John of Whithorn

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John of Whithorn (died 1209) was the medieval Bishop of Galloway. His first appearance as bishop-elect is at the coronation of Richard, Cœur de Lion as King of the English at Westminster Abbey on 3 September 1189.[1] He was consecrated at Pipewell Abbey, Northamptonshire, on Sunday 17 September 1189.[2]

The consecration was performed by Archbishop of Dublin, the Archbishop of Trier, and the Bishop of Annaghdown, and took place despite the fact that there was a formal vacancy in the Archbishopric of York. Geoffrey Plantagenet was Archbishop-elect of York at the time, and John in fact ordained him as a priest, despite the opposition of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who wished to use the opportunity to force York to make obedience to Canterbury as Primate.[3]

During his ten-year episcopate he appeared often in England as a suffragan of the Archbishop of York, for instance, accompanying the archbishop to a church council held by King Richard in 1191.[4] In Scotland, he witnessed one charter of Alan of Galloway and was appointed a judge-delegate by the papacy in a patronage-related dispute in the diocese of Glasgow.[5] He was believed to have become a canon at Holyrood Abbey in 1206.[6] The Chronicle of Melrose reported his death under the year 1209.[7]


  1. ^ Oram, Lordship of Galloway, p. 180; Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 128.
  2. ^ Dowden, Bishops, p. 355; Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 128.
  3. ^ Dowden, Bishops, p. 355; Oram, Lordship of Galloway, p. 180.
  4. ^ Oram, Lordship of Galloway, p. 181.
  5. ^ Dowden, Bishops, p. 355.
  6. ^ Dowden, Bishops, p. 355; Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 128; source reported by Watt is Chron. Bower, i. 520.
  7. ^ Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 128.


  • Dowden, John, The Bishops of Scotland, ed. J. Maitland Thomson, (Glasgow, 1912)
  • Keith, Robert, An Historical Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops: Down to the Year 1688, (London, 1924)
  • Oram, Richard, The Lordship of Galloway, (Edinburgh, 2000)
  • Watt, D. E. R., Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae Medii Aevi ad annum 1638, 2nd Draft, (St Andrews, 1969)
Religious titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Galloway
Succeeded by