Bishop of Dorchester (historic)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
England diocese map pre-925
England diocese map post 950
The dioceses of Anglo-Saxon England 850—1035

The historic Bishop of Dorchester was a prelate who administered the Diocese of Dorchester in the Anglo-Saxon period. The bishop's seat, or cathedra, was at the cathedral in Dorchester-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.


A cathedral at Dorchester was founded in 634 by the Roman missionary Saint Birinus. It was the seat of a Bishop of the West Saxons; the episcopal see for that kingdom was moved to Winchester in 660 and so the Wessex Bishops of Dorchester were succeeded by the Bishops of Winchester.

In the 660s the seat at Dorchester-on-Thames was abandoned, but briefly in the late 670s it was once more a bishop's seat under Ætla, under Mercian control.[1]

The town again became the seat of a bishop in around 875, when the Mercian Bishop of Leicester transferred his seat there. The diocese merged with that of Lindsey in 971; the bishop's seat was moved to Lincoln in 1072 and thus the Mercian Bishops of Dorchester were succeeded by the Bishops of Lincoln.

List of bishops[edit]

West Saxon Bishops of Dorchester
From Until Incumbent Notes
634 c. 650 Birinus Sent from Rome by the pope, founded missionary diocese; Saint Birinius
c. 650 c. 660 Agilbert Resigned.
Early Mercian Bishops of Dorchester
From Until Incumbent Notes
 ? 660  ? Ætla
Later Mercian Bishops of Dorchester
From Until Incumbent Notes
betw. 869 x 888 betw. 893 x 896 Harlardus |Also recorded as Alhheard]]; Eahlheard.
betw. 893 x 900 betw. 903 x 909 Wigmund or Wilferth
c. 909 betw. 909 x 925 Coenwulf Also recorded as Kenulphus
betw. 909 x 925 betw. 934 x 945 Wynsige
betw. 934 x 945 betw. 949 x 950 Æthelwold
949 or 950 971 Oscytel Also Archbishop of York (956–971).
971 betw. 971 x 975 Leofwine Bishop of Lindsey; united the sees of Dorchester and Linsay in 971, bishops of the united diocese known as Bishop of Dorchester
betw. 971 x 975 betw. 975 x 979 Alnothus Also recorded as Alfnoth
betw. 975 x 979 23 April 1002 Æscwig Also recorded as Œswy; Ascwinus.
1002 betw. 1007 x 1009 Ælfhelm Also recorded as Alfhelmus.
betw. 1007 x 1009 18 October 1016 Eadnoth (I.) Also recorded as Eadnothus. Abbot of Ramsey; killed at the battle of Assandun.
1016 8 December 1034 Æthelric Also recorded as Eadhericus; Brihtmær.
1034 18/19 September 1049 Eadnoth (II.) Also recorded as Eadnothus. Bishop of Dorchester, Leicester, and Lindey.
1049 14 September 1052 Ulfus Normanus Also recorded as Ulf. Royal priest; suspended at the Council of Vercelli 1050; expelled
1053 1067 Wulfwig Also recorded as Wulfinus. Royal priest.
1067 1072 Remigius de Fécamp Also recorded as Remigius de Feschamp. Moved the see to Lincoln


  1. ^ Kirby Earliest English Kings p. 48-49
  2. ^ "Historical successions: Dorchester". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Historical successions: Lincoln (including precussor offices)". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, reprinted 2003 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 215 and 255. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 


  • Kirby, D. P. (2000). The Earliest English Kings. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-24211-8.