Bishop of Crediton

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The Anglo-Saxon dioceses after 950

The Bishop of Crediton is an episcopal title which takes its name after the town of Crediton in Devon, England. The title was originally used by the Anglo-Saxons between the 10th and 11th centuries.[1][2] It is now used by the Church of England as a suffragan bishop who assists the diocesan bishop.[3]

Bishop of Tawton[edit]

Today's village of Bishops Tawton, on the River Taw 2 miles south of Barnstaple in North Devon, was according to Risdon (d.1640) the earliest bishop's see in the shire of Devon, when in 905

"Edward, sirnamed Senior, a nurse-father of the church, finding these western parts to want ecclesiastical discipline, by the advice of Pleymond, (sic) Archbishop of Canterbury, ordained a provincial synod and decreed that three new bishops should be consecrated, whereupon Edulph was appointed to Wells, Herstan to Cornwall and Werstan to Devon, who had here his see, where after him one only of his successors sat being hence removed to Crediton".[4]

Werstan's successor appears to have been Bishop Putta (reigned 906-910), who was murdered whilst travelling from his see at Bishops Tawton to visit the Saxon viceroy Uffa, whose residence was at Crediton.[5] It is believed that Copplestone Cross, mentioned in a charter dated 947 and situated 6 miles north-west of Crediton and 22 miles south-east of Bishops Tawton, was erected in commemoration of his murder.[6]

Diocesan Bishops of Crediton[edit]

The Diocese of Crediton was created out of the Diocese of Sherborne in 909 to cover the area of Devon and Cornwall.[7] Crediton was chosen as the site for its cathedral possibly due it having been the birthplace of Saint Boniface and the existence of a monastery there.[8]

In 1046, Leofric became the Bishop of Crediton: following his appointment he decided that the see should be moved to the larger, more culturally significant and defensible walled town of Exeter. In 1050, King Edward the Confessor authorised that Exeter was to be the seat of the bishop for Devon and Cornwall, and that a cathedral was to be built there for the bishop's throne. Thus, Leofric became the last diocesan Bishop of Crediton and the first Bishop of Exeter.[8]

List of the Diocesan Bishops of Crediton
From Until Incumbent Notes
c.909 934 Eadwulf
934 c.952/53 Æthelgar
953 972 Ælfwold I
973 977 Sideman Died on 30 April 977 or 1 or 2 May 977.
c.977/79 c.986/87 Ælfric
c.986/87  ? Ælfwold II
 ? c.1011/15 Ælfwold III
c.1011/15 c.1019/23 Eadnoth
1027 1046 Lyfing Also Bishop of Cornwall and Worcester; died in March 1046.
1046 1050 Leofric Consecrated on 19 April 1046; also Bishop of Cornwall; became the first Bishop of Exeter in 1050.
In 1050, Bishop Leofric transferred the see to Exeter.[8]
Source(s):[1][2]

Suffragan Bishops of Crediton[edit]

The present Bishop of Crediton is a title used by a Church of England suffragan bishop who, along with the Bishop of Plymouth, assists the Diocesan Bishop of Exeter in overseeing the Diocese of Exeter.[3]

List of the Suffragan Bishops of Crediton
From Until Incumbent Notes
1897 1930 Robert Trefusis
1930 1954 William Surtees
1954 1974 Wilfrid Westall
1974 1984 Philip Pasterfield
1984 1996 Peter Coleman
1996 2004 Richard Hawkins Formerly Bishop of Plymouth
2004 October 2012 Bob Evens[9] Retired on 31 October 2012[10]
November 2012 present Nick McKinnel[11]
Source(s):[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Historical successions: Exeter (including precussor offices)". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 287. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  3. ^ a b c Crockford's Clerical Directory (100th ed.). London: Church House Publishing. 2007. p. 946. ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0. 
  4. ^ Risdon, Tristram (d.1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, p.321
  5. ^ Chattaway, Joseph, An Historical Sketch of the Danmonii: Or Ancient Inhabitants of Devonshire, 1830, p.79[1]
  6. ^ http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-443618-copplestone-cross-copplestone-devon
  7. ^ Crediton Festival 2009. Retrieved on 5 June 2008.
  8. ^ a b c Exeter: Ecclesiastical History. Retrieved on 5 June 2008.
  9. ^ BBC: New Bishop for Crediton
  10. ^ Diocese of Exeter: Bishop of Crediton to retire
  11. ^ BBC: New Bishop of Crediton named as Rev Nick McKinnel

External links[edit]