William Sancroft

From History of Canterbury Cathedral Library
Jump to: navigation, search

William Sancroft, D.D. (1617--1693) was Dean of St Paul's (1664--1678), Archdeacon of Canterbury (1668--1670), and Archbishop of Canterbury (1677 to his suspension in 1690). He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[1]

Gifts recorded in the Benefactors' Book

The Benefactors' Book (f. 108v) records several gifts which Sancroft made to the Library.

Gulielmus Sancroft sacræ Theologiæ Professor, Eccl[es]iæ D. Pauli apud Londin: 
    Decanus dedit.
    Estij Com[m]entaria in Sentent: 2 vol fol.
    Item Scoti Opera 13 vol.
    [in a different hand:] who after when Archbishop of Canterbury gave the 
    Duplicates out of Lambeth Library a considerable number having the Archiepiscopall 
    Arms on the covers for wch He bought other Books for the Lambeth Library according 
    to the vallue at wch these were estimated.
    He gave also two Large Com[m]on Prayer Books in folio rul’d & wch are plac’t 
    before the Dean & Vicedean’s Seat.

The list of 'The most Considerable Benefactors to the Publicke Library in Christ Church Canterbury' (Benefactors' Book, f. 115r) also states that the following two books were given by Sancroft when Archdeacon of Canterbury, which limits the date to 1668--1670. There are copies of both of these books in the Chapter Library (below) but they do not have positive provenance evidence for presentation by William Sancroft.

Shelfmark W/N-6-28/29
Gulielmus Estius. In quatuor libros Sententiarum commentaria: quibus pariter S. Thomae Summae theologicae; partes omnes mirifice illustrantur. ... Duaci : Ex typographia Petri Borremans, 1616 [1615-1616]
Shelfmark W/E-6-21/33
Ioannes Duns Scotus. Opera omnia, quae hucusque reperiri potuerunt, collecta, recognita, ... & commentariis illustrata, a PP. Hibernis, Collegij Romani S. Isidori Professoribus, ... Lugduni : Sumptibus Laurentii Durand, 1639.

Duplicates transferred from Lambeth Palace Library

The date of the transfer of duplicate books from Lambeth to Canterbury is not yet known. It was probably at some time in the 1680s. Most of the books in question bear the armorial book stamps of Archbishops Whitgift, Bancroft and Abbott, as stated in the Benefactors' Book. For full lists see:

A further group of books from Lambeth has been identified with the help of Professor James Carley.[2] These books do not have archiepiscopal arms. They have distinctive shelfmarks which identify them as being Lambeth books transferred to Cambridge University Library in 1650 and returned to Lambeth in 1663/64 before coming to Canterbury in the transfer of Lambeth duplicates. The entries in the Benefactors' Book seem unaware of these items.


  1. Venn, ACAD Database, ID=SNDT633W
  2. Personal communication, July 2011.