Bishop of Salisbury

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Bishop of Salisbury
Nick Holtam
Province Canterbury
Diocese Salisbury
Cathedral Salisbury Cathedral
First incumbent Herman
Formation 1075

The Bishop of Salisbury is the ordinary of the Church of England's Diocese of Salisbury in the Province of Canterbury. The diocese covers much of the counties of Wiltshire and Dorset. The see is in the City of Salisbury where the bishop's seat is located at the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The current bishop is Nick Holtam,[1][2] the 78th Bishop of Salisbury, who was consecrated at St Paul's Cathedral on 22 July 2011 and enthroned in Salisbury Cathedral on 15 October 2011.[3][4]


The Diocese of Sherborne (founded c.AD 705) was the origin of the present diocese; St Aldhelm was its first bishop. Ramsbury's diocese was created from the northwestern territory of the bishop of Winchester in 909.[5]

Herman of Wilton, bishop of both Ramsbury and then Sherborne,[5] obtained approval from Edward the Confessor to transfer his seat to Malmesbury, but this plan was blocked by local monks and Earl Godwin.[6] Instead, following the Norman conquest, the 1075 Council of London named him bishop of Sarisberie[7] (Latin: Seriberiensis episcopus[8]), which had been made a royal stronghold by William I. This was at Old Sarum. Disputes between Bishops Herbert and Richard Poore and the sheriffs of Wiltshire led to the removal of the see in the 1220s to a new site in the plain. This was chartered as the city of New Sarum by King Henry III in 1227,[9] but it wasn't until the 14th century that the office was described (by Bishop Wyvil) as the bishop of Sarum (episcopus Sarum).[10] The diocese, like the city it administers, is now known as Salisbury. The archdeaconry around Salisbury, however, retains the name of Sarum.

Reforms within the Church of England led to the annexation of Dorset from the abolished diocese of Bristol in 1836; Berkshire, however, was removed the same year and given to Oxford. In 1925 and 1974, new suffragan bishops were appointed to assist the Bishop of Salisbury; the new offices were titled the bishops of Sherborne and Ramsbury, respectively.[5] Until 2009[11] the bishops operated under an episcopal area scheme established in 1981, with each suffragan bishop having a formal geographical area of responsibility, and being known as "area bishops". The Bishop of Ramsbury had oversight of the diocese's parishes in Wiltshire, while the Bishop of Sherborne had oversight of the diocese's parishes in Dorset. This scheme was replaced to reflect the increased working across the whole diocese by all three bishops. The two suffragans may now legally function anywhere in the diocese, and the Bishop of Salisbury may delegate any of his functions to them.

List of bishops


Bishops of Salisbury
Tenure Incumbent Notes
See at Old Sarum
1075 to 1078 Herman Bishop of Sherborne (1058–75) and Ramsbury (1045–55 and 1058–75). Removed the two sees to Salisbury (Old Sarum) in 1075. Died in office.
1078 to 1099 Saint Osmund Died in office. Canonized by Pope Callixtus III in 1457.
1099 to 1102 See vacant
1102 to 1139 Roger of Salisbury Formerly Lord Chancellor. Died in office.
1140 Henry de Sully Nominated by Henry of Blois, but was rejected by King Stephen. In compensation, Sully became abbot of Fécamp Abbey.
1140 to 1141 Philip de Harcourt Dean of Lincoln. Nominated by King Stephen, but Henry of Blois refused to consecrate. Harcourt appealed to Rome, but the nomination was quashed. Later became Bishop of Bayeux.
1142 to 1184 Josceline de Bohon Also recorded as Jocelin Bohon. Formerly Archdeacon of Winchester. Resigned in 1184 and became a Cistercian monk at Forde Abbey, Dorset.
1184 to 1189 See vacant
1189 to 1193 Hubert Walter Formerly Dean of York. Translated to Canterbury
1194 to 1217 Herbert Poore Formerly Archdeacon of Canterbury. Translated to Canterbury.
1217 to 1225 Richard Poore Previously Dean of Salisbury (1197–1215) and translated from Chichester. Removed see to Salisbury.
See at Salisbury
1225 to 1228 Richard Poore (cont.) Removed the see from Old Sarum. Translated to Durham.
1229 to 1246 Robert de Bingham Also recorded as Robert Bingham. Died in office.
1246 to 1256 William de York Formerly Provost of Beverley. Died in office.
1256 to 1262 Giles of Bridport Formerly Dean of Wells. Died in office.
1263 to 1271 Walter de la Wyle Formerly Sub-chanter of Salisbury. Died in office.
1271 to 1284 Robert Wickhampton Formerly Dean of Salisbury. Died in office.
1284 to 1286 Walter Scammel Formerly Dean of Salisbury. Died in office.
1287 to 1288 Henry Brandeston Formerly Dean of Salisbury. Died in office.
1288 Lawrence de Awkeburne Elected but died before consecration.
1288 to 1291 William de la Corner Formerly Archdeacon of Northumberland. Died in office.
1291 to 1297 Nicholas Longespee Formerly a Prebendary of Salisbury. Died in office.
1297 to 1315 Simon of Ghent Died in office.
1315 to 1330 Roger Martival Formerly Dean of Lincoln. Died in office.
1330 to 1375 Robert Wyvil Also recorded as Robert Wyville. Died in office.
1375 to 1388 Ralph Ergham Translated to Bath & Wells.
1388 to 1395 John Waltham Also Master of the Rolls and Lord Treasurer. Died in office.
1395 to 1407 Richard Mitford Translated from Chichester. Died in office.
1407 Nicholas Bubwith Also recorded as Nicholas Bubbewith. Translated from London. Afterwards translated to Bath & Wells.
1407 to 1417 Robert Hallam Formerly Archdeacon of Canterbury and Chancellor of Oxford. Created a pseudocardinal by Antipope John XXIII in 1411, but Hallam did not accept the promotion. Died in office.
1417 to 1426 John Chandler Also recorded as John Chaundler. Formerly Dean of Salisbury. Died in office.
1427 to 1438 Robert Neville Also recorded as Robert Nevill. Formerly Provost of Beverley. Translated to Durham.
1438 to 1450 William Ayscough Also recorded as William Aiscough. Murdered by an angry mob during Jack Cade’s rebellion.
1450 to 1481 Richard Beauchamp Translated from Hereford. Died in office.
1482 to 1484 Lionel Woodville Formerly Dean of Exeter and Chancellor of Oxford. Died in office.
1485 to 1493 Thomas Langton Translated from St David's. Afterwards translated to Winchester.
1493 to 1499 John Blyth Also recorded as John Blythe. Also Master of the Rolls and Chancellor of Cambridge. Died in office.
1500 to 1501 Henry Deane Translated from Bangor. Afterwards translated to Canterbury
1502 to 1524 Edmund Audley Translated from Hereford. Died in office.
1524 to 1534 or 1539 Lorenzo Campeggio Bishop of Bologna. Appointed Administrator of Salisbury. Deprived by Act of Parliament on the grounds of non-residence. Continued to be recognized as Administrator by the Vatican until July 1539.

During the Reformation

Bishops of Salisbury
Tenure Incumbent Notes
1535 to 1539 Nicholas Shaxton Formerly Treasurer of Salisbury. Resigned due to non-subscription to the Six Articles.
1539 to 1557 John Capon Also known as John Salcott. Translated from Bangor. Died in office.
1539 to 1542 Gasparo Contarini Bishop of Belluno. Appointed apostolic administrator of Salisbury by Pope Paul III, but was not recognised by King Henry VIII.
1543 to 1553 William Petow Appointed by Pope Paul III, but was not recognised by King Henry VIII. Did not take possession on the accession of Queen Mary I in 1553.
1558 Francis Mallet Dean of Lincoln (1555–1570). Nominated by Queen Mary but not consecrated, and set aside on her death.


Bishops of Salisbury
Tenure Incumbent Notes
1559 to 1571 John Jewel Died in office.
1571 to 1577 Edmund Gheast Translated from Rochester. Also Lord High Almoner. Died in office.
1577 to 1589 John Piers Translated from Rochester. Also Lord High Almoner. Afterwards translated to York
1589 to 1591 See vacant
1591 to 1596 John Coldwell Formerly Dean of Rochester. Died in office.
1596 to 1598 See vacant
1598 to 1615 Henry Cotton Formerley a Prebendary of Winchester. Died in office.
1615 to 1618 Robert Abbot Formerly Master of Balliol College, Oxford. Died in office.
1618 to 1620 Martin Fotherby Formerly a Prebendary of Canterbury. Died in office.
1620 to 1621 Robert Tounson Also recorded as Robert Townson, Toulson, or Thompson. Formerly Dean of Westminster. Died in office.
1621 to 1641 John Davenant Formerly President of Queens' College, Cambridge. Died in office.
1641 to 1646 Brian Duppa Translated from Chichester. Deprived of the see when the episcopacy was abolished by Parliament.
1646 to 1660 The see was abolished during the Commonwealth and the Protectorate.[18][19]
1660 Brian Duppa (again) Reinstated on the restoration of the episcopacy. Afterwards translated to Winchester.
1660 to 1663 Humphrey Henchman Formerly Precentor of Salisbury. Translated to London.
1663 to 1665 John Earle Translated from Worcester. Died in office.
1665 to 1667 Alexander Hyde Formerly Dean of Winchester. Died in office.
1667 to 1689 Seth Ward Translated from Exeter. Died in office.
1689 to 1715 Gilbert Burnet Formerly Preacher at the Rolls Chapel. Died in office.
1715 to 1721 William Talbot Translated from Oxford. Afterwards translated to Durham.
1721 to 1723 Richard Willis Translated from Gloucester. Afterwards translated to Winchester.
1723 to 1734 Benjamin Hoadly Translated from Hereford. Afterwards translated to Winchester.
1734 to 1748 Thomas Sherlock Translated from Bangor. Afterwards translated to London.
1748 to 1757 John Gilbert Translated from Llandaff. Afterwards translated to York.
1757 to 1761 John Thomas (I.) Translated from Peterborough. Afterwards translated to Winchester
1761 Robert Hay Drummond Translated from St Asaph. Afterwards translated to York.
1761 to 1766 John Thomas (II.) Translated from Lincoln. Died in office.
1766 to 1782 John Hume Translated from Oxford. Died in office.
1782 to 1791 Shute Barrington Translated from Llandaff. Afterwards translated to Durham.
1791 to 1807 John Douglas Translated from Carlisle. Died in office
1807 to 1825 John Fisher Translated from Exeter. Died in office.
1825 to 1837 Thomas Burgess Translated from St David's. Died in office.
1837 to 1854 Edward Denison Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. Died in office.
1854 to 1869 Walter Hamilton Formerly a Canon-resident and Precentor of Salisbury. Died in office.
1869 to 1885 George Moberly Formerly a Canon of Chester. Died in office.
1885 to 1911 John Wordsworth Oriel Professor of Divinity, Oxford. Founder of Bishop Wordsworth's School. Died in office.
1911 to 1921 Frederick Ridgeway Translated from Kensington. Died in office.
1921 to 1935 St Clair Donaldson Translated from Brisbane. Died in office.
1936 to 1946 Neville Lovett Translated from Portsmouth. Retired.
1946 to 1948 Geoffrey Lunt Translated from Ripon. Died in office.
1949 to 1962 William Anderson Translated from Portsmouth. Retired.
1963 to 1972 Joseph Fison Died in office.
1973 to 1981 George Reindorp Translated from Guildford. Retired.
1982 to 1993 John Baker Retired.
1993 to 2010 David Stancliffe Retired.
2011 to present Nick Holtam Nominated on 12 April,[1][2] consecrated on 22 July,[3] and installed on 15 October 2011.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Number 10 — Diocese of Salisbury
  2. 2.0 2.1 Salisbury Diocese — New Bishop of Salisbury Announced
  3. 3.0 3.1 Salisbury Diocese — Bishop Nicholas Consecrated
  4. 4.0 4.1 Diocese of Salisbury – Bishop's enthronement has children at heart
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Diocese of Salisbury. "The History of the Diocese". Church of England (Salisbury), 2015. Accessed 3 Jan 2015.
  6. Dolan, John Gilbert. "Malmesbury" in the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IX. Encyclopedia Press (New York), 1913.
  7. Palmer, J.J.N. & al. "Place: Salisbury" at Open Domesday.
  8. British History Online. Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300, Vol. IV, "Salisbury: Bishops". Institute of Historical Research (London), 1991.
  9. Easton, James. A Chronology of Remarkable Events Relative to the City of New Sarum, with the Year, and the Name of the Mayor in whose Time they occurred: Chiefly collected from the authentic Sources of the City Records, and Manuscripts of Citizens, From A.D. 1227 to 1823, a Period of 596 Years, Including the Prices of Wheat and Barley from an Early Æra: To which are added, Their annual Average Prices for 28 Years, Being from 1796 to 1823, 5th ed., p. 1. J. Easton (Salisbury), 1824.
  10. Victoria History of Wiltshire, Vol. VI, pp. 93–94.
  11. Salisbury Diocesan Synod minutes – 99th session, 7 November 2009 p. 3 (Accessed 23 April 2014)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Historical successions: Salisbury (including precussor offices)". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 3 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 270–271.
  14. Greenway, D. E. (1991). "Bishops of Salisbury". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 4: Salisbury. British History Online. pp. 1–7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 Horn, J. M. (1962). "Bishops of Salisbury". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541: Volume 3: Salisbury Diocese. British History Online. pp. 1–3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Horn, J. M. (1986). "Bishops of Salisbury". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857: Volume 6: Salisbury Diocese. British History Online. pp. 1–5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 271.
  18. Episcopy. British Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate 1638–60. Retrieved on 20 August 2011.
  19. King, Peter (July 1968). "The Episcopate during the Civil Wars, 1642–1649". The English Historical Review. Oxford University Press. 83 (328): 523–537. doi:10.1093/ehr/lxxxiii.cccxxviii.523. Retrieved 20 August 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, pp. 271–272.


  • 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.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) CS1 maint: display-editors (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links