Bishop of Dunblane

The Bishop of Dunblane or Bishop of Strathearn was the ecclesiastical head of the Diocese of Dunblane or Strathearn, one of medieval Scotland's thirteen bishoprics. It was based at Dunblane Cathedral, now a parish church of the Church of Scotland. The bishopric itself certainly derives from an older Gaelic Christian community. According to legend, the Christian community of Dunblane was derived from the mission of St. Bláán, a saint originally associated with the monastery of Cenn Garath (Kingarth) on the Isle of Bute. Although the bishopric had its origins in the 1150s or before, the cathedral was not built nor was the seat (cathedra) of the diocese fixed at Dunblane until the episcopate of Clement.

The Bishopric's links with Rome ceased to exist after the Scottish Reformation, but continued, saving temporary abolition between 1638 and 1661, under the episcopal Church of Scotland until the Revolution of 1688. Episcopacy in the established church in Scotland was permanently abolished in 1689.

List of bishops of Dunblane

Pre-Reformation bishops

Pre-Reformation Bishops of Dunblane
Tenure Incumbent Notes
fl. 1155M. de Dunblan
1155 x 1161-1165 x 1178Laurence of Dunblane
1168 x 1178–1194 x 1198Simon of Dunblane
1195 x 1198-1210 Jonathan of Dunblane
1210 x 1214–1220 x 1225Abraham of Strathearn
1223 x 1225-1226Radulf (bishop-elect)Elect only.
1226 x 1227-1231Osbert of Dunblane
1233-1258Clement of Dunblane
1258 x 1259-1284Robert de Prebenda
1284-1291 x 1296William
1295 x 1296-1300 x 1301Alpín of Strathearn
1301-1306 x 1307Nicholas of ArbroathNicholas was previously Abbot of Arbroath.
1307-1319 x 1320Nicholas de Balmyle
1295 x 1296-1300 x 1301Richard de PontefractNominated by Edward I of England to Papacy. Nomination unsuccessful.
1319 x 1322Roger de BalnebrichThe cathedral chapter was divided on the successor of Nicolas de Balmyle; a long litigation between Roger and Maurice, Abbot of Inchaffray, took place at the Papal court, which resulted in the consecration of Maurice.
1319 x 1322-1347Maurice of InchaffrayPreviously Abbot of Inchaffray.
1347-1361William de Cambuslang
1361-1371 x 1372Walter de Coventre
1372-1373Andrew Magnus
1380-1403Dúghall of Lorne
1403-1419Fionnlagh MacCailein
1419-1428 x 1429William StephaniPreviously Bishop of Orkney.
1429-1446Michael Ochiltree
1446 x 1447Walter StewartElected, but not conferred.
1447-1466Robert LauderPapal Nuncio.
1466-1485 x 1487John Herspolz or Hepburn
1487-1526James ChisholmResigned title but not fruits, and kept a right of return to bishopric. He died in late 1545 or early 1546.
1526-1564William Chisholm (uncle)
1564-1569William Chisholm (nephew)Coadjutor since 1561. Deposed in 1569. Rehabilitated as bishop between 18 March 1587, and 27 May 1589, when the rehabilitation was annulled.

Episcopalian bishops

Episcopalian Bishops of Dunblane
Tenure Incumbent Notes
1573 x 1575-1603Andrew Graham
1603-1615George GrahamTranslated to Bishoric of Orkney.
1615-1635Adam BellendenTranslated to Bishoric of Aberdeen.
1636-1638James Wedderburn13 December 1638, episcopacy outlawed in Scotland and all bishops deprived of their sees. This was in effect until the Restoration of 1661.
1661-1671Robert LeightonBecame Archbishop of Glasgow in October 1671.
1673-1684James RamsayTranslated to the Bishopric of Ross, April 1684.
1684-1689Robert DouglasTranslated from Brechin; deprived of the temporalities in 1689 when episcopacy was permanently abolished in the Church of Scotland following the Glorious Revolution.

Scottish Episcopal bishops

Scottish Episcopal Bishops of Dunblane
Tenure Incumbent Notes
1689–1716 Robert Douglas Formerly Church of Scotland bishop, continued as an Episcopalian until his death on 22 April 1716
1716–1731 See vacant
1731–1735 John Gillan Consecrated as a college bishop in 1727; died 3 January 1735
1735–1743 Robert White Translated to Fife in 1743
1743–1774 See administered by John Alexander, Bishop of Dunkeld
1774–1791 Charles Rose Also Bishop of Dunkeld 1776-86; died April 1791.
1791–1808 See vacant
1808–1837 Patrick TorryConsecrated as Bishop of Dunkeld and Dunblane; became Bishop of Fife, Dunkeld and Dunblane in 1837, and subsequently Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane in 1844.
The Scottish Episcopal see became part of the Diocese of Fife, Dunkeld and Dunblane in 1837, which was renamed the Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane in 1844.

Catholic titular bishops

In the Post-Reformation Roman Catholic church in Scotland, Dunblane is under the Roman Catholic Bishop of Dunkeld

Catholic Titular Bishops of Strathearn
Tenure Incumbent Notes
1974–1977 Hubertus Brandenburg Also Auxiliary Bishop of Osnabrück. Translated to Bishop of Stockholm on 21 November 1977. Died on 4 November 2009
1979–2011 John Peter Jukes, O.F.M.Conv. Also Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark. Died on 21 December 2011
2012–2013 Sébastien Muyengo Mulombe Also Auxiliary Bishop of Kinshasa. Translated to Bishop of Uvira on 15 October 2013
2017–present Timothy Edward Freyer Also Auxiliary Bishop of Orange.

See also


  1. "Historical successions: Dunblane". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  2. Annuario Pontificio editions 1975–2013
  • Cockburn, James Hutchison, The Medieval Bishops of Dunblane and Their Church, (Edinburgh, 1959)
  • 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, 1824)
  • Watt, D. E. R., Fasti Ecclesiae Scotinanae Medii Aevi ad annum 1638, 2nd Draft, (St Andrews, 1969)
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