Archibald (bishop of Moray)

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Archibald (died 1298) was a 13th-century Scottish prelate best known for involvement in a dispute with the Pope.

Bishop of Moray
Effigy of Bishop Archibald of Moray.JPG
An Effigy from Elgin Cathedral believed to depict Archibald
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
SeeDiocese of Moray
In office1253–1298
PredecessorSimon de Gunby
SuccessorDavid de Moravia
Personal details
Probably Moray or Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died9 December 1298
Previous post(s)Dean of Moray

His origins are not known, but he was almost certainly the Archibald who was Dean of Moray in the years before 1253.[1]

In that year he was consecrated as the successor of Simon de Gunby and Radulf of Lincoln as Bishop of Moray.[2] Through what appears to have been a misunderstanding, Bishop Archibald confirmed the election of one Andrew de Dunn as Dean of Moray. However, the Pope had earlier or simultaneously appointed his own candidate, Nicholas de Hedon, based on an earlier reservation of the position. There was litigation at the Papal see, through which Hedon emerged victoriously.[3] Bishop Archibald, apparently concerned he had been placed in a state of excommunication, petitioned Pope Alexander IV and was absolved on 22 December 1255.[4]

Bishop Archibald, like all Scottish bishops, was summoned to the Second Council of Lyon. A provincial council at Perth in 1273, however, exempted the Bishop of Moray as well as the Bishop of Dunkeld.[4] Bishop Archibald was present at the Convention of Birgham in 1290.[4]

At some point during his episcopate, Uilleam, Mormaer of Ross, committed an outrage to the church or lands of Petty, a church belonging to a canon of Archibald's cathedral. In compensation, Uilleam granted the bishop some lands in Cadboll and elsewhere in Ross.[5] The bishop was also involved in a dispute with Uilleam, Mormaer of Mar, which in 1268 resulted in the latter's excommunication.[6]

Bishop Archibald built an episcopal residence at Kinneddar, where he resided for much of his episcopate.[7] His episcopate lasted over 45 years, making it one of the longest in medieval Scotland. He died on 9 December 1298.[2]


  1. ^ Dowden, Bishops, p. 150; Keith, Historical Catalogue, p. 139; Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, pp. 279, 284
  2. ^ a b Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 279.
  3. ^ Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 284.
  4. ^ a b c Dowden, Bishops, p. 150.
  5. ^ Keith, Historical Catalogue, p. 139; Keith does not specify if the Mormaer was Uilleam I or Uilleam II.
  6. ^ Paton, "William".
  7. ^ Keith, Historical Catalogue, p. 139.


  • Dowden, John, The Bishops of Scotland, ed. J. Maitland Thomson, (Glasgow, 1912)
  • Keith, Robert, An Historical Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops: Down to the Year 1688, (London, 1924)
  • Paton, Henry, "William, fifth earl of Mar (d. in or before 1281)", rev. Norman H. Reid, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 , retrieved 2 May 2007
  • Watt, D.E.R. & A. L. Murray, Fasti Ecclesiae Scotinanae Medii Aevi ad annum 1638, Revised edition, (Edinburgh, 2003)
Religious titles
Preceded by
Simon de Gunby
Dean of Moray
1244 x 1249–1253
Succeeded by
Andrew de Dunn
Nicholas de Hedon
Preceded by
Bishop of Moray
Succeeded by
David de Moravia