Coffin, Robert Aston (DNB00)

COFFIN, ROBERT ASTON, D.D. (1819–1885), catholic prelate, was born at Brighton on 19 July 1819. 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 he resigned this preferment two years later,and was received into the Roman catholic church on 3 Dec. 1845. For a year after this he resided with Mr. Ambrose Lisle Phillips at Grace Dieu manor, and then be proceeded with Dr. (now Cardinal) Newman to Rome, where he was ordained priest in 1847. He joined the oratory of St. Philip Neri, and in 1848-9 he was superior of St. Wilfrid's, Cotton Hall, Staffordshire. Feeling strongly drawn to the congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, he entered the novitiate of the Redemptorist Fathers at Trond in Belgium, and made his profession on 2 Feb. 1852. In 1855 he was chosen rector of St. Mary's, Clapham, and in 1865 appointed to the office of provincial, in which he was successively confirmed every three years until his elevation to the episcopate. From 1852 to 1872 he was almost constantly employed in preaching missions and giving clergy retreats throughout England, Ireland, and Scotland. In April 1882 Pope Leo XIII nominated him to the see of Southwark, in succession to Dr. 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 on 6 April 1885.

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

[Tablet, 8 April 1882, p. 520, 16 April, p. 644, 11 April 1885, p. 683; Gillow's Bibl. Dict. of the English Catholics, i. 623; Men of the Time (1884), 266; Cat, of Oxford Graduates (1851), 137; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Catholic Directory (18851. 240.]

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