Bishop of Argyll

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The Bishop of Argyll or Bishop of Lismore was the ecclesiastical head of the Diocese of Argyll, one of Scotland's 13 medieval bishoprics. It was created in 1200, when the western half of the territory of the Bishopric of Dunkeld was formed into the new diocese. The bishops were based at Lismore. The Bishopric of Argyll, like other Scottish bishoprics, passed into the keeping of the Scottish Episcopal Church after the Scottish Reformation.

List of Bishops of Argyll[edit]

Bishops of Argyll
From Until Incumbent Notes.
c. 1200 c. 1230 Harald
c. 1238 1241 William Previously Chancellor of Moray.
c. 1252 1262 Alan
1264 1299 Laurence de Ergadia
1301 c. 1327 Andrew Exiled with John, Lord of Argyll following the Battle of Brander in 1308.
el. 1342 ? Aonghas de Ergadia Bishop-elect. Both he and a Dominican called Martin appeared before Pope Clement VI, as the succession to the see was disputed. The Pope handed the matter over to be examined by Bertrand du Pouget, Bishop of Ostia, but Aonghas died before the matter was solved.
1342 1362 Martin de Ergadia
1387 1390 Iain MacDhùghaill Appears only in continental records; he was scholar of the Pope.
1397 1411 Beoan MacGilleandrais
? 1420 John Balsham Resigned 1420 and retired to Ipswich Carmelite House, where he died in 1425.[1]
1420 1426 Finlay de Albania
1427 1461 George Lauder
1475 c. 1494 Robert Colquhoun
1497 c. 1522 David Hamilton
1525 c. 1535 Robert Montgomery
1539 1553 William Cunningham Youngest son of Lord Glencairn; provided to the see by Pope Paul III; resigned the diocese into the hands of the Pope in 1553, and became Dean of Brechin.
1553 1580 James Hamilton Became a Protestant; also "subdean" of Glasgow from January 1580; died in office.
1580 1608 Neil Campbell
1608 1613 John Campbell
1613 1636 Andrew Boyd
1637 1638 James Fairlie As with other Scottish bishops, he was deprived by parliament in December 1638; episcopacy was restored after the Restoration.
1662 1665 David Fletcher
1665 John Young Appointed but not consecrated; died in June 1665.
1666 1675 William Scrogie
c. 1675 1679 Arthur Rose Translated to Galloway, to Glasgow, then to St Andrews.
1679 1680 Colin Falconer Translated to Moray.
1680 1687 Hector MacLean
1688 Alexander Monro Nominated by James VII & II, but not consecrated

In 1689, Episcopacy was permanently abolished in the Scottish Church. The line of bishops continued within the Scottish Episcopal Church, where the title was often combined with others. In 1847, Alexander Ewing became the first to bear the title Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, and, in 1878, Angus MacDonald became the first Roman Catholic bishop to bear that same title.


  1. ^ B. Zimmerman, 'The White Friars at Ipswich,' Proc. Suffolk Institute of Archaeology; 10 Part 2 (1899), 204.
  • 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 Scoticanae Medii Aevi ad annum 1638, 2nd draft, (St Andrews, 1969)