On 17 July 1873 Samuel Wilberforce fell from his horse and was killed. He had been Bishop of Oxford for twenty-four years but in December 1869, he was made Bishop of Winchester. At Oxford it was decided to commemorate Wilberforce with a new bishop’s throne at the east end of the choir of Christchurch Cathedral and Sir George Gilbert Scott was commissioned to design it. At first he designed it with a solid dome canopy supported by four columns with a standing figure in a recess in the back panel but when it was erected, it had a bust of the bishop in the recess and an openwork dome. It was made by Farmer and Brindley and completed in 1877 at a cost £1,000. It survived until about 1955 when the canopy was replaced by a feeble affair by Sebastian Comper.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds),The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), plate 15.
Pevsner, N. and Sherwood, J., Oxfordshire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1974), p.118
The Builder , XXXIV, 21 October 1876, p. 1029.