Archibald (bishop of Moray)

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Bishop of Moray
Effigy of Bishop Archibald of Moray.JPG
An Effigy from Elgin Cathedral believed to depict Archibald
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Diocese of Moray
In office 1253–1298
Predecessor Simon de Gunby
Successor David de Moravia
Consecration 1253
Personal details
Born Unknown
Probably Moray or Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died 9 December 1298
Previous post Dean of Moray

Archibald (died 1298) was a 13th-century Scottish prelate best known for involvement in a dispute with the Pope.

His Flemish name could indicate a connection with the de Douglas or de Moravia families either by kinship or geography, but there is no other direct evidence of this. His origins are not known, but he was almost certainly the Archibald who was Dean of Moray in the years before 1253.[1]

In that year he was consecrated as the successor of Simon de Gunby and Radulf of Lincoln as Bishop of Moray.[2] Through what appears to have been a misunderstanding, Bishop Archibald confirmed the election of one Andrew de Dunn as Dean of Moray. However, the Pope had earlier or simultaneously appointed his own candidate, Nicholas de Hedon, based on an earlier reservation of the position. There was litigation at the Papal see, through which Hedon emerged victorious.[3] Bishop Archibald, apparently concerned he had been placed in a state of excommunication, petitioned Pope Alexander IV and was absolved on 22 December 1255.[4]

Bishop Archibald, like all Scottish bishops, was summonded to the Second Council of Lyon. A provincial council at Perth in 1273, however, exempted the Bishop of Moray as well as the Bishop of Dunkeld.[4] Bishop Archibald was present at the Convention of Birgham in 1290.[4]

At some point during his episcopate, Uilleam, Mormaer of Ross, committed an outrage to the church or lands of Petty, a church belonging to a canon of Archibald's cathedral. In compensation, Uilleam granted the bishop some lands in Cadboll and elsewhere in Ross.[5] The bishop was also involved in a dispute with Uilleam, Mormaer of Mar, which in 1268 resulted in the latter's excommunication.[6]

Bishop Archibald built an episcopal residence at Kinneddar, where he resided for much of his episcopate.[7] His episcopate lasted over 45 years, making it one of the longest in medieval Scotland. He died on 9 December 1298.[2]


  1. ^ Dowden, Bishops, p. 150; Keith, Historical Catalogue, p. 139; Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, pp. 214, 219
  2. ^ a b Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 214.
  3. ^ Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 219.
  4. ^ a b c Dowden, Bishops, p. 150.
  5. ^ Keith, Historical Catalogue, p. 139; Keith does not specify if the Mormaer was Uilleam I or Uilleam II.
  6. ^ Paton, "William".
  7. ^ Keith, Historical Catalogue, p. 139.


  • 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)
  • Paton, Henry, "William, fifth earl of Mar (d. in or before 1281)", rev. Norman H. Reid, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 , accessed 2 May 2007
  • Watt, D.E.R., Fasti Ecclesiae Scotinanae Medii Aevi ad annum 1638, 2nd Draft, (St Andrews, 1969)
Religious titles
Preceded by
Simon de Gunby
Dean of Moray
1244 x 1249–1253
Succeeded by
Andrew de Dunn
Nicholas de Hedon
Preceded by
Bishop of Moray
Succeeded by
David de Moravia