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In 1850 Pope Pius IX announced the restoration of the English and Welsh hierarchy in the Apostolic Letter Universalis Ecclesiae.  He created thirteen new dioceses including the Diocese of Beverley and Dr John Briggs became its first Bishop.  In 1878 the Diocese of Beverley was divided into the Diocese of Leeds and the Diocese of Middlesbrough.  Bishop Robert Corthwaite, the then Bishop of Beverley, became the first Bishop of Leeds.

JOHN BRIGGS

Bishop of Beverley: consecrated as Coadjutor for the Northern District, June 29th 1833; translated from the Yorkshire District to Beverley, September 29th 1850; resigned November 7th 1860; died January 4th 1861 and buried at St. Leonard's Chapel, Hazlewood, nr. Tadcaster.

 

I. ROBERT CORNTHWAITE

Born in Preston on May 9th 1818;ordained priest on November 9th 1845; consecrated on November 10th 1861, as Bishop of Beverley; Appointed as the first Bishop of Leeds on December 20th 1878; died June 16th 1890 and buried at the Church of Mary Immaculate, Sicklinghall.

 

II. WILLIAM GORDON

Born in Thirsk on September 24th 1831; ordained priest on February 10th 1859; consecrated February 24th 1890, as Coadjutor Bishop of Leeds; succeeded to the See of Leeds on June 16th 1890; died June 7th 1911 and buried at the Catholic Cemetery, Leeds.

 

III. JOSEPH ROBERT COWGILL

Born in Broughton, near Skipton, on February 23rd 1860; ordained May 19th 1883; consecrated by the then Bishop of Liverpool, November 30th 1905, as Coadjutor Bishop of Leeds; succeeded to the See of Leeds on June 7th 1911; died May 12th 1936 and buried at the Catholic Cemetery, Leeds.

 

IV. HENRY JOHN POSKITT

Born in Birken, near Selby, on September 6th 1888; ordained priest on July 15th 1917; consecrated by the then Archbishop of Liverpool, September 21st 1936; died February 19th 1950 and buried at St. Edward's Church, Clifford.

 

V. JOHN CARMEL HEENAN

Born in Ilford, Essex, January 26th 1905; ordained priest on July 6th 1930; consecrated as Bishop of Leeds by the Apostolic Delegate, March 12th 1951; translated to the Archdiocese of Liverpool, May 17th 1957; translated to the Archdiocese of Westminster, September 2nd 1963; created Cardinal, February 22nd 1965; died November 7th 1975 and buried in Westminster Cathedral.

 

VI. GEORGE PATRICK DWYER

Born in Manchester, September 25th 1908; ordained priest on November 1st 1932; consecrated as Bishop of Leeds by Archbishop John Carmel Heenan of Liverpool, September 24th 1957; translated to the Archdiocese of Birmingham, October 7th 1965; Retired August 31st 1981; died September 17th 1987 and buried at Oscott College, Sutton Coldfield.

 

VII. WILLIAM GORDON WHEELER

Born in Saddleworth, May 5th 1910; ordained priest on March 31st 1940; consecrated by Archbishop Cardinale, Apostolic Delegate, March 19th 1964 as Coadjutor Bishop of Middlesbrough; translated to the See of Leeds on June 27th 1966; retired September 10th 1985; died February 20th 1998 and buried at St. Edward's Church, Clifford.

 

VIII. DAVID EVERY KONSTANT

Born in London, June 16th 1930; ordained priest on June 12th 1954 by Cardinal Bernard Griffin; ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster by Cardinal Basil Hume OSB, April 25th 1977; appointed Bishop of Leeds on July 23rd 1985; installed as Bishop of Leeds on September 25th 1985. Retired 7th April 2004.

 

IX. ARTHUR ROCHE

Born Batley Carr, Yorkshire, 6th March 1950: ordained Priest on 19th July 1975 by Bishop William Gordon Wheeler; ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor 10th May 2001; appointed Co-adjutor Bishop of Leeds with Right of Succession on 16th July 2002; and upon Bishop Konstant’s retirement on 7th April 2004 became the ninth Bishop of Leeds. Appointed Secretary of the Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments and raised to Archbishop on June 26th 2012. With the title Archbishop, Bishop Emeritus of Leeds.