Stigand of Selsey

Last updated
Stigand of Selsey
Bishop of Chichester
Province Canterbury
Appointedc.1075
Term ended1087
Predecessor Æthelric II (bishop of Selsey)
Successor Godfrey (bishop of Chichester)
Other post(s) royal chaplain
Orders
Consecrationbefore 29 August 1070
Personal details
Died1087
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post(s) Bishop of Selsey 1070–c.1075

Stigand (died 1087) was the last Bishop of Selsey, and first Bishop of Chichester.

Contents

Life

Following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the English church was gradually restructured along the lines of the episcopal organization in Normandy. As part of this process, almost all of the Anglo-Saxon bishops of English sees were replaced by Normans. Archbishop Stigand of Canterbury was deposed in 1070, accused of holding the archiepiscopal see in plurality with the bishopric of Winchester and of having seizing the archepiscopate irregularly after the flight of his predecessor Robert of Jumièges. Æthelric II of Selsey was deposed from his episcopate at the same time, probably because of his association with Archbishop Stigand. [1]

King William's chaplain, who was also called Stigand, replaced Æthelric as Bishop of Selsey within a week of Æthelric's deposition. [1] Stigand was listed as an assisting bishop at the consecration of Lanfranc to the archbishopric of Canterbury on 29 August 1070; therefore Stigand must have been appointed as bishop prior to that date. [2]

At the Council of London in 1075 the South Saxon see was transferred to Chichester. [3] Some sources claim that Stigand continued to use the title Bishop of Selsey until 1082, before adopting the new title of Bishop of Chichester, indicating that the transfer took several years to complete. [4]

The medieval chronicler William of Malmesbury said, in Gesta pontificum Anglorum , that there had been a monastery dedicated to St Peter, as well as a convent in Chichester. [5] Presumably the minister became the new seat of the diocese with the cathedral sharing its site with that of the parish church. It was probably after the rebuilding of the cathedral in the 12th century that the parishioners were assigned the nave altar, this was known as the sub-deanery church of St. Peter the Great. They were then moved, at the end of the 15th century, to the north transept of the cathedral and remained there until the 19th century when a new parish church was built adjacent to the cathedral and dedicated to St Peter. [6] [7] Traditionally, the building of the cathedral has been credited to one of Stigand's successors, Ralph de Luffa, but the architectural historian R. D. H. Gem argues it is possible that Stigand began the building of Chichester Cathedral. [8] Tatton-Brown goes further by suggesting that "most of the first church was completed as far as the fourth bay in the nave by the time of Bishop Luffa". [9] The problem for historians is that virtually no legitimate charters or other documents survive from Stigand's time. [10] The loss of most of the documents has been attributed to the sacking of the cathedral by the Parliamentarians in 1642, during the English Civil War. [11]

The cathedral, probably planned during Stigand's tenure, consisted of an eight-bay nave with flanking western towers; however evidence from the fabric shows that only the eastern four bays were built in the first phase. [12]

Dispute with the King and Archbishop

The organization of the Chichester diocese into prebends may have begun under Stigand. [13] Stigand's organisational skills brought him into conflict with Lanfranc over the archbishops' peculiars in Sussex, which were numerous. [14] Lanfranc wrote a letter to Stigand instructing him not to meddle with the Sussex parishes belonging to the see of Canterbury and he also prohibited any of the clergy in those peculiars from attending Stigand's diocesan synods. [14]

Stigand also managed to attract the displeasure of King William I. William had selected a monk from Marmoutier Abbey to be the first abbot of Battle Abbey. The king had requested that Stigand travel to Battle to consecrate the new abbot; however, Stigand refused and insisted that the abbot elect instead travel to Chichester to be consecrated. The king was incensed and compelled Stigand to go to Battle to consecrate the monk before the altar of St. Martin. The abbey was to remain outside Stigand's jurisdiction and to become part of the king's own chapel. As a further humiliation, Stigand and his retinue were forbidden to be lodged or boarded within the grounds of the abbey on the occasion of the consecration. [15]

Stigand remained Bishop of Chichester until his death in 1087, possibly on 29 August. [16]

Citations

  1. 1 2 Kelly "Bishopric of Selsey" in Hobbs Chichester Cathedral p. 9
  2. Greenway Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 5: Chichester: Bishops
  3. Barlow English Church p. 48
  4. Dallaway History of the Western Division of the county of Sussex, Volume 1 p. 25
  5. William of Malmesbury Gesta Pontificum Anglorum book 2, chapter 96
  6. Foster Chichester Cathedral Spire p. 17
  7. Salzman Chichester: Advowsons pp. 164-166
  8. Gem "Chichester Cathedral" Proceedings of the Battle Conference Volume III pp. 61-64
  9. Tatton-Brown "Medieval Fabric" Chichester Cathedral p. 27 and footnote 11
  10. Mayr-Harting "Introduction" Acta p. 5
  11. McCann "Archives" in Hobbs Chichester Cathedral p. 190
  12. Tatton-Brown "Medieval Fabric" in Hobbs Chichester Cathedral p. 25
  13. Hudson Land, Law, and Lordship p. 235
  14. 1 2 Stephens Memorials of the See of Chichester p. 46
  15. Stephens Memorials of the See of Chichester p. 45
  16. Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 238

Related Research Articles

Ealdred (archbishop of York) 11th-century abbot and Archbishop of York

Ealdred was Abbot of Tavistock, Bishop of Worcester, and Archbishop of York in early medieval England. He was related to a number of other ecclesiastics of the period. After becoming a monk at the monastery at Winchester, he was appointed Abbot of Tavistock Abbey in around 1027. In 1046 he was named to the Bishopric of Worcester. Ealdred, besides his episcopal duties, served Edward the Confessor, the King of England, as a diplomat and as a military leader. He worked to bring one of the king's relatives, Edward the Exile, back to England from Hungary to secure an heir for the childless king.

Stigand 11th-century Archbishop of Canterbury

Stigand was an Anglo-Saxon churchman in pre-Norman Conquest England who became Archbishop of Canterbury. His birth date is unknown, but by 1020 he was serving as a royal chaplain and advisor. He was named Bishop of Elmham in 1043, and was later Bishop of Winchester and Archbishop of Canterbury. Stigand was an advisor to several members of the Anglo-Saxon and Norman English royal dynasties, serving six successive kings. Excommunicated by several popes for his pluralism in holding the two sees, or bishoprics, of Winchester and Canterbury concurrently, he was finally deposed in 1070, and his estates and personal wealth were confiscated by William the Conqueror. Stigand was imprisoned at Winchester, where he died without regaining his liberty.

William of Malmesbury was the foremost English historian of the 12th century. He has been ranked among the most talented English historians since Bede. Modern historian C. Warren Hollister described him as "a gifted historical scholar and an omnivorous reader, impressively well versed in the literature of classical, patristic, and earlier medieval times as well as in the writings of his own contemporaries. Indeed William may well have been the most learned man in twelfth-century Western Europe."

Wulfstan was Bishop of Worcester from 1062 to 1095. He was the last surviving pre-Conquest bishop. Wulfstan is a saint in the Western Christian churches.

Saint Osmund 11th-century Bishop of Salisbury and saint

Osmund, Count of Sées, was a Norman noble and clergyman. Following the Norman conquest of England, he served as Lord Chancellor and as the second bishop of Salisbury, or Old Sarum.

Thomas of Bayeux Norman Archbishop of York

Thomas of Bayeux was Archbishop of York from 1070 until 1100. He was educated at Liège and became a royal chaplain to Duke William of Normandy, who later became King William I of England. After the Norman Conquest, the king nominated Thomas to succeed Ealdred as Archbishop of York. After Thomas' election, Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, demanded an oath from Thomas to obey him and any future Archbishops of Canterbury; this was part of Lanfranc's claim that Canterbury was the primary bishopric, and its holder the head of the English Church. Thomas countered that York had never made such an oath. As a result, Lanfranc refused to consecrate him. The King eventually persuaded Thomas to submit, but Thomas and Lanfranc continued to clash over ecclesiastical issues, including the primacy of Canterbury, which dioceses belonged to the province of York, and the question of how York's obedience to Canterbury would be expressed.

Gisa (bishop of Wells) 11th-century Bishop of Wells

Gisa was Bishop of Wells from 1060 to 1088. A native of Lorraine, Gisa came to England as a chaplain to King Edward the Confessor. After his appointment to Wells, he travelled to Rome rather than be consecrated by Stigand, the Archbishop of Canterbury. As bishop, Gisa added buildings to his cathedral, introduced new saints to his diocese, and instituted the office of archdeacon in his diocese. After the Norman Conquest, Gisa took part in the consecration of Lanfranc, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, and attended Lanfranc's church councils. His tomb in Wells Cathedral was opened in the 20th century and a cross was discovered in his tomb.

Æthelric I was an Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Selsey.

Æthelric was the second to last medieval Bishop of Selsey in England before the see was moved to Chichester. Consecrated a bishop in 1058, he was deposed in 1070 for unknown reasons and then imprisoned by King William I of England. He was considered one of the best legal experts of his time, and was even brought from his prison to attend the trial on Penenden Heath where he gave testimony about English law before the Norman Conquest of England.

Osbern was a Benedictine monk, hagiographer and musician, precentor of Christ Church, Canterbury. He is sometimes confused with Osbert de Clare, alias Osbern de Westminster. He is known as "the monk Osbern" or just "Monk Osbern".

Bishop of Chichester Diocesan bishop in the Church of England

The Bishop of Chichester is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Chichester in the Province of Canterbury. The diocese covers the counties of East and West Sussex. The see is based in the City of Chichester where the bishop's seat is located at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity. On 3 May 2012 the appointment was announced of Martin Warner, Bishop of Whitby, as the next Bishop of Chichester. His enthronement took place on 25 November 2012 in Chichester Cathedral.

Selsey Abbey

Selsey Abbey was founded by St Wilfrid in AD 681 on land donated at Selsey by the local Anglo-Saxon ruler, King Æðelwealh of Sussex, Sussex's first Christian king. The Kingdom of Sussex was the last area of Anglo-Saxon England to be evangelised.

Remigius de Fécamp 11th-century Bishop of Lincoln

Remigius de Fécamp was a Benedictine monk who was a supporter of William the Conqueror.

Ralph de Luffa 11th and 12th-century Bishop of Chichester

Ralph de Luffa (or Ralph Luffa was an English bishop of Chichester, from 1091 to 1123. He built extensively on his cathedral as well as being praised by contemporary writers as an exemplary bishop. He took little part in the Investiture Crisis which took place in England during his episcopate. Although at one point he refused to allow his diocese to be taxed by King Henry I of England, Luffa remained on good terms with the two kings of England he served.

Godfrey was a medieval Bishop of Chichester. The first Bishop of Chichester was Stigand, who died in 1087; it seems that he was followed by Godfrey. Confusion over the succession was generated by William of Malmesbury, who suggested that Stigand was succeeded by a Bishop William.

Herman (died 1078) was a medieval cleric who served as the Bishop of Ramsbury and of Sherborne before and after the Norman conquest of England. In 1075, he oversaw their unification and translation to Salisbury. He died before the completion of the new cathedral.

The trial of Penenden Heath occurred in the decade after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, probably in 1076, and involved a dispute between Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, half-brother of William the Conqueror and Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury and others.

Events from the 1070s in England.

Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury English queen, first wife of Edmund I

Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury was the first wife of King Edmund I. She was Queen of the English from her marriage in around 939 until her death in 944. Ælfgifu and Edmund were the parents of two future English kings, Eadwig and Edgar the Peaceful. Like her mother Wynflaed, Ælfgifu had a close and special if unknown connection with the royal nunnery of Shaftesbury (Dorset), founded by King Alfred, where she was buried and soon revered as a saint. According to a pre-Conquest tradition from Winchester, her feast day is 18 May.

The Gesta Pontificum Anglorum, originally known as De Gestis Pontificum Anglorum and sometimes anglicized as The History or The Chronicle of the English Bishops, is an ecclesiastical history of England written by William of Malmesbury in the early 12th century. It covers the period from the arrival of St Augustine in AD 597 until the time it was written. Work on it was begun before Matilda's death in 1118 and the first version of the work was completed in about 1125. William drew upon extensive research, first-hand experience and a number of sources to produce the work. It is unusual for a medieval work of history, even compared to William's other works, in that its contents are so logically structured. The History of the English Bishops is one of the most important sources regarding the ecclesiastical history of England for the period after the death of Bede.

References

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Selsey
1070–c.1075
see moved to Chichester
New title
see moved from Selsey
Bishop of Chichester
c. 1075–1087
Succeeded by