09/07/2018
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Sole surviving copy of Mary Queen of Scots execution warrant to be housed in new Lambeth Palace Library

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The only surviving copy of the warrant for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots will be housed in the new Lambeth Palace Library in London when it opens in 2020.

The new specialist public library will house the most important collection of religious works outside the Vatican Library, with treasures including the 9th-century MacDurnan Gospels, the Bible used at the coronation of the queen in 1953, and Invicta veritas, published by Thomas Abell, chaplain to Katherine of Aragon, on the unlawfulness of her divorce (1532).

The Lambeth Palace Library collections include more than 5,000 volumes of manuscripts and more than 200,000 printed books, along with nearly 10,000 linear metres of archives.

Ground breaking ceremony

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for the new library earlier this year, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (pictured) said: “This is an incredibly exciting moment. It marks the beginning of making sure that what the head of the National Archives described as “the second most important ancient library in Europe” – not just in the UK – gets a proper home: a home where it can be looked after, and where scholars can come and it can be used properly.”

The Archbishop said the library’s collection “tells us a huge amount about the history of the nation, particularly in the pre-Reformation period. And it testifies to generation after generation of disciples who loved and followed Jesus Christ. That speaks volumes about the centrality of faith in the life of the nation over its history.”
 
The new specialist building, in the grounds of Lambeth Palace, is expected to be completed and open to the public by the end of 2020. It will be designed to be as carbon neutral as possible. It will be the first new building on the site for over a century.
 
The building is scheduled to cost £23.5M to construct plus fitting out, fees and VAT. Architects Wright and Wright are responsible for this project, with construction being carried out by Knight Harwood Ltd.
 
Find out more about the new Lambeth Palace Library on the new website.

(images copyright Lambeth Palace Library)

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