Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Chichester, Ely, and Winchester



D.D.C. Chambers, ‘A Catalogue of the Library of Bishop Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626)’, Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 5 (1969-71), 99-121.


Lancelot Andrewes, [Works], ed. J.P. Wilson and J. Bliss, Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology, 11 vols (Oxford, 1841-54).


Paul A. Welsby, Lancelot Andrewes 1555-1626 (London, 1958).


Various theological writings of Lancelot Andrewes are preserved in manuscript, a number of them unpublished. Only one, a set of Greek and Latin notes headed ‘Politia Israelis’ among the collections of Archbishop Ussher at Trinity College, Dublin (*AndL 43), is in Andrewes's autograph. His hand is found elsewhere, however, in various letters and in state and ecclesiastical documents.


Original letters of Andrewes are relatively rare. Some 24 examples altogether are currently known (AndL 59, AndL 61-69, AndL 71-73, AndL 79-82), besides one preserved in contemporary copies (AndL 60, AndL 70, AndL 74-78). These may be supplemented by early printed texts of Andrewes's formal epistolae to Peter Du Moulin which were published in 1629 in Opuscula quaedam posthuma (see AndL 50). Another, to Dr William Gager, 17 May 1618, was edited in Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (1691-2), ed. Philip Bliss (London, 1815), II, 259; reprinted in LACT, Minor Works (1854), pp. xlvii-xlix).

Letters sent to Andrewes by his correspondents include examples now in the Bodleian (MSS Casaubon 9, p. 126; Rawl. letters 84b; Smith 73) and in the British Library (Sloane MS 118).

Documents Signed

In addition to his letters, Andrewes signed numerous Privy Council documents and other joint letters of state. Examples are given entries below (AndL 83-95).

Some other ecclesiastical and academic documents signed by Andrewes, as well as various records closely associated with him (for instance, at Pembroke College, Cambridge, St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the Chichester Diocesan Records now in the West Sussex Record Office), are cited in Welsby. For contemporary copies of Andrewes's will, see AndL 96-98.

Andrewes's Library

Other examples of Andrewes's signature, and his motto (‘Et ad aratrum et ad aram’), occasionally occur in printed books from his library, a major part of which he bequeathed to Pembroke College, Cambridge. An extensive catalogue of his known library is provided in Chambers. Three items containing autograph marginalia are given entries below (AndL 56-8). The extracted title page of a book which Andrewes may have owned in his younger days — an exemplum of Ovid's Poemata amatoria (Antwerp, 1566) — signed by Andrewes several times in different styles of hand, is to be found in the autograph collection of Thomas Rawlinson (1681-1725), now in the Bodleian (MS Rawl. D. 1386, f. 11r).

Scribal Manuscripts

Of the manuscripts of Andrewes's work recorded in the entries below, probably a number were transcribed by people close to him, or who had access to his papers. One of the extant manuscripts of Preces privatae (AndL 44), for instance, is known to have been given by him to William Laud; another (AndL 45) was transcribed by his amanuensis, Samuel Wright. It is now possible also to identify as transcripts by Wright two sermons of Andrewes in a composite volume at Trinity College, Cambridge (AndL 11-12), a manuscript which bears on the last leaf the inscriptions ‘saMVeL WrIght of LonDon | I grow slothful, and mone/1616 | saMVeL WrIght LonDInensIs | In luto es, ad nihilum surgens/1618’. The manuscripts of unpublished sermons, and other works, may have been produced by ecclesiastical scribes, or they may, perhaps, be examples of the copies of Andrewes's lectures which circulated in academic quarters. Referring to the period following 1578 when Andrewes was Catechist of Pembroke College, Cambridge, John Jackson claimed that no self-respecting scholar would fail to attend Andrewes's lectures; ‘nor [was] he a pretender to the study of Divinity, who did not transcribe his notes, and ever since they have in many hundreds of copies passed from hand to hand, and have been esteemed a very Library to young Divines, and an Oracle to consult at, to Laureat and grave Divines’ (Epistle Dedicatory to The Morall Law Expounded (1642), cited in Welsby, p. 22). For a discussion of some of the special problems involved in editing Andrewes's sermons, see G.M. Story, ‘The Text of Lancelot Andrewes's Sermons’, Editing Seventeenth-Century Prose, ed. D.I.B. Smith (Toronto, 1972), pp. 11-23.


Some manuscripts unwarrantedly associated with Andrewes are recorded in the printed catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Library. Harley MSS 6616-662 comprise a series of Latin notes on the Scriptures, variously dated 1586, 1602, 1608, 1612, 1619. Described as made probably at Andrewes's direction or for his use, these notes have no ostensible connection with Andrewes, they bear no relation to any of his accepted writings, and the attribution may be no more than conjecture (information supplied by Mr David Baxter).


A few miscellaneous manuscripts relating to Andrewes may be mentioned briefly.

An annotated drawing of a ‘Chappell & Furniture as it was in vse bye the Right Reuerend Father in God Lancelot Andrewes L: Bp the of Winton:’, a manuscript endorsed ‘1623’ and possibly in the hand of one of Andrewes's secretaries, appears in British Library, Harley MS 3795, ff. 18-19v, and is printed in LACT, Minor Works (1854), pp. xcvi*-xcix.

A contemporary note on ‘The method which Bishop Andrews observes in his sermons’ appears in British Library, Lansdowne MS 223, f. 4r.

A contemporary copy of the inscription on Andrewes's monument is in the British Library, Sloane MS 118, ff. 47r-8v.

Some seventeenth-century biographical notes on Andrewes are in the British Library, Stowe MS 76, f. 246v.

Peter Beal