ERMLAND, BISHOPRIC OF: A German bishopric established in 1243 by the papal legate William of Modena, together with the sees of Culm, Pomesania, and Samland. The cathedral was founded at Braunsberg (30 m. s.w. of Königsberg) by Anselm, the first bishop, in June, 1260, but twenty years later was transferred to Frauenburg (41 m. s.w. of Königsberg) by Henry I. Among the famous bishops of this diocese was Æneas Silvius Piccolomini (1457-58), afterward Pope Pius II. (A. Hauck.)
Until 1525 the diocese was under the political jurisdiction of the Teutonic order. Toward the end of this period it increased in importance; the attempt of the Diet of Lublin (1506) to have it established as the metropolitan see of the Prussian dioceses failed indeed, but in 1512 Julius II. released it from its nominal subordination to the archbishopric of Riga and constituted it an "exempt" bishopric. From 1525 to 1772 it was under Polish jurisdiction, and the bishops were of that nationality beginning with the celebrated Stanislaus Hosius (1551-79; see Hosius, STANISLAUS), who was one of the presidents of the Council of Trent. After 1772 it was under Prussian rule. The bull De salute of 1821 united with it the diocese of Samland and five deaneries of Pomesania.