Tidferth (DNB00)

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TIDFERTH or TIDFRITH (d. 823?), bishop of Dunwich, succeeded Alfhun (d. 798?) as ninth bishop of that see. His profession of obedience to Ethelheard, archbishop of Canterbury, made either on his consecration or on his reconciliation after the abolition of the archbishopric of Lichfield, is extant in Cotton MS. Cleopatra E. 1. From 798 to 816 he attests charters with great regularity (Kemble, Codex Diplomaticus, passim). In 798 he was present at a synod at Clovesho, and in 801 at another held at Chelsea. He attended the famous council at Clovesho in 803, and about the same time received a letter of advice from Alcuin, who had heard of Tidferth's exemplary life from an East-Anglian abbot named Lull (Mon. Alcuin. ed. Dümmler, p. 739). Tidferth was also present at the council of Chelsea in August 816, which legislated on the method of consecrating churches, electing abbots and abbesses, and forbade the admission of Scots to ministerial functions (Cotton. MS. Vespasian A. xiv. f. 147; Wilkins, Concilia, i. 169–71). After 816 there is no trace of a bishop of Dunwich until 824, by which time Tidferth was dead. He must be distinguished from a contemporary Tidfrith or Tilferd, the last bishop of Hexham who held that see at the beginning of the ninth century (Richard of Hexham, Surtees Soc. p. 45).

[Petrie's Mon. Hist. Brit. p. 618; Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus; Wilkins's Concilia; Le Neve's Fasti, ed. Hardy, ii. 457; Haddan and Stubbs's Councils, passim; Bishop Stubbs in Dict. Christian Biogr.]

A. F. P.