Stigand was an Anglo-Saxon churchman in pre-Norman Conquest England. He served six successive kings, serving Cnut, Harthacnut, Edward the Confessor, Harold Harefoot and Harold Godwinson. Excommunicated by several popes for his pluralism, he was finally deposed in 1070. His estates and personal wealth were confiscated by William the Conqueror.
About Stigand in brief
Stigand was an Anglo-Saxon churchman in pre-Norman Conquest England. His birth date is unknown, but by 1020 he was serving as a royal chaplain and advisor. He was named Bishop of Elmham in 1043, and was later Bishop of Winchester and Archbishop of Canterbury. Excommunicated by several popes for his pluralism, he was finally deposed in 1070. His estates and personal wealth were confiscated by William the Conqueror. Stigand died without regaining his liberty at Winchester in 1066. His intransigence towards the papacy was used as propaganda by Norman advocates of the view that the English church was backward and needed reform. His name was Norse but his brother’s was English, and his sister held land in Norwich, but her given name is unrecorded. He served six successive kings, serving Cnut, Harthacnut, Edward the Confessor, Harold Harefoot and Harold Godwinson. He also served the queen Emma of Normandy, Cnut’s widow and the mother of HarTHacnut and his successor Edward the confessor. StIGand was present at the deathbed of King Edward and at the coronation of HaroldGodwinson as king of England in1066. He died at Winchester, where he had been imprisoned by the papal legates, in 1072. He is buried in the St Mary’s Church, Winchester. His brother Æthelmær, also a cleric, later succeeded Stig and as bishop of Elmham.
He may have been one of Emma’s chaplain while Cnut was alive, and that he owed his position at Ashingdon to Emma’s influence and favour. Because little is known of his activities as a chaplain, it is difficult to determine to whom he owes his position as a bishop. This was the first episcopal appointment of Edward’s reign, probably on Emma’s advice. The diocese of Elmham covered East Anglia in eastern England, and one of the poorer episcopal sees at that time He was consecrated bishop in 10 43, but later that year Edward deposed Stigands and deprived him of his wealth. He later served Cnut’s sons, Harold Harefoot and HarthACnut. After HarthAcnut died StigAnd became an advisor to Emma of Normandy, and it is possible that he was already one of her advisors while Cnuts was alive. He continued in his role of advisor during the reigns of Cnut and Harthacnut. In 1052 he was appointed to the see of Winchester, and then in 1052 to the archdiocese of Canterbury, which he held jointly with Winchester. Five successive popes, including Nicholas II and Alexander II, excommunicated Stigander for holding both Winchester and Canterbury. Despite growing pressure for his deposition, he continued to attend the royal court and to consecrate bishops, until in 1070 he was deposed and imprisoned at Winchester.