Bishop of Winchester
Acting: Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Southampton
Archbishop's Commissary: Richard Frith
|Established||634 (at Dorchester)|
660 (translated to Winchester)
|Cathedral||Winchester Cathedral (since 660)|
The Bishop of Winchester is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Winchester in the Church of England. The bishop's seat (cathedra) is at Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire. The Bishop of Winchester has always held ex officio (except during the period of the Commonwealth until the Restoration of the Monarchy) the office of Prelate of the Most Noble Order of the Garter since its foundation in 1348, and Bishops of Winchester often held the positions of Lord Treasurer and Lord Chancellor ex officio. During the Middle Ages, it was one of the wealthiest English sees, and its bishops have included a number of politically prominent Englishmen, notably the 9th century Saint Swithun and medieval magnates including William of Wykeham and Henry of Blois.
The Bishop of Winchester is appointed by the Crown, and is one of five Church of England bishops who sit ex officio among the 26 Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords, regardless of their length of service.
The Diocese of Winchester is one of the oldest and most important in England. Originally it was the episcopal see of the kingdom of Wessex or the West Saxons, with its cathedra at Dorchester Cathedral near Oxford under Saints Birinus and Agilbert. The cathedral at Dorchester was founded in AD 634 by Birinius, a Roman missionary. The see was transferred to Winchester in AD 660.
Winchester was divided in AD 909, with Wiltshire and Berkshire transferring to the new See of Ramsbury. Nevertheless, the domains of the Bishop of Winchester ran from the south coast to the south bank of the River Thames at Southwark, where the bishop had one of his palaces, making it one of the largest as well as one of the richest sees in the land. In more modern times, the former extent of the Diocese of Winchester was reduced by the formation of a new diocese of Southwark in south London,[a] a new diocese of Guildford in Surrey and a new diocese of Portsmouth in Hampshire. The most recent loss of territory was in 2014 when the Channel Islands were removed from the diocese of Winchester after a dispute with Bishop Tim Dakin led to a breakdown in relations. However, this arrangement is expressed to be an interim one and will not necessarily become permanent. The Channel Islands remain part of the Diocese of Winchester effectively under a scheme of episcopal delegation. The Bishop of Winchester delegated his episcopal authority in relation to the Channel Islands to the Archbishop of Canterbury who in turn placed the Channel Islands under the pastoral supervision of the Bishop of Dover. The Channel Islands have not[verification needed] been transferred to and incorporated within another diocese.
Traditionally, in the general order of precedence before 1533, the Bishop of Winchester was given precedence over all other diocesan bishops - that is, the first English bishop in rank behind the archbishops of Canterbury and York. But in 1533, Henry VIII of England raised the rank of the Bishop of London and the Bishop of Durham, relegating Winchester to third (but still above other remaining diocesan bishops). The order of precedence was implicitly recognised by the Bishoprics Act 1878.[b]
The Report of the Commissioners appointed by his Majesty to inquire into the Ecclesiastical Revenues of England and Wales (1835) found the Winchester see was the third wealthiest in England, after Canterbury and London, with an annual net income of £11,151.
The official residence of the Bishop of Winchester is Wolvesey Palace in Winchester. Other historic homes of the bishops included Farnham Castle, Bishop's Waltham Palace and a town residence at Winchester Palace in Southwark, Surrey (now London). The bishop is the visitor to five Oxford colleges, namely Magdalen College, New College, St John's College, Trinity College, and Corpus Christi College.
The most recent bishop of Winchester, Tim Dakin, was enthroned on 21 April 2012, having been elected on 14 October 2011. He was consecrated as a bishop at St Paul's Cathedral, London, on 25 January 2012. On 20 May 2021, it was reported that Dakin had "stepped back" as diocesan bishop for six weeks, in light of the threat of a diocesan synod motion of no confidence in his leadership. David Williams, Bishop of Basingstoke, also "stepped back" and Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Southampton, served as acting diocesan bishop. Dakin's leave was later extended to the end of August 2021. He retired on 6 February 2022. A new bishop is to be appointed; Debbie Sellin continues as acting diocesan bishop during the vacancy, with retired bishop Richard Frith serving as the Archbishop's Episcopal Commissary in the diocese.
List of bishops
Saxon to Norman
|Bishops of Dorchester|
|634||c. 650||Birinus||Sent from Rome by the pope, founded missionary diocese; Saint Birinius|
|c. 650||c. 660||Agilbert||Resigned.|
|Bishops of Winchester|
|660||663||Wine||also had his See at Dorchester|
|betw. 759–778||betw. 759–778||Æthelheard|
|betw. 759–778||betw. 781–785||Ecgbald|
|betw. 781–785||betw. 781–785||Dudd|
|betw. 781–785||betw. 801–803||Cyneberht|
|betw. 801–803||betw. 805–814||Ealhmund|
|before 825||836||Herefrith||Never attests without Wigthegn.|
|838 or 839||betw. 844–853||Helmstan|
|852 or 853||betw. 862–865||Swithun||Canonized. Patron saint of Winchester.|
|betw. 862–867||betw. 871–877||Ealhferth|
|betw. 871–877||878 or 879||Tunbeorht|
|878 or 879||908||Denewulf|
|909||932 or 933||Frithestan||Canonized|
|934 or 935||951||Ælfheah (I)|
|951||959||Ælfsige (I)||Translated to Canterbury|
|960||963||Beorhthelm||Possibly translated from Selsey|
|984||1006||Ælfheah (II)||Translated to Canterbury. Canonized.|
|1047||1070||Stigand||Translated from Elmham. Held Winchester with Canterbury 1052–1070.|
|Footnote(s):[c] and Source(s):|
Norman to Reformation
|1129||1171||Henry of Blois|
|1173||1188||Richard of Ilchester|
|1189||1204||Godfrey de Luci|
|1205||(Richard Poore)||Election quashed|
|1205||1238||Peter des Roches|
|1238||1239||(Ralph Neville)||Election quashed|
|1240||1250||William de Raley||Translated from Norwich|
|1250||1260||Aymer de Valence|
|1261||1262||(Andrew of London)||Election quashed|
|1261||1262||(William de Taunton)||Election quashed|
|1268||1280||Nicholas of Ely|
|1280||(Robert Burnell)||Election quashed June 1280.|
|1280||1282||(Richard de la More)||Never consecrated, resigned June 1282.|
|1282||1304||John of Pontoise|
|1319||1323||Rigaud of Assier|
|1323||1333||John de Stratford||Translated to Canterbury|
|1333||1345||Adam Orleton||Translated from Worcester|
|1366||1404||William of Wykeham|
|1404||1447||Cardinal Henry Beaufort||Translated from Lincoln; Appointed Cardinal by Pope Martin V; The Bishop of Winchester in Shakespeare's First Part of Henry the Sixth|
|1487||1492||Peter Courtenay||Translated from Exeter|
|1493||1501||Thomas Langton||Translated from Salisbury|
|1501||1528||Richard Foxe||Translated from Durham|
|1529||1530||Cardinal Thomas Wolsey||Archbishop of York. Held in commendam the see of Winchester.|
During the Reformation
|1531||1551||Stephen Gardiner (1st tenure)|
|1551||1553||John Ponet||Translated from Rochester|
|1553||1555||Stephen Gardiner (2nd tenure)|
|1556||1559||John White||Translated from Lincoln|
|1584||1594||Thomas Cooper||Translated from Lincoln|
|1594||1595||William Wickham||Translated from Lincoln|
|1597||1616||Thomas Bilson||Translated from Worcester|
|1616||1618||James Montague||Translated from Bath and Wells|
|1618||1626||Lancelot Andrewes||Translated from Ely|
|1627||1632||Richard Neile||Translated from Durham, later translated to York|
|1632||1646||Walter Curle||Translated from Bath and Wells. Deprived 1646, and died 1647.|
|1646||1660||The see was abolished during the Commonwealth and the Protectorate.|
|1660||1662||Brian Duppa||Translated from Salisbury|
|1662||1684||George Morley||Translated from Worcester|
|1684||1706||Peter Mews||Translated from Bath and Wells|
|1707||1721||Sir Jonathan Trelawny||Translated from Exeter|
|1721||1723||Charles Trimnell||Translated from Norwich|
|1723||1734||Richard Willis||Translated from Salisbury|
|1734||1761||Benjamin Hoadly||Translated from Salisbury|
|1761||1781||John Thomas||Translated from Salisbury|
|1781||1820||Brownlow North||Translated from Worcester|
|1820||1827||Sir George Pretyman Tomline, Bt.||Translated from Lincoln|
|1827||1869||Charles Sumner||Translated from Llandaff|
|1869||1873||Samuel Wilberforce||Translated from Oxford|
|1873||1891||Harold Browne||Translated from Ely|
|1891||1895||Anthony Thorold||Translated from Rochester|
|1895||1903||Randall Davidson||Translated from Rochester, later translated to Canterbury|
|1903||1911||Herbert Edward Ryle||Translated from Exeter|
|1911||1923||Edward Talbot||Translated from Southwark|
|1923||1932||Theodore Woods||Translated from Peterborough|
|1932||1942||Cyril Garbett||Translated from Southwark, later translated to York|
|1942||1952||Mervyn Haigh||Translated from Coventry|
|1952||1961||Alwyn Williams||Translated from Durham|
|1961||1975||Falkner Allison||Translated from Chelmsford|
|1985||1995||Colin James||Translated from Wakefield|
|1995||2011||Michael Scott-Joynt||Translated from Stafford|
|2022||Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Southampton (acting)||
former Bishop of Hereford
Among those who have served as assistant bishops of the diocese are:
- 1457–1486 (d.): William Westkarre, Prior of Mottisfont Abbey (1451–d.), titular Bishop of Sidon/Zeitun and Assistant Bishop of Canterbury (1480); sometime head of St Mary's College, Oxford (c. 1443); elected Prior of Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate, 1445, but put aside; later a canon of Burscough Priory.
- 1885 – 1887 (res.): Francis Cramer-Roberts, Vicar of Milford-on-Sea and former Bishop of Nassau
- 1921–1922 (d.): James Macarthur, Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight (since 1906) and Assistant Bishop for the island; former Bishop of Southampton
- 1947 – 1962 (ret.): Leslie Lang, Archdeacon of Winchester and Canon Residentiary of Winchester Cathedral, and former Bishop of Woolwich
- 1963 – 1973 (ret.): Nigel Cornwall, Canon Residentiary of Winchester Cathedral and former Bishop of Borneo
- 1982 – 1990 (ret.): Hassan Dehqani-Tafti, former Bishop in Iran and President Bishop, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East
- 1996 – 2020 (d.) John Dennis (bishop) Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Winchester and formerly Bishop of Knaresborough and Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
- The area was transferred to the Diocese of Rochester in 1877 before being established as a separate diocese in 1905.
- The bishops are named in this order in the section.
- The second edition of the Handbook of British Chronology listed Eadmund to have been bishop of Winchester between 833 and 838, but in the third edition he is no longer listed to have been bishop.
- Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.1160, as depicted there, expanded for clarity
- Charles Dodd (1844) Manual of Dignities, from the Revolution to the Present Day p.45
- "Lords Spiritual". The Church of England in Parliament. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
- "No. 27777". The London Gazette. 21 March 1905. p. 2169.
- The Church of England Year Book 2014, p. 150.
- "Bishoprics Act 1878, s. 5". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
- The National Cyclopaedia of Useful Knowledge Vol.III, London, Charles Knight, 1847, p.362
- "Bishop of Winchester steps back after diocesan rebellion". Church Times. No. 8253. 21 May 2021. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
- "Talks about Dakin's future to continue". Church Times. No. 8259. 2 July 2021. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
- "Bishop of Winchester announces retirement". Diocese of Winchester. 16 July 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
- "Archbishop confirms arrangements following Bishop of Winchester's retirement". Diocese of Winchester. 10 January 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2022.[dead link]
- Powicke & Fryde 1961, Handbook of British Chronology, 2nd Edition, p. 257.
- Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, 3rd Edition, p. 223.
- "Historical successions: Winchester". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, 3rd Edition, pp. 276–277.
- Greenway 1971, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 2, pp. 85–87.
- Jones 1962, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541: Volume 4, pp. 45–47.
- Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, 3rd Edition, p. 277.
- Plant, David (2002). "Episcopalians". BCW Project. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
- King, Peter (July 1968). "The Episcopate during the Civil Wars, 1642-1649". The English Historical Review. Oxford University Press. 83 (328): 523–537. doi:10.1093/ehr/lxxxiii.cccxxviii.523. JSTOR 564164.
- Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, 3rd Edition, pp. 277–278.
- Horn 1974, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857: Volume 3, pp. 80–83.
- Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi: II p. 238
- Les Ordinations Épiscopales, Year 1457, Number 21
- "Westkarre, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/98333. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- "Church news". Church Times. No. 1252. 21 January 1887. p. 46. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 20 December 2019 – via UK Press Online archives.
- "Church news". Church Times. No. 2997. 2 July 1920. p. 10. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 20 September 2020 – via UK Press Online archives.
- "Lang". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- "Cornwall, Nigel Edmund". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- "Dehqani-Tafti, Hassan Barnaba". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, reprinted 2003 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
- Greenway, D. E. (1971). "Bishops of Winchester". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 2: Monastic Cathedrals (Northern and Southern Provinces). British History Online.
- Jones, B. (1962). "Bishops of Winchester". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541: Volume 4: Monastic Cathedrals (Southern Province). British History Online.
- Horn, J. M. (1974). "Bishops of Winchester". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857: Volume 3: Canterbury, Rochester and Winchester Dioceses. British History Online.
- Powicke, F. Maurice; Fryde, E. B., eds. (1961). Handbook of British Chronology (2nd ed.). London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society.