Bishop of Winchester

Bishop of Winchester

Arms of the Bishop of Winchester
Tim Dakin
Province Canterbury
Diocese Winchester
Cathedral Winchester Cathedral (since 660)
Dorchester (634–660)
First incumbent Wine
Formation 634 (at Dorchester)
660 (translated to Winchester)

The Bishop of Winchester is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Winchester in the Church of England. The bishop's seat (cathedra) is at Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire.

The Bishop of Winchester is appointed by the Crown, and is one of five Church of England bishops who are among the Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords regardless of their length of service. The Lords Spiritual are the 26 bishops in parliament. The other members are called the Lords Temporal.

The Diocese of Winchester is one of the oldest and most important in England. Originally it was the see of the kingdom of Wessex, with the cathedra at Dorchester Cathedral under Saints Birinus and Agilbert. It was transferred to Winchester in AD 660. During the Middle Ages, it was one of the wealthiest English sees and its bishops have included a number of politically prominent Englishmen, notably the 9th century Saint Swithun and medieval magnates including William of Wykeham and Henry of Blois.

A cathedral at Dorchester was founded in 634 by the Roman missionary Saint Birinus. It was the seat of a Bishop of the West Saxons; the episcopal see for that kingdom was moved to Winchester in 660 and so the Wessex Bishops of Dorchester were succeeded by the Bishops of Winchester.

Winchester was divided in AD 909, with Wiltshire and Berkshire transferring to the new See of Ramsbury. Nevertheless, the domains of the Bishop of Winchester ran from the south coast to the south bank of the River Thames at Southwark, where the bishop had one of his palaces, making it one of the largest as well as one of the richest sees in the land. In more modern times, the former extent of the Diocese of Winchester was reduced by the formation of a new diocese of Southwark in south London, a new diocese of Guildford in Surrey and a new diocese of Portsmouth in Hampshire. The most recent loss of territory was in 2014 when the Channel Islands were removed from the diocese of Winchester after a dispute with Bishop Tim Dakin led to a breakdown in relations. However, this arrangement is expressed to be an interim one and will not necessarily become permanent. The Channel Islands remain part of the Diocese of Winchester effectively under a scheme of episcopal delegation. The Bishop of Winchester delegated his episcopal authority in relation to the Channel Islands to the Archbishop of Canterbury who in turn placed the Channel Islands under the pastoral supervision of the Bishop of Dover. The Channel Islands have not been transferred to and incorporated within another diocese.

Traditionally, in the general order of precedence before 1533, the Bishop of Winchester was given precedence over all other diocesan bishops - that is, the first English bishop in rank behind the archbishops of Canterbury and York. But in 1533, Henry VIII of England raised the rank of the Bishop of London and the Bishop of Durham, relegating Winchester to third (but still above other remaining diocesan bishops). The Bishop of Winchester has almost always held the office of Prelate of the Order of the Garter since its foundation in 1348.[1]

The official residence of the Bishop of Winchester is Wolvesey Palace in Winchester. Other historic homes of the bishops included Farnham Castle and a town residence at Winchester Palace in Southwark, Surrey (now London). The bishop is the visitor to five Oxford colleges, including New College, Oxford and St John's College, Oxford.

The current Bishop of Winchester, Tim Dakin, was enthroned on 21 April 2012, having been elected on 14 October 2011. He was consecrated as a bishop at St Paul's Cathedral, London, on 25 January 2012.

List of bishops

Saxon to Norman

Bishops of Dorchester
From Until Incumbent Notes
634 c. 650 Birinus Sent from Rome by the pope, founded missionary diocese; Saint Birinius
c. 650 c. 660 Agilbert Resigned.
Bishops of Winchester
From Until Incumbent Notes
660 663 Wine also had his See at Dorchester
670 before 676 Leuthere
676 ?705 Hædde Canonized
c.705 744 Daniel
744 betw. 749–756 Hunfrith
756 betw. 759–778 Cyneheard
betw. 759–778 betw. 759–778 Æthelheard
betw. 759–778 betw. 781–785 Ecgbald
betw. 781–785 betw. 781–785 Dudd
betw. 781–785 betw. 801–803 Cyneberht
betw. 801–803 betw. 805–814 Ealhmund
betw. 805–814 836 Wigthegn
before 825 836 Herefrith Never attests without Wigthegn.
betw. 833–838 838 Eadhun
838 or 839 betw. 844–853 Helmstan
852 or 853 betw. 862–865 Swithun Canonized. Patron saint of Winchester.
betw. 862–867 betw. 871–877 Ealhferth
betw. 871–877 878 or 879 Tunbeorht
878 or 879 908 Denewulf
909 932 or 933 Frithestan Canonized
931 934 Beornstan Canonized
934 or 935 951 Ælfheah (I)
951 959 Ælfsige (I) Translated to Canterbury
960 963 Beorhthelm Possibly translated from Selsey
963 984 Æthelwold (I) Canonized
984 1006 Ælfheah (II) Translated to Canterbury. Canonized.
1006 Cenwulf
1006 1012 Æthelwold (II)
1012 1032 Ælfsige (II)
1032 1047 Ælfwine
1047 1070 Stigand Translated from Elmham. Held Winchester with Canterbury 1052–1070.
Footnote(s):[lower-alpha 1] and Source(s):[3][4]

Norman to Reformation

From Until Incumbent Notes
1070 1098 Walkelin
1100 1129 William Giffard
1129 1171 Henry of Blois
1173 1188 Richard of Ilchester
1189 1204 Godfrey de Luci
1205 (Richard Poore) Election quashed
1205 1238 Peter des Roches
1238 1239 (Ralph Neville) Election quashed
1240 1250 William de Raley Translated from Norwich
1250 1260 Aymer de Valence
1261 1262 (Andrew of London) Election quashed
1261 1262 (William de Taunton) Election quashed
1262 1268 John Gervais
1268 1280 Nicholas of Ely
1280 (Robert Burnell) Election quashed June 1280.
1280 1282 (Richard de la More) Never consecrated, resigned June 1282.
1282 1304 John of Pontoise
1305 1316 Henry Woodlock
1316 1319 John Sandale
1319 1323 Rigaud of Assier
1323 1333 John de Stratford Translated to Canterbury
1333 1345 Adam Orleton Translated from Worcester
1345 1366 William Edington
1366 1404 William of Wykeham
1404 1447 Cardinal Henry Beaufort Translated from Lincoln; Appointed Cardinal by Pope Martin V; The Bishop of Winchester in Shakespeare's First Part of Henry the Sixth
1447 1486 William Waynflete
1487 1492 Peter Courtenay Translated from Exeter
1493 1501 Thomas Langton Translated from Salisbury
1501 1528 Richard Foxe Translated from Durham
1529 1530 Cardinal Thomas Wolsey Archbishop of York. Held in commendam the see of Winchester.

During the Reformation

From Until Incumbent Notes
1531 1551 Stephen Gardiner (1st tenure)
1551 1553 John Ponet Translated from Rochester
1553 1555 Stephen Gardiner (2nd tenure)
1556 1559 John White Translated from Lincoln


From Until Incumbent Notes
1560 1580 Robert Horne
1580 1584 John Watson
1584 1594 Thomas Cooper Translated from Lincoln
1594 1595 William Wickham Translated from Lincoln
1595 1596 William Day
1597 1616 Thomas Bilson Translated from Worcester
1616 1618 James Montague Translated from Bath and Wells
1618 1626 Lancelot Andrewes Translated from Ely
1627 1632 Richard Neile Translated from Durham, later translated to York
1632 1646 Walter Curle Translated from Bath and Wells. Deprived 1646, and died 1647.
1646 1660 The see was abolished during the Commonwealth and the Protectorate.[9][10]
1660 1662 Brian Duppa Translated from Salisbury
1662 1684 George Morley Translated from Worcester
1684 1706 Peter Mews Translated from Bath and Wells
1707 1721 Sir Jonathan Trelawny, Bt Translated from Exeter
1721 1723 Charles Trimnell Translated from Norwich
1723 1734 Richard Willis Translated from Salisbury
1734 1761 Benjamin Hoadly Translated from Salisbury
1761 1781 John Thomas Translated from Salisbury
1781 1820 Brownlow North Translated from Worcester
1820 1827 Sir George Pretyman Tomline, Bt. Translated from Lincoln
1827 1869 Charles Sumner Translated from Llandaff
1869 1873 Samuel Wilberforce Translated from Oxford
1873 1891 Harold Browne Translated from Ely
1891 1895 Anthony Thorold Translated from Rochester
1895 1903 Randall Davidson Translated from Rochester, later translated to Canterbury
1903 1911 Herbert Edward Ryle Translated from Exeter
1911 1923 Edward Talbot Translated from Southwark
1923 1932 Frank Woods Translated from Peterborough
1932 1942 Cyril Garbett Translated from Southwark, later translated to York
1942 1952 Mervyn Haigh Translated from Coventry
1952 1961 Alwyn Williams Translated from Durham
1961 1975 Falkner Allison Translated from Chelmsford
1975 1985 John Taylor
1985 1995 Colin James Translated from Wakefield
1995 2011 Michael Scott-Joynt Translated from Stafford
2012 incumbent Tim Dakin

See also


  1. The second edition of the Handbook of British Chronology listed Eadmund to have been bishop of Winchester between 833 and 838,[2] but in the third edition he is no longer listed to have been bishop.[3]



  1. Charles Dodd (1844) Manual of Dignities, from the Revolution to the Present Day p.45
  2. Powicke & Fryde 1961, Handbook of British Chronology, 2nd Edition, p. 257.
  3. 1 2 Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, 3rd Edition, p. 223.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Historical successions: Winchester". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  5. Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, 3rd Edition, pp. 276–277.
  6. 1 2 Greenway 1971, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 2, pp. 85–87.
  7. 1 2 Jones 1962, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541: Volume 4, pp. 45–47.
  8. Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, 3rd Edition, p. 277.
  9. Episcopy. British Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate 1638–60. Retrieved on 20 August 2011.
  10. "The Episcopate during the Civil Wars, 1642-1649". The English Historical Review. Oxford University Press. 83 (328): 523–537. July 1968. doi:10.1093/ehr/lxxxiii.cccxxviii.523. JSTOR 564164.
  11. Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, 3rd Edition, pp. 277–278.
  12. Horn 1974, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857: Volume 3, pp. 80–83.


  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, reprinted 2003 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  • Greenway, D. E. (1971). "Bishops of Winchester". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 2: Monastic Cathedrals (Northern and Southern Provinces). British History Online. 
  • Jones, B. (1962). "Bishops of Winchester". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541: Volume 4: Monastic Cathedrals (Southern Province). British History Online. 
  • Horn, J. M. (1974). "Bishops of Winchester". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857: Volume 3: Canterbury, Rochester and Winchester Dioceses. British History Online. 
  • Powicke, F. Maurice; Fryde, E. B., eds. (1961). Handbook of British Chronology (2nd ed.). London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society. 
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