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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 Abbeymarker near Edinburghmarker.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.

On September 23 of this year Simon was elected to succeed the recently deceased Thomas de Kirkcudbright as Bishop of Galloway. This election was confirmed by Galloway's metropolitan the Archbishop of York on December 16, allowing Simon to receive consecration, which was conducted at Westminstermarker by the bishops of Lichfield, Carlisle, and Llandaff on February 1, 1327; Simon made his profession of obedience to the Archbishop of York at Tottenhammarker on February 8.

Little is known of his 19 year episcopate. He granted the parish church of Crossmichaelmarker to Sweetheart Abbeymarker 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. 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. 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 Priorymarker 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 Cumbriamarker. 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.

Notes

  1. Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 130; Watt & Shead, Heads of Religious Houses, p. 93.
  2. Dowden, Bishops, p. 360; Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 130.
  3. Dowden, Bishops, pp. 360-1; Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 130.
  4. Dowden, Bishops, p. 361, n. 1, citing "Holyrood, 96".
  5. Dowden, Bishops, p. 361; Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 130.
  6. McGinty, Stephen "Bishops' lives unmasked as science peels back 600 years". The Scotsman. (Edinburgh, 17 December 2007)


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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