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Abel (fl. 744–747), bishop-suffragan of Rheims, first appears in the acts of the Council of Soissons in March 744, which record the elevation of himself and one Hartbert to the status of archbishops, although the acts mention no specific sees. Historians have considered these appointments as a restoration of the lapsed ancient Gallic provincial organization under the inspiration of ...

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Adam [Adam the Welshman] (c. 1130–1181), theologian and bishop of St Asaph, has on the authority of Du Boulay's Historia universitatis Parisiensis (1665), and of Thomas Tanner's Bibliotheca Britannico-Hibernica (1748), been confused with a fictitious Adam Angligena and, even in the most recent histories of the ...

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Adam [Adam of Caithness] (d. 1222), abbot of Melrose and bishop of Caithness, is variously described as having been a foundling and as having originated in Cumberland. He was elected bishop on 5 August 1213 when he was abbot of Melrose, the third bishop to be appointed to ...

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William Hunt

revised by Marios Costambeys

Ælfweard (d. 1044), abbot of Evesham and bishop of London, is said by the chronicle of Evesham to have been a relative of Cnut, presumably through Cnut's first, English, wife, Ælfgifu of Northampton. He was a monk of Ramsey and was made abbot of ...

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Ælfwine (d. 1047), bishop of Winchester, was formerly a royal priest in the service of King Cnut. According to Goscelin, Ælfwine helped Ælfstan, abbot of St Augustine's, Canterbury, to persuade Cnut to permit the relics of St Mildrith to be translated there. Ælfwine's...

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Æthelmaer (d. after 1070), bishop of Elmham, succeeded to that East Anglian see in 1047, the year when its former occupant, his brother Stigand, became archbishop of Canterbury. Such familial promotion, coupled with the fact that Æthelmaer was, or had been, married, makes him an easy target for anyone wanting to suggest that the late Anglo-Saxon church badly needed the kind of reforms implemented by the Normans under ...

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See Stigand

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Æthelric (d. 1034), bishop of Dorchester, was a former monk of Ramsey and a generous patron of his monastery. His election to the see of Dorchester in 1016 perhaps owed something to his family connections, although these are unknown. Given the extent and geographical location of this large see, it was perhaps believed that a local man would prove to be the most effective bishop. During his early years at the monastic school in ...

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Æthelwine (d. in or after 1071), bishop of Durham, was originally a monk of Peterborough Abbey along with his brother Æthelric. When Bishop Edmund (d. c.1050) of Durham returned from his consecration in the presence of King Cnut about 1020 he brought ...

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Æthelwold [St Æthelwold, Ethelwold] (904x9–984), abbot of Abingdon and bishop of Winchester, was a leading figure in the tenth-century church reform movement. He was born in Winchester to noble parents during the reign of Edward the Elder, probably between 904 and 909.

As a youth ...

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Agilbert (d. 679x90), bishop of the West Saxons, was from a leading Frankish family, certainly connected with the family of St Audoin (St Ouen), who died in 684, and probably with the royal Merovingian family itself. He was the second bishop of the West Saxons and, later, bishop of ...

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Airmyn [Ayreminne], William (d. 1336), administrator and bishop of Norwich, was the son of Adam and Matilda Airmyn, and probably came from the hamlet of Airmyn, near Selby, in Yorkshire, one of a large group of men from that region to obtain prominence in government service. First recorded as an attorney in ...

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Aiscough [Ayscough], William (c. 1395–1450), administrator and bishop of Salisbury, was the son of Robert Aiscough, of Potgrange, near Masham, Yorkshire, and brother of Robert, who became dean of the Chapel Royal. Ordained in 1415, he was master of arts by 1423 and doctor of theology by 1432, both probably of ...

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Alcock, John (1430–1500), administrator and bishop of Ely, was born at Beverley, Yorkshire, the son of William Alcock of Hull. Alcock received his early schooling in the grammar school attached to Beverley Minster, and then attended Cambridge University. DCL by 1459, he began his career in local diocesan administration in ...

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Aldhelm [St Aldhelm] (d. 709/10), abbot of Malmesbury, bishop of Sherborne, and scholar, was a prolific Latin author whose idiosyncratic style of composition in the media of prose and verse, both metrical and rhythmical, was profoundly influential both in England and on the continent up to the Norman conquest. His life is moderately well documented: ...

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Aldhelm [St Aldhelm] (d. 70910) drawing The British Library

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Aldhun (d. 1018), bishop of Durham, is documented chiefly in the Libellus de exordio atque procursu istius hoc est Dunelmensis ecclesie, which discusses the origins and development of the church of Durham and was written by Symeon of Durham between 1104 and 1107, and the ...

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Alexander [called Alexander the Magnificent] (d. 1148), bishop of Lincoln, came from the ecclesiastical dynasty established by his kinsman Roger, bishop of Salisbury (d. 1139).

Roger originated from the Norman diocese of Avranches and both Alexander and Nigel, later royal treasurer and bishop of ...

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Alfred (d. 1160), bishop of Worcester, is of unknown origins. The earliest information describes him as having been a clerk of King Henry at an unknown date. This was probably Henry II, who visited Worcester for, or very soon after, Alfred's enthronement as bishop, suggesting that he may have interested himself personally in the election. ...

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Alnwick, William (d. 1449), bishop of Norwich and Lincoln, was probably born in Alnwick, Northumberland. Of unknown parentage, he was described by the papal collector, Piero da Monte, a hostile witness, as (rusticanus homoex vili genere natus'a peasant … born of a low family'; ...