Originally an Englishman, he was turned into a vampire by Carlo sometime during the 15th century. He later travelled with his maker to the Thirteen Colonies and eventually turns both Aidan, who becomes his right-hand man, and his present day second-in-command Marcus during the American Revolution. During the 1950s, Bishop fell in love with a Suffolk County Hospital nurse named Jane who was aware of his vampiric nature. When the powerful Dutch vampires visited them, they killed Carlo as punishment for tolerating Bishop's love affair with Jane. The Dutch offered Bishop an ultimatum: kill Jane and take Carlo's position, or leave the vampire coven to live with her. His initial hesitation leads to the schism between himself and Aidan, but he ultimately decided to stay in the vampire clan and smothered Jane while she was on duty at the hospital. He remained very bitter about losing her, which is why he kept Aidan from escaping to Canada with Celine, because he never got to be with his human lover.
During the following years, he wanted to bring Aidan back into his fold, but when Aidan repeatedly refused, Bishop moved forward with his plans and later began turning terminal patients from Aidan's hospital into vampires.
In the present day, Bishop keeps up public "human" appearances by owning a mortuary and by acting as a lieutenant in the Boston Police Department. He is able to clean up bodies with the cover of his funeral home, while also using his mental abilities and influence to hide crimes committed by vampires. It is under these circumstances that Bishop finds Aidan back in his life when Aidan accidentally kills fellow nurse Rebecca. Using the opportunity, Bishop sires Rebecca to get back at Aidan, and her subsequent murder of her replacement Cara leads to a confrontation between Aidan and Bishop where Aidan tells him that the hospital is off limits for making new vampires out of dying patients. Bishop also tries to convert fellow police officer Mike Garrity after he discovers Aidan is the one who killed his father years earlier, and reveals to Aidan that Garrity committed suicide after Aidan's botched attempt to erase himself from the officer's memories. Bishop later renegs on his deal with Aidan, and brings a vampire priest from outside the city to be the hospital's chaplain so he can recruit dying patients. Aidan responds by defanging the priest to send Bishop a message that these acts will not be tolerated.
When Marcus attacks Josh's sister, Aidan confronts Bishop, but Bishop does not reprimand Marcus, as it is the proper way to retaliate for Josh's attack on Marcus. However, when Marcus continues to seek revenge, Aidan goes back to Bishop who reveals that he has been increasing the vampire population in Boston in an attempt to reveal themselves to humanity and take over as the dominant race. He also reveals that he sees Aidan as a weakness amongst vampires, while he sees Marcus as a mistake he made. In response, Marcus goes to the Amish Country to reveal Bishop's plans to the powerful Dutch vampires. After Bernie, a child whom Aidan had befriended, is struck by a car, Rebecca turns him in a misguided attempt to stop Aidan's suffering and start a family with him. Bishop learns of this and has Marcus kill several other children that were bullying Bernie in an attempt to show Aidan his mistakes and have him return to his side.
With the arrival of the Dutch in Boston, Bishop has Josh kidnapped to entertain them by serving in their werewolf death match. To bargain for Josh's freedom, Aidan agrees to come back to Bishop, who reveals that he believes the Dutch have come to kill him, as they did to Carlo fifty years prior. The Dutch eventually explain that they know of Bishop's plans to increase the vampire population, but they see no absolute need for bloodshed and once more give him an ultimatum: either cull the population or they will kill him. In a feast the next day, Bishop reveals that he knows of Marcus's betrayal, and also that he has poisoned the donors with juniper, laced into the blood of feeding-den prostitutes he had provided them with earlier. Savoring his triumph, Bishop proceeds to kill the Dutch one by one as they sit paralyzed, but before he can decapitate the Dutch's leader, Heggeman, Aidan intervenes and brings him to safety. Heggeman then goes off to notify the other vampire clans of Bishop's betrayal. Bishop retaliates by ambushing Aidan in his home, breaking the threshold by jumping through the window and staking him. Being an uninvited guest, Bishop's skin begins to burn upon entering, so although he narrowly misses Aidan's heart, he is driven out before finishing the job. He goes through Josh to tell Aidan that they are to fight to the death, but Josh uses the opportunity to set up the fight on the night of a full moon so he will kill Bishop. Aidan sees through this and has Sally trap Josh in the basement room so he and Bishop can fight. Because Celine, Aidan's former lover who was dying of cancer, had offered her blood (and life) to strengthen him, Bishop and Aidan are almost evenly matched; Bishop has the upper hand throughout most of the fight until Sally attempts to intervene and stake Bishop, Aidan uses the distraction and comes up behind Bishop and garrotes him with barbed wire, decapitating him.
Seasons 2 & 3
Bishop reappears to Aidan as a hallucination when Aidan falls into a stupor after drinking too much live blood. He pushes Aidan to hunt down Henry to kill him, but when Aidan cannot follow through, the vision of Bishop predicted this, as the father cannot kill the son.
Bishop once again appears as a vision along with Josh and Sally when Aidan is released from his burial. While the apparition was previously brought on from over-feeding on blood, his second reappearance derives from Aidan's lack of blood. Bishop serves as motivation for Aidan to retaliate and fight when Atlee takes Aidan in hopes to drain his blood for a possible cure to The Virus. However, when this plan fails, resulting in a car crash, Bishop vanishes.
Bishop appears in a flashback of Suzanna's as it is revealed that he turned her after she was drowned by the Reverend Herring and other townspeople back during the Revolutionary War. As he was trying to tell her what she has become, Suzanna realizes Bishop is the man that turned Aidan. She then realizes that he has turned her into a vampire, and refuses to go feed with him, and storms off into the forest. He grumbles to himself 'Why must they always run?'.
Later, Bishop appears to Suzanna as she is cradling the dead body of her son, Isaac. She begs him to turn Isaac, but he refuses, telling her he couldn't force a child into damnation, so Suzanna tells him to kill her instead, as she can't live with herself, but again he refuses and tells her that they don't get another chance after this life. He then demands Suzanna keep the death of her son a secret, just between the two of them, and she must never tell Aidan.
When Sally was stuck in the past because of magic, she altered the timeline by possessing herself and preventing her death. While she ensured that she became roommates with Aidan and Josh, her actions created a new timeline where Bishop was still alive by 2012. When Sally, now a werewolf, was killed accidently by Ray and Josh, Bishop was able to tempt Aidan back to his side and together they killed Ray, while Aidan allowed Josh to escape and live with what he caused.
When the virus hit, him and Aidan began selling safe blood for profit, but Bishop was suspecting Aidan was planning to kill him. This eventually came true when Aidan poisoned him with tainted blood, himself now immune due to Josh feeding him his blood. While sick and dying, Bishop congratulated Aidan and was happy that Aidan would rebuild the vampire race, and every single one would have Bishop's blood. However, his speech about Aidan's past relationship with Sally and Josh, and his death, only made the younger vampire realize what he had lost. As a consequence, he goes back to the ghost and werewolf. Finally back together, the three agreed to have Donna use her magic to correct the timeline, thus erasing this version of history and restoring Bishop's original death.
Bishop is very calm and calculating. He initially is very protective of Aidan, but when he was betrayed he did not hesitate to make a move on Aidan's life. He also raped Aidan's former girlfriend Celine and forced her to leave Aidan, possibly in revenge for how his own relationship with a human ended. While he was seemingly polite and kind, Bishop was a master manipulator and had a superior view of himself and the vampire race, though he did believe it was stagnating.
Bishop in his earlier years displayed a great deal of compassion as he saved Suzanna Waite and planned on reuniting her with Aidan, however she accidentally killed her own son after which she begged Bishop to turn him, Bishop in another display of humanity refused as he would not trap a child to an eternity of being stuck in a child's body. He also told Suzanna to flee so that Aidan would think that she died with her honor and innocence intact. Ironically, while Aidan grew more cruel as time passed since their first meeting, Bishop himself became kinder and more human. This led to the point that in the 1950s, he was courting a mortal named Jane and was fully prepared to ask her to marry him, despite her having refused becoming what he was. However, when Aidan refused to follow Bishop when the elder vampire refused to kill Jane in front of the Dutch, Bishop realized that he had to choose between Jane and his nature as a vampire. In the end, while it visibly hurt him, Bishop chose to kill Jane and let go of any humanity he had left. His involvement with Jane and the choice he made changed both his and Aidan's life, due to it creating a issue in their relationship, causing Aidan to leave and meet Celine. This led to Aidan trying to live a human life in the present while Bishop no longer had any compassion left.
Bishop possessed all of the abilities common with being a vampire; increased strength, speed and vitality, retractable fangs, heightened senses, awareness of other supernaturals, mind compulsion, increased resilience, sped up recuperation and immortality. However, due to his advanced age Bishop's abilities were far superior to that of younger vampires; he could easily overpower Aidan when he was on preserved blood, and could still overpower him when he was drinking live.
- He is the American counterpart of Herrick from the original British series. Bishop, however, is more morally complex and lacks Herrick's faith in the inevitability of vampiric supremecy.
- Ironically, during the 1950s Bishop was exactly like Aidan in the present, while Aidan treated Bishop the same way the latter did in the present.
- Bishop has infected the most people out of anyone from the US version of the show, having infected seven people. However, he is behind Hal Yorke from the BBC version by two people.