Leofric, Bishop of Exeter

Exeter Cathedral Nave
Photo © Edward Ratzer

Leofric (1016 - 1072) was born in Devon, England, and died there, in Exeter, on 10 February 1072. His parents may have been Saxons, as modern historians doubt they were Celts, as William of Malmesbury said they were. Leofric received his training in Lotharingia. When Bishop Lyfing died in 1046, King Edward the Confessor made Leofric Bishop of Crediton and St. Germans. The two sees united by Lyfing became the united sees of Devon and Cornwall. In 1050 Bishop Leofric moved his episcopal seat from Crediton to Exeter -- many seats were moved from abbeys in open country into cities around that time, where they would be safer from raiders like the Vikings.

Exeter Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral
Photo ©
Richard Thomson

The abbey church of St. Peter's monastery, founded by King Athelstan around 928, became his cathedral (on a different site from the present Exeter Cathedral), and he was installed as Bishop of Exeter there by King Edward and Queen Edith themselves, in the presence of several other bishops. Edward then moved the monks of St. Peter's to his new Westminster Abbey in London, and Bishop Leofric replaced them with (later) prebendiary canons he appointed at St. Peter's, some who were clerks from Crediton, others from his personal household.

Bishop Leofric survived William the Conqueror's 1068 siege of Exeter and remained bishop until he died in 1072. He was buried in the crypt of his cathedral.

-- Wiki

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