Bishop of Edinburgh

Bishop of Edinburgh
John Armes
Ecclesiastical provinceScotland
First holderWilliam Forbes
DioceseDiocese of Edinburgh
CathedralSt Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh

The Bishop of Edinburgh is the ordinary of the Scottish Episcopal Diocese of Edinburgh.

Prior to the Reformation, Edinburgh was part of the Diocese of St Andrews, under the Archbishop of St Andrews and throughout the mediaeval period the episcopal seat was St Andrew's Cathedral. The line of Bishops of Edinburgh began with the creation of the See of Edinburgh in 1633: the See was founded in 1633 by King Charles I. William Forbes was consecrated at St. Giles' Cathedral as the first bishop on 23 January 1634 though he died later that year. The General Assembly of 1638 deposed David Lindsay and all the other bishops, so the next, George Wishart, was consecrated in 1662 after the Restoration.

In 1690, it was Alexander Rose (bishop 1687–1720) whose unwelcome reply to King William III (and II) led to the disestablishment of the Scottish Episcopalians as Jacobite sympathisers, and it was he who led his congregation from St Giles' to a former wool store as their meeting house, on the site now occupied by Old Saint Paul's Church. After the break with the Church of Scotland in 1689, Bishops of Edinburgh were ex officio metropolitan bishops until this rank was abolished by a concordat of 1731. Since then, the Episcopal Church has been led by a Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church elected from among any of the Scottish dioceses.[1]

After the repeal of the penal laws in 1792 and the reuniting of Episcopal and "Qualified" congregations, the diocese grew under the leadership of bishops Daniel Sandford, James Walker, C.H. Terrot and Henry Cotterill. The high point of the 19th century was the consecration of St Mary’s Cathedral in 1879.

The current bishop is John Armes. He became Bishop-elect of Edinburgh on 11 February 2012[2] and was consecrated and installed as bishop on 12 May 2012.[3]

List of bishops[edit]

John Dowden, Irish historian of the Scottish church, and bishop of Edinburgh
Church of Scotland bishops:[4][5][6]
Scottish Episcopal Church bishops:[7][8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bertie, David (2001). Scottish Episcopal Clergy, 1689-2000. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 561. ISBN 9780567087461. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Report of Bishop John's Consecration on the Scottish Episcopal Church website
  4. ^ Keith 1824, An Historical Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops, pp.60–72.
  5. ^ Scott 1928, Fasti Ecclesae Scoticanae, volume 7, pp.341–343.
  6. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 309.
  7. ^ Keith 1824, An Historical Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops, pp.524–530.
  8. ^ Skinner 1818, Annals of Scottish Episcopacy, pp.533–538.
  9. ^ Bertie 2000, Scottish Episcopal Clergy, p.561.


External links[edit]