Simon de Wedale

Simon de Wedale

infobox bishopbiog
name = Simon de Wedale


religion=Roman Catholic Church
See = Diocese of Galloway
Title = Bishop of Galloway
Period = 1326–1355
consecration = February 1, 1327
Predecessor = Thomas de Kirkcudbright
Successor = Michael MacKenlagh
post = Abbot of Holyrood | ordination =
bishops =
date of birth = unknown
place of birth = Probably southern Scotland (Stow of Wedale?)
date of death = March 11, 1355
place of death =

Simon de Wedale O. S. A., was a 14th century Augustinian canon who rose to become Abbot of Holyrood and then Bishop of Galloway. Little is known of Simon until he appears on February 27, 1321, as Abbot of Holyrood Abbey near Edinburgh.Watt & Shead, "Heads of Religious Houses", p. 93.] His accession to this abbacy had only been recent, since either in January of this year or in January 1320, his predecessor Elias, ruling the abbey since at least 1309 and probably earlier, was still abbot. Abbot Simon occurs again in the records on June 10, 1326 [Watt, "Fasti Ecclesiae", p. 130; Watt & Shead, "Heads of Religious Houses", p. 93.]

On September 23 of this year Simon was elected to succeed the recently deceased Thomas de Kirkcudbright as Bishop of Galloway. [Dowden, "Bishops", p. 360; Watt, "Fasti Ecclesiae", p. 130.] This election was confirmed by Galloway's metropolitan the Archbishop of York on December 16, allowing Simon to receive consecration, which was conducted at Westminster by the bishops of Lichfield, Carlisle, and Llandaff on February 1, 1327; Simon made his profession of obedience to the Archbishop of York at Tottenham on February 8. [Dowden, "Bishops", pp. 360-1; Watt, "Fasti Ecclesiae", p. 130.]

Little is known of his 19 year episcopate. He granted the parish church of Crossmichael to Sweetheart Abbey on September 21, 1331.Dowden, "Bishops", p. 361, n. 1.] Bishop Simon may have been present at the parliament of Edward Balliol on February 10, 1334, but if so his name was incorrectly recorded as Henry.Dowden, "Bishops", p. 361.] He was granted a protection by King Edward III of England on November 1, 1335. He occurs in a Holyrood Abbey document dated to November 11, 1345. [Dowden, "Bishops", p. 361, n. 1, citing "Holyrood, 96".] On October 18, 1347, he is recorded assigning tithes from the church of Buittle between its vicar and Sweetheart. He died on March 11, 1355. [Dowden, "Bishops", p. 361; Watt, "Fasti Ecclesiae", p. 130.] Perhaps in anticipation of Bishop Simon's impending death, John II, King of France, had petitioned for a plenary indulgence on Simon's behalf, a petition which was granted by Pope Innocent IV on June 18, 1354.

An excavation of Whithorn Priory during 1957-67 uncovered the remains of various senior ecclesiastical figures whose identities were not known at the time. Research funded by Historic Scotland in 2007 led to the identification of six bishops from the bones and artefacts in the graves, Bishop Simon amongst them. The techniques employed allowed the researchers to conclude that all the clerics enjoyed a diet of quality meat and fish and probably came from southern Scotland or Cumbria. The grave identified as Simon's also contained a gilded and enamelled crozier dating from 1175, silver altar vessels, brocade threads and gilded sequins from a headdress. [McGinty, Stephen "Bishops' lives unmasked as science peels back 600 years". "The Scotsman". (Edinburgh, 17 December 2007)]

Notes

References

* 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, 1924)
* Watt, D. E. R., "Fasti Ecclesiae Scotinanae Medii Aevi ad annum 1638", 2nd Draft, (St Andrews, 1969)
* Watt, D. E. R.,& Shead, N.F. (eds.), "The Heads of Religious Houses in Scotland from the 12th to the 16th Centuries", The Scottish Records Society, New Series, Volume 24, (Edinburgh, 2001)


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