The Anglo-Saxon dioceses 850–925

The Bishop of Dunwich is an episcopal title which was first used by an Anglo-Saxon bishop between the seventh and ninth centuries and is currently used by the suffragan bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. The title takes its name after Dunwich in the English county of Suffolk, which has now largely been lost to the sea.

In about 630 or 631 a diocese was established by St. Felix for the Kingdom of the East Angles, with his episcopal seat initially, briefly established at Soham before being transferred to Dunwich on the Suffolk coast. There is a possibility the unidentified Dommoc may be Dunwich, but this is yet to be proved. In 672 the diocese was divided into the sees of Dunwich and Elmham by St. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury.

The line of bishops of Dunwich continued until it was interrupted by the Danish Viking invasions in the late ninth and early tenth centuries. By the mid 950s the sees of Dunwich and Elmham were reunited under one bishop, with the episcopal see at Elmham.

List of bishops

Bishops of the East Angles (purportedly established at Soham)
From Until Incumbent Notes.
c.630 c.630 Felix of Burgundy Also known as St Felix
Bishops of the East Angles (established at Dunwich or translated from Soham)
630 x 631 647 x 648 Felix of Burgundy Also known as St Felix.
647 x 648 652 x 653 Thomas Deacon.
652 x 653 669 x 670 Brigilsus Also recorded as Beorhtgils, Berhtgils, and Boniface (Bonifatius).
669 x 670 672 Bifus Resigned in 672; also recorded as Bisi.
In 672, the diocese was divided into the sees of Dunwich and Elmham
Bishops of Dunwich
From Until Incumbent Notes.
672 x ? ? Acca Also recorded as Æcce and Æcci.
? ? Ascwulf
? x 716 716 x ? Eardred
? ? Cuthwine Also recorded as Cuthwynus.
? x 731 731 x ? Ealdbeorht I Also recorded as Alberht.
? ? Ecglaf Also recorded as Eglasius.
? x 747 747 x ? Eardwulf Also recorded as Heardwulf.
747 x 775 775 x 781 Ealdbeorht II Also recorded as Alberthus and Ealdberht.
? x 781 789 x 793 Heardred Also recorded as Hardulfus.
789 x 793 798 Ælfhun Also recorded as Ælphunus.
798 816 x 824 Tidfrith Also recorded as Tidfreth, Tedfrid, and Thefridus.
816 x 824 824 x 825 Waormund Also recorded as Wærmund and Weremundus.
825 845 x 870 Wilred Also recorded as Wilfredus.
845 x 870 ? Æthelweald Also recorded as Æthelwold, Æthelwulf.
After interruption by the Danish Viking invasions, Dunwich was united to the see of Elmham.
Note(s): [A] and Source(s):[1][2][3][4]


  • A The current list of Anglo-Saxon bishops is primarily compiled by the 3rd edition of the Handbook of British Chronology.[1] The earlier 2nd edition mentioned two others: Alric, probably bishop of Dunwich and Husa, bishop of Dunwich or Elmham.[5] These two are no longer considered to have been bishops and as such are not listed in the 3rd edition.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 216. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  2. ^ Hadcock, R. Neville; Knowles, David (1971). Medieval Religious Houses England & Wales. Longman. p. 482. ISBN 0-582-11230-3.
  3. ^ "Historical successions: Norwich (including precursor offices)". Crockford's Clerical Directory. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  4. ^ Hadcock, R.Neville; Knowles, David (1971). Medieval Religious Houses England & Wales. Longman. p. 482. ISBN 0-582-11230-3.
  5. ^ Powicke, F. Maurice; Fryde, E. B. (1961). Handbook of British Chronology (2nd ed.). London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society. p. 220.