Parker, Matthew, Archbishop of Canterbury (1504 -1575)
Matthew Parker was the son of William Parker of Norwich, a calenderer of stuffs, and Alice Monins. He went to Cambridge and as a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, became in 1537 a royal chaplain and a prebendary of Ely. He was elected Master of Corpus in 1544, and Dean of Lincoln in 1552. As a married man, he forfeited his ecclesiastical preferments under Mary, but on the accession of Elizabeth was made Archbishop of Canterbury. Always interested in books and the manuscripts that represent the original sources for English history, in 1570 and 1571 he had the Matthew of Westminster and Matthew of Paris histories printed for him, and in 1572 he was instrumental in founding a Society of Antiquaries. By 1573 there were binders working for him at Lambeth Palace, though a study of the tools on bindings made for him, which appear also on bindings for his contemporaries, suggest that he employed the best binders available, who occasionally worked in the palace. Parker presented a number of books and manuscripts to Cambridge University in 1574, and gave books to Caius College and to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and the bulk of his own library, strong in Anglo Saxon and other early manuscripts, salvaged from the plunder of the monastic libraries, to his own college, Corpus Christi, Cambridge. There are full manuscript catalogues of the Parker Collection at Corpus, a list of eighty three manuscripts given to the University Library in Cambridge University MS Oo.7.52, (a donor's book) pp.11 13, and a list of fifty manuscripts and fifty printed books given to the same library was printed in an appendix to Parker, Matthew. De antiquitate Britannicae Ecclesiae (London, 1729), p. xxxix xlii. Twenty five books given to Gonville and Caius College in 1575 are listed in Caius, John. Annals of Gonville and Caius College. Cambridge Antiquarian Society Publications Octavo Series xl (1904). The stamps 1 and 2 are normally impressed in the centre of a pierced arabesque centrepiece, of which there are several.