Bishops of Winchester

(From 984 to 1632)

The diocese of Winchester is one of the oldest and most important in England. During the middle ages it was one of the wealthiest English sees, and its bishops have included a number of politically prominent Englishmen.

In addition to those listed below, Saint Swithun was Bishop during the 9th century.




Year of
appointment and termination
Aelfheah II   984-1006
Cenwulf   1006
Aethelwold II   1006-1012
Aelfsige II   1012-1032
Aelfwine   1032-1047
Stigand   1047-1070
Walkelin   1070-1098
William Giffard   1100-1129
Henry of Blois   1129-1171
Richard of Ilchester   1173-1188
Godfrey de Lucy   1189-1204
Peter des Roches   1205-1238
William Raleigh   1240-1250
Aymer de Valence   1250-1260
John Gervais    1262-1268
Nicholas of Ely   1268-1280
John of Pontoise   1282-1304
Henry Woodlock    1305-1316
John Sandale   1316-1319
Rigaud of Assier    1319-1323
John de Stratford    1323-1333
Adam Orleton   1333-1345
William Edendon   1345-1366
William of Wykeham   1366-1404
Henry Beaufort   1404-1447
William Waynflete a student in Wykeham's colleges at Winchester and Oxford, was first master of Winchester College, then made provost of Eton in 1443, and in 1447 succeeded Beaufort in the bishopric of Winchester. From 1449 to 1459, like his predecessor, he held the chancellor's seal, and during the Wars of the Roses was a firm adherent of Henry VI. His death took place in 1486. He founded Magdalen College, Oxford, and possibly influenced Henry in his endowment of King's College, Cambridge, and Eton. Waynfleete appears to have been a man of great piety and learning, and, as Milman observes, his actions, in advancing non-monastic institutions, reveal a sagacious fore-knowledge of the coming changes in the temporal power of the church, and were planned to maintain its supremacy in ways better adapted to the new spirit which soon after his death caused the downfall of the religios houses 1447-1486
Peter Courtenay   1487-1492
Thomas Langton   1493-1501
Richard Fox   1501-1528
Thomas Wolsey   1529-1530
Stephen Gardiner deprived of title 1531-1551
John Ponet once Cranmer's chaplain, held his see. As the author of "On Politique Power" (1558), where he pleads that "it is lawful to kill a tyrant," and uses some very immoderate language, Poynet may be remembered, but as an ecclesiastic he has left only a discreditable record in his short term of office. He died in 1556 in Germany, whither he had retired on the Roman Catholic revival 1551-1553
Stephen Gardiner restored to title 1553-1555
John White deprived of title 1556-1559
Robert Horne    1560-1580
John Watson formerly a Doctor of Medicine, only held the see for three years 1580-1584
Thomas Cooper   1584-1594
William Wickham   1594-1595
William Day   1595-1596
Thomas Bilson   1597-1616
James Montague   1616-1618
Lancelot Andrews   1618-1626
Richard Neile   1627-1632
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