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metropolitan diocese of York


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The present province of York, founded in 735, comprises the fourteen dioceses of northern England. The York diocese itself, founded by Paulinus in 625, is now conterminous with eastern Yorkshire. Disputes between Canterbury and York over primacy were protracted. York's claim to be a metropolitan see independent of Canterbury was enhanced by Kent's political decline and Offa of Mercia's temporarily successful bid for a Lichfield archbishopric. Under Thomas of Bayeux (1070–1100) the contest developed in earnest. With William I's support in 1072, Lanfranc (Canterbury 1070–89) was successful in resolving the matter in his favour. The dispute, renewed in 1118 with Pope Calixtus II's support for Thurstan of York, continued for two centuries until Innocent VI (1352–1405) effected a compromise, though in Canterbury's favour. York was to have metropolitan authority over the north as ‘Primate of England’, while Canterbury was to have national precedence as ‘Primate of all England’. The cathedral, York minster, is of mixed styles (13th to 15th cent.) with the broadest and tallest nave in England and a Norman crypt.

Subjects: British History.


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