Catalogue description Archbishops of Canterbury Archives

This record is held by Lambeth Palace Library

Details of AA
Reference: AA
Title: Archbishops of Canterbury Archives

The archives of the Archbishops of Canterbury comprise: Archbishops' papers, Bishops' Meetings records, Cartae Antiquae et Miscellaneae (Lambeth Charters), Convocation records, Court of Arches records, Faculty Office records, Lambeth Conference papers, Temporalities records, and Vicar General records.

Date: 12th century - date

The records are arranged in 9 sub-fonds as follows:


Archbishops' papers: AP


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


Estate Documents and Temporalities records: ED and T


Vicar General records: V

Held by: Lambeth Palace Library, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Archbishop of Canterbury

Physical description: 9 Sub-fond collections
Administrative / biographical background:

The Archbishop of Canterbury is one of the two archbishops within the Church of England, the other being the Archbishop of York. Archbishop Hubert Walter built the first Lambeth House in circa 1200 and Lambeth Palace (London) became the official residence of the Archbishops. The Archbishop of Canterbury has the following roles:


Diocesan Bishop of Canterbury


Since 597, the Archbishop's see has been at Canterbury, and he subsequently exercised jurisdiction over that diocese.


Peculiar jurisdiction (until 1845)


'Peculiars' were those parishes or places which were exempt from the jurisdiction of the bishop in whose diocese they were physically located, and were answerable directly to another. In the case of the archbishop, he exercised episcopal jurisdiction over a number of parishes in various parts of southern England outside the diocese of Canterbury.


Metropolitan for the Southern Province of the Church of England


The Archbishop has metropolitical authority (a supervisory authority for defined purposes) in relation to all bishops and clergy in the 30 dioceses in southern England. (The Archbishop of York has the same authority in relation to the 14 dioceses in northern England.)


Primate of All England


The Archbishop has the lead ecclesiastical role in the Church of England.


Leader of the Anglican Communion


The Anglican Communion comprises the church, in England and abroad, recognising the leadership of the see of Canterbury.

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