Bishop of Oxford

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Arms of the Bishop of Oxford

The Bishop of Oxford is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Oxford in the Province of Canterbury.

The diocese covers the counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire, with parishes also in Bedfordshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, and Warwickshire. The see is in the City of Oxford where the seat is located at the Cathedral Church of Christ which was elevated to cathedral status in 1546, and which (uniquely among English dioceses) is also the chapel of Christ Church College, Oxford.

The Bishop's residence is Diocesan Church House, Oxford.

The origins of Christianity in this part of England go back at least to the 7th century, when Saint Birinus brought his mission to the West Saxons in 634. The West Saxon King Cynegils was baptised in the River Thames near the present site of Dorchester Abbey, where the original See was established.

The see was transferred in 1092 to Winchester, before being absorbed into the Diocese of Lincoln, the vast area of which covered much of central and eastern England from the Thames to the Humber. The establishment of the new diocesan structure by Henry VIII saw a new see located Osney in Oxfordshire in 1542 before finally being moved to its present location in the City of Oxford in 1546.

The present diocese contains the greatest number of parishes of any diocese on England (621) and also the most church buildings (815), of which 475 are grade 1 or 2* listed buildings. The current bishop is the Right Reverend Richard Douglas Harries, the 41st Lord Bishop of Oxford, who signs Richard Oxon.

List of the Bishops of the Diocese of Oxford, England and its precursor offices

(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)

Tenure Incumbent Notes
See at Osney
1542 to 1546Robert King, Bishop of Oxford Suffragan Bishop of Lincoln
See at Oxford
1546 to 1559Robert King, Bishop of OxfordSuffragan Bishop of Lincoln
1559 to 1558Thomas GoldwellTranslated from St Asaph; Fled to Milan and Rome
1558 to 1567vacant
1567 to October 1568 Hugh Coren
(Hugh Curwen)
Archbishop of Dublin
October 1568 to 1589vacant
1589 to 1592John UnderhillRector of Lincoln College
1592 to 1604vacant
1604 to 1618John BridgesDean of Salisbury
1619 to 1628John HowsonStudent of Christ Church; translated to Durham
1628 to 1632Richard CorbetDean of Christ Church; translated to Norwich
1632 to 1641John BancroftMaster of University College
1641 to 1663Robert SkinnerTranslated from Bristol; deprived during the Commonwealth
1660 to 1663Robert SkinnerRestored; translated to Worcester
1663 to 1665William PaulDean of Lichfield
1665 to 1671Walter BlandfordWarden of Wadham College; translated to Worcester
1671 to 1674Nathanial, Lord CreweRector of Lincoln and Dean of Chichester; translated to Durham
1674 to 1676Henry ComptonCanon of Christ Church; translated to London
1676 to 1686John FellDean of Christ Church
1686 to 20 March 1687Samuel ParkerArchdeacon of Canterbury; died in office
1688 to 1690Timothy HallDenied installation by the Chapter of Christ Church
1690 to 1699John HoughPresident of Magdalen College; translated to Lichfield
1699 to 1715William TalbotDean of Worcester; translated to Salisbury
1715 to 1737John PotterRegius Professor of Divinity; translated to Canterbury
1737 to 1758Thomas SeckerTranslated from Bristol; translated to Canterbury
1758 to 1766John HumeTranslated from Bristol; translated to Salisbury
1766 to 1777Robert LowthTranslated from St David's; translated to London
1777 to 1788John ButlerPrebendary of Winchester; translated to Hereford
1788 to 1799Edward SmallwellTranslated from St David's
1799 to 1807John RandolphRegius Professor of Divinity; translated to Bangor
1807 to 1811Charles Moss
1812 to 1815William JacksonRegius Professor of Greek
1816 to 1827The Honourable Edward LeggeDean of Windsor
1827 to 1829Charles Lloyd (bishop)Regius Professor of Divinity
1829 to 1845Richard BagotDean of Canterbury; translated to Bath & Wells
1845 to 1870Samuel WilberforceDean of Westminster
1870 to 1889John Fielder MackarnessPrebendary of Exeter
1889 to 1901William Stubbs Translated from Chester
1901 to 1911Francis PagetDean of Christ Church
1911 to 1919Charles Gore Translated from Birmingham; resigned
1919 to 1925Hubert Murray BurgeTranslated from Southwark
1925 to 1937Thomas Banks StrongTranslated from Ripon; resigned
1937 to 1955Kenneth Escott KirkRegius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology
1955 to 1970Harry James CarpenterWarden of Keble; resigned
1971 to 1978Kenneth John WoollcombePrincipal of Edinburgh Theological College; resigned
1978 to 1986Patrick Campbell RodgerTranslated from Manchester; resigned
1987 to presentRichard Douglas HarriesDean of King's College, London

Template:Anglican Bishops & Archbishops - Great Britain


  • Oxford Diocesan ( Year Book
  • Haydn's Book of Dignities (1894) Joseph Haydn/Horace Ockerby, reprinted 1969
  • Whitaker's Almanack 1883 to 2004, Joseph Whitaker and Sons Ltd/A&C Black, London

See also


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