Gottfrid Billing

Axel Gottfrid Leonard Billing (29 April 1841 – 14 January 1925) was a Swedish cleric and theologian who served as a member of the Swedish Academy, member of the Första kammaren in the Riksdag and served as Bishop of Lund from 1898 until 1925.[1]

The Right Reverend

Gottfrid Billing
Bishop of Lund
Billing, Gottfrid - porträtt- AF.jpg
ChurchChurch of Sweden
In office1898–1925
PredecessorWilhelm Flensburg
SuccessorEdvard Magnus Rodhe
Consecration7 September 1884
by Anton Niklas Sundberg
Personal details
Born(1841-04-29)29 April 1841
Died14 January 1925(1925-01-14) (aged 83)
Lund, Sweden
BuriedNorra kyrkogården, Lund
ParentsMagnus Billing & Hedvig Charlotta Collin
SpouseFrida Bring
ChildrenEinar Billing
Alma materLund University

Early lifeEdit

Billing was born at Önnestad in Kristianstad Municipality, the son of Magnus Billing and Hedvig Charlotta Collin. In the early 1860s Billing enrolled as a theology student at Lund University. Billing represented a very conservative political view that has sometimes been called Oscarian after King Oscar II. In 1881 he became professor of practical theology at Lund University.


In 1884, he was appointed Bishop of Västerås and was consecrated on 7 September 1884 by Archbishop Anton Niklas Sundberg. In Västerås, he deepened his contacts with the royal family. He also represented Västerås in the parliament's first chamber on the conservative bench. In 1900, after the death of Anton Niklas Sundberg, Billing was offered the position of Archbishop of Uppsala, however he declined. He accepted to take over Sundberg's place in the Swedish Academy, a post he kept until his death in 1925. In 1898 he was appointed Bishop of Lund.[2]

Billing was elected as a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1908 and the Royal Society of the Humanities at Lund in 1919. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in Lund on 28 September 1918 and received the Royal Order of the Seraphim on 6 June 1921.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1868 he married Frida Bring, daughter of Bishop Ebbe Gustaf Bring of Linköping, and Ulla Ehrenborg, sister of the writer Betty Ehrenborg. He was the father of Einar Billing. Bishop of Västerås and the father-in-law of Bishop Edvard Magnus Rodhe, Bishop of Lund. Billing died in 1925 and was buried at Norra kyrkogården in Lund.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ "A Gottfrid L Billing". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  2. ^ "Billing, Axel Gottfrid Leonard", Salmonsens Conversation lexicon, 1915. Retrieved on 01 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Ebbe Gustaf Bring". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "Einar M Billing". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "Edvard Magnus Rodhe". Nordisk familjebok. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
Titles in Lutheranism
Preceded by Bishop of Västerås
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Lund
Succeeded by