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THE ORCADIAN EPISCOPATE

[from Orkneyinga Saga]

The preceding appointments appear to have been only titular, in exercise of primatial contention by York that Scotland and the Isles lay within the jurisdiction, and by Hamburg that as successors to St. Anschar, Hamburg was metropolitan for all Scandinavian churches. Meantime the Norwegians made their own bishops, and conveyed possession of the see, which disposed effectually of the pretensions of prelates with titular consecrations.

  1. 1102 - WILLIAM I, the Old, occupied the see for 66 years from consecration in 1102 till death in 1168. His remains were discovered in 1848 in St.Magnus' Cathedral in a leaden cist inscribed: "Hic Requiescit Willialmus Senex, Felicis Memoriae, Primus Episcopus". The see was first at Birsay, where was Thorfinns cathedral erection of Christ's Kirk, but when St.Magnus' was built in 1137 the see was translated. Anastasius made Trondheim metropolitan in 1154, and declared Bishop William one of its suffragans.

  2. 1168 - WILLIAM II died in 1188.

  3. 1188 - BJARNI Skald was the son of Kolbein Hruga, He was a famous poet, and to him is ascribed the Jomsvikingadrapa - Lay of the Jomsburg Vikings. Innocent III addressed to him a bull, 27th May 1198, in connection with the refusal of John, Bishop of Caithness, to collect in the latter diocese an annual tribute granted by Earl Harald II He conveyed to the monastery of Munkalif, Bergen, the land called Holand, near the Dalsfiord, north of Bergen, "for the souls of his father, mother, brother, relations and friends". He died in 1223.

  4. 1223 - JOFREYR, Dean of Tunsberg, was consecrated in 1223. Gregory IX, by bull at Viterbo, 11th May 1237, enjoined Sigurd, Archbishop of Drontheim, to either remove him or provide him with an assistant, as he had been paralytic for many years. Jofreyr, however, retained the see till his death in 1247. In his time Honorius III issued a Brief dated 3rd November 1226, to Nicolas, Archdeacon of Jutland, directing him to disburse the twentieth of all ecclesiastical revenues to Jarl Skule, then arming for a crusade.

  5. 1247 - HENRY, Canon of Orkney, received dispensation 9th December 1247, from Innocent IV for defect of birth. He accompanied King Hakon in 1263, and died in 1269.

  6. 1270 - PETER was consecrated in 1270, and died in 1284. A Brief of his at Tunsberg, 3rd September 1278, grants forty days' indulgence to those in his diocese contributing to restore St.Swithinís Cathedral at Stavanger, which had been destroyed by fire.

  7. 1286 - DOLGFINN, consecrated in 1286, died in 1309.

  8. 1310 - WILLIAM III was consecrated in 1310. At the Provincial Council held at Bergen in 1320, Eilif, the Archbishop, preferred several complaints against Bishop William. Eilif had sent Kormak, Archdeacon of the Sudreys, and Grim Ormson, prebendary of Drontheim, on a visitation to the Orcadian diocese. These clerics reported that the Bishop had squandered the property of the See, had bestowed the offices of foreigners and apostates, had compromised his dignity by participation in the boisterous pastime of hunting and other unseemly diversions, had imprisoned Ingilbert Lyning, a canon of Orkney, and had refused to permit removal of the corpse of an Orcadienne, although her will directed interment in the Trondheim Cathedral.

  9. 1328 - WILLIAM IV succeeded sometime after the year 1328. He is noticed in an important record of 1369, and was slain in 1382.

  10. 1390 - WILLIAM V occurs in a Scottish instrument during the reign of Robert III

  11. 1394 - HENRY II - Torfaeus cites an appearance in this year.

  12. 1397 - JOHN is a party to the Union Treaty of Calmar.

  13. PATRICK appears in an attestation by the Lawman of Orkney, two canons of St.Magnus, and four burgesses of Kirkwall, as to the descent and good name of James of Cragy, laird of Hupe. The instrument alludes to many losses, injuries, and disquietudes endured by this bishop at the hands of his adversaries.

  14. 1416 - ALEXANDER Vanse, sir, the elected Bishop of Caithness is now Bishop elect of Orkney.

  15. 1418 - THOMAS de Tulloch first appears in existing records in 1418. He seems to have been previously Bishop of Ross. The chief events of his episcopal rule have been already referred to.

  16. 1461 - WILLIAM VI de Tulloch, was the last bishop during Norwegian domination in the Orkneys. In his time Sixtus IV by bull, 17th August 1472, transferred the Orcadian see from the Norwegian to the Scottish metropolitan.
    NOTE - A Genealogical Manuscript written by William Tulloch, Bishop of Orkney, was in Rosendalís house in Norway. [
    Wallace's Description]

    In succession to him were

  17. 1477 ANDREW; [1501 ANDREW]
  18. 1511 EDWARD Stewart; [THOMAS]
  19. 1525 ROBERT Maxwell
  20. 1540 ROBERT II Reid
  21. 1558 ADAM Bothwell to 1580; NOTE - Bishop Adam Bothwell crowned James VI in 1567.
  22. 1606 JAMES Law
  23. 1615 GEORGE Graham; [1639 ROBERT Baron]
  24. 1662 THOMAS St.Serf
  25. 1664 ANDREW III Honyman
  26. 1676 MURDOCH Mackenzie [1688 ANDREW Bruce].
A full account of Orcadian Bishops will be found in Craven's History of the Church in Orkney

Abolition of episcopacy.

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