The Library

The Cathedral Library was built in the mid-fifteenth century over the East Cloister.

It houses the book collection of the Chapter in two areas: the Chained Library and the Reading Room. The earliest records of the Cathedral are housed in the Muniment Room at the southern end of the Library.

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Featured Book of the Month : JANUARY


Eikon Basilike       (1649)

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Eikon Basilike means Royal Portrait and the book is a spiritual autobiography published just 10 days after Charles was beheaded. It is a justification of the King’s political and military policies that led to the Civil War as well as a portrait of his execution as a martyrdom.

The book became a very effective piece of Royalist propaganda and went through innumerable reprints, despite the disapproval of the Protectorate of Cromwell. Parliament commissioned John Milton, the poet and republican, to write a refutation which was published as Eikonoklastes also in 1649.

The book has a famous frontispiece depicting Charles as a martyr which was engraved by William Marshall

At the Restoration, it was decided to make 30th January a day of fasting and repentance in honour of Charles and in 1660 he was canonised at the behest of Charles II. He is the only saint canonised by the Church of England.

OLN 59

We also have a complete edition of Charles I’s work including letters at BE 1/05