Bishop of Aberdeen

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This article is about the bishop of the Scottish church. For the bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church, see Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney.

The Bishop of Aberdeen (originally Bishop of Mortlach, in Latin Murthlacum) was the ecclesiastical head of the Diocese of Aberdeen, one of Scotland's 13 medieval bishoprics, whose first recorded bishop is an early 12th-century cleric named Nechtan. It appears that the episcopal seat had previously been at Mortlach (Mòrthlach), but was moved to Aberdeen during the reign of King David I of Scotland. The names of three bishops of Mortlach are known, the latter two of whom, "Donercius" and "Cormauch" (Cormac), by name only. The Bishop of Aberdeen broke communion with the Roman Catholic Church after the Scottish Reformation. Following the Glorious Revolution, the office was abolished in the Church of Scotland, but continued in the Scottish Episcopal Church. A Roman Catholic diocese was recreated in Aberdeen in 1878.

Pre-Reformation bishops[edit]

List of known bishops of Mortlach[edit]

Bishops of Mortlach
Tenure Incumbent Notes
fl. 1012 Beóán of Mortlach One of the three known bishops of Mortlach. Known for other sources.
c. 1000s "Donercius" One of the three known bishops of Mortlach. Nothing more is known.
c. 1000s Cormac of Mortlach One of the three known bishops of Mortlach. Nothing more is known.
fl. 1131/2 Nechtan of Aberdeen Transferred the see to Aberdeen in April 1132
Source(s):[1][2][3]

List of known bishops of Aberdeen[edit]

The Bishopric of Aberdeen, as the Bishopric of Aberdeen, appears to date from the 1130s, as does the list of known bishops.

Pre-Reformation Bishops of Aberdeen
From Until Incumbent Notes
fl. 1131/2 Nechtan of Aberdeen Transferred the see from Mortlach in April 1132.
fl. 1147/51-1171 Edward of Aberdeen
1172 1199 Matthew
1199 1207 John of Kelso
1207 1228 Adam de Kald
1228 1229 Matthew the Scot (bishop-elect) Matthew or Mata had been the chancellor of William the Lion, King of Scots. He was postulated to the see of Aberdeen, before in turn being postulated to the higher ranking see of Dunkeld. At any rate, he died before consecration. His name indicates that he was a Gael, but we do not know anything else about his background.
1228 1239 Gilbert de Stirling
1239 1247 Radulf de Lamley
1247 1256 Peter de Ramsay
1256 1270/2 Richard de Potton
1272 1281/2 Hugh de Benin
1282 1328 Henry le Chen
1329 Walter Herok (bishop-elect) He died at Avignon, perhaps before being consecrated.
1329 1343/4 Alexander de Kininmund (I.)
1344 1350 William de Deyn
1350 1354/5 John de Rait
1355 1380 Alexander de Kininmund (II.)
1380 Simon de Ketenis (bishop-elect) Elected by chapter sometime after 31 August, but was provided instead as Dean of Aberdeen on 18 November 1380.
1380 1389 Adam de Tyninghame
1389 1421 Gilbert de Greenlaw
1422 1440 Henry de Lichton Translated from Moray.
1441 1458 Ingram Lindsay
1458 1480 Thomas Spens Translated from Galloway.
1480 1483 Robert Blackadder (bishop-elect) Translated to Galloway.
1483 1514 William Elphinstone Translated from Ross; he is one of the greatest of all medieval Scottish bishops, and is remembered today for, among other things, founding the University of Aberdeen.
1514/5 1518 Alexander Gordon
bef. 1515 1516 Robert Forman Provided by Pope, but resigned without ever possessing.
1518 1532 Gavin Dunbar
1529 1531 George Learmond (coadjutor bishop only) Learmond had been appointed Dunbar's successor in 1529, but he died before Dunbar did.
1532 1545 William Stewart
1545 1577 William Gordon Because of the Scottish Reformation of 1560, he was the last bishop owing allegiance to Rome.
Source(s):[1][4][5]

Post-Reformation bishops[edit]

Church of Scotland succession[edit]

Church of Scotland Bishops of Aberdeen
From Until Incumbent Notes
1577 1600 David Cunningham
1600 1616 Peter Blackburn
1616 1617 Alexander Forbes Translated from Caithness.
1618 1635 Patrick Forbes
1635 1638 Adam Bellenden Translated from Dunblane; died in 1648.
1638 1662 Bishops were abolished in Scotland during the Interregnum.
1662 1663 David Mitchel
1663 1664 Alexander Burnet Translated to Glasgow.
1664 1682 Patrick Scougal
1682 1689 George Haliburton Deprived of the temporalities when episcopacy was permanently abolished in the Church of Scotland in 1689. Continued as a nonjuring bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Source(s):[1][6][7]

Scottish Episcopal Church succession[edit]

Scottish Episcopal Church Bishops of Aberdeen
From Until Incumbent Notes
1689 1715 George Haliburton After the Glorious Revolution, he continued as a nonjuring bishop
1715 1721 See vacant
1721 1724 Archibald Campbell Resigned.
1724 1733 James Gadderar
1733 1746 William Dunbar Translated from Moray.
1747 1767 Andrew Gerard
1768 1786 Robert Kilgour Also Primus (1778–1788); resigned.
1786 1816 John Skinner Also Primus (1788–1816).
1816 1857 William Skinner Also Primus (1841–1857); son of the preceding.
1857 1864 Thomas Suther Became Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney
Source(s):[1][8]

Restored Roman Catholic succession[edit]

(Any dates appearing in italics indicate de facto continuation of office. The start date of tenure below is the date of appointment or succession. Where known, the date of installation and ordination as bishop are listed in the notes together with the post held prior to appointment.)

The modern Bishop of Aberdeen is the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aberdeen in the Province of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh. The diocese covers 29,068 km². The see is in the City of Aberdeen where the seat is located at the Cathedral Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption. The Vicariate Apostolic of the Northern District (formerly the Vicariate Apostolic of the Highland District) was elevated to diocese status on 4 March 1878. The current bishop is the Right Reverend Hugh Gilbert, 11th Bishop of Aberdeen.

Vicars Apostolic of the Highland District
From Until Incumbent Notes
16 September 1727 19 September 1727 Father Alexander John Grant Died in office.
12 February 1731 12 March 1773 Bishop Hugh MacDonald Priest; died in office.
12 March 1773 9 May 1779 Bishop John MacDonald Previously coadjutor Vicar Apostolic; died in office.
30 September 1779 9 September 1791 Bishop Alexander MacDonald Priest; died in office.
8 November 1791 8 July 1814 Bishop John Chisholm Priest; died in office.
8 July 1814 31 July 1818 Bishop Aeneas Chisholm Previously coadjutor Vicar Apostolic; died in office.
27 August 1819 13 February 1827 Bishop Ranald MacDonald Became Vicar Apostolic of the Western District.
Vicars Apostolic of the Northern District
From Until Incumbent Notes
13 February 1827 23 February 1869 Bishop James Kyle Priest; died in office
23 February 1869 15 March 1878 Bishop John MacDonald Previously coadjutor Vicar Apostolic; became Bishop of Aberdeen.
Roman Catholic Bishops of Aberdeen
From Until Incumbent Notes
15 March 1878 4 February 1889 John MacDonald Previously Vicar Apostolic of the Northern District; died in office.
16 July 1889 26 September 1889 Colin Grant Priest; ordained 13 August 1889; died in office.
14 August 1890 29 May 1898 Hugh MacDonald CSSR Priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer; ordained 23 October 1890; died in office.
7 January 1899 13 January 1918 Aeneas Chisholm Priest; ordained 24 February 1899; died in office.
18 June 1918 25 December 1946 George Bennett Priest; ordained 1 August 1918; died in office.
2 August 1947 5 July 1950 John Matheson Priest; ordained 24 September 1947; died in office.
20 June 1951 22 July 1963 Francis Walsh MAfr Priest of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) ; ordained 12 September 1951; resigned.
8 December 1964 28 May 1976 Michael Foylan Priest; ordained 25 March 1965; died in office.
28 February 1977 15 January 2002 Mario Conti Priest of Aberdeen; ordained 3 May 1977; translated to Glasgow.
13 October 2003 4 June 2011 Peter Moran Priest of Aberdeen; ordained 1 December 2003; resigned 4 June 2011.
4 June 2011 present Hugh Gilbert OSB Abbot of Pluscarden (1992-2011); appointed 4 June 2011; ordained 15 August 2011.
Source(s):[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Historical successions: Aberdeen". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Dowden 1912, The Bishops of Scotland, pp. 97–98.
  3. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 317.
  4. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 301–302.
  5. ^ Dowden 1912, The Bishops of Scotland, pp. 98–143.
  6. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 302–303.
  7. ^ Scott 1928, Fasti Ecclesae Scoticanae, volume 7, pp. 392–402.
  8. ^ Scott 1928, Fasti Ecclesae Scoticanae, volume 7, pp. 402–411.
  9. ^ Diocese of Aberdeen at Catholic-Hierarchy Retrieved on 14 June 2013.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Dowden, John (1912). Thomson, J. Maitland, ed. The Bishops of Scotland. Glasgow: James Maclehose and Son. 
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S. et al., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, reprinted 2003 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  • Scott, Hew (1928). Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae. Volume 7 (New ed.). Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. 

External links[edit]