Bishop of Salisbury

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Bishop of Salisbury
Diocese of Salisbury arms.svg
Stephen Lake
Ecclesiastical province Canterbury
ResidenceSouth Canonry, Salisbury
First holder Aldhelm
Herman (first bishop at Sarum)
1075 (translated to Salisbury)
Diocese Salisbury
Cathedral Salisbury Cathedral

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 current bishop is Stephen Lake. [1]



The English dioceses 950-1035 England diocese map post 950.svg
The English dioceses 950–1035

The Diocese of Sherborne (founded c.AD 705) was the origin of the present diocese; St Aldhelm was its first bishop. [2]

In about 705 the vast diocese of Wessex at Winchester was divided in two with the creation of a new diocese of Sherborne under Bishop Aldhelm, covering Devon, Somerset and Dorset. Cornwall was added to the diocese at the end of the ninth century, but in about 909 the diocese was divided in three with the creation of the bishoprics of Wells, covering Somerset, and Crediton, covering Devon and Cornwall, leaving Sherborne with Dorset. [3] [4]

In 1058, the Sherborne chapter elected Herman, Bishop of Ramsbury to be also Bishop of Sherborne. Following the Norman conquest, the 1075 Council of London united his two sees as a single diocese and translated them to the then-larger settlement around the royal castle at Old Sarum. Disputes between Bishops Herbert and Richard Poore and the sheriffs of Wiltshire led to the removal of the see in the 1220s to New Sarum (modern Salisbury). This was chartered as the city of New Sarum by King Henry III in 1227, [5] but it was not until the 14th century that the office was described (by Bishop Wyvil) as the bishop of Sarum (episcopus Sarum). [6] The diocese, like the city, is now known as Salisbury. The archdeaconry around Salisbury, however, retains the name of Sarum.

Reforms within the Church of England led to the annexation of Dorset from the abolished diocese of Bristol in 1836; Berkshire, however, was removed the same year and given to Oxford. In 1925 and 1974, new suffragan bishops were appointed to assist the Bishop of Salisbury; the new offices were titled the bishops of Sherborne and Ramsbury, respectively. [2] Until 2009 [7] the bishops operated under an episcopal area scheme established in 1981, with each suffragan bishop having a formal geographical area of responsibility, and being known as "area bishops": the Bishop of Ramsbury had oversight of the diocese's parishes in Wiltshire, while the Bishop of Sherborne had oversight of the parishes in Dorset. This scheme was replaced to reflect the increased working across the whole diocese by all three bishops. The two suffragans may now legally function anywhere in the diocese, and the Bishop of Salisbury may delegate any of his functions to them. The Bishop of Salisbury's residence is now the South Canonry, near the Cathedral. [8]

List of bishops


Bishops of Sherborne
c.705709Saint Aldhelm Also Abbot of Malmesbury.
709737? Forthhere Also recorded as Fordhere. Possibly resigned the see in 737.
736766 x 774 Herewald
766 x 774789 x 794 Æthelmod
793796 x 801 Denefrith
793 x 801816 x 825 Wigberht Also recorded as Wigheorht.
816 x 825867 Eahlstan Also recorded as Alfstan.
867 or 868871Saint Heahmund Also recorded as Saint Hamund.
871 x 877879 x 889 Æthelheah
879 x 889890 x 900 Wulfsige I
890 x 900909 Asser Also recorded as John Asser or Asserius Menevensis.
c.909c.909 Æthelweard
c.909918, or 909 x 925 Wærstan
918, or 909 x 925918, or 909 x 925 Æthelbald
918, or 909 x 925932 x 934 Sigehelm
932 x 934939 x 943 Alfred
939 x 943958 x 964 Wulfsige II
958 x 964978 Ælfwold I
978 or 979991 x 993 Æthelsige I
993?1002 Wulfsige III Died in office on 8 January 1002.
10021011 or 1012 Æthelric
1011 or 1012c.1014 Æthelsige II
1014 x 10171014 x 1017 Brithwine I
10171023 Ælfmær Abbot of St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury. Died in office, possibly on 5 April 1023.
10231045 Brithwine II Died in office, possibly on 2 June 1045.
10451058Saint Ælfwold II Venerated as a saint with his Feast day on 25 March.
10581075 Herman Also Bishop of Ramsbury. Became the first Bishop of Salisbury when the sees of Sherborne and Ramsbury were transferred to Salisbury (Old Sarum) in 1075.
Source(s): [9] [10]


Bishops of Salisbury
See at Old Sarum
10751078 Herman Bishop of Sherborne (1058–75) and of Ramsbury (1045–55 and 1058–75). Removed the two sees to Salisbury (Old Sarum) in 1075. Died in office.
10781099 Saint Osmund Died in office. Canonized by Pope Callixtus III in 1457.
10991102See vacant
11021139 Roger of Salisbury Formerly Lord Chancellor. Died in office.
1140 Henry de Sully Nominated by Henry of Blois, but was rejected by King Stephen. In compensation, Sully became abbot of Fécamp Abbey.
11401141 Philip de Harcourt Dean of Lincoln. Nominated by King Stephen, but Henry of Blois refused to consecrate. Harcourt appealed to Rome, but the nomination was quashed. Later became Bishop of Bayeux.
11421184 Josceline de Bohon Also recorded as Jocelin Bohon. Formerly Archdeacon of Winchester. Resigned in 1184 and became a Cistercian monk at Forde Abbey, Dorset.
11841189See vacant
11891193 Hubert Walter Formerly Dean of York. Translated to Canterbury
11941217 Herbert Poore Formerly Archdeacon of Canterbury. Translated to Canterbury.
12171225 Richard Poore Previously Dean of Salisbury (1197–1215) and translated from Chichester. Removed see to Salisbury.
See at Salisbury
12251228 Richard Poore (cont.)Removed the see from Old Sarum. Translated to Durham.
12291246 Robert de Bingham Also recorded as Robert Bingham. Died in office.
12461256 William de York Formerly Provost of Beverley. Died in office.
12561262 Giles of Bridport Formerly Dean of Wells. Died in office.
12631271 Walter de la Wyle Formerly Sub-chanter of Salisbury. Died in office.
12711284 Robert Wickhampton Formerly Dean of Salisbury. Died in office.
12841286 Walter Scammel Formerly Dean of Salisbury. Died in office.
12871288 Henry Brandeston Formerly Dean of Salisbury. Died in office.
1288 Lawrence de Awkeburne Elected but died before consecration.
12881291 William de la Corner Formerly Archdeacon of Northumberland. Died in office.
12911297 Nicholas Longespee Formerly a Prebendary of Salisbury. Died in office.
12971315 Simon of Ghent Died in office.
13151330 Roger Martival Formerly Dean of Lincoln. Died in office.
13301375 Robert Wyvil Also recorded as Robert Wyville. Died in office.
13751388 Ralph Ergham Translated to Bath & Wells.
13881395 John Waltham Also Master of the Rolls and Lord Treasurer. Died in office.
13951407 Richard Mitford Translated from Chichester. Died in office.
1407 Nicholas Bubwith Also recorded as Nicholas Bubbewith. Translated from London. Afterwards translated to Bath & Wells.
14071417 Robert Hallam Formerly Archdeacon of Canterbury and Chancellor of Oxford. Created a pseudocardinal by Antipope John XXIII in 1411, but Hallam did not accept the promotion. Died in office.
14171426 John Chandler Also recorded as John Chaundler. Formerly Dean of Salisbury. Died in office.
14271438 Robert Neville Also recorded as Robert Nevill. Formerly Provost of Beverley. Translated to Durham.
14381450 William Ayscough Also recorded as William Aiscough. Murdered by an angry mob during Jack Cade’s rebellion.
14501481 Richard Beauchamp Translated from Hereford. Died in office.
14821484 Lionel Woodville Formerly Dean of Exeter and Chancellor of Oxford. Died in office.
14851493 Thomas Langton Translated from St David's. Afterwards translated to Winchester.
14931499 John Blyth Also recorded as John Blythe. Also Master of the Rolls and Chancellor of Cambridge. Died in office.
1501 Henry Deane Translated from Bangor. Afterwards translated to Canterbury
15021524 Edmund Audley Translated from Hereford. Died in office.
15241534 Lorenzo Campeggio Bishop of Bologna. Appointed Administrator of Salisbury. Deprived by Act of Parliament on the grounds of non-residence. Continued to be recognized as Administrator by the Vatican until July 1539.
Source(s): [9] [11] [12] [13] [14]

During the Reformation

Bishops of Salisbury
15351539 Nicholas Shaxton Formerly Treasurer of Salisbury. Resigned due to non-subscription to the Six Articles.
15391557 John Capon Also known as John Salcott. Translated from Bangor. Died in office.
15391542 Gasparo Contarini.jpg Gasparo Contarini Bishop of Belluno. Appointed apostolic administrator of Salisbury by Pope Paul III, but was not recognised by King Henry VIII.
15431553 William Petow Appointed by Pope Paul III, but was not recognised by King Henry VIII. Did not take possession on the accession of Queen Mary I in 1553.
1558 Francis Mallet Dean of Lincoln (1555–1570). Nominated by Queen Mary but not consecrated, and set aside on her death.
Source(s): [9] [13] [14] [15]


Bishops of Salisbury
15591571 John Jewel from NPG.jpg John Jewel Died in office.
15711577 Bp Edmund Geste.jpg Edmund Gheast Translated from Rochester. Also Lord High Almoner. Died in office.
15771589 Abp John Piers.jpg John Piers Translated from Rochester. Also Lord High Almoner. Afterwards translated to York
15891591See vacant
15911596 No image.svg John Coldwell Formerly Dean of Rochester. Died in office.
15961598See vacant
15981615 No image.svg Henry Cotton Formerly a Prebendary of Winchester. Died in office.
16151618 Bp Robert Abbot.jpg Robert Abbot Formerly Master of Balliol College, Oxford. Died in office.
16181620 Bp Martin Fotherby.jpg Martin Fotherby Formerly a Prebendary of Canterbury. Died in office.
16201621 No image.svg Robert Tounson Also recorded as Robert Townson, Toulson, or Thompson. Formerly Dean of Westminster. Died in office.
16211641 John Davenant.jpg John Davenant Formerly President of Queens' College, Cambridge. Died in office.
16411646 BrianDuppa.jpg Brian Duppa Translated from Chichester. Deprived of the see when the episcopacy was abolished by Parliament.
16461660See abolished during the Commonwealth and the Protectorate . [16] [17]
1660 BrianDuppa.jpg Brian Duppa (restored)Reinstated on the restoration of the episcopacy. Afterwards translated to Winchester.
16601663 Humphrey Henchman by Sir Peter Lely.jpg Humphrey Henchman Formerly Precentor of Salisbury. Translated to London.
16631665 John Earle from NPG.jpg John Earle Translated from Worcester. Died in office.
16651667 No image.svg Alexander Hyde Formerly Dean of Winchester. Died in office.
16671689 Seth Ward by John Greenhill.jpg Seth Ward Translated from Exeter. Died in office.
16891715 Gilbert Burnet by John Riley.jpg Gilbert Burnet Formerly Preacher at the Rolls Chapel. Died in office.
17151721 William Talbot by Kneller.jpg William Talbot Translated from Oxford. Afterwards translated to Durham.
17211723 Bp Richard Willis.jpg Richard Willis Translated from Gloucester. Afterwards translated to Winchester.
17231734 Benjamin Hoadly by Sarah Hoadly.jpg Benjamin Hoadly Translated from Hereford. Afterwards translated to Winchester.
17341748 Thomas Sherlock portrait.jpg Thomas Sherlock Translated from Bangor. Afterwards translated to London.
17481757 John Gilbert portrait.jpg John Gilbert Translated from Llandaff. Afterwards translated to York.
17571761 John Thomas, Bishop of Winchester.jpg John Thomas (I.)Translated from Peterborough. Afterwards translated to Winchester
1761 Sir Joshua Reynolds - Robert Hay Drummond, D. D. Archbishop of York... - 46-1930 - Saint Louis Art Museum.jpg Robert Hay Drummond Translated from St Asaph. Afterwards translated to York.
17611766 John Thomas (bishop of Salisbury).jpg John Thomas (II.)Translated from Lincoln. Died in office.
17661782 John Hume Bp of Oxford.jpg John Hume Translated from Oxford. Died in office.
17821791 Shute Barrington by Lawrence.jpg Shute Barrington Translated from Llandaff. Afterwards translated to Durham.
17911807 John Douglas by Robert Muller.jpg John Douglas Translated from Carlisle. Died in office
18071825 Bp John Fisher.jpg John Fisher Translated from Exeter. Died in office.
18251837 Bp Thomas Burgess.jpg Thomas Burgess Translated from St David's. Died in office.
18371854 Edward Denison by HW Pickersgill.jpg Edward Denison Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. Died in office.
18541869 Walter Kerr Hamilton by JJE Mayall.jpg Walter Kerr Hamilton Formerly a Canon-resident and Precentor of Salisbury. Died in office.
18691885 Bp George Moberly.jpg George Moberly Formerly a Canon of Chester. Died in office.
18851911 Ows wordsworth.jpg John Wordsworth Oriel Professor of Divinity, Oxford. Founder of Bishop Wordsworth's School. Died in office.
19111921 Frederick Edward Ridgeway Vanity Fair 26 February 1903.jpg Frederick Ridgeway Translated from Kensington. Died in office.
19211935 StateLibQld 2 73531 StClair Donaldson crop.jpg St Clair Donaldson Translated from Brisbane. Died in office.
19361946 No image.svg Neville Lovett Translated from Portsmouth. Retired.
19461948 No image.svg Geoffrey Lunt Translated from Ripon. Died in office.
19491962 No image.svg William Anderson Translated from Portsmouth. Retired.
19631972 No image.svg Joseph Fison Died in office.
19731981 No image.svg George Reindorp Translated from Guildford. Retired.
19821993 No image.svg John Baker Retired.
19932010 No image.svg David Stancliffe Retired.
20112021 Official portrait of The Lord Bishop of Salisbury crop 2.jpg Nicholas Holtam Nominated on 12 April, [18] [19] consecrated on 22 July, [20] and installed on 15 October 2011. [21] Retired 3 July 2021. [22]
20212022 No image.svg Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne Acting diocesan bishop in vacancy. [22]
2022current Stephen Lake (cropped).jpg Stephen Lake Consecrated 25 April 2022. [23]
Source(s): [9] [14] [24]

Assistant bishops

Among those who have served the diocese as assistant bishops have been:

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  1. "Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester, elected as new Bishop of Salisbury". Diocese of Salisbury. 13 January 2022. Archived from the original on 13 January 2022. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  2. 1 2 The Diocese of Salisbury. "The History of the Diocese" Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine . Church of England (Salisbury), 2015. Accessed 3 Jan 2015.
  3. O'Donovan, M. A., ed. (1988). Charters of Sherborne. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. xiii. ISBN   978-0-19-726051-7.
  4. Charles-Edwards, T. M. (2013). Wales and the Britons 350–1064. Oxford University Press. p. 431. ISBN   978-0-19-821731-2.
  5. Easton, James. A Chronology of Remarkable Events Relative to the City of New Sarum, with the Year, and the Name of the Mayor in whose Time they occurred: Chiefly collected from the authentic Sources of the City Records, and Manuscripts of Citizens, From A.D. 1227 to 1823, a Period of 596 Years, Including the Prices of Wheat and Barley from an Early Æra: To which are added, Their annual Average Prices for 28 Years, Being from 1796 to 1823, 5th ed., p. 1. J. Easton (Salisbury), 1824.
  6. Crittall, Elizabeth (ed.). "Victoria County History - Wiltshire - Vol 6 pp93-94 - Salisbury: The word 'Sarum'". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  7. Salisbury Diocesan Synod minutes – 99th session, 7 November 2009 Archived 24 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine p. 3 (Accessed 23 April 2014)
  8. "Nicholas Roderick Holtam" . Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing . Retrieved 4 October 2017.
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  10. Fryde et al. 1986, p. 222.
  11. Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 270–271.
  12. Greenway, D. E. (1991). "Bishops of Salisbury". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 4: Salisbury. British History Online. pp. 1–7.
  13. 1 2 Horn, J. M. (1962). "Bishops of Salisbury". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541: Volume 3: Salisbury Diocese. British History Online. pp. 1–3.
  14. 1 2 3 Horn, J. M. (1986). "Bishops of Salisbury". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857: Volume 6: Salisbury Diocese. British History Online. pp. 1–5.
  15. Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 271.
  16. Plant, David (2002). "Episcopalians". BCW Project. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  17. King, Peter (July 1968). "The Episcopate during the Civil Wars, 1642–1649". The English Historical Review . 83 (328): 523–537. doi:10.1093/ehr/lxxxiii.cccxxviii.523. JSTOR   564164.
  18. "Diocese of Salisbury". 12 April 2011. Archived from the original on 12 April 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  19. "New Bishop of Salisbury Announced — Diocese of Salisbury". Diocese of Salisbury. 23 April 2012. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  20. "Bishop Nicholas Consecrated". Diocese of Salisbury. 23 April 2012. Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  21. "Bishop's Enthronement Has Children at Heart". Diocese of Salisbury. 23 April 2012. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  22. 1 2 Ford, Michael (1 February 2021). "Bishop of Salisbury to retire in July 2021". Diocese of Salisbury. Archived from the original on 5 March 2021. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  23. "Consecration of Stephen Lake, 25 April at Southwark Cathedral". Diocese of Salisbury. 30 March 2022. Archived from the original on 7 April 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  24. Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 271–272.
  25. "The Living Church Annual". 1928.
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