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The Library holds several collections that were created by ecclesiastical bodies and organisations with religious aims.  These include:-

More information about most of these collections can be found in their individual sections.

There are also private and family collections that contain information relevant to this area.  For example, the families whose records make up the Hengrave Hall collection were Recusant Catholics and the collection includes records that shed light on Catholicism among the gentry from the 17th to the 19th centuries.  Hengrave also includes antiquarian records, many of which relate to the history of churches and parishes in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.  Other antiquarian collections with strong theological themes include: Samuel Knight (?1678-1746), Simon Patrick, Bishop of Ely (1626-1677) and the Cambridge Antiquarian Society.

Of particular interest are the volumes of correspondence of John Strype (1643-1737), an ecclesiastical historian educated at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge.  His principal interests included collecting 16th-century family manuscripts and the composition of histories. His works included biographies of John Aylmer, Thomas Cranmer, Sir John Cheke, Edmund Grindal, and Matthew Parker, as well as historical items, including the Ecclesiastical Memorials (1721), Annals of the Reformation (1709-31), and the Survey of London (1720).

Includes letters on ecclesiastical affairs in the mid- and late-sixteenth century, transcripts of Edwardian and Elizabethan documents and copies of material relating the the diocese of Chester and Lincoln.

Individual items and small collections relating to this subject area can be found in the archive catalogue.  The most reliable method of finding collections of interest is to search the subject index for terms such as:

  • Church history
  • Church administration
  • Church architecture
  • Dissent (religious)
  • Ecclesiastical history
  • Nonconformity
  • Papacy
  • Prayer
  • Religious history
  • Religious institutions
  • Roman Catholicism
  • Roman Catholics
  • Theology



Contact: Kevin Roberts (01223 333141;