diocese of Durham, England

Ancient diocese, and the lineal continuation of the See of Lindisfarne (founded by Saint Aidan, 635), with Aldhun as first bishop, 995. The bishop's almost kingly power, whereby he was lord absolute within his own jurisdiction, was abolished in 1536 by Henry VIII; but certain powers of the palatinate were later revived and remained in force until 1836. The present cathedral, begun in 1093, has a tower 214 feet high. The last Catholic bishop, Cuthbert Tunstall, was removed by Elizabeth in 1559, the bishopric becoming a county palatine. During the Catholic uprising of ten years later Mass was celebrated in this last of the old cathedrals to be so distinguished.

New Catholic Dictionary

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