The Archbishop of York is a senior bishop in the Church of England, second only to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The archbishop is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of York and the metropolitan bishop of the Province of York, which covers the northern regions of England (north of the Trent) as well as the Isle of Man. The Archbishop of York is an ex officio member of the House of Lords and is styled Primate of England (the Archbishop of Canterbury is the "Primate of All England").
The archbishop's throne (cathedra) is in York Minster in central York and the official residence is Bishopthorpe Palace in the village of Bishopthorpe outside York. The incumbent, from 5 October 2005, is John Sentamu who signs as +Sentamu Ebor: (since both John and Sentamu are his forenames).
Six of the early bishops of York and one archbishop (William of York) were ultimately canonised by the Roman Catholic Church, and five more historically recent archbishops ultimately achieved the supreme Archbishopric of Canterbury.
Archbishop of York
since 30 November 2005
|Style||The Most Revd and Rt Hon|
|First holder||Paulinus of York|
|Established||Bishopric in 626 |
Archbishopric in 735
There was a bishop in Eboracum (Roman York) from very early times; during the Middle Ages, it was thought to have been one of the dioceses established by the legendary King Lucius. Bishops of York are known to have been present at the councils of Arles (Eborius) and Nicaea (unnamed). However, this early Christian community was later destroyed by the pagan Anglo-Saxons and there is no direct succession from these bishops to the post-Augustinian ones.
The diocese was refounded by Paulinus (a member of Augustine's mission) in the 7th century. Notable among these early bishops is Wilfrid. These early bishops of York acted as diocesan rather than archdiocesan prelates until the time of Ecgbert of York,[a] who received the pallium from Pope Gregory III in 735 and established metropolitan rights in the north. Until the Danish invasion the archbishops of Canterbury occasionally exercised authority, and it was not until the Norman Conquest that the archbishops of York asserted their complete independence.
At the time of the Norman invasion York had jurisdiction over Worcester, Lichfield, and Lincoln, as well as the dioceses in the Northern Isles and Scotland. But the first three sees just mentioned were taken from York in 1072. In 1154 the suffragan sees of the Isle of Man and Orkney were transferred to the Norwegian archbishop of Nidaros (today's Trondheim), and in 1188 all the Scottish dioceses except Whithorn were released from subjection to York, so that only the dioceses of Whithorn, Durham, and Carlisle remained to the archbishops as suffragan sees. Of these, Durham was practically independent, for the palatine bishops of that see were little short of sovereigns in their own jurisdiction. Sodor and Man were returned to York during the 14th century, to compensate for the loss of Whithorn to the Scottish Church.
Several of the archbishops of York held the ministerial office of Lord Chancellor of England and played some parts in affairs of state. As Peter Heylyn (1600–1662) wrote: "This see has yielded to the Church eight saints, to the Church of Rome three cardinals, to the realm of England twelve Lord Chancellors and two Lord Treasurers, and to the north of England two Lord Presidents." The bishopric's role was also complicated by continued conflict over primacy with the see of Canterbury.
At the time of the English Reformation, York possessed three suffragan sees, Durham, Carlisle and Sodor and Man, to which during the brief space of Queen Mary I's reign (1553–1558) may be added the Diocese of Chester, founded by Henry VIII, but subsequently recognised by the Pope.
Until the mid 1530s (and from 1553-1558) the bishops and archbishops were in communion with the pope in Rome. This is no longer the case, as the Archbishop of York, together with the rest of the Church of England, is a member of the Anglican Communion.
The Archbishop of York is the metropolitan bishop of the Province of York and is the junior of the two archbishops of the Church of England after the Archbishop of Canterbury. Since 5 October 2005, the incumbent is the Most Reverend John Sentamu who is also an ex officio member of the House of Lords.
The Province of York includes 10 Anglican dioceses in Northern England: Blackburn, Carlisle, Chester, Durham, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, and York, as well as 2 other dioceses: Southwell and Nottingham in the Midlands and Sodor and Man covering the Isle of Man.
|Bishops of York|
|625||633||Paulinus||Formerly a monk at St. Andrew's Monastery in Rome; translated to Rochester; canonised.|
|664||669||Chad||Resigned the see of York; later became Bishop of Mercia and Lindsey; canonised.|
|664||678||Wilfrid (I)||Ejected from York; later became Bishop of Selsey[b]canonised.|
|706||714||John of Beverley||Translated from Hexham; resigned the see; canonised in 1037.|
|714||732||Wilfrid (II)||Resigned the see; canonised.|
|c. 732||735||Ecgbert||York elevated to Archbishopric in 735.|
|Pre-Conquest Archbishops of York|
|735||766||Ecgbert||York elevated to Archbishopric in 735.|
|c. 767||c. 780||Æthelbert||Also known as Æthelbeorht, Adalberht, Ælberht, Aelberht, Aldbert or Æthelbert.|
|c. 780||796||Eanbald (I)|
|796||c. 808||Eanbald (II)|
|c. 808||c. 834||Wulfsige|
|854||c. 896||Wulfhere||Fled the Danes in 872, returned in 873.|
|900||c. 916||Æthelbald||Sometimes known as Æthelbeald, Athelbald, or Ethelbald.|
|c. 916||931||Hrotheweard||Sometimes known as Lodeward.|
|c. 958||971||Oscytel||Also known as Oscytel. Translated from Dorchester.|
|971||Edwald||Also known as Edwaldus or Ethelwold.|
|971||992||Oswald||Held both the sees of York and Worcester; canonised.|
|995||1002||Ealdwulf||Held both the sees of York and Worcester.|
|1002||1023||Wulfstan (II)||Also known as Lupus. Also held the see of Worcester (1002–1016).|
|1023||1051||Ælfric Puttoc||Also held the see of Worcester (1040–1041).|
|1051||1060||Cynesige||Also known as Kynsige.|
|1061||1069||Ealdred||Also known as Aldred. Held the see of Worcester 1046–1061, of Hereford 1056–1060, and of York 1061–1069.|
|Footnote(s):[c] and Source(s):|
|Archbishops of York (Conquest to Reformation)|
|1070||1100||Thomas of Bayeux||Also known as Thomas (I).|
|1100||1108||Gerard||Translated from Hereford.|
|1119||1140||Thurstan||He was elected in 1114, but was not consecrated until 1119.|
|1140||Waltheof of Melrose||Nominated Archbishop, but was quashed by King Stephen; later became Abbot of Melrose.|
|1140||Henry de Sully||Abbot of Fécamp Abbey. Nominated Archbishop, but was quashed by Pope Innocent II.|
|1143||1147||William (FitzHerbert)||Deposed by Pope Eugene III; canonised in 1226.|
|1147||Hilary of Chichester||Deposed by Pope Eugene III, elected Bishop of Chichester.|
|1147||1153||Henry Murdac||Formerly Abbot of Fountains Abbey.|
|1153||1154||William (FitzHerbert) (again)||Restored by Pope Anastasius IV; canonised in 1226.|
|1154||1181||Roger de Pont L'Évêque||Formerly Archdeacon of Canterbury.|
|1191||1212||Geoffrey (Plantagenet)||Formerly Bishop-elect of Lincoln; elected archbishop in 1189, but was only consecrated in 1191.|
|1215||Simon Langton||Elected Archbishop of York in June 1215, but was quashed on 20 August 1215 by Pope Innocent III on request from King John; later became Archdeacon of Canterbury.|
|1216||1255||Walter de Gray||Translated from Worcester.|
|1256||1258||Sewal de Bovil||Formerly Dean of York.|
|1258||1265||Godfrey Ludham||Also known as Godfrey Kineton. Formerly Dean of York.|
|1265||William Langton||Dean of York (1262–1279); elected archbishop in March 1265, but was quashed in November 1265.|
|1265||1266||Bonaventure||Selected as archbishop in November 1265, but never consecrated and resigned the appointment in October 1266.|
|1266||1279||Walter Giffard||Translated from Bath and Wells.|
|1279||1285||William de Wickwane|
|1286||1296||John le Romeyn||Also known as John Romanus.|
|1298||1299||Henry of Newark||Formerly Dean of York.|
|1300||1304||Thomas of Corbridge|
|1306||1315||William Greenfield||Formerly Dean of Chichester|
|1342||1352||William Zouche||Also known as William de la Zouche.|
|1353||1373||Cardinal John of Thoresby||Translated from Worcester; created a Cardinal in 1361.|
|1374||1388||Alexander Neville||Translated to St Andrew's in 1388.|
|1388||1396||Thomas Arundel||Translated from Ely; afterwards translated to Canterbury.|
|1397||1398||Robert Waldby||Translated from Chichester.|
|1398||Walter Skirlaw||Bishop of Durham, elected but put aside by King Richard II.|
|1398||1405||Richard le Scrope||Translated from Lichfield.|
|1405||1406||Thomas Langley||Elected Archbishop in August 1405, but was quashed in May 1406.|
|1406||1407||Robert Hallam||Nominated Archbishop in May 1406 by Pope Innocent VII, but was vetoed by King Henry IV.|
|1407||1423||Henry Bowet||Translated from Bath and Wells.|
|1423||1424||Philip Morgan||Elected Archbishop in 1423, but was quashed in 1424.|
|1424||1425||Richard Fleming||Conferred as Archbishop by Pope Martin V, but was refused by King Henry V, and Fleming resigned the appointment in July 1425.|
|1426||1452||Cardinal John Kemp||Translated from London; created a Cardinal in 1439; translated to Canterbury.|
|1452||1464||William Booth||Translated from Lichfield.|
|1465||1476||George Neville||Translated from Exeter.|
|1476||1480||Lawrence Booth||Translated from Durham.|
|1480||1500||Thomas Rotherham||Translated from Lincoln.|
|1501||1507||Thomas Savage||Translated from London.|
|1508||1514||Cardinal Christopher Bainbridge||Translated from Durham; created a Cardinal in 1511.|
|1514||1530||Cardinal Thomas Wolsey||Translated from Lincoln in 1514; created a Cardinal in 1515; held with Bath and Wells 1518–23, Durham 1523–29 and Winchester 1529–30.|
|Post-Reformation Archbishops of York|
|1531||1544||Edward Lee||Translated from St David's.|
|1545||1554||Robert Holgate||Translated from Llandaff.|
|1555||1559||Nicholas Heath||Translated from Worcester.|
|1561||1568||Thomas Young||Translated from St David's.|
|1570||1576||Edmund Grindal||Translated from London; afterwards translated to Canterbury.|
|1577||1588||Edwin Sandys||Translated from London.|
|1589||1594||John Piers||Translated from Salisbury.|
|1595||1606||Matthew Hutton||Translated from Durham.|
|1606||1628||Tobias Matthew||Translated from Durham.|
|1628||George Montaigne||Translated from Durham.|
|1629||1631||Samuel Harsnett||Translated from Norwich.|
|1632||1640||Richard Neile||Translated from Winchester.|
|1641||1646||John Williams||Translated from Lincoln. Deprived when the English episcopacy was abolished by Parliament. Died 1650.|
|1646||1660||The see was abolished during the Commonwealth and the Protectorate.|
|1660||1664||Accepted Frewen||Translated from Lichfield.|
|1664||1683||Richard Sterne||Translated from Carlisle.|
|1683||1686||John Dolben||Translated from Rochester.|
|1688||1691||Thomas Lamplugh||Translated from Exeter.|
|1691||1714||John Sharp||Formerly Dean of Canterbury.|
|1714||1724||Sir William Dawes, Bt.||Translated from Chester.|
|1724||1743||Lancelot Blackburne||Translated from Exeter.|
|1743||1747||Thomas Herring||Translated from Bangor; afterwards translated to Canterbury.|
|1747||1757||Matthew Hutton||Translated from Bangor; afterwards translated to Canterbury.|
|1757||1761||John Gilbert||Translated from Salisbury.|
|1761||1776||Robert Hay Drummond||Translated from Salisbury.|
|1776||1807||William Markham||Translated from Chester.|
|1808||1847||Edward Venables-Vernon||Translated from Carlisle. Surname changed from Venables-Vernon to Venables-Vernon-Harcourt in 1831.|
|1847||1860||Thomas Musgrave||Translated from Hereford.|
|1860||1862||Charles Longley||Translated from Durham; afterwards translated to Canterbury.|
|1862||1890||William Thomson||Translated from Gloucester.|
|1891||William Connor Magee||Translated from Peterborough.|
|1891||1908||William Maclagan||Translated from Lichfield.|
|1909||1928||Cosmo Gordon Lang||Translated from Stepney; afterwards translated to Canterbury.|
|1929||1942||William Temple||Translated from Manchester; afterwards translated to Canterbury.|
|1942||1955||Cyril Garbett||Translated from Winchester.|
|1956||1961||Michael Ramsey||Translated from Durham; afterwards translated to Canterbury.|
|1961||1974||Donald Coggan||Translated from Bradford; afterwards translated to Canterbury.|
|1975||1983||Stuart Blanch||Translated from Liverpool.|
|1983||1995||John Habgood||Translated from Durham.|
|1995||2005||David Hope||Translated from London.|
|2005||incumbent||John Sentamu||Translated from Birmingham; retiring 7 June 2020.|
Ealdred (or Aldred; died 11 September 1069) was Abbot of Tavistock, Bishop of Worcester, and Archbishop of York in Anglo-Saxon England. He was related to a number of other ecclesiastics of the period. After becoming a monk at the monastery at Winchester, he was appointed Abbot of Tavistock Abbey in around 1027. In 1046 he was named to the Bishopric of Worcester. Ealdred, besides his episcopal duties, served Edward the Confessor, the King of England, as a diplomat and as a military leader. He worked to bring one of the king's relatives, Edward the Exile, back to England from Hungary to secure an heir for the childless king.
In 1058 he undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the first bishop from England to do so. As administrator of the Diocese of Hereford, he was involved in fighting against the Welsh, suffering two defeats at the hands of raiders before securing a settlement with Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, a Welsh ruler.
In 1060, Ealdred was elected to the archbishopric of York, but had difficulty in obtaining papal approval for his appointment, only managing to do so when he promised not to hold the bishoprics of York and Worcester simultaneously. He helped secure the election of Wulfstan as his successor at Worcester. During his archiepiscopate, he built and embellished churches in his diocese, and worked to improve his clergy by holding a synod which published regulations for the priesthood.
Some sources state that following King Edward the Confessor's death in 1066, it was Ealdred who crowned Harold Godwinson as King of England. Ealdred supported Harold as king, but when Harold was defeated at the Battle of Hastings, Ealdred backed Edgar the Ætheling and then endorsed King William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy and a distant relative of King Edward's. Ealdred crowned King William on Christmas Day in 1066. William never quite trusted Ealdred or the other English leaders, and Ealdred had to accompany William back to Normandy in 1067, but he had returned to York by the time of his death in 1069. Ealdred supported the churches and monasteries in his diocese with gifts and building projects.Ealdwulf (archbishop of York)
Ealdwulf (died 6 May 1002) was a medieval Abbot of Peterborough, Bishop of Worcester, and Archbishop of York.Ecgbert of York
Ecgbert (died November 766) was an 8th-century cleric who established the archdiocese of York in 735. In 737, Ecgbert's brother became king of Northumbria and the two siblings worked together on ecclesiastical issues. Ecgbert was a correspondent of Bede and Boniface and the author of a legal code for his clergy. Other works have been ascribed to him, although the attribution is doubted by modern scholars.Edwin Sandys (bishop)
Edwin Sandys (1519 – 10 July, 1588) was an English prelate.
He was Anglican Bishop of Worcester (1559–1570), London (1570–1576) and Archbishop of York (1576–1588) during the reign of Elizabeth I of England. He was one of the translators of the Bishops' Bible.Geoffrey (archbishop of York)
Geoffrey (c. 1152 – 12 December 1212) was an illegitimate son of Henry II, King of England, who became bishop-elect of Lincoln and archbishop of York. The identity of his mother is uncertain, but she may have been named Ykenai. Geoffrey held several minor clerical offices before becoming Bishop of Lincoln in 1173, though he was not ordained as a priest until 1189. In 1173–1174, he led a campaign in northern England to help put down a rebellion by his legitimate half-brothers; this campaign led to the capture of William, King of Scots. By 1182, Pope Lucius III had ordered that Geoffrey either resign Lincoln or be consecrated as bishop; he chose to resign and became Chancellor instead. He was the only one of Henry II's sons present at the king's death.
Geoffrey's half-brother Richard I nominated him archbishop of York after succeeding to the throne of England, probably to force him to become a priest and thus eliminate a potential rival for the throne. After some dispute Geoffrey was consecrated archbishop in 1191. He soon became embroiled in a conflict with William Longchamp, Richard's regent in England, after being detained at Dover on his return to England following his consecration in France. Geoffrey claimed sanctuary in the town, but he was seized by agents of Longchamp and briefly imprisoned in Dover Castle. Subsequently, a council of magnates ordered Longchamp out of office, and Geoffrey was able to proceed to his archdiocese. The archbishop spent much of his archiepiscopate in various disputes with his half-brothers: first Richard and then John, who succeeded to the English throne in 1199. Geoffrey also quarrelled with his suffragan bishops, his cathedral chapter, and other clergy in his diocese. His last quarrel with John was in 1207, when the archbishop refused to allow the collection of a tax and was driven into exile in France. He died there five years later.George Neville (Archbishop)
George Neville (c. 1432 – 8 June 1476), archbishop of York and Chancellor of England, was the youngest son of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, and Alice Neville, 5th Countess of Salisbury. He was the brother of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known as the "Kingmaker."Gerard (archbishop of York)
Gerard (died 21 May 1108) was Archbishop of York between 1100 and 1108 and Lord Chancellor of England from 1085 until 1092. A Norman, he was a member of the cathedral clergy at Rouen before becoming a royal clerk under King William I of England and subsequently his son King William II Rufus. Gerard was appointed Lord Chancellor by William I, and he continued in that office under Rufus, who rewarded him with the Bishopric of Hereford in 1096. Gerard may have been with the king's hunting party when William II was killed, as he is known to have witnessed the first charter issued by the new king, Henry I of England, within days of William's death.
Soon after Henry's coronation Gerard was appointed to the recently vacant see of York, and became embroiled in the long-running dispute between York and the see of Canterbury concerning which archbishopric had primacy over England. Gerard managed to secure papal recognition of York's claim to jurisdiction over the church in Scotland, but he was forced to agree to a compromise with his counterpart at Canterbury, Anselm, over Canterbury's claims to authority over York, although it was not binding on his successors. In the Investiture Controversy between the king and the papacy over the right to appoint bishops, Gerard worked on reconciling the claims of the two parties; the controversy was finally resolved in 1107.
Gerard was a patron of learning, to the extent that he urged at least one of his clergy to study Hebrew, a language not commonly studied at that time. He himself was a student of astrology, which led to suggestions that he was a magician and a sorcerer. Partly because of such rumours, and his unpopular attempts to reform his cathedral clergy, Gerard was denied a burial inside York Minster after his sudden death in 1108. His successor as archbishop subsequently had Gerard's remains moved into the cathedral church from their initial resting place beside the cathedral porch.John Gilbert (archbishop of York)
John Gilbert (18 October 1693–9 August 1761) was Archbishop of York from 1757 to 1761.John Sharp (bishop)
John Sharp (16 February 1645 – 2 February 1714), English divine who served as Archbishop of York.John Williams (archbishop of York)
John Williams (22 March 1582 – 25 March 1650) was a Welsh clergyman and political advisor to King James I. He served as Bishop of Lincoln 1621–1641, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal 1621–1625, and Archbishop of York 1641–1646. He was the last bishop to serve as lord chancellor.Matthew Hutton (archbishop of York)
Matthew Hutton (1529–1606) was archbishop of York from 1595 to 1606.Oswald of Worcester
Oswald of Worcester (died 29 February 992) was Archbishop of York from 972 to his death in 992. He was of Danish ancestry, but brought up by his uncle, Oda, who sent him to France to the abbey of Fleury to become a monk. After a number of years at Fleury, Oswald returned to England at the request of his uncle, who died before Oswald returned. With his uncle's death, Oswald needed a patron and turned to another kinsman, Oskytel, who had recently become Archbishop of York. His activity for Oskytel attracted the notice of Archbishop Dunstan who had Oswald consecrated as Bishop of Worcester in 961. In 972, Oswald was promoted to the see of York, although he continued to hold Worcester also.
As bishop and archbishop, Oswald was a supporter and one of the leading promoters (together with Æthelwold) of Dunstan's reforms of the church, including monastic reforms. Oswald founded a number of monasteries, including Ramsey Abbey, and reformed another seven, including Winchcombe in Gloucestershire and Pershore and Evesham in Worcestershire. Oswald also switched the cathedral chapter of Worcester from secular clergy to monks. While archbishop, he brought the scholar Abbo of Fleury to teach, and he spent two years in England, mostly at Ramsey. Oswald died in 992, while washing the feet of the poor. A hagiographical life was written shortly after his death, and he was quickly hailed as a saint.Richard Sterne (bishop)
Richard Sterne (c. 1596–1683 born in Mansfield, Notts) was a Church of England priest, Archbishop of York from 1664 to 1683.Sir William Dawes, 3rd Baronet
Sir William Dawes, 3rd Baronet (12 September 1671 – 30 April 1724), was an Anglican prelate. He served as Bishop of Chester from 1708 to 1714 and then as Archbishop of York from 1714 to 1724.Thomas of Bayeux
Thomas of Bayeux (died 18 November 1100) was Archbishop of York from 1070 until 1100. He was educated at Liège and became a royal chaplain to Duke William of Normandy, who later became King William I of England. After the Norman Conquest, the king nominated Thomas to succeed Ealdred as Archbishop of York. After Thomas' election, Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, demanded an oath from Thomas to obey him and any future Archbishops of Canterbury; this was part of Lanfranc's claim that Canterbury was the primary bishopric, and its holder the head of the English Church. Thomas countered that York had never made such an oath. As a result, Lanfranc refused to consecrate him. The King eventually persuaded Thomas to submit, but Thomas and Lanfranc continued to clash over ecclesiastical issues, including the primacy of Canterbury, which dioceses belonged to the province of York, and the question of how York's obedience to Canterbury would be expressed.
After King William I's death Thomas served his successor, William II, and helped to put down a rebellion led by Thomas' old mentor Odo of Bayeux. Thomas also attended the trial for rebellion of the Bishop of Durham, William de St-Calais, Thomas' sole suffragan, or bishop subordinate to York. During William II's reign Thomas once more became involved in the dispute with Canterbury over the primacy when he refused to consecrate the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Anselm, if Anselm was named the Primate of England in the consecration service. After William II's sudden death in 1100, Thomas arrived too late to crown King Henry I, and died soon after the coronation.Walter de Gray
Walter de Gray or Walter de Grey (died 1 May 1255) was an English prelate and statesman who was Archbishop of York from 1215 to 1255. He was Lord Chancellor under King John.William Booth (bishop)
William Booth or Bothe (c. 1388–1464) was Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield from 1447 before becoming Archbishop of York in 1452 until his death in 1464.William Thomson (bishop)
William Thomson, (11 February 1819 – 25 December 1890) was an English church leader, Archbishop of York from 1862 until his death.Wulfstan (died 956)
Wulfstan (died December 956) was Archbishop of York between 931 and 952. He is often known as Wulfstan I, to separate him from Wulfstan II, Archbishop of York.
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