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Bishop of Selsey
Appointed c. 1039
Term ended 1047
Predecessor Æthelric I
Successor Heca
Personal details
Died 1047
Buried Christ Church Priory Canterbury

Grimketel or Grimcytel; known as Grimkell in Scandinavian texts (died 1047) was an English Bishop of Selsey.


Little is known of Grimketel's background.[1] There has been speculation that he was taken over to Norway by Olaf Haraldsson in 1017 to evangelize the country.[2] After Olaf was driven out of Norway by Cnut and killed at the Battle of Stiklestad while trying to reclaim his kingdom, Grimketel was asked to go to Trondheim and officially declare the former king a saint.[3]

Cnut is said to have brought Grimketel back to England.[2] Grimketel then stayed at Canterbury until he was appointed Bishop of Selsey in late 1038 or in 1039.[2][4] He was bishop at the time Stigand was bishop of the see of Elmham. Grimketel replaced Stigand at Elmham when the latter was deposed in 1043, and was then in turn deposed when Stigand was restored in 1044.[4] William of Malmesbury claimed that Grimketel achieved the see of Selsey, as well as that of Elmham, through simony.[2] There was a simple reference to this episode in the earlier recension of the Worcester Chronicle, which, according to the historian Susan Kelly, was later elaborated with some unreliable detail; the revised version states that Grimketel bought the East Anglian see (the words pro auro, "for gold" have been substituted for pro eo, "for him") and that Stigand became bishop of Selsey, which Kelly feels is not credible.[4] Kelly says that it is not clear whether there is justification for the rumours identifying Grimketel as a simonist; however, the historian Frank Barlow feels that he did purchase the office from King Harold Harefoot.[4][5]

Grimketel died in 1047[6] and was buried at Christ Church Priory, Canterbury.[7]


  1. ^ Barlow English Church 1000–1066 p. 76
  2. ^ a b c d Heron-Allen Selsey Bill Historic and Prehistoric p. 125
  3. ^ "Olav Haraldsson". Viking Net. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Kelly Charters of Selsey p. xciii
  5. ^ Barlow English Church 1000–1066 p. 108
  6. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 221
  7. ^ Barlow English Church 1000–1066 p. 222


  • Barlow, Frank (1970). Edward the Confessor. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-01671-8. 
  • Barlow, Frank (1979). The English Church 1000–1066: A History of the Later Anglo-Saxon Church (Second ed.). New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-49049-9. 
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  • Heron-Allen, Edward (1911). Selsey Bill Historic and Prehistoric. London: Duckworth. 
  • Kelly, S.E., ed. (1998). Charters of Selsey. Anglo-Saxon Charters VI. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-726175-2. 

External links[edit]

Christian titles
Preceded by
Æthelric I
Bishop of Selsey
c. 1039–1047
Succeeded by