from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The wife of a bishop.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
A lady Anglican-bishopess in America has written to an African Anglican bishop telling him not to come for an ordination to America because this would "violate the ancient customs of the church" and would "display to the world division and disunity that are not mind of the mind of Christ".
And now as presiding bishopess, you continue to work in the land of invertebrates.
The flames that soared about the lawn before the Maine statehouse that August afternoon were, as the bishopess herself might have said, liberating.
At any rate the synods of the sixth and seventh centuries, while fully recognizing the position of these former wives and according them even the formal designation of bishopess, priestess, deaconess, and subdeaconess (episcopissa, presbytera, diaconissa, subdiaconissa), laid down some very strict rules to guide their relations with their former husbands.
The bishopess, as a rule, did not live in the same house with the bishop (see the Council of Tours in 567, can. xiv).