Bishop of Brechin

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Sketch of Brechin Cathedral and Round Tower, north-west, drawn by W.R. Billings and engraved by J. Godfrey, in the 1800s.
Modern photograph.

The Bishop of Brechin is the ecclesiastical head of the Diocese of Brechin or Angus, based at Dundee. Brechin Cathedral, Brechin is a parish church of the established (presbyterian) Church of Scotland. The diocese had a long-established Gaelic monastic community which survived into the 13th century. The clerical establishment may very well have traced their earlier origins from Abernethy. During the Scottish Reformation, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland gained control of the heritage and jurisdiction of the bishopric. However, the line of bishops has continued to this day, according to ancient models of consecration, in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

List of known abbots[edit]

Tenure Incumbent Notes
fl. 1131x1150 Léot of Brechin He was the father of the first bishop. It is very probable that the Gaelic Abbot of Brechin simply became Bishop of Brechin, so that the later bishopric of Brechin was based on the earlier monastic establishment.
fl. late 12th century Domnall Domnall nepos Léot, grandson of Abbot Léot, and probably son of Bishop Samson.
fl. early 13th century Eoin mac in Aba Grandson of Léot's son Máel Ísu. He was the father of Morgánn, Lord of Glenesk.

List of bishops[edit]

Pre-Reformation bishops[edit]

Bishops of Brechin
From Until Incumbent Notes
x 1150 1165 x 1169 Samson of Brechin
1178 1189 x 1198 Turpin of Brechin
x 1198-1199 1212 Radulf of Brechin
1214 x 1215 1218 Hugh of Brechin Probably from the native clerical family.
1218 1242 x 1246 Gregory of Brechin
1246 1269 Albin of Brechin
aft. 1269 bef. 1274 William de Crachin Had been the dean of Brechin; the Papal legate, Ottobone, refused to consecrate him. One source says he appealed to the Pope and was consecrated, but authorities such as John Dowden doubt this. At any rate, he died on or before the year 1274.
1275 1291 x 1297 William de Kilconcath Also William Comyn; Dominican friar.
1296 1298 Nicholas of Brechin
1298 1323 x 1327 John de Kininmund
1328 1349 Adam de Moravia
1350 1351 Philip Wilde
1351 1373 x 1383 Patrick de Leuchars
1383 1404 x 1405 Stephen de Cellario
1407 1425 x 1426 Walter Forrester
1426 1453 John de Crannach Had previously been Bishop of Caithness.
1454 1462x1463 George Shoreswood
1463 1465 Patrick Graham Translated to St Andrews.
1465 1488 John Balfour
1488 1514 x 1516 William Meldrum
1516 1557 John Hepburn
1557 1559 Donald Campbell He had been the Abbot of Coupar Angus, and was the son of Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll. He was unable, despite the help of powerful patrons, to secure the bishopric.

Church of Scotland bishops[edit]

Bishops of Brechin
From Until Incumbent Notes
1565 1566 John Sinclair
1566 1607 Alexander Campbell Provided while a minor; resigned 1607.
1607 1619 Andrew Lamb Translated to Galloway.
1619 1634 David Lindsay Translated to Edinburgh.
1634 1635 Thomas Sydserf Translated to Galloway.
1635 1638 Walter Whitford Deprived on 13 December 1638, along with other Scottish bishops in a general abolition of episcopacy which lasted until 1661.
1638 1661 Vacant Episcopacy suspended.
1662 1671 David Strachan Episcopacy restored.
1671 1677 Robert Laurie
1678 1682 George Haliburton Translated to Aberdeen.
1682 1684 Robert Douglas Translated to Dunblane.
1684 1684 Alexander Cairncross Translated to Glasgow.
1684 1688 James Drummond
The Episcopacy was abolished in the Church of Scotland in 1689, but continued in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Episcopal bishops[edit]

Today the bishop is the Ordinary of the Scottish Episcopal Diocese of Brechin.

Bishops of Brechin
From Until Incumbent Notes
1695 1709 The see administered by Alexander Rose, Bishop of Edinburgh.
1709 1723 The see was part of the territory administered by John Falconer, a college bishop.
1724 1727 Robert Norrie Died in office.
1727 1731 Thomas Rattray Translated to Dunkeld in 1731.
1731 1742 John Ochterlony Died in office.
1742 1777 James Rait Died in office.
1778 1781 George Innes Died in office.
1781 1787 See vacant
1787 1788 Abernethy Drummond Translated to Edinburgh and Glasgow in 1788.
1788 1810 John Strachan Appointed Coadjutor Bishop in 1787 before succeeded Diocesan bishop in 1788.
1810 1840 George Gleig Appointed Coadjutor Bishop in 1808 before succeeded Diocesan Bishop in 1810; also Primus 1816–1837.
1840 1847 David Moir Appointed Coadjutor bishop in 1837 before succeeded Diocesan bishop in 1840, died in office.
1847 1875 Alexander Forbes Died in office.
1875 1903 Hugh Jermyn Also Primus 1886–1901; died in office.
1904 1934 Walter Robberds Also Primus 1908–1934.
1935 1943 Kenneth Mackenzie Previously vicar of St Mary's Church, Selly Oak.
1944 1959 Eric Graham
1959 1975 John Sprott Previously Provost of Dundee.
1975 1990 Lawrence Luscombe Also Primus 1985–1990.
1990 1996 Robert Halliday
1997 2005 Neville Chamberlain
2005 2010 John Mantle Retired due to ill health; died November 2010.
2011 present Nigel Peyton[1][2] Born 1951

References[edit]

  • Broun, Dauvit, “The Seven Kingdoms in De Situ Albanie: A Record of Pictish political geography or imaginary Map of ancient Alba”, in E.J. Cowan & R. Andrew McDonald (eds.), Alba: Celtic Scotland in the Medieval Era, (Edinburgh, 2000, rev. 2005), pp. 24–42
  • Dowden, John, The Bishops of Scotland, ed. J. Maitland Thomson, (Glasgow, 1912)
  • Keith, Robert, An Historical Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops: Down to the Year 1688, (London, 1924)
  • Watt, D.E.R., Fasti Ecclesiae Scotinanae Medii Aevi ad annum 1638, 2nd Draft, (St Andrews, 1969)

External links[edit]