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From the Reformation to the Permissive Society


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This volume of the Church of England Record Society, published in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the foundation of Lambeth Palace Library, is a tribute to the value of one of the world's great private libraries to the scholarly community and its importance for the history of the Church of England in particular. Thirteen historians, who have made considerable use of the Library in their research, have selected texts which together offer an illustration of the remarkable resources preserved by the Library for the period from the Reformation to the late twentieth century. A number of the contributions draw on the papers of the archbishops of Canterbury and bishops of London, which are among the most frequently used collections. Others come from the main manuscript sequence, including both materials originally deposited by Archbishop Sancroft and a manuscript published with the help of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library in 2007. Another makes use of the riches to the papers of the Lambeth Conferences. Each text is accompanied by a substantial introduction, discussing its context and significance, and a full scholarly apparatus. The themes covered in the volume range from the famous dispute between Archbishop Grindal and Queen Elizabeth I, through the administration of the Church by Archbishop Laud and Archbishop Davidson's visit to the Western Front during World War I, to involvement of the Church in homosexual law reform.


Presents a lively and eclectic collection of documents, which have been thoughtfully selected and helpfully introduced. CHURCHMAN

A fascinating insight into the richness of the archives at Lambeth Palace Library. THEOLOGY

Many of the issues selected have resonance today, and many have compelling human interest. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

[A] splendid volume. the documents are reproduced with careful editorial skill and scholarly introductions. [...] It is a great record of Anglican attitudes, both official and personal; the prevailing tone is one of problems and difficulties faced and surmounted. [...] Its editors have gathered diverse and distant records into a volume that gives a unified picture of the development of our Church, beleaguered, but still in the service of God and the nation. THE CHURCH TIMES


First Published: 20 May 2010
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843835585
43 black and white illustrations
Pages: 724
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Boydell Press

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  The prophesyings and the downfall and sequestration of Archbishop Edmund Grindal, 1576-1583
  • 2  'Accurately and exquisitely made': George Abbot's Preface to the 1612 catalogue of Lambeth Palace Library
  • 3  Annual accounts of the Church of England, 1632-1639
  • 4  'Popish Cut-Throats against us': papists, protestants and the problem of allegiance in eighteenth-century Ireland
  • 5  George III's recovery from madness celebrated: precedent and innovation in the observance of royal commemorations and celebrations
  • 6  'My unfortunate parish': Anglican urban ministry in Bethnal Green, 1809-c.1850
  • 7  Charles James Blomfield, bishop of London, and church architecture and ordering
  • 8  William Dodsworth: an autobiographical memoir
  • 9  Archbishop Davidson's visit to the Western front, May 1916
  • 10  Lambeth 1920: The Appeal to All Christian People
  • 11  Archbishop Temple's offer of a Lambeth degree to Dorothy L Sayers
  • 12  'Improper and even unconstitutional': the involvement of the Church of England in the politics of the end of empire in Cyprus
  • 13  Homosexual law reform, 1953-1967