Bishop of Ramsbury (ancient)

The Bishop of Ramsbury was an episcopal title used by medieval English-Catholic diocesan bishops in the Anglo-Saxon English church. The title takes its name from the village of Ramsbury in Wiltshire, and was first used in the 10th and 11th centuries by the Anglo-Saxon Bishops of Ramsbury. In Saxon times, Ramsbury was an important location for the Church, and several of the early bishops went on to become Archbishops of Canterbury.

The ancient bishopric of Ramsbury was created in 909 by Plegmund, Archbishop of Canterbury, as part of a division of the two West Saxon bishoprics into five smaller ones. Wiltshire and Berkshire were taken from the bishopric of Winchester to form the new diocese of Ramsbury.[1] It was occasionally referred to as the bishopric of Ramsbury and Sonning. In 1058 it was joined with the bishopric of Sherborne to form the diocese of Sarum (Salisbury), and the see was translated to Old Sarum in 1075.

Medieval bishops diocesanEdit

Bishops of Ramsbury
From Until Incumbent Notes
909 927 Aethelstan
927 942 Saint Oda of Canterbury Translated to Canterbury in 942.
942 949 Ælfric
952 970 Oswulf
970 981 Ælfstan
981 985 Wulfgar
985 990 Sigeric the Serious Translated to Canterbury in 990.
990 1005 Saint Ælfric of Abingdon Translated to Canterbury in 995, he continued to hold Ramsbury along with Canterbury until his death.
995 1045 Saint Bertwald Also spelled Britwold, Beorhtwald, Birthwald, Brithwald, Berhtwald, Birthwold, Brihtwald, and Britwaldus and variously known as '... of Ramsbury', '... of Glastonbury' and '... of Sarum' [2]

Sometimes confused with Berhtwald of Canterbury[3]

1045 1075 Herman In exile from 1055 to 1058 (when the see was administered by Ealdred, Bishop of Worcester.) Also Bishop of Sherborne from 1058.
Herman removed both of his sees to Old Sarum in 1075; for later bishops of that merged diocese, see Bishop of Salisbury.


  1. ^ Barbara Yorke, Frithestan, Oxford Online Dictionary of National Biography, 2004
  2. ^ "Catholic Saints". Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Ramsbury Raven". Retrieved 12 March 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • Powicke, F. Maurice and E. B. Fryde Handbook of British Chronology 2nd. ed. London:Royal Historical Society 1961