RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoFisher
Extent329 volumes
TitleFisher, Geoffrey Francis (1887-1972)
DescriptionThe papers consist primarily of his official correspondence as archbishop of Canterbury (vols. 1-271), although there are a few volumes of correspondence and sermons covering his earlier career and his retirement (vols.272-81, 288, 327). The collection include a few papers particularly on Anglican-Methodist unity after his retirement. The collection also includes some correspondence and recollections of Fisher acquired by Dr. Edward Carpenter, dean of Westminster, during his preparation of the archbishop's biography (vols. 272, 274, 278, 328).

The official papers cover the whole range of Archbishop Fisher's concerns, from international affairs to Canterbury diocesan business. The bulk relates however to administration of the Church of England at home and Anglican Communion affairs abroad. Fisher took a close personal interest in the establishment of independent Anglican provinces overseas, particularly in Africa, and this interest is reflected in the papers. At home Fisher's involvement in administrative reform is amply demonstrated by the voluminous correspondence on Archbishops' Commissions, canon law revision, Convocation and Church Assembly business. On a more personal level Fisher's close interest in the restoration of Lambeth Palace after wartime bombing is evident. In addition his singular obsession with marriage discipline runs as a constant refrain through the papers.
Apart from Church of England affairs, the papers shed light on many important aspects of British post-war political, social and colonial history. There are files on such matters as birth control, capital punishment, gambling, homosexuality, prostitution, areas in which the Church had as it were a vested interest. Fisher's interest in Africa led to considerable dealings with many leading political figures, from the Kabaka of Uganda to Sir Roy Welensky, and the papers are in general a valuable source for the history of the twilight years of Empire.
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).

For each year of Archbishop Fisher's primacy, the papers are arranged in the alphabetical order of the original titles of the files.
CopyrightCopyright in official papers of Archbishop Fisher is owned by Lambeth Palace Library (transferred by literary executors, 1988).
FindingAidsMost 20th-century Archbishops' Papers (Davidson, Lang, Fisher) are catalogued more summarily than the 19th century papers. The indexes to most of the 20th-century papers give a guide to the overall contents to the subjects of individual files, but people are not indexed unless they are the subject of the file (e.g. appointments) - so not every correspondent will appear in the index.

Catalogue descriptions are based on a finding aid for which the initial cataloguing was undertaken by Geoffrey Pick and the work completed and the index edited by Dr. Richard K. Aspin, 'Catalogue of the correspondence and papers of Geoffrey Francis Fisher, archbishop of Canterbury, 1945-1961' (typescript, 1993).

The catalogue comprises a list of volumes with the titles of the first and last file of papers within each volume of the official correspondence, and descriptions of the individual files of papers in the volumes. The cataloguing principles adopted are similar to those applied to the papers of the earlier twentieth century archbishops of Canterbury: individual correspondents are not noted, except when they are the subject of the correspondence. The contents of the volumes of sermons and addresses, diaries and newspaper cuttings have not been indexed.
AdminHistoryGeoffrey Francis Fisher (1887-1972) was appointed bishop of Chester in 1932, translated to the see of London in 1939, and elevated to the primacy in 1945. He resigned as archbishop in 1961.
RelatedMaterialCorrespondence of Fisher as bishop of London is in the Library's collection of Fulham Papers.

The Library also holds a bust of Archbishop Fisher by Jacob Epstein.

Recordings at the British Library Sound Archive.

Family papers at Repton School.
PublnNote'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]
Tom Buchanan, 'Amnesty International and Human Rights Activism in Postwar Britain, 1945–1977' (2020)
A. Chandler, 'The Church of England in the Twentieth Century: the Church Commissioners and the Politics of Reform, 1948-1998', 2006 [H5150.C4]
Andrew Chandler and David Hein, 'Archbishop Fisher, 1945-1961: Church, State and World' (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2012) [H5198.A1F5]
Grass, Tim, The Lord's work (Eugene, 2017) [Lambeth Palace Library H6565.G7]
D.Hein, 'Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury', (Cambridge: James Clarke and Co, 2008) [H5198.F5H3]
Ann Sumner Holmes, 'The Church of England and Divorce in the Twentieth Century: Legalism and Grace' (2016) [Lambeth Palace Library H5151.1H6 2017]
T. Lawson, 'The Church of England and the Holocaust: Christianity, memory and Nazism', 2006 [H5102.L2]
Bernard Palmer, 'A class of their own: six public school headmasters who became Archbishop of Canterbury' (1997)
S. Parker and T. Lawson ed. 'God and war: the Church Of England and armed conflict in the twentieth century' (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013) [Lambeth Palace Library H5157.G6]
L. Strübel, 'Continuity and Change in City Protestantism: the Lutheran Church in Hamburg, 1945-1965', 2005 [H8022.H2]
Peter Webster, "The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chamberlain and the Censorship of the Theatre, 1909–49", in 'Studies in Church History', volume 48 (The Church and Literature) 2012 , pp. 437-448
'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] ]
The Oxford History of Anglicanism: vol. IV (Oxford, 2017) Various items referenced - especially chapter 8 [Lambeth Palace Library H5005.O9]
The Church of England and British politics since 1900, edited by Tom Rodger, Philip Williamson and Matthew Grimley (Woodbridge, 2020) [Lambeth Palace Library D759.C4 2020]
Charlotte Methuen, Alec Ryrie and Andrew Spicer ed. "Inspiration and institution in Christian history", (Cambridge, 2021) [Lambeth Palace Library D140.E2]
Robert Beaken ed. "Faithful witness : the confidential diaries of Alan Don, chaplain to the King, the Archbishop and the Speaker, 1931-1946" [Lambeth Palace Library KA566.9D6F2]

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Related name records
12Fisher; Geoffrey Francis (1887-1972); Archbishop of Canterbury1887-1972
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PL148/New Zealand
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