Friends of Lambeth Palace Library

 The Friends of Lambeth Palace Library was founded in 1964 as a focus of support for the Library, and to help in adding to its collections for the benefit of present and future generations. The Friends brings together like-minded people with an interest in the Library's history and collections, and provides invaluable assistance in the acquisition of rare books and manuscripts and in conservation. Friends receive a copy of the Library's annual report, which includes information on all the Library's activities, as well as details of books and manuscripts acquired during the year. The Archbishop invites Friends to the AGM which is held in the Great Hall or the Guard Room of Lambeth Palace each summer, with a lecture by a well-known scholar followed by aftrnoon tea. In 2016 this took place on 6 June and the speaker was Professor Mark Rankin on Foxe's Book of Martyrs.  Next year's AGM should take place on Tuesday, 27 June, and the talk will be by the architect Clare Wright on the plans for the new Library.

Other events are arranged throughout the year. We are fortunate enough to have an enthusiastic volunteer organizer, John Critchley, who is reviving previously planned events and investigating new possibilities. In 2015 visits took place to Salisbury Cathedral and Library, with Arundells or Old Sarum, to the British Library Magna Carta Exhibition, and twice, because of high demand, to the Royal Armouries Agincourt Exhibition at the Tower of London.

In March 2016 a visit itook place to the Samuel Pepys exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; in April we held a private dinner at The Garrick Club with a talk on the history of Wartski, the West End jewellers; in June there was a tour of the Spitalfields area.  and in September a visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge. On 4 July there was a lecture by Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, on the early career of Thomas Cromwell, at the AGM of The Church of England Record Society, to which Friends were invited and in September the Library hosted several events as part of the Lambeth Heritage Festival.

We have also arranged a Concert of Tudor Polyphony by The Sixteen to take place in the Great Hall on Wednesday evening 26 October, in aid of the Friends. It will focus on works from The Arundel Choirbook (Lambeth Palace Library MS1) which will be on display, and will be followed by a reception in the Guard Room.

The Christmas reception for Friends and their guests will take place on Wednesday evening 7 December in the Guard Room.

Unfortunately the delayed visit to St Paul's will have to be postploned once more, probably to September 2017, as major work is being carried out which will entail the closure of many facilities. Also in 2017, on Friday 3 March we will visit the Temple area of London (2 Temple Place, St Mary le Strand Church, Midldle Temple Church and MiddIe Temple Library), in late May or early June we hope to visit the Chelsea Physic Garden and Library,  and later in the year, as well as St. Paul's, possibly the Westminster City Archives and The Wren Library at Trinity College Cambridge.


We should be grateful if you would contact the Events Secretary in good time about Friends' visits, and the Library Administrator about events at Lambeth. More details concerning visits and events are attached to the right. (Please be patient; attachments can be slow to load.) 


 Printed books presented by the Friends have included the famous indulgence of Leo X issued in 1516 on the eve of the Reformation, a presentation copy of Luther's tract against Henry VIII printed in 1522, the very rare Book of Common Prayer of 1559, the first prayer book of Elizabeth I, and the first English edition of Foxe's Book of Martyrs of 1563. 

 Manuscripts have included letters and papers of Archbishops Arundel, Sancroft, Manners Sutton and Howley, papers relating to the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, and an important series of documents removed from the study of Archbishop Laud after his arrest and recovered with the help of the Friends more than 300 years later.

A list of items presented by the Friends and information on how to leave a legacy are attached to the right.

Please join the Friends so that, with your help, the Library may continue to develop and flourish. Click on the link to the right for a membership application form, which can be printed out.

Alternatively write or email to the addresses below for a copy of the application form and the Friends' brochure which adds more details (though this can also be checked and printed out from the links to the right).


Friends of Lambeth Palace Library
Lambeth Palace Road

tel: +44 (020 7898 1400

(N.B. Due to ongoing IT upgrading, the Library Friends' email address above does not always function at present. If you do not receive a reply or there is some other problem, you may use the Membership Secretary's personal Church of England email