BLETHIN, WILLIAM, bishop of Llandaff from 1575 to 1590

Name: William Blethin
Spouse: Ann Blethin
Spouse: Anne Blethin (née Young)
Gender: Male
Occupation: bishop of Llandaff
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Lawrence Thomas

A Welsh -speaking Welshman, born at Shirenewton Court, Monmouth, of the lineage of Hywel Dda; his kinsman Morgan Blethin was abbot of Llantarnam in 1532. He married Anne Young of Pembroke, niece of Thomas Young, principal of Broadgates Hall, Oxford, later to become bishop of S. Davids and archbishop of York; she died in 1589, and Blethin married another Anne the same year.

He was educated at New Inn (or at Broad-gates) Hall, Oxford. In 1559 he became rector of Sunningwell, Berks.; in the following year he is described as the non-resident rector of Rogiet, Monmouth, being resident at Oxford pursuing his studies. He was also canon of S. Dubricius, Llandaff cathedral. In 1562 he received the degree of B.C.L., Oxon., and became prebendary of Osbaldkirk, in York cathedral. He was resident rector of Rogiet, 1563-70, and also archdeacon of Brecon.

Blethin was consecrated bishop of Llandaff, 17 April 1575, by archbishop Parker, and was granted a dispensation to hold his offices and preferments in addition to the bishopric, owing to the poverty of the see of Llandaff. He proved a strong administrator, a stern disciplinarian, and a fierce adversary of recusancy. His notable work was his statutes, by which he determined the status of the bishop; the residence and duties of the canons and vicars choral; the safeguarding of the cathedral property and fabric; and the safe custody of the chapter seal, documents, and records. He died 15 October 1590 and was buried in Mathern church : there is no monument.


Published date: 1959

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