The Manuscripts in the Library at Lambeth Palace
M. R. James (1862-1936) is probably best remembered as a writer of chilling ghost stories, but he was an outstanding scholar of medieval literature and palaeography, who served both as Provost of King's College, Cambridge, and as Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, and many of his stories reflect his academic background. His detailed descriptive catalogues of manuscripts owned by colleges, cathedrals and museums are still of value to scholars today. This book, first published in 1900, lists about six hundred medieval manuscripts in the library at Lambeth Palace, most of them collected by Archbishop Bancroft (d. 1610). These were sent to Cambridge University Library during Cromwell's Protectorate, and returned to Lambeth Palace at the Restoration. Referring to several early inventories, James succeeds in tracing the ownership of many of the manuscripts back to English monastic houses dissolved at the Reformation including Durham Priory, Lanthony (near Gloucester), and Ely.