Oliver King

Oliver King
Oliver King
Bishop of Bath and Wells

Bath Abbey at sunset
Church Catholic
See Diocese of Bath and Wells
In Office 1495–1503
Predecessor Richard Foxe
Successor Adriano de Castello
Personal details
Died 29 August 1503
Previous post Bishop of Exeter

Oliver King (c. 1432 – 29 August 1503) was a Bishop of Exeter and Bishop of Bath and Wells who restored Bath Abbey after 1500.



Educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge,[1] King became a priest and was appointed Bishop of Exeter on 1 October 1492, consecrated on 3 February 1493.[2] He was then translated to the see of Bath and Wells on 6 November 1495. He died on 29 August 1503.[3]

Restoration of Bath Abbey

King organised the restoration of Bath Abbey after 1500. The story of the refounding is told on the front of the Abbey in carved Bath stone. King had a dream in which he saw a host of Angels on a ladder, the Holy Trinity and an olive tree with a crown on it. He heard a voice:

'Let an Olive establish the crown, and let a King restore the Church.'

King believed this was a call for him to support the candidature of Henry Tudor as King, and to restore the Abbey. These images are carved on the West Front of the Abbey with coats of arms of the Montague Family (who paid for the carved wooden doors) and Henry VII's coat of arms. There are also statues of the twelve apostles, including a large statue of St Peter and one of Saint Paul.


  1. ^ King, Oliver in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  2. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 247
  3. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 228


  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Richard Foxe
Bishop of Exeter
Succeeded by
Richard Redman
Preceded by
Richard Foxe
Bishop of Bath and Wells
Succeeded by
Adriano de Castello