Bishops of Chester

(From 1542 to 1642)

Located in England. Though the See of Chester, schismatically created by Henry VIII in 1541, was recognized by the Holy See only for the short space of Queen Mary's reign, the city had in earlier times possessed a Bishop and a cathedral, though only intermittently. Even before the Norman conquest the title "Bishop of Chester" is found in documents applied to prelates who would be more correctly described as Bishops of Mercia or even of Lichfield. After the Council of London in 1075 had decreed the transfer of all episcopal chairs to cities, Peter, Bishop of Lichfield, removed his seat from Lichfield to Chester, and became known as Bishop of Chester. There he chose the collegiate Church of St. John the Baptist as his cathedral. The next Bishop, however, transferred the see to Coventry on account of the rich monastery there, though he retained the episcopal palace at Chester. The chief ecclesiastical foundation in Chester was the Benedictine monastery of St. Werburgh, the great church of which finally became the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The site had been occupied even during the Christian period of the roman occupation by a church dedicated to Sts. Peter and Paul, and rededicated to St. Werburgh and St. Oswald during the Saxon period. In 1093, Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, converted it into a great Benedictine monastery, in which foundation he had the co-operation of St. Anselm, Prior of Bec, who sent Richard, one of his monks, to be the first abbot. A new Norman church was built by him and his successors. The monastery, though suffering loss of property both by the depredations of the Welsh and the inroads of the sea, prospered, and in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries the monks transformed their Norman church into a gothic building which, though not be reckoned among the greatest cathedrals of England, yet is not unworthy of its rank, and affords a valuable study in the evolution of Gothic architecture. The last of the abbots was John, or Thomas, Clark, who resigned his abbey, valued at £1,003 5s. 11d. per annum, to the king.

In 1541 Henry VIII, having thrown off all obedience to the Pope, created six new bishoprics, one of which was Chester. The archdeaconry of Chester, from the Diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, and that of Richmond, from York, were combined to form the new see, and the abbey church, now the cathedral, was to be served by a dean and six prebends, the complaisant ex-abbot becoming the first dean. At first the diocese was annexed to the Province of Canterbury, but by another Act of Parliament it was soon transferred to that of York.




Year of
appointment and termination
John Bird Provincial of the Carmelites, Doctor of divinity; attracted the King's attention by his sermons preached against the Pope's supremacy. Having already been reward by the Bishopric of Bangor, was translated to Chester. On the accession of Mary he was deprived as being a married man, and died Vicar of Dunmow in 1556 1541 - 1554
George Cotes Master of Balliol and Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, in which university he had been a distinguished lecturer in theology, was appointed Bishop by the Holy See. 1554 - 1555
Cuthbert Scott Theologian and Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University. On the accession of Elizabeth he was one of the four Catholic bishops chosen to defend Catholic doctrine at the conference at Westminster, and immediately after this he was sent to the Tower. Being released on bail, he contrived to escape to the Continent. He died at Louvain, 9 Oct 1564 1556 - 1559
William Downham Elizabeth’s Catholic Chaplain during Mary’s reign, had not left the Continent during Mary’s reign and was not known for an attachment to Protestant enthusiasm May 1561-1577
William Chaderton University Preacher, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, Regius Professor of Divinity. Chaplain to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Rector of Holywell, Hunts., Warden of Manchester, President of Queen's College, Cambridge, 1568. Archdeacon of York. Prebendary of Westminster, 1576
Bishop of Lincoln, 1595 - 1608
1579 - 1595
Richard Vaughan

Bishop of London 1604-1607

1597 - 1604
George Lloyd

b. ABT 1560, Bryn Euryn, Llandrillo-yn-Rhos, Denbighshire, Wales - d. 1 Aug 1615, Chester, Cheshire, England.

Sixth son of Meredydd ap John of Llanelian yn Rhos, Denbighshire. Graduate of Cambridge (where name given as Floyd/Fludd). Brother David was mayor of Chester 1593, another brother Edward was mercer, also in Chester. He was appointed to post of Divinity Lecturer in the Cathedral for several years before being appointed to Man.

1604 - 1615
Thomas Morton   1616 - 1619
John Bridgeman Father of Henry, Bishop of Sodor and Man 1671-82; and of Orlando Bridgeman, Lord Keeper, ancestor to the Right Hon the Earl of Bradford, Viscount Newport. 1619 - 1642
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