The Faculty Office was set up under Peter's Pence Act of November 1533 to issue 'licences, dispensations, faculties, compositions, and rescripts, etc.' previously granted by the pope or papal curia.
With the exception of three muniment books or registers, the archive dates from 1660 and comprises records of the grant of a variety of dispensations throughout England and Wales, including dispensations to hold benefices in plurality, marriage licences, of appointment of public notaries in the British Isles and colonies, and the conferment of Lambeth degrees (W. Stubbs, 'Lambeth degrees', The Gentleman's Magazine, 1864, Vol 216, pp.633-8, 770-2 lists degrees granted to 1848. For degrees 1848-1948, see MS. 1715, pp. 89-113). Also included are a few medical licences, and dispensations for ordination.