Around 679 Theodore created the bishopric, conterminous with Herefordshire and south Shropshire, for the Magonsaetan tribe, out of the Mercian see. Hereford was vulnerable to the Welsh, who sacked the cathedral in 1055 and killed the bishop, Leofgar. William I strengthened the region's defences by making it (until 1076) a Norman palatine earldom. The cathedral, dedicated jointly to the Virgin Mary and Æthelbert, the martyred East Anglian king (753), is mostly Norman and its 15th‐cent. College of Vicars is still intact.
Subjects: British History.