Diocese of Moray
|Head||Bishop of Moray|
|Archdeacon(s)||Archdeacon of Moray|
|Known rural deans||Elgin, Inverness, Strathbogie, Strathspey|
|First attestation||1114 x 1120|
|Metropolitan before 1472||None|
|Metropolitan after 1492||Archbishop of St Andrews|
|Previous cathedral(s)||Birnie, Kinneddar and Spynie|
|Catholic successor||Merged into resurrected Diocese of Aberdeen, 4 March 1878|
|Episcopal successor||Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness|
The Diocese of Moray was one of the most important of the medieval dioceses in Scotland.
Bishops of Moray
Bishop Bricius organised the constitution of the church, but it was Bishop Andreas who increased the number of dignitaries and prebend canons and was responsible for gaining large grants of land from his kinsmen, the powerful de Moravia lords, as well as the king. In the year of his death, Andreas changed the cathedral's constitution to that of Salisbury.
Other Bishops made a lasting impact on the diocese and probably the most important of these was Alexander Bur (1362—1397), who championed the right of the Moray church to retain its property against a ruthless magnate, Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan and called the Wolf of Badenoch.
Apparently the see served repeatedly as stepping stone:
- Bishop Henry de Lichton (1414.05.18 – 1422.04) went on to become bishop of Aberdeen
- Andrew Forman (1501.11.26 – 1514) became Metropolitan Archbishop, first of Bourges (France) (1513.07.15 – 1514), then of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Andrews (1514 – 1521.03.11)
- Henry de Lichton (1414.05.18 – 1422.04) again became bishop of Aberdeen.
Extent and Deaneries
The diocese covered a large area extending from Huntly in the east, within a few miles of the Knoydart Peninsula in the west and, in the south-west, to the Atlantic Ocean at an inlet of Loch Linnhe in Lochaber.
It was divided into the four deaneries of Elgin, Inverness, Strathbogie and Strathspey. Each of these deaneries contained a number of parishes that provided the mensal and prebendal means for the church.
|Elgin||Altyre, Alves, Auldearn, Birnie, Dallas, Dipple, Duffus, Dundurkas, Dyke, Elgin, Essil, Forres, Fothervays (now Edinkillie), Kinneddar, Lhanbryde, Logie Fythenach (now Ardclach), Moy, Ogstoun, Rafford, Rothes, Spynie, Urquhart|
|Inverness||Abertarff, Abriachan, Brackley (now Brackla), Convinth, Croy, Dalarossie, Dalcross, Daviot, Dores, Ewan (or Barevan, now Cawdor) Ferneway, Inverness, Kintallirgy, Lunnin (now Moy), Lundechty (now Dunlichity), Petty, Wardlaw (now Kirkhill)|
|Strathbogie||Aberchirder (now Marnoch), Aberlour, Arndilly (now Boharm), Botary, Botriphnie, Drumdelgie, Dunbennan, Edendiack, Essie, Grantully (now Gartly), Glass, Inverkethney, Keith, Kinnoir, Rothiemay, Ruthven, Rhynie|
|Strathspey||Abernethy, Advie, Alvie, Cromdale, Duthil, Insh, Inverallan, Inveravon, Kincardine, Kingussie, Logie Kenny (now Laggan), Rothiemurcus|
Authorisation was also granted to create a chapter of eight canons to administer the cathedral. The chapter based its constitution on that of Lincoln Cathedral. It is possible that this decision may have been influenced by the fact that Bricius' immediate predecessor was Bishop Richard de Lincoln.
Bricius saw that Spynie was too remote from those it sought to serve and, with a need to ensure the safety of the clergy, petitioned the pope to grant the moving of the church to relative safety of Elgin.
It was not until after his death, however, that this was achieved under the episcopate of Bishop Andreas de Moravia. This transference took place with the authority of Pope Honorius III and King Alexander II on 19 July 1224.
- Registrium Episcacopatus Moravienses no. 81
- Discussion on the quarrel, see: Grant, Alexander: The Wolf of Badenoch in Moray: Province and People; ed. Seller, W D H, Edinburgh, pp. 143—161; Oram, Richard D: Alexander Bur, Bishop of Moray, 1362—1397 in Barbera Crawford (ed) Church Chronicle and Learning in Medieval and Early Renaissance Scotland, Edinburgh, 1999, pp. 202—204
- Registrium Episcacopatus Moravienses no.46
- Registrium Episcacopatus Moravienses, nos. 48, 49 and 93
- Registrium Episcacopatus Moravienses no. 45
- Registrium Episcacopatus Moravienses nos.26, 57 and 58
- Cant, Robert: Historic Elgin and its Cathedral, Elgin Society, Elgin, 1974, p. 23