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Leicester, diocese of

Leicester, diocese of. The modern see, created out of the Peterborough diocese in 1926, comprises Leicestershire without Rutland. The ancient bishopric's origins are obscure. Theodore intended to establish a Mercian see at Leicester and a bishop, Cuthwine, may have been consecrated in 679. Wilfrid in his third exile administered the area from 692 to 703 at Æthelred of Mercia's request. Certainty of the see's existence begins in 737, when it was one of six, planned by Offa for his projected archbishopric of Lichfield. But when the 9th-cent. Danish invasions made Leicester untenable, the diocese was moved to Dorchester (c.870), while Leicester became one of the Danish five boroughs. The cathedral is the mainly 15th-cent. parish church of St Martin.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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