The Fulham Papers at Lambeth Palace Library: 1626-1822

Call Number: HIL-MIC Loyalist FC LCR .G7D5F3P5
Category: Church
Creator: Great Britain. Church of England. Diocese of London. Bishop.
Description: 20 microfilm reels of textual records (42 volumes) ; 35 mm.

These Papers are a portion of the archive of the Bishop of London transferred from Fulham Palace, the former place of residence of the bishops of London. The volumes contained herein relate to the administration of the Church of England, also known as the Anglican Church, in America and the West Indies, which was understood to be under the jurisdiction of the bishop before the founding of separate episcopates in those colonies. The correspondence did not include regular reports but did deal with the most important problems and issues confronting the Church of England in the colonies.

            The collection covers the first 42 volumes, predominantly the 17th and 18th centuries, and includes the official papers of the bishops of London relating to the administration of the missions and chaplaincies in North America and the West Indies, which came under his jurisdiction. Generally divided into the Fulham Papers Colonial, 1626-1822; American Papers, 1688-1774; and Orders, Licenses, Institutions and Collations in the Time of the Rt. Rev. Edmund Gibson, Lord Bishop of London, 1723-1748. The bishops covered in the 18th and start of the 19th century and their time in office include Henry Compton (1675-1713), John Robinson (1713-1723), Edmund Gibson (1723-1748), Thomas Sherlock (1748-1761), Thomas Hayter (1761-1762), Richard Osbaldeston (1753-1764), Richard Terrick (1764-1777), Robert Lowth (1777-1787), Beilby Porteus (1787-1809), and John Randolph (1809-1813). Together these provide insight into the colonial Church in the main, but also into matters related to local society and social history such as morality, black history, politics, American loyalists, wars and conflicts such as the American Revolution, economics, climate and health especially in the West Indies, education, natives (indigenous peoples), and religion including other denominations such as Quakers.

Detailed Contents 

(Volumes I-XL) Fulham Papers, Colonial (1626-1822)

General arrangement within each main section: arranged by colony and by date within each colony; the colonies are listed alphabetically within two sections, the continental colonies, and the West Indies. Pages are numbered, use the numbers written in pencil in the upper right-hand corner. 

(Volumes I to xx) General Correspondence - Arranged by colony and by date within each colony; the colonies are listed alphabetically within two sections, the continental colonies - present-day Canada (Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Quebec) and the United States (Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia), and islands in the West Indies (Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, Windward Islands).

(Volumes xxi to xxxii) Ordination Papers - Beginning in 1748, grouped under the names of the candidates, arranged alphabetically within each year within the colony. Contain testimonials and other documents presented to the Bishop of London by candidates for ordinations, or by ordained clergymen seeking licences for the colonies; ordained clergymen seeking licences for the colonies were required to present formal testimonials and evidence of title.

(Volumes xxxiii-xxxvi) Missionary Bonds - Bonds posted by ministers receiving the King’s bounty for emigration to the colonies from 1748 to 1811. These are arranged by year within each colony and alphabetically by the names of the ministers, within each year. (Sometimes the place is indicated as a group of colonies, such as the West Indies or New England.)

(Volume xxxvi) Correspondence relating to the colonies generally and a few letters applying to specific colonies not bound in the appropriate volumes.

(Volume xxxvii) Diocesan Book for the Plantations is a list of parishes and incumbents, with descriptive notes compiled during Bishop Gibson’s episcopate.

(Volumes xxxviii and xxxix) Lists of ordinands and licensees during the episcopates of Bishops Sherlock, Terrick, and Lowth, with a few from the times of Bishops Gibson and Porteus.

(Volume xl) Written and printed pamphlets which were found with the letters; also lists of clergy and public officials, petitions, memorials and other document; nos. 1-357.

(Volume XLI) American Papers, (1699-1774) - Correspondence and papers relating to the American colonies (strays from the papers of the Bishops of London originally at Fulham Palace), arranged in this order: Connecticut (1735), Maryland (1750,1754), New England (1735), New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island (NJ, NY, Penn., RI 1699-1700), New York (1718-1774), South Carolina (1729), Virginia (1770-1772), and papers concerning the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (1707-c.1770); nos. 1-380. 

Correspondents for New York include:  Thomas Brigden Atwood, Jonathan Arnold, Samuel Auchmuty, Henry and Thomas Barclay, John Bartow, John Beach, Daniel Bondet, Alexander Campbell, Richard Charlton, Thomas Colgan, Myles Cooper, William Cosby, John James Ehl, Alexander Farquharson, William Harrison, Charles Inglis, Robert Jenney, Samuel Johnson, Harry Munro, John Ogilvie, Benjamin Page, Thomas Poyer, Samuel Seabury, Thomas Standard, Peter Stoupe, John Talbot, John Thomas, William Tryon, Edward Vaughan, William Vesey, James Wetmore and Robert Weyman.

(Volume XLII) Orders, Licenses, Institutions and Collations in the Time of the Rt. Rev. Edmund Gibson, Lord Bishop of London, (1723 - 1748) - Lists within these main categories - Ordinations (1723-1747), Licences (1723-1748) (1. for curates, lecturers, preachers, schoolmasters; 2. to officiate in the colonies), and institutions and collations, compiled from the London diocesan subscription books, by William Dickes, secretary to Richard Terrick, bishop of London, 1764-77. The volume follows the same alphabetical format as volumes 38 (xxxviii) and 39 (xxxix). 

Licences to officiate in the colonies include the following places: Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, North and South Carolina, Connecticut, East Indies, Georgia, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montserrat, Nevis, New England, New Jersey, New York, Nova Scotia, Pennsylvania, Providence, St. Christophers (St. Kitts), Spanish Town, and Virginia.

Originals are located in Lambeth Palace Library, London, England.

Archival Ref. No.:


Finding Aids:
            Calendar by William Wilson Manross, includes a listing of each document, and abstracts for each:

Online: Lambeth Palace Library Catalogue:  type “FP Fulham Papers”, then click on "FP", next click on "FP" in AltRef field; then click on the plus sign beside the volume of interest. To read details of each document, click on the written out volume number (not the numeric vol. no.). Note: the online catalogue also breaks down volumes 41 and 42 (the print version does not). 

In Print:  Manross, William Wilson. The Fulham Papers in the Lambeth Palace Library; American Colonial Section, Calendar and Indexes (Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1965), available in The Loyalist Collection (HIL-MICGDL BX5881 .M26)

See Microfilm Shelf List for a break down in volume content and corresponding reel numbers, Electronic Finding Aid section.
Electronic Finding Aid Record: Microfilm Shelf List.pdf

Related Publications:  James B. Bell, "Anglican Clergy in Colonial America Ordained by Bishops of London", Proceeding of the American Antiquarian Society, April 1973, pp. 103-161

Part Of: This collection forms part of the Fulham Papers: Papers of the Bishops of London, 1598-1945.
Other With: