Richard Challoner, an English bishop and historian, born in the diocese of Chichester, Sept. 29, 1691, died in London, Jan. 12, 1781. Having become in his youth a Roman Catholic, he was sent by Dr. Gother to the English college at Douai in 1704, of which institution he was vice president from 1720 to 1730. He then returned to England, and served as a missionary priest till Jan. 29, 1741, when he was consecrated bishop of Debra and coadjutor to Bishop Petre, whom he succeeded as vicar apostolic of the London district in 1758. The penal laws made his ministry one of danger, for he was actually indicted under them; but he discharged his duties with unwavering zeal, and organized educational establishments for both sexes. His pen was never idle; his works covered a wide range, and they contributed more than those of any other writer to form the language of religious thought among English-speaking Catholics. His edition of the Bible (5 vols. 12mo, 1750) superseded the old Douai edition, and, though constantly modified, is the Bible still in use among Roman Catholics. It was strictly reprinted for the first time at New York in 1870, only typographical errors being corrected.
His "Think Well On't," "Grounds of the Catholic Doctrine," "History of the Protestant Religion," "Catholic Christian Instructed " (in the preface to which he answered Conyers Middleton's "Letter from Rome"), "Meditations," "Lives of the Fathers of the Desert," "Garden of the Soul, a Manual of Prayers," and his translations of "The Following of Christ" and "The Introduction to a Devout Life," have been reprinted frequently in England, Ireland, and America. His "Memoirs of the Missionary Priests and other Persons of both sexes who suffered Death in England on account of their Religion" has been several times reprinted. Among his other works were "Britannia Sancta" (2 vols., 4to), "Unerring Authority of the Catholic Church," "British Martyrology," and a "Caveat against the Methodists." There is a life of him by Barnard (London, 1784), and a short one by Bishop Milner.