The Right Reverend

Henry Holbeach
Bishop of Lincoln
ChurchChurch of England
Electedc. 1547
Installedc. 1547
Term ended1551 (death)
PredecessorJohn Longland
SuccessorJohn Taylor
Other post(s)Prior of Worcester (1536–1540)
Bishop suffragan of Bristol (1538–1544)
Dean of Worcester (1542–1544)
Bishop of Rochester (1544–1547)
Consecration24 March 1537
by John Hilsey
Personal details
Henry Rands

c. 1477
Died(1551-08-02)2 August 1551
Nettleham, Lincolnshire, England
Buried7 August 1551, Nettleham

Henry Holbeach (c. 1477 – 2 August 1551) was an English clergyman who served as the last Prior and first Dean of Worcester, a suffragan bishop, and diocesan bishop of two Church of England dioceses.


Born as Henry Rands (or Randes) in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, he assumed the name of his birthplace on becoming a monk at Crowland Abbey. He proceeded to Cambridge (Bachelor of Theology {BTh} 1527, Doctor of Theology {DTh} 1534),[1] and became prior of Buckingham College, Cambridge.[2]

In 1536, he was elected the Prior of Worcester,[3] and two years later he also became the Bishop of Bristol, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Worcester.[4] Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540, the priory was re-established as a cathedral with Holbeach becoming the first Dean of Worcester in 1542.[5] In 1544, he became Bishop of Rochester,[6] and finally in 1547 Bishop of Lincoln.[7]


He is believed to have been the first of the English (post reformation) bishops to have been married, his wife Joan proving his will on 5 October 1551 and he left a son Thomas Randes. According to his descendant, Cater Rand, he was "one of the compilers of the liturgy". Holbeach developed the sweating sickness and died on 2 August 1551 at Nettleham (some accounts give 6 August as date of death) and was buried there on 7 August 1551.


  1. ^ "Rands (or Holbeach), Henry (RNDS526H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Holbeach (formerly Rands), Henry. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  3. ^ Priors of Worcester: 1297-1538. British History Online. Retrieved on 18 December 2008.
  4. ^ Bishops of Bristol: 1538-1836. British History Online. Retrieved on 18 December 2008.
  5. ^ Deans of Worcester: 1540-1874. British History Online. Retrieved on 18 December 2008.
  6. ^ Bishops of Rochester: 1540-1860. British History Online. Retrieved on 18 December 2008.
  7. ^ Bishops of Lincoln: 1521-1868. British History Online. Retrieved on 18 December 2008.
Church of England titles New title Bishop of Bristol 1538–1544 Diocese of Bristol erected Preceded byNicholas Heath Bishop of Rochester 1544–1547 Succeeded byNicholas Ridley Preceded byJohn Longland Bishop of Lincoln 1547–1551 Succeeded byJohn Taylor