Robert Coffin (bishop)

Robert Aston Coffin C.Ss.R., D.D. (19 July 1819 – 6 April 1885) was an English Redemptorist and Bishop of Southwark (25 May 1882 – 6 April 1885)

Robert Aston Coffin C.Ss.R.

Bishop of Southwark
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed23 May 1882
Installed27 July 1882
Term ended6 April 1885
PredecessorJames Danell
SuccessorJohn Baptist Butt
Ordination31 October 1847
Consecration11 June 1882
by Edward Henry Howard
Personal details
Born(1819-07-19)19 July 1819
Brighton, England,
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Died6 April 1885(1885-04-06) (aged 65)
Teignmouth, England,
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
DenominationRoman Catholic
EducationHarrow School
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford
Coat of armsCoat of Arms of Robert A Coffin CSSR as Bishop of Southwark 1882-1885

Coffin was born at Brighton and educated at Harrow School and at Christ Church, Oxford (B.A. 1841, M.A. 1843). In 1843 he became vicar of St. Mary Magdalene, Oxford, but resigned two years later, and was received into the Roman Catholic Church on 3 December 1845. For a year after this he resided with Ambrose Lisle Phillips at Grace Dieu manor, and then he went with John Henry Newman to Rome, where he was ordained priest in 1847.

Coffin joined the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, and in 1848-9 he was provost of the Oratorian community at St. Wilfrid's, Cotton Hall, Staffordshire. He then left the Oratorians and was received into the novitiate of the Redemptorist Fathers at Trond in Belgium, and made his profession on 2 February 1852. In 1855 he was chosen Rector of St. Mary's Church in Clapham, and in 1865 appointed to the office of Provincial Superior, in which he was successively confirmed every three years until his elevation to the episcopate. From 1852 to 1872 he was mostly employed in preaching missions and giving clergy retreats throughout England, Ireland and Scotland.

In April 1882 Pope Leo XIII appointed Coffin to the see of Southwark, in succession to James Danell. He was consecrated by Cardinal Howard in the church of St. Alfonso, on the Esquiline, at Rome, 11 June 1882, and enthroned at St George's Cathedral, Southwark, on the 27th of the following month. He died at the house of the Redemptorists at Teignmouth.


Coffin published English translations of many of the works of Alphonso de' Liguori; and of Blosius's Oratory of the Faithful Soul.


  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Coffin, Robert Aston". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

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