Diocese of Durham
|Diocese of Durham|
Church of England
|Bishop of Jarrow|
|Archdeaconries:||Auckland, Durham, Sunderland|
|No. of parishes:||249|
|No. of churches:||292|
The Diocese was created in 883 as the Diocese of Chester-le-Street, but in 995 the body of St Cuthbert was brought from Chester to the defensive hill at Durham and the bishopric became the Diocese of Durham in that year of around 1000, and this led to the founding of the city. Legend states that the Order of St Cuthbert brought the saint's body here and the body could not be moved from the spot, so the cathedral was built at the peak of the hill, where Cuthbert's body would rest.
The line of bishops of Durham stretches back to the 10th century, when Aldhun (995-1018), transferred his see to Durham. At the time the Diocese included County Durham and Northumberland, as it did until the nineteenth century.
The Bishop has a uniquely powerful position in the Middle Ages due to the perious state of the north in those days. 7th and 8th century Kingdom of Northumbria, which stretched from the Humber estuary to the Firth of Forth. Subsequently the Kingdom came under Danish]] and English sovereignty and was transformed into an Earldom.
When William the Conqueror became king of England in 1066, he soon realised the need to control Northumbria to protect his kingdom from Scottish incursions. He gained the allegiance of both the Bishop of Durham and the Earl of Northumbria by confirming their privileges and acknowledging the remote independence of Northumbria.
To quell rebellions, William installed Robert Comine, a Norman noble, as the Earl of Northumberland, but Comine and his 700 men were massacred in Durham. In revenge, the King raided Northumbria in the Harrying of the North. Aethelwine, the English Bishop of Durham, tried to flee with Northumbrian treasures, but was caught and imprisoned. He later died in confinement, leaving his see vacant for William to the King to appoint William Walcher as bishop of Durham in 1071.
The King appointed Waltheof, an Anglo-Saxon of the old Northumbria house, as the new Earl. Bishop William was on friendly terms with Earl Waltheof, who built a castle at Durham for the bishop. After another rebellion, Waltheof was executed in 1075 and in his place William Walcher was appointed Earl, becoming the first "Prince Bishop", never an official title but a fair description of the extraordinary powers enjoyed by the bishops. Walcher was well-intentioned but proved an incompetent leader. He was murdered in Gateshead in 1081.
King [[William II divided the Earldom into two parts: the lands north of the rivers Tyne and Derwent were ruled by the Earls of Northumberland, while the lands south of the rivers were put under the control of the Bishop of Durham.
The lands ruled by the bishops became known as the 'County Palatine of Durham', a defensive buffer zone between England and the Northumbria-Scottish borderland. Due to its strategic importance and its remoteness from London, the County Palatinate became a virtually autonomous entity, in which the Prince-Bishop possessed the powers of a King. Specifically, the Prince-Bishops had the authority to
- hold their own parliaments
- raise their own armies
- appoint their own sheriffs and justices
- administer their own laws
- levy taxes and customs duties
- create fairs and markets
- issue charters
- salvage shipwrecks
- collect revenue from mines
- administer the forests
- mint their own coins
For a period, Carlisle was also placed under the bishop's jurisdiction, to protect the northwest of England.
Durham's exceptional status reached its zenith by 1300, when Bishop Antony Beck remarked that:
|“||There are two kings in England, namely the Lord King of England, wearing a crown in sign of his regality and the Lord Bishop of Durham wearing a mitre in place of a crown, in sign of his regality in the diocese of Durham.||”|
The Bishop's remarks were not well received at court, but his powers remained unabated.
To ensure that episcopal functions continued to be performed while the diocesan bishop was playing his part in political affairs of state, suffragan bishops were appointed. For instance, Bishop Thomas Langley served as chancellor to the Kings Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI and was frequently away in London and occasionally overseas.
In 1536 Henry VIII greatly diminished the Bishop's secular authority, which was further reduced during and after the Civil War in the next century.
From 1537 to 1572, there was one suffragan Bishop of Berwick. Since 1572, this position has remained in abeyance, and Berwick-upon-Tweed is now in Newcastle diocese.
After the Union of the Crowns of England and Scotland in 1603, the County Palatinate, originally founded to check Scottish incursions, increasingly became an anachronism.
On 5 July 1836 the palatinate was finally removed from the Bishop and vested as a franchise in the Crown, from which time County Durham has been a county like any other. In 1844 the Islandshire exclave was transferred to the jurisdiction of Northumberland, while the Bishop's duty to maintain a major fortress overlooking the Tweed at Norham also came to an end. In 1882 the Diocese lost Northumberland, when a new diocese, the Diocese of Newcastle was created. In 1971 the Courts Act modernised the English courts system and abolished the Palatinate courts.
Since 1906, there has again been a suffragan bishop in the diocese; the Bishop of Jarrow.
Still, people born in Bedlington or the other parts of old North Durham, had birth certificates issued with the County Palatine of Durham printed on them, and the North Durham satellite areas governed their areas as Urban District Councils still under the rule of Durham. This prevailed until 1974, when administrative boundaries where changed and all of these areas, and other "autonomous" towns connected to Durham, lost their independence.
To differentiate his ecclesiastical and civil functions, the Bishops used two or more seals: the traditional almond-shaped seal of a cleric, and the oval seal of a nobleman. They also had a large round seal showing them seated administering justice on one side, and, on the other, armed and mounted on horseback, the same pattern as was (and is) used by monarchs as the Great Seal of the Realm.
Coat of arms
As a symbol of his palatine jurisdiction, the Bishop of Durham’s coat of arms was set against a crosier and a sword, instead of two crosiers, and the mitre above the coat of arms was encircled with a coronet, usually of the form known as a ‘crest coronet’ (and which is blazoned as a ‘ducal coronet’ though not actually the coronet of a duke). Although the jurisdiction was surrendered to the Crown in 1836, these heraldic symbols of their former power remain.
The bishop's palace is Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland. Until the 1830s and the national mood at the time of the Great Reform Act, the Bishop had at least two more castles; Norham Castle in Northumberland and his main Palace at Durham Castle now occupied by the University of Durham. The Bishop still has the right to use "his" suite at Durham Castle, although the right he retained to stable his horses in buildings adjacent to Palace Green in Durham has lapsed – it was noted in the preamble to University of Durham Act 1936 that the Bishop no longer kept horses.
Bishops of Durham
The Bishop of Durham is bishop responsible for the Diocese of Durham. As the senior bishop of the Province of York after the Archbishop, the bishop is a member of the House of Lords by right, not by rotation as most bishops are. The bishop is one of two (the other is the Bishop of Bath and Wells) who escorts the sovereign at the coronation.
The Bishop is officially styled The Right Reverend Father in God, (Christian Name), by Divine Providence Lord Bishop of Durham. In signatures, the bishop's family name is replaced by Dunelm, from the Latin name for Durham, a form of Old English Dunholm). In the past, Bishops of Durham varied their signatures between Dunelm and the French Duresm.
The bishop lived in Durham Castle from its construction in the 11th century. In 1832, Auckland Castle became the official residence of the Bishops of Durham until July 2012 when ownership of the castle was transferred over to the Auckland Castle Trust, a charitable foundation with the aim of beginning a major restoration of the grounds and castle and creating permanent exhibitions on the history of Christianity in Britain and the North East. The bishop continues to have offices in Auckland Castle but no longer reside there.
Early Medieval bishops
|Bishops of Durham|
|995||1018||Aldhun||Previously Bishop of Lindisfarne.|
Before the Reformation
|Bishops of Durham|
|1081||1096||William de St-Calais|
|1143||1153||William of St. Barbara|
|1153||1195||Hugh de Puiset|
|1197||1208||Philip of Poitou|
|1209||1213||Richard Poore||Election quashed by Pope Innocent III disputing with King John; later elected and consecrated.|
|1214||1214||John de Gray||Died before consecration.|
|1226||1227||William Scot||Election quashed.|
|1229||1237||Richard Poore||Translated from Salisbury.|
|1237||1240||Thomas de Melsonby||Resigned before consecration.|
|1249||Walter of Kirkham|
|1274||1283||Robert of Holy Island|
|1284||1310||Antony Bek||Also Titular Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1306 - 1311|
|1318||1333||Lewis de Beaumont|
|1333||1345||Richard de Bury|
|1382||1388||John Fordham||Translated to Ely.|
|1388||1406||Walter Skirlaw||Translated from Bath & Wells.|
|1437||1457||Robert Neville||Translated from Salisbury|
|1457||1476||Lawrence Booth||Translated to York.|
|1494||1501||Richard Foxe||Translated from Bath & Wells, later translated to Winchester.|
|1502||1505||William Senhouse||Translated from Carlisle.|
|1507||1508||Christopher Bainbridge||Translated to York.|
|1523||1529||Thomas Wolsey||Archbishop of York. Held Durham in commendam.|
|1530||1559||Cuthbert Tunstall||Translated from London.|
From the Reformation to the end of the Palatinate
|Bishops of Durham|
|1577||1587||Richard Barnes||Translated from Carlisle.|
|1589||1595||Matthew Hutton||Translated to York.|
|1595||1606||Tobias Matthew||Translated to York.|
|1617||1627||Richard Neile||Translated from Lincoln, later translated to Winchester.|
|1628||George Montaigne||Translated from London, later translated to York.|
|1628||1632||John Howson||Translated from Oxford|
|1632||1659||Thomas Morton||Translated from Lichfield.|
|1674||1722||Nathaniel Crew||Translated from Oxford. ('The Hon Nathaniel Crew' 1679–1697, then 'The Rt Hon The Lord Crew' from 1697)|
|1722||1730||William Talbot||Translated from Salisbury.|
|1730||1750||Edward Chandler||Translated from Lichfield.|
|1750||1752||Joseph Butler||Translated from Bristol.|
|1752||1771||Richard Trevor||Translated from St David's.|
|1771||1787||John Egerton||Translated from Lichfield.|
|1787||1791||Thomas Thurlow||Translated from Lincoln.|
|1791||1826||Shute Barrington||Translated from Salisbury.|
|1826||1836||William Van Mildert||Translated from Llandaff.|
Bishops since 1836
|Bishops of Durham|
|1836||1856||Edward Maltby||Translated from Chichester.|
|1856||1860||Charles Longley||Translated from Ripon, later translated to York, then to Canterbury.|
|1860||1861||Henry Villiers||Translated from Carlisle.|
|1861||1879||Charles Baring||Translated from Gloucester and Bristol.|
|1879||1889||Joseph Lightfoot||Previously Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity.|
|1890||1901||Brooke Westcott||Previously Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge.|
|1901||1920||Handley Moule||Previously Norrisian Professor of Divinity.|
|1920||1939||Hensley Henson||Translated from Hereford.|
|1939||1952||Alwyn Williams||Translated to Winchester.|
|1952||1956||Michael Ramsey||Translated to York, then to Canterbury.|
|1956||1966||Maurice Harland||Translated to Lincoln.|
|1973||1983||John Habgood||Translated to York.|
|1984||1994||David Jenkins||Previously Professor of Theology University of Leeds|
|1994||2003||Michael Turnbull||Translated from Rochester|
|2003||2010||Tom Wright||Previously Dean of Lichfield; returned to academia.|
|2011||2013||Justin Welby||Translated to Canterbury.|
|2014 (announced)||Bishop-designate||Paul Butler||Translated from Southwell and Nottingham; appointment announced 12 September 2013.|
- "Positive Developments at Auckland Castle". http://www.durham.anglican.org/news-and-events/news-article.aspx?id=314. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Our Plans". http://www.aucklandcastle.org/our-plans/. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Historical successions: Durham (including precussor offices)". Crockford's Clerical Directory. http://www.crockford.org.uk/listing.asp?id=822. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
|Dioceses of the Church of England|
Province of Canterbury: