker, for having retainers, forty persons, gentlemen or women. 26 May, 8 Eliz. [1566]. In the hand of John Parker.
ff. 335-337. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia. Pasted in at f. 337r is an engraved portrait of Matthew Parker by Remigius Hogenberg, 1573, believed to be the first portrait engraved in Britain. Reproduced in 'Lambeth Palace Library: Treasures from the Collections of the Archbishops of Canterbury', ed. Richard Palmer and Michelle P. Brown (London, 2010), p. 114. An epitaph on Parker and other notes accompanying the portrait are printed in Ducarel, appx, p. 46.
ff. 337v-339v. Calendar, in the hand of John Parker, of royal grants and other documents relating to the estates of the Archbishops of Canterbury 12-13th cent. Copied 'ex veteri manuscripto libro Archiepiscopi'.
ff. 340-347. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
ff. 348-349. Notes (16th cent) concerning early Church councils; with a further note of the statute of 25 Henry VIII cap 19 (Submission of the Clergy Act)
ff. 350-351. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 352. blank.
ff. 353-355. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia. At f. 353 is the separate printed title page of the 'Catalogus Cancellariorum, Procancellariorum, Procuratorum ac eorum qui in Achademia Cantabrigiensi ad gradum doctoratus aspiraverunt...'
ff. 356-357. 'The measure of the panes in the windowes of the newe building at the universitye streate where the armes shall stand' and 'The measure and buttolling of the newe buildings in the streate called ye universitie strete Cambridge'. With a further note at f. 357v in another hand (that of John Parker), ending: '...this set downe by Mr Baker's note and computacion under his hande, the other side of this page was written by Mr Norgate Mr of Bennt Coll.' [Robert Norgate (d. 1587), Master of Corpus Christi College from 1573, who was married to a daughter of John Baker of Cambridge, a half-brother of Matthew Parker].
f. 358. A further printed leaf from the 'De Antiquitate', with a representation of the schools and library of the University of Cambridge (f. 358r) and a portrait of Elizabeth I enthroned between the figures of Justice, Mercy, Fortitude and Prudence, with an inset below showing Matthew Parker preaching (f. 358v).
f. 359. Cambridge University. A note on its mythological history taken from the work of John Caius and a list of Chancellors 263 a.d. to 1500. In the hand of John Parker.
ff. 360-368. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 369r. blank.
f. 369v. A list of 29 printed books published with the support of Archbishop Parker, with a heading added in another hand (that of John Parker): 'Thes particulars underwritten published and part of them done by and in the time and at [?]the [?]gages of Matthew Parker Archbishop of Canterbury'. Included in the list is 'De antiquitate Cantabrigiae cum historia eiusdem nuper recognita et emissa', with an added note on payments to John Day and his men for its production.
ff. 370-374. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia.
f. 375. A vellum leaf, 15th cent, containing the 'Historiola de antiquitate et origine ... universitatis Cantebrigiae' by Nicholas Cantilupe (d. 1441). The text includes variants from the edition in Thomas Sprott, 'Chronica' (Oxford, 1719), pp. 262-280. Another copy is in MS. 804, ff. 161v-167. On the reverse is a prayer to St. Barbara, beginning: 'Sancta Barbara, virgo gloriosissima...'
ff. 376-379. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate'.
ff. 380-381. Extract (16th cent) from the will of Sir Thomas Knyvet containing a legacy of £20 a year to be paid to the master, president, and fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, for the education of his son Henry Knyvet until the age of 18 years. n.d.
ff. 381a-388v. Further printed text of the 'De Antiquitate', with manuscript marginalia. At f. 381a are the arms (printed) of Corpus Christi College Cambridge.
f. 389. blank.
f. 390r-v. Notes in the hand of John Parker, headed: 'Of the life and conversation of the clergie in time past'.
f. 391r. Notes in the hand of John Parker on the kings of France and Salic law, with a pedigree from Hugh Capet to Henry III.
ff. 391v-392v. 'Magna Charta Libertatis de Wherlton' An abstract, in the hand of John Parker, of an inspeximus charter of Henry IV concerning privileges of the Archbishops of Canterbury.
f. 392v. An extract, in the hand of John Parker, of an act of Parliament concerning the estates of Archbishops and Bishops, 1 Elizabeth [1558-59].
ff. 393 and 395. Notes from the archives of the Archbishop of Canterbury on the consecration of Matthew Parker in 1559. In the hand of John Parker.
f. 394r-v. Letter (original) from Miles Coverdale, formerly Bishop of Exeter, to [Nicholas] Robinson, Chaplain to Archbishop Parker, excusing himself from appearing at Lambeth by reason of illness. 25 March 1566.
ff. 395 and 393. Notes from the archives of the Archbishop of Canterbury on the consecration of Matthew Parker in 1559. In the hand of John Parker.
f. 396r-v. Letter from the Bishop of Winchester [Adam Orleton (d. 1345)] to John, Archbishop of Canterbury [John Stratford (d. 1348)] concerning the death of Richard, Bishop of London (Richard Brintworth (d. 8/9 Dec. 1339)] announced in the Archbishop's letter to the Bishop of Winchester received 11 December. Farnham, 11 Dec. [1339]. Original document on paper, with fragments of seal. With annotations in two sixteenth century hands suggesting that the letter is from John de Pontoise (c.1240-1304), Bishop of Winchester, to John Pecham, Archbishop of Canterbury, concerning the death of Richard of Gravesend, Bishop of London (d. 9 Dec 1303). However Pecham had been succeeded in 1294 by Robert Winchelsey. The letter is probably a response to Stratford's letter to Orleton of 9 Dec. 1339 for the summoning of Convocation, Orleton being acting dean of the Province of Canterbury following the death of Brintworth (see Roy Martin Haines, 'Archbishop John Stratford' (Toronto, 1986), p. 460. The letter is printed (as a letter to Pecham) in the 'De Antiquitate' at f. 54v in MS. 959.
f. 397. Marbled paper flyleaf from the binding of 1758.
ArrangementVolume 1: interleaved items numbered by Ducarel 1-18; volume 2: interleaved items numbered by Ducarel 19-59.
LanguageLatin and English
FindingAidsNew description by Richard Palmer, 2012
PhysicalDescriptionBound in parchment covers until rebound for Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1758 (see the account by Ducarel, f. 5v).
Rebound in full leather in two volumes, late 20th century. Marbled paper flyleaves from the binding of 1758 are preserved as ff. 1 and 397.
Vol 1, foliated 1-178 and Vol 2, foliated 178a-396: each 303 x 248 mm.
Paper leaves, but with some vellum and paper documents interleaved, some with seals.
CustodialHistoryOwned by Archbishop Matthew Parker and subsequently by his son Sir John Parker (1548-1619). Samuel Walsall (1575-1626) believed that after the death of Sir John Parker it passed to his son Matthew Parker (1570-1645); see MS. 737, f. 1r.
Owned later by William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury (1617-1693), who added (at f. 12), a list of the interleaved documents, and marginalia (eg. f. 74r), and then by Henry Wharton (1664-1695), chaplain to Sancroft and historian, who also added marginalia (eg. f. 129r). That the finest copy of the 'De Antiquitate' was owned by Sancroft and then by Wharton was also attested in 1711 by John Strype,'The life and acts of Matthew Parker...' 3 vols (London, 1821), vol. 2, p. 250.
Recorded as Wharton MS. N in the list of Henry Wharton's manuscripts included in the catalogue of the Lambeth manuscripts by David Wilkins dated 1720 (LR/F/40, f. 60r), but recorded there as missing. For a full account of the custodial history of the Henry Wharton manuscripts, see the description of MS 580.
Archbishop Thomas Tenison had acquired the Wharton manuscripts for Lambeth after Wharton's death in 1695 and placed them in the Library in 1696, but many were missing when David Wilkins came to catalogue them. The missing items may have been dispersed before the Wharton MSS came to Lambeth, since they include Archbishop Laud's diary which was given by Wharton to St. John's College Oxford (see LR/F/40, f. 46v). Alternatively (as subsequent Lambeth Librarians, David Wilkins and Andrew Coltee Ducarel, believed) they may have gone missing between Tenison's acquisition of them and 1720. Wilkins wrote in 1720 that they had had been 'stolen' out of the Library during Tenison's lifetime; he hoped that the reputations of those in whose libraries they lay would stink posthumously. See HJ Todd, 'A catalogue of the archiepiscopal manuscripts in the Library at Lambeth Palace (London, 1812), p. ii.
Recorded in 1729 by Thomas Baker (1656-1740) as in the possession of Lord Sunderland (see Baker's notes on the 'De Antiquitate', written in 1729 and printed in Andrew Coltee Ducarel, 'The history and antiquities of the archiepiscopal palace of Lambeth' (London, 1785), appendix XI, especially p. 52. The volume had presumably been acquired by the great book collector Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland (1675-1722).
'Recovered' for Lambeth Palace Library (as Andrew Coltee Ducarel put it, believing that the manuscript had been at Lambeth in Tenison's time) by Richard Trevor, Bishop of Durham (1707-1771), who presented it to Archbishop Matthew Hutton in May 1757 (see f. 5r).
Recorded in Andrew Coltee Ducarel's catalogue of the Lambeth manuscripts dated 1763 (LR/F/42), with a further account of its provenance.
CopiesMicrofilm: Lambeth Palace Library Box 444, 449

Colour images of selected folios available from Bridgeman Art Library: MS. 959, f. 36r Titlepage of 'De Antiquitate Britannicae Ecclesiae' (Image ID: LAM 101608)
PublnNoteTimothy Bolton, 'Archbishop Parker's History of the English Church', in 'Lambeth Palace Library: Treasures from the Collections of the Archbishops of Canterbury', ed. Richard Palmer and Michelle P. Brown (London, 2010), pp. 114-115.
Short description in 'Lambeth Palace Library and its Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts; Exhibition mounted for the biennial conference of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists 3 August 2007', ed. David Ganz and Jane Roberts with Richard Palmer (printed for the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists by Taderon Press, London, 2007).
R. I. Page, 'Matthew Parker and his books' (Kalamazoo, 1993).
Timothy Graham, 'Matthew Parker's manuscripts: An Elizabethan library and its use' in Cambridge History of Libraries in Great Britain and Ireland', vol 1 (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 322-341.
Timothy Graham and Andrew G. Watson, 'The recovery of the past in early Elizabethan England. Documents by John Bale and John Joscelyn from the circle of Matthew Parker' (Cambridge, 1998).
Timothy Graham, 'John Joscelyn, pioneer of Old English lexicography', in Timothy Graham and Andrew G. Watson. 'The recovery of the past in early Elizabethan England: documents by John Bale and John Joscelyn from the Circle of Matthew Parker.' (Cambridge Bibliographical Society Monograph no. 13) 1998, pp. 83-140.
Elizabeth Evenden, 'Patents, Pictures and Patronage' (Aldershot, 2008) includes description of MS 959 and other presentation copies of John Day's books: pp. 105-117.
M. Johnston and M. Van Dussen, The medieval manuscript book (CUP, 2015)
Anthony Grafton "Matthew Parker: The Book as Archive" (History of Humanities, Volume 2, Number 1 2017)

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CodeNameDates
40Parker; Matthew (1504-1575); Archbishop of Canterbury1504-1575
NA2381Ducarel; Andrew Coltée (1713-1785); Lambeth Librarian1713-1785
25Secker; Thomas (1693-1768); Archbishop of Canterbury1693-1768
NA2593Trevor; Richard (1707-1771); Bishop of Durham1707-1771
26Hutton; Matthew (1693-1758); Archbishop of Canterbury1693-1758
618Lambeth Palace Library; 1610-1610-
GB/109/19830Day; John (c.1521-1584); printer and booksellerc.1521-1584
DS/UK/5996Parker; Sir; John (1548-1619); son of Archbishop Matthew Parker1548-1619
GB/109/18732Joscelin; John (1529-1603); Old English scholar and clergyman1529-1603
32Sancroft; William (1617-1693); Archbishop of Canterbury1617-1693
GB/109/8915Bronescombe; Walter (1220-1280); Bishop of Exeter1220-1280
62Winchelsey; Robert (-1313); Archbishop of Canterbury-1313
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GB/109/19371Gale; Thomas (c.1635-1702); Dean of York and antiquaryc.1635-1702
GB/109/19831Acworth; George (1534-c.1586); administrator and scholar1534-c.1586
GB/109/8503Pont l'Évêque; Roger de (c.1115-1181); Archbishop of Yorkc.1115-1181
GB/109/8499Theobald (c.1090-1161); Archbishop of Canterburyc.1090-1161
NA2825Canterbury Cathedral Priory; 997-1540; Benedictine religious house997-1540
GB/109/9015Henry II (1133-1189); King of England, Duke of Normandy and of Aquitaine, Count of Anjou1133-1189
GB/109/15875University of Oxford; Corpus Christi College
GB/109/13905Wharton; Henry (1664-1695); clergyman, antiquary and historian1664-1695
GB/109/19122Boniface IV (c.550-615); Pope (608-615)c.550-615
GB/109/18610Ethelbert (-616?); King of Kent-616?
GB/109/8500Walter; Hubert (-1205); Archbishop of Canterbury-1205
GB/109/9023John (1167-1216); King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and of Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou1167-1216
GB/109/18599Edmund of Abingdon (c.1174-1240); Saint; Archbishop of Canterburyc.1174-1240
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43Warham; William (?1450-1532); Archbishop of Canterbury?1450-1532
47Bourchier; Thomas (1404-1486); Cardinal; Archbishop of Canterbury1404-1486
50Chichele; Henry (?1362-1443); Archbishop of Canterbury?1362-1443
GB/109/8635Alexander VI (1431-1503); Pope (1492-1503)1431-1503
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GB/109/14656Bacon; Sir; Nicholas (1510-1579); lawyer and administrator1510-1579
GB/109/19835François (1530-1579); Duc de Montmorency1530-1579
GB/109/17532de Valois; Hercule François (1554-1584); Duc d'Alençon et Anjou1554-1584
NA2488Elizabeth I (1533-1603); Queen of England and Ireland1533-1603
NA2718Sandys; Edwin (1516-1588); Archbishop of York1516-1588
GB/109/17327Young; Thomas (1507-1568); Archbishop of York1507-1568
39Grindal; Edmund (1519-1583); Archbishop of Canterbury1519-1583
GB/109/8351Province of Canterbury
NA2929Diocese of Canterbury
GB/109/15390Jewel; John (1522-1571); Bishop of Salisbury1522-1571
NA1682University of Cambridge
DS/UK/4392University of Cambridge; Corpus Christi College; 1352-1352-
GB/109/15102Coverdale; Miles (1488-1569); Bishop of Exeter, Biblical scholar1488-1569
GB/109/19212Richard of Gravesend (-1303); Bishop of London-1303
GB/109/16771Innocent III (c. 1160-1216); Pope (1198-1216)c. 1160-1216
GB/109/21126Bainbridge; Christopher (1463-1514); Archbishop of York1463-1514
GB/109/21617Cantilupe; Nicholas (d.1441); chroniclerd.1441
GB/109/18526Diocese of Canterbury; Archbishop
GB/109/21650Hogenberg; Remigius (c.1536-c. 1588); engraverc.1536-c. 1588
GB/109/21647Young; John (1514-1582); Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge1514-1582
GB/109/21648Smyth; Richard (d. 1563); theologiand. 1563
GB/109/21649Pontoise; John de (c.1240-1304); Bishop of Winchesterc.1240-1304
59Stratford; John (-1348); Archbishop of Canterbury-1348
GB/109/18831Orleton; Adam (c.1275-1345); Bishop of Worcester; diplomat and politicianc.1275-1345
42Cranmer; Thomas (1489-1556); Archbishop of Canterbury1489-1556
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