Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wini

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WINI (d. 675?), bishop of London, was an Englishman, and probably a West-Saxon by birth, though consecrated by bishops of Gaul. He was made bishop of the western portion of the West-Saxons, with his see at Winchester, by Cenwalh [q. v.], king of the West-Saxons, though Agilbert already held the West-Saxon bishopric, having his see at Dorchester in Oxfordshire. Offended by this intrusion, Agilbert left his diocese, and Wini became sole bishop of the West-Saxons (Bede, Hist. Eccl. iii. 7). Wini's intrusion is given by the chronicler under 660, but he says that Wini held the see for three years; he was certainly holding it in 665, and Florence of Worcester dates his expulsion 666; Dr. Bright adopts the chronicler's date 660. Bishop Stubbs suggests 663, which is apparently with good reason maintained by Mr. Plummer. When, probably in 666, Ceadda or Chad [q. v.] came to him for consecration during a vacancy of the see of Canterbury, Wini performed the rite with the assistance of two British bishops, whom he invited to join him in spite of their holding to the Celtic Easter (ib. c. 28). He was expelled from his bishopric by Cenwalh in 666, for what reason is not known; he went to Wulfhere, king of the Mercians, and bought from him the see of London. He was not present at the synod of Hertford held by Theodore in 673. Rudborne preserves a legend that repenting of his simony he retired to Winchester, and lived there in penitence for the last three years of his life (Anglia Sacra, i. 192). This is exceedingly doubtful, for Bede says that he remained bishop of London until his death, which is supposed to have taken place in 675, the year of the consecration of his successor, Erkenwald [q. v.]

[Bede, as quoted, ed. Plummer, see notes in vol. ii. 146–7; A.-S. Chron. ann. 660, 664; Flor. Wig. ann. 660, 666, 675 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Bright's Early English Church Hist. pp. 209–10, 241, 245, 247, 275, ed. 1897; Stubbs's Reg. Sacr. Angl. p. 5, ed. 1897; Haddan and Stubbs's Councils, &c., iii. 121 n.]

W. H.