William Falconer (bishop)

William Falconer (or Falconar) (1707–1784) was a Scottish clergyman who served as the Bishop of Moray (1742–1778), Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church (1762–1782) and Bishop of Edinburgh (1776–1784).

The Most Reverend

William Falconer
Bishop of Edinburgh
Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
ChurchScottish Episcopal Church
Elected25 October 1776
In office1776-1784
PredecessorDavid Freebairn
SuccessorWilliam Abernethy Drummond
Other postsPrimus of the Scottish Episcopal Church (1762–1782)
Ordination10 June 1728
Consecration10 September 1741
by Thomas Rattray
Personal details
Died15 June 1784
ParentsAlexander Falconer & Jean King
Styles of
William Falconer
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleMy Lord or Bishop


He was the son of Alexander Falconer, an Elgin merchant, and Jean King.[1] His grandfathers were the Right Reverend Colin Falconer, Bishop of Argyll (1679–80) and Bishop of Moray (1680–86), and William King of Newmill, Provost of Elgin (1690–1700).[1]

After his ordination on 10 June 1728, he was the Chaplain of Balgowan (1728–35), Minister of Forres (1735–42), and Minister of Elgin (1740–46).[1][2]

He was appointed coadjutor bishop of Caithness and Orkney and consecrated at Alloa on 10 September 1741 by Thomas Rattray, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, with bishops Robert Keith and Robert White serving as co-consecrators.[1][2]

He was elected the Bishop of Moray on 10 November 1742, and accepted the see on 12 January 1743.[1][2] He left Elgin in 1746 and took up residence in Edinburgh.[1] He was unanimously elected Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church at Forfar on 24 June 1762, and also became the Bishop of Edinburgh on 25 October 1776.[1][2] He resigned the see of Moray before May 1778 and the office of Primus in September 1782, but retained the see of Edinburgh.[1][2]

Bishop Falconer died in office on 15 June 1784, aged 77.[1]


  • 1707–1728: William Falconer, Esquire.
  • 1728–1741: The Reverend William Falconer.
  • 1741–1762: The Right Reverend William Falconer.
  • 1762–1782: The Most Reverend Willam Falconer.
  • 1782–1784: The Right Reverend William Falconer.


  1. Bertie, David M. (2000). Scottish Episcopal Clergy, 1689–2000. Edinburgh: T & T Clark. p. 40. ISBN 0567087468.
  2. Dowden, John (1912). Thomson, J. Maitland (ed.). The Bishops of Scotland. Glasgow: James Maclehose and Son. p. 423.
Scottish Episcopal Church titles
Preceded by
See vacant
preceded by George Hay
Bishop of Moray
Succeeded by
Arthur Petrie
Preceded by
Robert White
Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
Succeeded by
Robert Kilgour
Preceded by
See vacant
preceded by David Freebairn
Bishop of Edinburgh
Succeeded by
See vacant
followed by William Abernethy Drummond
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