Bishop of Durham
|First holder|| Aidan |
Aldhun (first bishop of Durham)
|Established||635 (at Lindisfarne)|
995 (translation to Durham)
|Cathedral|| Durham Cathedral (since 995)|
St Mary and St Cuthbert, Chester-le-Street (882–995)
The Bishop of Durham is the Anglican bishop responsible for the Diocese of Durham in the Province of York. The diocese is one of the oldest in England and its bishop is a member of the House of Lords. Paul Butler has been the Bishop of Durham since his election was confirmed at York Minster on 20 January 2014.The previous bishop was Justin Welby, now Archbishop of Canterbury. The bishop is one of two (the other is the Bishop of Bath and Wells) who escort the sovereign at the coronation.
He is officially styled The Right Reverend (Christian Name), by Divine Providence Lord Bishop of Durham, but this full title is rarely used. In signatures, the bishop's family name is replaced by Dunelm, from the Latin name for Durham (the Latinised form of Old English Dunholm). In the past, bishops of Durham varied their signatures between Dunelm and the French Duresm. Prior to 1836 the bishop had significant temporal powers over the Liberty of Durham and later the County Palatine of Durham.
For centuries, each bishop lived in Durham Castle from its construction in the 11th century. In 1832, Auckland Castle became the official residence of the bishops of Durham until July 2012 when ownership of the castle was transferred over to the Auckland Castle Trust, a charitable foundation with the aim of beginning a major restoration of the grounds and castle and creating permanent exhibitions on the history of Christianity in Britain and the North East.The bishop continues to have offices in Auckland Castle but no longer resides there.
The Bishop of Lindisfarne is an episcopal title which takes its name after the tidal island of Lindisfarne, which lies just off the northeast coast of Northumberland, England. The title was first used by the Anglo-Saxons between the 7th and 10th centuries. In the reign of Æthelstan (924–939) Wigred, thought by Simon Keynes to have been Bishop of Chester-le-Street, attested royal charters.According to George Molyneaux, the church of St Cuthbert "was in all probability the greatest landholder between the Tees and the Tyne". Traditionally, following the chronology of the twelfth-century writer Symeon of Durham, historians have believed that the body of St Cuthbert and centre of the diocese lay at Chester-le-Street from the ninth century until 995, but recent research has suggested that the bishops may have been based at Norham on the River Tweed until after 1013. The title of "bishop of Lindisfarne" is now used by the Roman Catholic Church for a titular see.
The Anglo-Saxon bishops of Lindisfarne were ordinaries of several early medieval episcopal sees (and dioceses) in Northumbria and pre-Conquest England. The first such see was founded at Lindisfarne in 635 by Saint Aidan.
From the 7th century onwards, in addition to his spiritual authority, the bishops of Lindisfarne, and then Durham, also acted as the civil ruler of the region as the lord of the liberty of Durham, with local authority equal to that of the king. The bishop appointed all local officials and maintained his own court. After the Norman Conquest, this power was retained by the bishop and was eventually recognised with the designation of the region as the County Palatine of Durham. As holder of this office, the bishop was both the earl of the county and bishop of the diocese. Though the term 'prince-bishop' has become a common way of describing the role of the bishop prior to 1836, the term was unknown in Medieval England.
A UNESCO site describes the role of the prince-bishops in the "buffer state between England and Scotland":
From 1075, the bishop of Durham became a prince-bishop, with the right to raise an army, mint his own coins, and levy taxes. As long as he remained loyal to the king of England, he could govern as a virtually autonomous ruler, reaping the revenue from his territory, but also remaining mindful of his role of protecting England’s northern frontier.
A 1788 report adds that the bishops had the authority to appoint judges and barons and to offer pardons.
Except for a brief period of suppression during the English Civil War, the bishopric retained this temporal power until it was abolished by the Durham (County Palatine) Act 1836 with the powers returned to the Crown.The bishop of Durham, however, continued to hold a seat in the House of Lords; that has continued to this day by virtue of the ecclesiastical office.
|Bishops of Lindisfarne|
|In 664 the diocese was merged to York by Wilfrid (who succeeded Tuda following his death), leaving one large diocese in the large northern Kingdom of Northumbria.|
|The diocese was reinstated in 678 by Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury following Wilfrid's banishment from Northumbria by King Ecgfrith. Its new seat was initially (at least in part) at Hexham (until a new diocese was created there in 680).|
|678||685||Eata of Hexham||Saint Eata.|
|c. 915||c. 925||Tilred|
|c. 925||maybe 942?||Wilgred|
|unknown, expelled after 6 months||Sexhelm|
|before 946||maybe 968?||Aldred|
|maybe 968?||maybe 968?||Ælfsige||Called "Bishop of St Cuthbert".|
|990||995||Aldhun||According to the traditional account, the see was moved to Durham.|
|In 995, the King had paid the Danegeld to the Danish and Norwegian Kings and peace was restored. According to the legend, Aldhun was on his way to reestablish the see at Lindisfarne when he received a divine vision that the body of St Cuthbert should be laid to rest in Durham.|
|Bishops of Durham|
|Bishops of Durham|
|1081||1096||William de St-Calais|
|1143||1153||William of St. Barbara|
|1153||1195||Hugh de Puiset|
|1197||1208||Philip of Poitou|
|1209||1213||Richard Poore||Election quashed by Pope Innocent III (who was quarrelling with King John); later elected and consecrated.|
|1214||1214||John de Gray||Died before consecration.|
|1226||1227||William Scot||Election quashed.|
|1229||1237||Richard Poore||Translated from Salisbury.|
|1237||1240||Thomas de Melsonby||Resigned before consecration.|
|1249||1260||Walter of Kirkham|
|1274||1283||Robert of Holy Island|
|1284||1310||Antony Bek||Also Titular Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1306 to 1311 (the only English person ever to hold this post).|
|1311||1316||Richard Kellaw||In the ensuing vacancy, Thomas de Charlton, John Walwayn and John de Kynardesley were nominated by Edward II, Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford and Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster respectively, but the chapter elected Henry de Stamford OSB on 6 November 1316. That election was never confirmed, but quashed by Pope John XXII on 10 December.|
|1317||1333||Lewis de Beaumont|
|1333||1345||Richard de Bury|
|1382||1388||John Fordham||Translated to Ely.|
|1388||1406||Walter Skirlaw||Translated from Bath & Wells.|
|1437||1457||Robert Neville||Translated from Salisbury|
|1457||1476||Lawrence Booth||Translated to York.|
|1494||1501||Richard Foxe||Translated from Bath & Wells, later translated to Winchester.|
|1502||1505||William Senhouse||Translated from Carlisle.|
|1507||1508||Christopher Bainbridge||Translated to York.|
|1523||1529||Thomas Wolsey||Archbishop of York. Held Durham in commendam .|
|1530||1559||Cuthbert Tunstall||Translated from London.|
|Bishops of Durham|
|1577||1587||Richard Barnes||Translated from Carlisle.|
|1589||1595||Matthew Hutton||Translated to York.|
|1595||1606||Tobias Matthew||Translated to York.|
|1617||1627||Richard Neile||Translated from Lincoln, later translated to Winchester.|
|1627||1628||George Montaigne||Translated from London, later translated to York.|
|1628||1632||John Howson||Translated from Oxford|
|1632||1646||Thomas Morton||Translated from Lichfield; deprived of the see when the English episcopacy was abolished by Parliament on 9 October 1646; died 1659.|
|1646||1660||The see was abolished during the Commonwealth and the Protectorate.|
|1674||1722||Nathaniel Crew||Translated from Oxford.|
|1722||1730||William Talbot||Translated from Salisbury.|
|1730||1750||Edward Chandler||Translated from Lichfield.|
|1750||1752||Joseph Butler||Translated from Bristol.|
|1752||1771||Richard Trevor||Translated from St David's.|
|1771||1787||John Egerton||Translated from Lichfield.|
|1787||1791||Thomas Thurlow||Translated from Lincoln.|
|1791||1826||Shute Barrington||Translated from Salisbury.|
|1826||1836||William Van Mildert||Translated from Llandaff.|
|Bishops of Durham|
|1836||1856||Edward Maltby||Translated from Chichester.|
|1856||1860||Charles Longley||Translated from Ripon, later translated to York, then to Canterbury.|
|1860||1861||Henry Montagu Villiers||Translated from Carlisle.|
|1861||1879||Charles Baring||Translated from Gloucester and Bristol.|
|1879||1889||J. B. Lightfoot||Previously Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity at Cambridge.|
|1890||1901||Brooke Foss Westcott||Previously Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge.|
|1901||1920||Handley Moule||Previously Norrisian Professor of Divinity at Cambridge.|
|1920||1939||Hensley Henson||Translated from Hereford.|
|1939||1952||Alwyn Williams||Translated to Winchester.|
|1952||1956||Michael Ramsey||Translated to York, then to Canterbury.|
|1956||1966||Maurice Harland||Translated from Lincoln.|
|1966||1972||Ian Ramsey||Previously Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at Oxford.|
|1973||1983||John Habgood||Translated to York.|
|1984||1994||David Jenkins||Previously Professor of Theology University of Leeds|
|1994||2003||Michael Turnbull||Translated from Rochester|
|2003||2010||N. T. Wright||Previously Dean of Lichfield; returned to academia.|
|2011||2013||Justin Welby||Translated to Canterbury.|
|2014||incumbent||Paul Butler||Previously Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham.|
Among those who have served as assistant bishops of the diocese have been:
Thomas Langton was chaplain to King Edward IV, before becoming successively Bishop of St David's, Bishop of Salisbury, Bishop of Winchester, and Archbishop-elect of Canterbury.
Geoffrey Rufus, also called Galfrid Rufus was a medieval Bishop of Durham and Lord Chancellor of England.
Walter Giffard was Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of York.
Antony Bek was a bishop of Durham and the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
The bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England's Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.
William de Wickwane was Archbishop of York, between the years 1279 and 1285.
Robert Waldby was a native of York and friar of the Order of Saint Augustine who followed Edward, the Black Prince into Aquitaine. After studying at Toulouse, he became professor of theology there.
Lawrence Booth served as Prince-Bishop of Durham and Lord Chancellor of England, before being appointed Archbishop of York.
The archbishop of York is a senior bishop in the Church of England, second only to the archbishop of Canterbury. The archbishop is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of York and the metropolitan bishop of the Province of York, which covers the northern regions of England as well as the Isle of Man. The archbishop of York is an ex officio member of the House of Lords and is styled Primate of England; the archbishop of Canterbury is the Primate of All England.
The Bishop of Worcester is the head of the Church of England Diocese of Worcester in the Province of Canterbury, England.
The Bishop of Winchester is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Winchester in the Church of England. The bishop's seat (cathedra) is at Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire. The Bishop of Winchester holds ex officio the office of Prelate of the Most Noble Order of the Garter since its foundation in 1348, and Bishops of Winchester often held the positions of Lord Treasurer and Lord Chancellor ex officio. During the Middle Ages, it was one of the wealthiest English sees, and its bishops have included a number of politically prominent Englishmen, notably the 9th century Saint Swithun and medieval magnates including William of Wykeham and Henry of Blois.
The Bishop of Salisbury is the ordinary of the Church of England's Diocese of Salisbury in the Province of Canterbury. The diocese covers much of the counties of Wiltshire and Dorset. The see is in the City of Salisbury where the bishop's seat is in the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The see is currently vacant following the retirement of Nick Holtam on 3 July 2021.
The Bishop of Ely is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Ely in the Province of Canterbury. The diocese roughly covers the county of Cambridgeshire, together with a section of north-west Norfolk and has its episcopal see in the City of Ely, Isle of Ely in Cambridgeshire, where the seat is located at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity. The current bishop is Stephen Conway, who signs +Stephen Elien:. The diocesan bishops resided at the Bishop's Palace, Ely until 1941; they now reside in Bishop's House, the former cathedral deanery. Conway became Bishop of Ely in 2010, translated from the Diocese of Salisbury where he was Bishop suffragan of Ramsbury.
Robert of Holy Island was a medieval Bishop of Durham.
William of Louth, also known as William de Luda was a medieval Bishop of Ely.
Richard Swinefield was a medieval Bishop of Hereford, England. He graduated doctor of divinity before holding a number of ecclesiastical offices, including that of Archdeacon of London. As a bishop, he dedicated considerable efforts to securing the canonisation of Thomas de Cantilupe, his predecessor, for whom he had worked during his lifetime. Active in his diocese, he devoted little time to politics. He was buried in Hereford Cathedral where a memorial to his memory still stands.
William de Blois was a medieval Bishop of Lincoln. He first served in the household of Hugh du Puiset, the Bishop of Durham, then later served the household of Hugh of Avalon, Bishop of Lincoln. After Hugh's death and a two-year vacancy in the see, or bishopric, Blois was elected to succeed Hugh in 1203. Little is known about his episcopate, although 86 of his documents survive from that time period. He died in 1206 and was buried in his cathedral.
James Blakedon O.P., D.Th. was a medieval prelate who served as Bishop of Achonry from 1442 to 1453, then Bishop of Bangor from 1453 to 1464.
James Bowstead (1801–1843) was an Anglican clergyman who served in the Church of England as the Bishop of Sodor and Man (1838–1840) and Bishop of Lichfield (1840–1843).
Charles Booth, D.C.L. was a sixteenth-century clergyman who served as the Bishop of Hereford from 1516 to 1535.
The term 'prince-bishop' did not exist in medieval England. It is a literal translation of the German compound Fürstbischof.