RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoTait
Extent448 volumes
TitleTait, Archibald Campbell (1811-1882)
DescriptionThe correspondence and papers cover his entire career from childhood to death. They include his official papers as bishop of London (1856-1868) and as archbishop of Canterbury (1869-1882), and personal and family correspondence and diaries.
NotesThe Tait volumes contain a number of short notes, apparently by William Benham, summarising the contents of subsequent items; these are not included in catalogue descriptions.
ArrangementThese form part of the Archbishops' Papers. These in turn form part of the archives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, which also comprise: Bishops' Meetings records (BM), Cartae Antiquae et Miscellaneae (Lambeth Charters) (CM), Convocation records (Conv), Court of Arches records (Arches), Faculty Office records (F), Lambeth Conference papers (LC), Temporalities records (ED and T), including correspondence on the Archbishops' estates (TR 8-36), and Vicar General records (V).

The 19th century division of Tait's correspondence into official and personal has been maintained in the current arrangement of volumes. The Official Letters relating to his tenure of the sees of London and Canterbury (vols. 105-293) are arranged according to their order in the letter register; whereas the London sequence for the most part follows a single chronological order, the Canterbury series is divided into Home, Foreign and Special Packets. Most of this correspondence relates to diocesan and provincial administration, and the church overseas. The so-called Personal Letters (vols. 76-104) include Tait's correspondence before his appointment as bishop of London, and many later important letters which were filed separately from the official series. There is however a certain amount of overlapping between the two.
FindingAidsThe 19th-century Archbishops' Papers (Longley, Tait, Benson, Frederick Temple) are catalogued more comprehensively than most of the 20th-century Archbishops' Papers.

The 'Index to the Letters and Papers of Archibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1868-1882, in Lambeth Palace Library' (typescript, xxviii + 617pp) was compiled over a number of years by various archivists, with final editing by Dr. Richard Aspin, 1989. The bulk of the correspondence covered in this index relates to Tait's primacy, 1868-1882. It follows the principles used in the published indexes to the papers of Archbishops Benson and Frederick Temple. These combine a selective index of correspondents with a comprehensive subject and place index. Volumes 105 to 159 (London) were indexed by Dr. Diana Greenway in 'Letters and papers of Archibald Campbell Tait, Bishop of London, 1856-1868' (typescript, iv + 220pp), issued by the National Register of Archives in 1968. The indexing principles differed considerably. She indexed all correspondents but was very selective on subjects. After Dr. Greenway's catalogue was compiled, additional letters and papers from Tait's London episcopate came to light, and were indexed with the Canterbury material. They include correspondence relating mainly to the church overseas, 1856-1868, and visitation returns for the diocese of London.

Descriptions available on the National Archives Discovery site <> as well as the Library catalogue.
CreatorNameTait, Archibald Campbell, 1811-1882, Archbishop of Canterbury
AdminHistoryArchibald Campbell Tait, 1811-1882, was appointed archbishop of Canterbury in 1868, following twelve years as bishop of London; he was formerly dean of Carlisle.
1. Tait's Register, 1868-83;
2. Canterbury Diocesan Visitation Returns, 1874, 1878, 1882;
3. Lambeth Conference Papers, 1867, 1878;
4. Minutes of the Bishops' Meetings, 1871-82;
5. Papers on the Archbishop of Canterbury's Mission to the Assyrian Christians, 1879-82;
6. Letters of Tait will also be found in the following catalogues:
Calendar of the Papers of Charles Thomas Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury 1862-1868 in Lambeth Palace Library, by J.E.Sayers and E.G.W.Bill, 1976;
Index to the Letters and Papers of Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury 1883-1896 in Lambeth Palace Library, 1980;
Index to the Letters and Papers of Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury 1896-1902, in Lambeth Palace Library, by M.Barber, 1975;
A Catalogue of Manuscripts in Lambeth Palace Library, MSS.1222-1860, by E.G.W.Bill, 1972;
Catalogue of the Papers of Roundell Palmer (1812-1895), First Earl of Selborne, by E.G.W.Bill, 1967;
A Catalogue of Manuscripts in Lambeth Palace Library, MSS.1907-2340, by E.G.W.Bill, 1976;
A Catalogue of Manuscripts in Lambeth Palace Library, MSS.2341-3119, by E.G.W.Bill, 1983;
Catalogue of Manuscripts in Lambeth Palace Library, MSS.3120-3469, by E.G.W.Bill, 1988.
PublnNoteJosef L. Altholz, 'Anatomy of a controversy: the debate over Essays and Reviews, 1860-1864' (1994) [H5117.A5]
Bickley, Gillian, Journeys with a mission: travel journals: the Right Revd George Smith, first bishop of Victoria (Hong Kong Proverse, Hong Kong, 2018)
Felicity Christofides, 'A small but suitable church: the early years of the Anglican church in Cyprus 1878-1901'[Nicosia: the author, 2014] [H5651.C9C4]
B.L. Craig, 'Apostle to the wilderness: Bishop John Medley and the evolution of the Anglican Church' (Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005) [Lambeth Palace Library H5620.M3C7]
'Anglicans in the Antipodes: an indexed calendar of the papers and correspondence of the Archbishops of Canterbury, 1788-1961, relating to Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific', ed. R. & L. Frappell, R. Withycombe, and R. Nobbs (1999) [Z6622.L6L2]
J. P. Ellens, 'Religious routes to Gladstonian Liberalism: the Church rate conflict in England and Wales 1832-1863' (1994).
James Garrard, 'Archbishop Howley, 1828-1848' (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015) [Lambeth Palace Library H5198.H6G2]
William Gibson, The history of Lambeth Degrees The Burgon Society (2019)
H. Hinchliff, 'Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury: a life' (1998)
J. H. C. Leach, 'Sparks of reform: the career of Francis Jeune, 1806-1868' (1994) [H5199.J3L3]
P. B. Nockles, 'The Oxford Movement in context: Anglican high churchmanship, 1760-1857' (1994) [H5100.N6]
Nigel Scotland, 'John Bird Sumner: evangelical archbishop' (1995) [H5198.S87S2]
'National Prayers: Special Worship since the Reformation', volume III: 'Worship for National and Royal Occasions in the United Kingdom, 1871-2016', ed. Philip Williamson, Stephen Taylor, Alasdair Raffe and Natalie Mears (Church of England Record Society, 2020) [Lambeth Palace Library H5691.W2 H5051.C4 [R] ]
John Witheridge, 'In the Shadow of Death: A Life of Archibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury' (2021) [ H5198.T2W5]

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Related name records
18Tait; Archibald Campbell (1811-1882); Archbishop of Canterbury1811-1882
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PL148/New Zealand
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