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 bring 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 tea. This year's AGM took place on Wednesday 17 July. 

Other events are arranged throughout the year. We are fortunate enough to have an enthusiastic volunteer organizer, John Critchley, who is investigating new possibilities. Visits in 2019 included the British Library Anglo-Saxon exhibition, Lichfield Cathedral and City and a bibliophile's walk round St James's. Future visits will include Audleu End, Croydon Palace and Clerkenwell Priory Church. Concerts in the Great Hall have occasionally been arranged, and Friends are invited to various lectures and other events in the Library.

The Christmas reception for Friends and their guests took place on Wednesday evening 5th December in the State Drawing Room, Lambeth Palace.

We should be grateful if you would contact the Visits 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.

A new membership benefit was arranged last year: The Palace agreed that Friends of Lambeth Palace Library would be admitted free to the Garden Open Days on the first Friday of every month during the summer.The Great Hall should also be open on these days and books and manuscripts from the Library's collections on show. The Gate would have the current Friends' membership list, so any Friends would simply have to give their names. 

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 Library,
Lambeth Palace Road

tel: +44 (020 7898 1400

N.B. If there is a problem with the Library Friends email account, you might try the Library Administrator at