Bishop of Galloway
- For bishop of Scottish Episcopal Church Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway see Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway
The Bishop of Galloway, also called the Bishop of Whithorn, was the eccesiastical head of the Diocese of Galloway, said to have been founded by Saint Ninian in the mid-5th century. The subsequent Anglo-Saxon bishopric was founded in the late 7th century or early 8th century, and the first known bishop was one Pehthelm, "shield of the Picts". According to Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastical tradition, the bishopric was founded by Saint Ninian, a later corruption of the British name Uinniau or Irish Finian; although there is no contemporary evidence, it is quite likely that there had been a British or Hiberno-British bishopric before the Anglo-Saxon takeover. After Heathored (fl. 833), no bishop is known until the apparent resurrection of the diocese in the reign of King Fergus of Galloway. The bishops remained, uniquely for Scottish bishops, the suffragans of the Archbishop of York until 1359 when the pope released the bishopric from requiring metropolitan assent. James I formalised the admission of the diocese into the Scottish church on 26 August 1430 and just as all Scottish sees, Whithorn was to be accountable directly to the pope. The diocese was placed under the metropolitan jurisdiction of St Andrews on 17 August 1472 and then moved to the province of Glasgow on 9 January 1492. The diocese disappeared during the Scottish Reformation, but was recreated by the Catholic Church in 1878 with its cathedra at Dumfries, although it is now based at Ayr.
List of known Anglo-Saxon bishops of Whithorn
Heathored is described as the successor to Beadwulf by some accounts. His inclusion on the list as a Bishop of Whithorn is not credible.
List of known bishops of Galloway/Whithorn
Church of Scotland succession
Scottish Episcopal Church succession
Restored Roman Catholic succession
The modern Bishop of Galloway is the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galloway in the Province of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh.
The diocese was resurrected on 4 March 1878 from the Vicariate Apostolic of the Western District. The church of Saint Andrew in Dumfries served as pro-cathedral until it was destroyed by a fire in May 1961 and the seat moved to Ayr in 1962. The current bishop is the Right Reverend John Cunningham, the 7th Bishop of Galloway. The diocese covers an area of 9,332 km². The see is in the town of Ayr. Until 2007 the seat was located at the Cathedral Church of the Good Shepherd which was built in 1957. In early 2007 Pope Benedict XVI accepted the petition of Right Reverend John Cunningham, the 7th Bishop of Galloway, to move the seat to St Margaret's Church, Ayr. This has now been done and the Church of the Good Shepherd has been closed.
(Any dates appearing in italics indicate de facto continuation of office. The start date of tenure below is the date of appointment or succession. Where known, the date of installation and ordination as bishop are listed in the notes together with the post held prior to appointment.)
|22 March 1878 to 16 January 1893||John McLachlan||Priest; ordained 23 May 1878; died in office|
|16 June 1893 to 19 January 1914||William Turner||Priest; ordained 25 July 1893; died in office|
|25 May 1914 to 24 December 1943||James McCarthy||Priest; ordained 9 June 1914; died in office|
|24 December 1943 to 2 February 1952||William Mellon||Coadjutor Bishop of Galloway; died in office|
|19 July 1952 to 4 April 1981||Joseph McGee||Priest;ordained 11 November 1952; retired|
|4 April 1981 to 7 April 2004||Maurice Taylor||Priest; ordained 9 June 1981; retired|
|7 April 2004 to 2015||John Cunningham||Priest; ordained 28 May 2004|
|7 November 2014 to present||William Nolan||Priest; ordained 22 February 2015|
- Barrell, Andrew D. M. (2000), Medieval Scotland, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-58602-X
- Clancy, T. O. "The real St Ninian," in The Innes Review, 52 (2001)
- Dowden, John, The Bishops of Scotland, ed. J. Maitland Thomson, (Glasgow, 1912)
- Hudson, Benjamin T., "Kings and Church in Early Scotland", in The Scottish Historical Review', Vol. 73, (October, 1994), pp. 145–70
- Oram, Richard, The Lordship of Galloway, (Edinburgh, 2000)
- Watt, D. E. R.; Murray, A. L., eds. (2003), Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae Medii Aevi ad annum 1638, The Scottish Record Society, New Series, Volume 25 (Revised ed.), Edinburgh: The Scottish Record Society, ISBN 0-902054-19-8, ISSN 0143-9448