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Leofric, Bishop of Exeter

Leofric (1016 - 1072) was born in Devon, England, and died there, in Exeter, on 10 February 1072. His parents may have been Saxons, but modern historians doubt they were Celts, although William of Malmesbury said they were. Leofric received his training in Lotharingia. When Bishop Lyfing died in 1047, King Edward the Confessor made Leofric Bishop of Crediton and St. Germans, the two sees united by Lyfing that became the united sees of Devon and Cornwall. In 1050 Bishop Leofric moved his episcopal seat from Crediton to Exeter -- many seats were moved from abbeys in open country into cities around that time, where they would be safer from invaders like the Vikings.

The abbey church of St. Peter's monastery, founded by King Athelstan around 928, became his cathedral (on a different site from the present Exeter Cathedral), and he was installed as Bishop of Exeter there by King Edward and Queen Edith themselves, in the presence of several other bishops. Edward then moved the monks of St. Peter's to his new Westminster Abbey in London, and Bishop Leofric replaced them with prebendaries he appointed at St. Peter's.

Bishop Leofric survived William the Conqueror's 1068 siege of Exeter and remained bishop until he died in 1072 and was buried in the crypt of his cathedral.



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