Bishop of Elmham

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Remains of the Saxon cathedral at North Elmham

The Bishop of Elmham is an episcopal title which was first used by an Anglo-Saxon bishop between the 7th and 11th centuries and is currently used by the Roman Catholic Church for a titular see. The title takes its name after the small town of North Elmham in Norfolk, England.

Anglo-Saxon bishops

The Anglo-Saxon dioceses before 925

In about 630 or 631, a diocese was established by St. Felix for the Kingdom of the East Angles, with his episcopal seat at Dunwich on the Suffolk coast. In 672, the diocese was divided into the sees of Dunwich and Elmham by St. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury.

The line of bishops of Elmham continued until it was interrupted by the Danish Viking invasions in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. By the mid 950s, the sees of Elmham and Dunwich were reunited under one bishop, with the episcopal see at Elmham. After the Norman conquest, the see was transferred to Thetford in 1075, and soon afterwards to Norwich in 1094.

List of Anglo-Saxon bishops

Anglo-Saxon Bishops of Elmham
From Until Incumbent Notes
672 x ? 693 x ? Bedwinus also recorded as Beaduwine
 ? x 706 716 x ? Northbertus also recorded as Nothbeorht
 ? x 716 716 x ? Headulacus also recorded as Heathulac
736 736 x ? Æthelfrith also recorded as Eadilfridus, and Aethelfrith
 ? x 758 758 x ? Eanfrith also recorded as Lanferthus
 ? x 781 781 x ? Æthelwulf also recorded as Athelwolfus, and Aethelwulf of Elmham
 ? x 785 805 x ? Alherdus also recorded as Alhheard
 ? x 814 816 x ? Sybba also recorded as Sibba
816 x 824 816 x 824 Hunferthus also recorded as Hunfrith
 ? x 824 845/856 x ?
or d. 869?
Humbertus Episcopate ended in 845 or 856, or possibly died in November 869; also recorded as Hunberht and Humbryct
late 9th century by mid 950s The episcopal see was interrupted by the Danish Viking invasions. Afterwards, the sees of Elmham and Dunwich were reunited by the mid 950s under one bishop, with the see at Elmham
 ? x 955 962 x ? Eadwulf
 ? x 970 970 x ? Ælfric I
 ? x 974  ? Theodred I
 ? 995 x 997 Theodred II
995 x 997 1001 Athelstan Died 7 October 1001
1001 1012 x 1016 Ælfgar Possibly resigned between 1012 and 1016; died 24 or 25 December 1020
 ? x 1019 1023 x 1038 Ælfwine Died 12 April 1023 and 1038
1023 x 1038 1038 Ælfric II Died in December 1038
1039 1042 x 1043 Ælfric III
1043 1043 Stigand Deprived in 1043
1043 1043 Grimketel Deprived in 1043; also was Bishop of Selsey 1039-1047
1044 1047 Stigand (again) Restored; translated to Winchester in 1047, and later Canterbury
1047 1070 Æthelmær Brother of Stigand; consecrated after August 1047; deposed c. 11 April 1070
1070 1075 Herfast Formerly Lord Chancellor; consecrated in 1070 as bishop of Elmham; transferred the see to Thetford in 1071
The episcopal see was transferred to Thetford in 1075, and subsequently to Norwich in 1094

Roman Catholic titular bishops

In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church revived the title Bishop of Elmham, using Elmhama as the name of the titular see, but Helmamensis as the adjectival form in Contemporary Latin.[3] The current titular bishop is the Most Reverend Eamonn Oliver Walsh, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin who was appointed on 7 March 1990.[4]

List of titular bishops

Titular Bishops of Elmham
From Until Incumbent Notes
1969 1976 Alan Charles Clark Appointed Titular Bishop of Elmham and Apostolic Administrator of Northampton on 31 March 1969; ordained bishop on 13 May 1969; appointed Bishop of East Anglia on 23 April 1976
1977 1990 Patrick Leo McCartie Appointed Titular Bishop of Elmham and Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham on 13 April 1977; ordained bishop on 20 May 1977; appointed Bishop of Northampton on 20 February 1990
1990 present Eamonn Oliver Walsh Appointed Titular Bishop of Elmham and Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin on 7 March 1990; ordained bishop on 22 April 1990


  1. "Historical successions: Norwich (including precussor offices)". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 1 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 216–217 and 243. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), "Sedi titolari", p. 887
  4. Bishop Eamonn Oliver Walsh. Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved on 29 December 2009.
  5. Titular Episcopal See of Elmham. Retrieved on 29 December 2009.
  6. Elmhama (Titular See). Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved on 29 December 2009.

External links