Bishop of Sodor and Man

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Bishop of Sodor and Man
Robert Paterson
Province York
Diocese Sodor and Man
Cathedral St German's, Peel
Website Bishop's office

The Bishop of Sodor and Man is the Ordinary of the Diocese of Sodor and Man in the Province of York in the Church of England. The diocese covers the Isle of Man. The see is in the town of Peel where the bishop's seat is located at the Cathedral Church of St German, elevated to cathedral status on 1 November 1980. The termination "and Man" appears to have been added in the 17th century and the designation "Sodor and Man" had become a fixture by 1684.

The right to nominate to the See of Sodor and Man rests with the Crown, which acts, perhaps somewhat anomalously (in view of Man's status as a Crown Dependency), on the advice of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Present Bishop

Following the resignation of Graeme Knowles, who became Dean of St Paul's, London on 1 October 2007, on 8 February 2008 it was announced from 10 Downing Street that the next bishop would be Robert Paterson[1] whose appointment was confirmed by Letters Patent issued by Queen Elizabeth II on 18 April 2008,[2] and who was consecrated bishop on 25 April 2008 at York Minster.[3] He was enthroned Bishop of Sodor and Man on 14 June 2008 in St German's Cathedral at Peel, Isle of Man.[4][5]


The diocese covers the Isle of Man. The see is in the town of Peel where the bishop's seat is located at the Cathedral Church of St German, elevated to cathedral status on 1 November 1980.

The present Anglican diocese is called "Sodor and Man".

In the Middle Ages, the diocese was considered part of Scotland, and was not under the control of either the Archbishop of York or the Archbishop of Canterbury. During the Great Schism, the pope at Rome created a different line of bishops that was in the southern part of the diocese. In 1542, an act of Parliament during the reign of King Henry VIII of England included the diocese in the province of York.[6]


(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)

List of known Bishops of Mann

Tenure Incumbent Notes
dates unknown Germanus See discussion of conflation of at least two men of similar names in mediaeval traditions in the Great Britain section of Germanus of Auxerre
dates unknown Conindrius
dates unknown Romulus
dates unknown Machutus
dates unknown Saint Conanus
dates unknown Contentus
dates unknown Baldus
dates unknown Malchus
dates unknown Torkinus
dates unknown Brendanus
before 1079 Roolwer Also called Rolf.
before 1079 William
fl. 1079x1095 Hamond

List of Bishops of Mann and the Isles

The bishops of Mann and the Isles (Latin: Manniae et Insularum) were also styled bishops of Sodor (Old Norse: Suðreyjar; Latin: Sodoren; meaning Southern Isles, which comprised the Hebrides, the islands of the Firth of Clyde and the Isle of Man).

Tenure Incumbent Notes
1134/38 to c.1148 Wimund Also known as Reymundus.
c.1148 Nicholas (bishop-elect)
1151 to 1154 John (I) Formerly a monk of Sées, Normandy.
c.1154 to bef.1166 Gamaliel
bef.1166 to c.1170 Reginald (I)
c.1170 to c.1190s Christian Either a native of Argyll (Latin: Ergadiensis) or of Orkney (Latin: Orcadensis).
1188/94 to 1203 Michael Died in office
1210 to 1217 Nicholas
1217 to 1226 Reginald (II)
1219 to 1225/26 Nicholas of Meaux Abbot of Furness
 ???? to bef. 1230 John (II), son of Hefar
1230 to 1248 Simon Either a native Argyll (Latin: Ergadiensis) or of Orkney (Latin: Orcadensis).
1248 to 1249 Laurence (bishop-elect) Archdeacon of Man; shipwrecked and drowned on voyage from Norway before taking up the office
1249 to 1252 See vacant
1253 to 1274 Richard [de Natherton?] Died in office.
1275 Gilbert (bishop-elect) Elected, but not confirmed.
1275/76 to 1303 Mark Marcus, Mauritius; a native of Galloway; promoted by Alexander III, King of Scotland; died in office
1303 to 1305 See vacant
1305 to 1321 Alan Died in office.
1321 to 1326/27 Gilbert Maclelan Scottish Gaelic: Giolla-Brighde Mac Giolla-Faoláin; a native of Galloway; died in office
1327/28 to 1331 Bernard of Kilwinning Abbot of Kilwinning, Scotland
1331 Cormac Cormacii (bishop-elect) Scottish Gaelic: Cormac Mac Chormaic; elected before 6 July 1331, but was not confirmed.
1331 to 1348 Thomas de Rossy Died in office
1349 to 1374 William Russell Abbot of Rushen; died in office.
1374 to 1387 John Dongan Lost control of the northern part of the see (the Scottish isles) in 1387, but retained the Isle of Man.

List of Bishops of Sodor and Man

Tenure Incumbent Notes
1387 to 1391 John Dongan Translated to Derry and later to Down.
1392 to ???? John Sproten, O.Praed. Dominican friar.
1402 Conrad, O.Cist. Cistercian monk.
1402 to ???? Theodore Bloc, O.Crucif. Monk of the Order of the Crucifers.
1410 to c.1429/33 Richard Payl, O.Praed. Richard Pawlie, Payli, or Pully; Dominican friar; translated from Dromore.
1425/33 to ???? John Burgherlin Burgherlinus, Burgherssh, Bourgherssh, or Burwais; Franciscan friar or Cluniac monk.
1435 to ???? John Seyre John Feyre.
1455 to 1458 Thomas Burton, O.F.M. Franciscan friar; died in office.
1458 to ???? Thomas Kirkham, O.Cist. Abbot of Vale Royal, Cheshire; elected 21 June 1458
1478 to 1485/86 Richard Oldham, O.S.B. Abbot of Chester (1455–1485); died 13 October 1485 or 19 September 1486
1487 to 1509 Huan Blackleach, O.S.A. Austin friar.
1513 to ???? Huan Hesketh
1523 to ???? John Howden, O.Praed. Dominican friar.
 ???? to 1545 Thomas Stanley Rector of Wigan; deprived
1546 to 1555/56 Henry Man Dean of Chester; Royal Assent to election given by King Henry VIII on 22 January 1546.
1555/56 to 1568 Thomas Stanley Rector of Winwick as well as Berwick; restored by Queen Mary; died in office.
1570 to 1573 John Salisbury Former abbot of Titchfield Abbey; translated from Thetford. Nominated 27 March 1569
1573 to 1576 See vacant According to John Le Neve, James Stanley held the see during that period but nothing further about him is known
1576 to 1599 John Meyrick John Merick, Mericke, or Merrick; Vicar of Hornchurch, Essex (1570–74); died in office
1599 to 1604 George Lloyd (From 1600 according to Haydn); rector of Heswall, Lancashire; translated to Chester
1604 to 1633 John Phillips John Philips; Archdeacon of Cleveland and Man; nominated by King James VI 29 January 1604; consecrated 10 February 1604; died in office
1634 (or 1633) to 1635 William Forster William Foster; Prebendary of Chester
1635 to 1643 Richard Parr Rector of Lancashire; died in office
1643 to 1646 See vacant
1646 to 1660 See abolished during the Commonwealth and the Protectorate
1661 to 1663 Samuel Rutter Archdeacon of Man
1663 to 1671 Isaac Barrow Fellow of Eton College; translated to St Asaph in 1670 but held Sodor & Man in commendam until 1671
1671 to 1682 Henry Bridgeman Dean of Chester
1682 to 1684 John Lake Archdeacon of Cleveland; translated to Bristol
1684 to 1692 Baptist Levinz Baptiste or Baptist Levinge; Prebendary of Winchester
1693 to 1697 See vacant
1697 (or 1698) to 1755 Thomas Wilson Of Trinity College, Dublin; died in office
1755 to 1773 Mark Hiddesley Mark Hildesley; Vicar of Hitchin, Hertfordshire
1773 to 1780 Richard Richmond
1780 to 1783 George Mason Died in office
1784 to 1813 Claudius Crigan
1813 (or 1814) to 1827 George Murray Translated to Rochester
1827 to 1838 William Ward Died in office
1838 to 1839 James Bowstead Translated to Lichfield
1839 (or 1840) to 1841 Henry Pepys Translated to Worcester
1841 to 1846 Thomas Short Rector of St George's, Bloomsbury; translated to St Asaph
1846 to 1847 Walter Shirley Died in office
1847 to 1854 Robert Eden Translated to Bath & Wells
1854 to 1877 Horatio Powys Rector of Warrington and rural dean; died in office
1877 to 1887 Rowley Hill Canon of York; died in office
1887 to 1892 John Bardsley Archdeacon of Warrington; translated to Carlisle
1892 to 1907 Norman Straton Translated to Newcastle
1907 to 1911 Thomas Drury Translated to Ripon
1911 to 1925 Denton Thompson
1925 to 1928 Charles Thornton-Duesbury
1928 to 1943 William Stanton Jones
1943 to 1954 John Taylor
1954 to 1966 Benjamin Pollard Translated from Lancaster.
1966 to 1974 Eric Gordon
1974 to 1983 Vernon Nicholls
1983 to 1989 Arthur Attwell
1989 to 2003 Noël Jones Formerly Archdeacon of the Royal Navy.
2003 to 2007 Graeme Knowles Resigned in 2007 and became Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, London.
2008 to date Robert Paterson

In literature

The Bishop of Sodor and Man is mentioned in the song "If you Want a Receipt for that Popular Mystery" sung by Colonel Calverley in the operetta Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan.


  1. "Diocese of Sodor and Man". 10 Downing Street. Retrieved 2008-04-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. The London Gazette: no. 58678. p. 6303. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
  3. "York Minster—Services and events calendar". Dean and Chapter of York Minster. Retrieved 2008-04-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Appointment of new Bishop of Sodor and Man". Diocesan website of Sodor and Man. Retrieved 2008-04-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Recovering tradition (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#7580). 27 June 2008. p. 10. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 7 June 2014. Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Powicke Handbook of British Chronology 2nd ed. p. 254