Bishop of Hexham

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Hexham Abbey was founded in 674 AD, the present building dates mainly from about 1170–1250.

The Bishop of Hexham was an episcopal title which took its name after the market town of Hexham in Northumberland, England. The title was first used by the Anglo-Saxons in the 7th and 9th centuries, and then by the Roman Catholic Church in the 19th century.

Anglo-Saxon bishops of Hexham[edit]

The first Diocese of Lindisfarne was merged into the Diocese of York in 664. York diocese was then divided in 678 by Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury, forming a bishopric for the country between the Rivers Aln and Tees, with a seat at Hexham. This gradually and erratically merged back into the bishopric of Lindisfarne. Eleven bishops of Hexham followed St. Eata, of which six were saints.

No successor was appointed in 821, the condition of the country being too unsettled. A period of disorder followed the Danish devastations, after which Hexham monastery was reconstituted in 1113 as a priory of Austin Canons, which flourished until its dissolution under Henry VIII. Meantime the bishopric had been merged in that of Lindisfarne, which latter see was removed to Chester-le-Street in 883, and thence to Durham in 995.

Anglo-Saxon Bishops of Hexham
From Until Incumbent Notes
678 c. 681 St. Eata Translated to Lindisfarne circa 681.[1]
681 684 Trumbert Deposed in 684.
684 685 St. Cuthbert Elected in 684. Translated to Lindisfarne in 685.[2]
685 685 or 686 St. Eata (returned) Died in office in 685 or 686.
687 706 St. John of Beverley Became bishop in August 687. Translated to York in 706.[3]
706 709 St. Wilfrid Translated from Leicester in 706. Died in office in 709.
709 731 St. Acca Deprived or expelled in 731. Died on 20 October 737 or 740.[4]
734 766 St. Frithubeorht Became bishop on 8 September 734. Died in office on 766.
767 780 or 781 St. Eahlmund Became bishop on 24 April 767. Died in office on 7 September 780 or 781.
780 or 781 789 Tilbeorht Became bishop on 2 October, possibly in 780 or 781. Died in office in 789.
789 797 Æthelberht Translated from Whithorn in 789. Died in office on 16 October 797.
797 800 Heardred Became bishop on 29 October 797. Died in office in 800.
800 813 Eanbehrt Died in office in 813.
813 821 Tidfrith Died in office in 821.
After the death of the last bishop of Hexham and a period of unrest, the see merged to the bishopric of Lindisfarne.

Modern Roman Catholic bishop of Hexham[edit]

By the decree of 29 September 1850 by Pope Pius IX, the Roman Catholic hierarchy was restored in England and Wales. Much of the Vicariate Apostolic of the Northern District of England became the Diocese of Hexham, and the Vicar Apostolic of the district became the Bishop of Hexham. The Diocese of Hexham comprised Northumberland, County Durham, Cumberland and Westmorland. The patrons of the diocese were Our Blessed Lady Immaculate and St Cuthbert.[6][7]

On 22 April 1861, the Propaganda congregation decreed that St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne should be the bishop's seat, and the Episcopal see should be renamed the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. The decree was approved by Pope Pius IX on 7 March, and was expedited on 23 May 1861.[6][7]

Roman Catholic Bishop of Hexham
From Until Incumbent Notes
1850 1861 William Hogarth Formerly Vicar Apostolic of the Northern District and Titular Bishop of Samosata (1848–1850). Appointed Bishop of Hexham on 29 September 1850. His episcopal title changed to Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle on 23 May 1861.
In 1861, the bishopric changed its name to Hexham and Newcastle.


  1. ^ Bede, Ecclesiastical History IV.12.
  2. ^ Bede, IV.28.
  3. ^ Bede, V.2.
  4. ^ Bede, V.20.
  5. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 217.
  6. ^ a b c Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle at Catholic-Hierarchy Retrieved on 5 June 2011.
  7. ^ a b c Brady 1876, The Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland and Ireland, volume 3, pp. 410–411.


External links[edit]