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Bishop of Lincoln - Wikipedia

The Bishop of Lincoln is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Lincoln in the Province of Canterbury.

The present diocese covers the county of Lincolnshire and the unitary authority areas of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. The bishop's seat (cathedra) is located in the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the city of Lincoln. The cathedral was originally a minster church founded around 653 and refounded as a cathedral in 1072. Until the 1530s the bishops were in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

The historic medieval Bishop's Palace lies immediately to the south of the cathedral in Palace Yard; managed by English Heritage, it is open to visitors.[2] A later residence (first used by Bishop Edward King in 1885)[3] on the same site was converted from office accommodation to reopen in 2009 as a 16-bedroom conference centre and wedding venue.[4] It is now known as Edward King House and provides offices for the bishops, archdeacons and diocesan staff. A 14-bedroom house (Bishop's House) on Eastgate was the official residence in use from 1948 until 2011, when the bishop's office staff and home were separated, allowing the incoming bishop, Christopher Lowson, to live in a modern five-bedroom house. [5] A further residence of the mediaeval Bishops of Lincoln was Banbury Castle, built in 1135 by Alexander of Lincoln, Bishop of Lincoln and retained by the see until 1547.




The dioceses of Anglo-Saxon England 850-1035

The Anglo-Saxon dioceses of Lindsey and Leicester were established when the large Diocese of Mercia was divided in the late 7th century into the bishoprics of Lichfield and Leicester (for Mercia itself), Worcester (for the Hwicce), Hereford (for the Magonsæte) and Lindsey (for the Lindisfaras).

The historic Bishop of Dorchester was a prelate who administered the Diocese of Dorchester in the Anglo-Saxon period. The bishop's seat, or cathedra, was at the cathedral in Dorchester-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.

In the 660s the seat at Dorchester-on-Thames was abandoned, but briefly in the late 670s it was once more a bishop's seat under Ætla, under Mercian control.[6] The town of Dorchester again became the seat of a bishop in around 875, when the Mercian Bishop of Leicester transferred his seat there. The diocese merged with that of Lindsey in 971; the bishop's seat was moved to Lincoln in 1072 and thus the Mercian Bishops of Dorchester were succeeded by the Bishops of Lincoln.

The first bishops of Leicester were originally prelates who administered an Anglo-Saxon diocese between the 7th and 9th centuries. The bishopric fell victim to the invasion by the Danes and the episcopal see was transferred to Dorchester-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.[7][8][9]

The dioceses of Lindsey and Leicester continued until the Danish Viking invasions and establishment of the Danelaw in the 9th century. The see of Leicester was transferred to Dorchester, now in Oxfordshire, sometime between 869 and 888. After an interruption, the see of Lindsey was resumed until it was united with the bishopric of Dorchester in the early 11th century. The diocese was the largest in England, extending from the River Thames to the Humber Estuary.

In 1072, Remigius de Fécamp moved the see of Dorchester to Lincoln, but the bishops of Lincoln retained significant landholdings within Oxfordshire. Because of this historic link, for a long time Banbury remained a "peculiar" of the Bishop of Lincoln.

Until the 1530s the bishops were in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. During the English Reformation they changed their allegiance back and forth between the crown and the papacy. Under Henry VIII and Edward VI, the bishops conformed to the Church of England, but under Mary I they adhered to the Roman Catholic Church. Since the English Reformation, the bishops and diocese of Lincoln have been part of the reformed Church of England, and the Anglican Communion.

The dioceses of Oxford and Peterborough were created in 1541, out of parts of the Diocese of Lincoln. The county of Leicestershire was transferred from Lincoln to Peterborough in 1837.

List of bishops of Lincoln[edit]

For precursor offices, see Bishop of Lindsey, Bishop of Leicester and Bishop of Dorchester

Pre-Reformation bishops[edit]

Bishops of Leicester From Until Incumbent Notes 679 c.691 Cuthwine 692 705 Wilfrid Translated from York; later transferred to Hexham 709 c.716/727 Headda also Bishop of Lichfield c.716/727 737 Aldwine also Bishop of Lichfield 737 764 Torhthelm 764 c.781/785 Eadbeorht c.781/785 c.801/803 Unwona c.801/803 c.814/816 Wernbeorht c.814/816 839 or 840 Hræthhun 839 or 840 c.840/844 Ealdred c.840/844 c.869/888 Ceolred In the late 9th century, the episcopal see of Leicester was moved to Dorchester. Source(s):[7][8][9][10] Bishops of Dorchester From Until Incumbent Notes betw. 869 x 888 betw. 893 x 896 Harlardus Also recorded as Alhheard; Eahlheard. betw. 893 x 900 betw. 903 x 909 Wigmund or Wilferth c. 909 betw. 909 x 925 Coenwulf Also recorded as Kenulphus betw. 909 x 925 betw. 934 x 945 Wynsige betw. 934 x 945 betw. 949 x 950 Æthelwold 949 or 950 971 Oscytel Also Archbishop of York (956-971). 971 betw. 971 x 975 Leofwine Bishop of Lindsey; united the sees of Dorchester and of Lindsey in 971, bishops of the united diocese known as Bishop of Dorchester betw. 971 x 975 betw. 975 x 979 Alnothus Also recorded as Alfnoth betw. 975 x 979 23 April 1002 Æscwig Also recorded as Œswy; Ascwinus. 1002 betw. 1007 x 1009 Ælfhelm Also recorded as Alfhelmus. betw. 1007 x 1009 18 October 1016 Eadnoth (I.) Also recorded as Eadnothus. Abbot of Ramsey; killed at the battle of Assandun. 1016 8 December 1034 Æthelric Also recorded as Eadhericus; Brihtmær. 1034 18/19 September 1049 Eadnoth (II.) Also recorded as Eadnothus. Bishop of Dorchester, Leicester, and Lindey. 1049 14 September 1052 Ulfus Normanus Also recorded as Ulf. Royal priest; suspended at the Council of Vercelli 1050; expelled 1053 1067 Wulfwig Also recorded as Wulfinus. Royal priest. 1067 1072 Remigius de Fécamp Also recorded as Remigius de Feschamp. Moved the see to Lincoln Source(s):[11][10][12]

Bishops during the Reformation[edit]

Bishops of Lincoln during the Reformation [15][18][19] From Until Incumbent Notes 1521 1547 John Longland Formerly Dean of Salisbury 1514-1521; appointed bishop 20 March and consecrated 5 May 1521; died in office 7 May 1547 1547 1551 Henry Holbeach Translated from Rochester; nominated 1 August and confirmed 20 August 1547; died in office 6 August 1551 1552 1554 John Taylor Nominated 18 June and consecrated 26 June 1552; deprived of the see 15 March 1554; died in December 1554 1554 1556 John White Nominated before 1 April 1554 and consecrated on that date; translated to Winchester 6 July 1556 1557 1559 Thomas Watson Nominated 7 December 1556; appointed 24 May and consecrated 15 August 1557; deprived of the see 26 June 1559; died in September 1584

Post-Reformation bishops[edit]

Assistant bishops[edit]

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

Honorary assistant bishops, serving after their retirements, have included:


  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.683; the infant Jesus appears to be shown here on the incorrect (sinister) arm (the dexter side in heraldry being generally of the greatest honour)
  2. ^ "Lincoln Medieval Bishops' Palace". English Heritage. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  3. ^ "The Old Palace - Retreats and Quiet Days at the Edward King Centre". Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  4. ^ "The Old Palace Hotel, Lincoln". Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  5. ^ a b "New Bishop Pledges Help for Parishes ; Enthronement of the Bishop of Lincolnthe Right Reverend Christopher Lowson Tells Ed Grover About His Most Pressing Priorities After Being Enthroned As the 72nd Bishop of Lincoln". Lincolnshire Echo. Lincoln, England: Northcliffe Newspapers. 17 November 2011. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  6. ^ Kirby Earliest English Kings p. 48-49
  7. ^ a b Leicester Cathedral: History Archived 25 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 22 November 2008.
  8. ^ a b Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 238.
  9. ^ a b The Saxon Bishops of Leicester, Lindsey (Syddensis) , and Dorchester. By D. P. Kirby. Retrieved on 22 November 2008.
  10. ^ a b "Historical successions: Lincoln (including precussor offices)". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Historical successions: Dorchester". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  12. ^ Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, reprinted 2003 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 215 and 255. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  13. ^ Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 255-256. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  14. ^ Greenway, Diana E. (1977). Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300. volume 3: Lincoln. pp. 1-5.
  15. ^ a b King, H.P.F. (1962). Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300-1541. volume 1: Lincoln. pp. 1-3.
  16. ^ Miranda, Salvador. "Henry Beaufort". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  17. ^ Miranda, Salvador. "Philip Repington". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  18. ^ Fryde, ibid., p. 256.
  19. ^ a b Horn, Joyce M.; Smith, David M. (1999). Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541-1857. volume 9: Lincoln. pp. 1-5. ISBN 0-485-17128-7.
  20. ^ Fryde, ibid., pp. 256-257.
  21. ^ Plant, David (2002). "Episcopalians". BCW Project. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  22. ^ King, Peter (July 1968). "The Episcopate during the Civil Wars, 1642-1649". The English Historical Review. Oxford University Press. 83 (328): 523-537. doi:10.1093/ehr/lxxxiii.cccxxviii.523. JSTOR 564164.
  23. ^ Alan Webster (19 May 1999). "Obituary: The Right Rev Kenneth Riches". The Independent. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  24. ^ Stephen Roberts (14 February 2001). "The Right Rev Simon Phipps". The Independent. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  25. ^ "The Right Reverend Simon Phipps". The Daily Telegraph. 14 February 2001. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  26. ^ "See of Lincoln". Number 10. 4 September 2001. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  27. ^ The Diocese of Lincoln — The Bishop of Lincoln's Letter, February 2002 (Archived 4 February 2002; accessed 7 August 2016)
  28. ^ Lincoln Diocese — Bishop signs off Archived 18 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ a b "Bishop of Lincoln Christopher Lowson suspended from office". BBC News. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  30. ^
  31. ^ "The Bishop of Lincoln announces his retirement". Diocese of Lincoln. Lincoln Diocesan Trust and Board of Finance. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  32. ^ "Hine, John Edward". Who's Who. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  33. ^ "Assistant Bishop of Lincoln (col. D)". Church Times (#4541). 17 February 1950. p. 117. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 13 February 2021 - via UK Press Online archives.
  34. ^ "Deaths". Church Times (#7993). 27 May 2016. p. 33. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 3 March 2020 - via UK Press Online archives.