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Bishop of Selsey

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Bishop of Selsey

England diocese map pre-925
England diocese map post 950

The Bishop of Selsey was an episcopal title which took its name after the small town of Selsey in Sussex, England.

The episcopal see at Selsey was founded by Saint Wilfrid, formerly Bishop of the Northumbrians, for the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Sussex in the late 7th century. He was granted land by King Æthelwealh of Sussex to build a cathedral at Selsey. However, shortly afterwards King Cædwalla of Wessex conquered the Kingdom of Sussex, but he confirmed the grant to Wilfrid. The bishop's seat was located at Selsey Abbey. Nine years after the Norman conquest, the Council of London enacted that episcopal sees should be removed to cities or larger towns. Accordingly, the see at Selsey was removed to Chichester in 1075. Some sources claim that Stigand, the last bishop of Selsey, continued to use the title Bishop of Selsey until 1082, before adopting the new title Bishop of Chichester, indicating that the transfer took several years to complete.[1]

List of bishops of Selsey

(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)

The dates of the early bishops are uncertain.
Bishops of Selsey
From Until Incumbent Notes
? 681 ? 685 Saint Wilfrid Founder of the see; status as bishop of this see disputed; previously ejected from York; later Bishop of Leicester then of Hexham.
c. 685 c. 706 See absorbed by Winchester diocese, after Wessex conquered Sussex under Cædwalla.
? betw. 706–716 betw. 716–731 Eadberht Also recorded as Eadbeorht, Eadbertus; previously Abbot of Selsey Abbey; often deemed first bishop of this see; died in office.
betw. 716–731 betw. 716–731 Eolla Died in office.
betw. 716–731 733 See vacant
733 betw. 747–765 Sigeferth Also recorded as Sigelmus, Sigfridus, Sigga, Siggca, Sicgga ; died in office.
betw. 747–765 betw. 772–780 Aluberht Also recorded as Ealabeorht, Alubrithus, Alubertus; died in office.
betw. 747–765 betw. 772–780 Oswald Also recorded as Osweald, Osa; died in office.
betw. 772–780 betw. 781–787 Gislhere Also recorded as Giselherus; died in office.
betw. 781–787 betw. 786–789 Tota Died in office.
betw. 787–789 betw. 805–811 Wihthun Died in office.
betw. 805–811 betw. 816–824 Æthelwulf Also recorded as Ethelulphus; died in office.
betw. 816–824 betw. 839–845 Cynered Also recorded as Coenred, Coenredus; died in office.
betw. 839–845 aft. 860 Guthheard Also recorded as Guthard, Guðheard; left office.
aft. 860 bef. 900 See possibly vacant
bef. 900 c. 909, or betw. 909–925 Wighelm Died in office.
c. 909, or betw. 909–925 930 or 931 Beornheah Also recorded as Beornegus; died in office; in Heylyn is placed between Ethelulphus and Coenredus.[2]
930 or 931 betw. 940–943 Wulfhun Omitted in Heylyn;[2] died in office.
betw. 940–943 betw. 953–956 Ælfred Also recorded as Alfredus; died in office.
betw. 953–956 betw. 956–963 Brihthelm Sometimes identified with Beorhthelm of Winchester; either died in office or translated to Winchester.
betw. 956–963 979 or 980 Eadhelm Died in office.
980 988 Æthelgar Translated to Canterbury.
betw. 988–990 betw. 1007–1009 Ordbriht Died in office.
betw. 1007–1011 1031 or 1032 Ælfmær Died in office.
1032 or 1033 1038 Æthelric (I) Died in office.
1039 1047 Grimketel Also recorded as Grimcytel; died in office.
1047 1057 Heca Died in office.
1058 1070 Æthelric (II) Also recorded as Ethelric; deposed and imprisoned by William the Conqueror.
1070 c.1075 Stigand See moved to Chichester by decree of the Council of London (1075), Stigand was the last Bishop of Selsey and first Bishop of Chichester.


  1. ^ a b Dallaway. History of the Western Division of the county of Sussex, Volume 1 p. 25 Retrieved 24 February 2014
  2. ^ a b c  
  3. ^ "Historical successions: Chichester (including precussor offices)". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S. et al., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, reprinted 2003 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 221, 238, and 272.  
  5. ^ Greenway, D. E. (1996). "Bishops of Chichester". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 5: Chichester.  
  6. ^ Kelly, S. E, ed. (1998). "Charters of Selsey". Anglo-Saxon Charters: Volume 6. Trinity College, Cambridge. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
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