Bishop of Dunwich

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The Anglo-Saxon dioceses 850–925

The Bishop of Dunwich is an episcopal title which was first used by an Anglo-Saxon bishop between the 7th and 9th centuries and is currently used by the suffragan bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. The title takes its name after Dunwich in the English county of Suffolk, which has now largely been lost to the sea.

Anglo-Saxon bishops[edit]

In about 630 or 631 a diocese was established by St. Felix for the Kingdom of the East Angles, with his episcopal seat initially, briefly established at Soham before being transferred to Dunwich on the Suffolk coast. There is a possibility the unidentified Dommoc may be Dunwich, but this is yet to be proved. In 672 the diocese was divided into the sees of Dunwich and Elmham by St. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury.

The line of bishops of Dunwich continued until it was interrupted by the Danish Viking invasions in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. By the mid 950s the sees of Dunwich and Elmham were reunited under one bishop, with the episcopal see at Elmham.

List of Anglo-Saxon bishops[edit]

Bishops of the East Angles (purportedly established at Soham)
From Until Incumbent Notes.
c.630 c.630 Felix of Burgundy Also known as St Felix
Bishops of the East Angles (established at Dunwich or translated from Soham)
630 x 631 647 x 648 Felix of Burgundy Also known as St Felix.
647 x 648 652 x 653 Thomas Deacon.
652 x 653 669 x 670 Brigilsus Also recorded as Beorhtgils, Berhtgils, and Boniface.
669 x 670 672 Bifus Resigned in 672; also recorded as Bisi.
In 672, the diocese was divided into the sees of Dunwich and Elmham
Bishops of Dunwich
From Until Incumbent Notes.
672 x ?  ? Acca Also recorded as Æcce and Æcci.
 ?  ? Ascwulf
 ? x 716 716 x ? Eardred
 ?  ? Cuthwine Also recorded as Cuthwynus.
 ? x 731 731 x ? Ealdbeorht I Also recorded as Alberht.
 ?  ? Ecglaf Also recorded as Eglasius.
 ? x 747 747 x ? Eardwulf Also recorded as Heardwulf.
747 x 775 775 x 781 Ealdbeorht II Also recorded as Alberthus and Ealdberht.
 ? x 781 789 x 793 Heardred Also recorded as Hardulfus.
789 x 793 798 Ælfhun Also recorded as Ælphunus.
798 816 x 824 Tidfrith Also recorded as Tidfreth, Tedfrid, and Thefridus.
816 x 824 824 x 825 Waormund Also recorded as Wærmund and Weremundus.
825 845 x 870 Wilred Also recorded as Wilfredus.
845 x 870  ? Æthelweald Also recorded as Æthelwold.
After interruption by the Danish Viking invasions, Dunwich was united to the see of Elmham.
Note(s): [A] and Source(s):[1][2][3][4]

Suffragan bishops[edit]

In 1934 the Church of England revived title Bishop of Dunwich as a suffragan see. The bishop's duties are to assist the diocesan Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich in overseeing the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. The most recent suffragan Bishop of Dunwich is the Rt Revd Clive Young who was appointed and consecrated in 1999 and retired in June 2013.[5] The post is currently vacant.

List of Suffragan bishops[edit]

Suffragan Bishops of Dunwich
From Until Incumbent Notes
1934 1945 Maxwell Maxwell-Gumbleton Formerly Bishop of Ballarat; assistant bishop in St Edmundsbury since 1931.
1945 1955 Clement Mallory Ricketts
1955 1967 Thomas Cashmore
1967 1977 David Maddock
1977 1980 William Johnston
1980 1992 Eric Devenport
1992 1995 Jonathan Bailey Translated to Derby.
1995 1999 Tim Stevens Translated to Leicester.
1999 2013 Clive Young Retired 12 May 2013.[6]
2013 present Vacant The see is not expect to be filled until after the next Bishop diocesan is in post.[7]


  • A The current list of Anglo-Saxon bishops is primarily compiled by the 3rd edition of the Handbook of British Chronology.[1] The earlier 2nd edition mentioned two others: Alric, probably bishop of Dunwich and Husa, bishop of Dunwich or Elmham.[8] These two are no longer considered to have been bishops and as such are not listed in the 3rd edition.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 216. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  2. ^ Hadcock, R. Neville; Knowles, David (1971). Medieval Religious Houses England & Wales. Longman. p. 482. ISBN 0-582-11230-3. 
  3. ^ "Historical successions: Norwich (including precussor offices)". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Hadcock, R.Neville; Knowles, David (1971). Medieval Religious Houses England & Wales. Longman. p. 482. ISBN 0-582-11230-3. 
  5. ^ a b Crockford's Clerical Directory (100th ed.). London: Church House Publishing. 2007. p. 946. ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0. 
  6. ^ "Appointments". Church Times (#7802). 28 September 2012. p. 31. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 7 June 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ St Edmundsbury & Ipswich Diocese – Bishop Nigel set for new role at Lambeth (Accessed 25 June 2013)
  8. ^ Powicke, F. Maurice; Fryde, E. B. (1961). Handbook of British Chronology (2nd ed.). London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society. p. 220. 

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