Wakefield Family History Sharing


Extracts from

Walkers History of Wakefield

2nd edition 1939 (privately printed)


Bishopric of Wakefield and the Bishops

In 1878 a Bill was introduced into Parliament to provide four new Bishoprics in England, in which Wakefield was mentioned as the future See of the new Yorkshire diocese.  The Bill received the Royal Assent in Aug 1878.  Steps were then put into action fo raise the much needed funds for this vast undertaking.  The sum of £83,672 11s 1d was subscribed, in addition to £10,138 3s 0d being raised by the Yorkshire  Ladies' Committee to provide a residence for Wakefields new Bishop.

Upon the required monies being raised the Right Reverend William Walsham How, Suffragan Bishop of Bedford (for East London) was appointed by the Crown as the first Bishop of Wakefield on February 13th 1888.  In 1889 a Pastoral Staff was presented to the Bishop; the crook is of silver, with emblems of the four evangelists on one side, the emblems of the Passion on the other side and the Dove in the centre; beneath is a canopied octagon containing figures of SS Andrew, Peter, Paul and Barnabas within niches.  The shaft rests on eight shields charged with the Arms of Wakefield, Huddersfield, Halifax, Barnsley, Dewsbury, Batley and Morley.  On the shaft is the inscription :- Willielmo Walsham epo. Wakefeldense primo et successoribus ejus laici fideles d d A S MDCCCLXXXIX. Pasce verbo, Pasce vita.  The overall height of the staff is 5feet 10 inches.

William was the son of Mr William Wybergh How of Shrewsbury, being born there on December 13th 1823.

Bishop Walsham How was enthroned and installed as the first Bishop of Wakefield on June 25 1888.  According to Walker, How took on the tasks of organizing the new diocese with gusto and when he died on August 10th 1897, the sense of loss was felt by all.

On August 28th 1897, shortly after Williams death the new Bishop was approved by the Queen.


1897 - Right Reverend George Rodney Eden, Bishop Suffragan of Dover. Resigned October 5th 1928

All Saints Day 1928 -Dr James Seaton of Leeds. Died May 25th 1938

1938 - Right Reverend Campbell Richard Hone, Bishop Suffragan of Pontefract

With Walkers history being published in 1939, Horne was the last Bishop to be published in the 2nd edition of his book but,

The Right Revd Stephen Platten will be enthroned 19th July 2003



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