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Richard Challoner

Challoner, Richard (chălˈənər) [key], 1691–1781, English Roman Catholic prelate. Brought up a Protestant, he became a Roman Catholic in his teens and was ordained in 1716. In 1730 he returned from Douai to England, where he was widely known for the number of conversions he made. In 1738 he was forced to leave England because he published an open reply to an anti-Catholic pamphlet by an Anglican. In 1739, Challoner was appointed coadjutor of the vicar apostolic in London. He was consecrated titular bishop of Debra in 1741. The rest of his life he spent working among his people (after 1758 as vicar apostolic) in the face of great difficulties. From 1765 to 1780 a series of efforts were instigated to molest English Catholics, and Bishop Challoner was involved; in the Gordon riots (1780) he had to flee London for his life. He was an indefatigable writer. He revised the Douay version of the Bible, his revision becoming the standard one chiefly used by English-speaking Catholics. His chief learned works are on English Catholicism since the Reformation; they did much to preserve the memory of English Catholics. He wrote a number of devotional works; The Garden of the Soul (1740) was especially popular. Bishop Challoner's translations of the Imitation of Christ were standard.

See biography by M. Trappes-Lomax (1936).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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