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

 

I. ROBERT CORNTHWAITE

Born in Preston on 9th May 1818;ordained priest on 9th November 1845; consecrated on 10th November 1861, as Bishop of Beverley; Appointed as the first Bishop of Leeds on 20th December 1878; died 16th June 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 23rd February 1860; ordained 19th May 1883; consecrated by the then Bishop of Liverpool, 30th November 1905, as Coadjutor Bishop of Leeds; succeeded to the See of Leeds on 7th June 1911; died 12th May 1936 and buried at the Catholic Cemetery, Leeds.

 

IV. HENRY JOHN POSKITT

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

 

V. JOHN CARMEL HEENAN

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

 

VI. GEORGE PATRICK DWYER

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

 

VII. WILLIAM GORDON WHEELER

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

 

VIII. DAVID EVERY KONSTANT

Born in London, 16th June 1930; ordained priest on 12th June 1954 by Cardinal Bernard Griffin; ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster by Cardinal Basil Hume OSB, 25th April 1977; appointed Bishop of Leeds on 23rd July 1985; installed as Bishop of Leeds on 25th September 1985. Retired 7th April 2004. Died 9th October 2016 and buried at Leeds Cathedral.

 

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 26th June 2012. With the title Archbishop, Bishop Emeritus of Leeds.