COPLESTON, Reginald Stephen

COPLESTON, Reginald Stephen. Barnes, London 26.12.1845 — Wandsworth, London 19.4.1925. Rev. British Priest in Sri Lanka and India. Son of Rev. Reginald Edward C., of Barnes, Surrey. Educated at Merchant Taylor’s and from 1864 at Exeter College, Oxford (B.A. 1869). In 1870-75 Fellow of St. John College. M.A. 1871, also ordained deacon, D.D. 1875, now ordained priest/bishop. From 1875 until 1902 Bishop of Colombo, then 1902-13 Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India. In Ceylon he was also President of the Ceylon Branch of Royal Asiatic Society. Married 1887 Edith Chenevix-Trench (1844–1942), one son and two daughters.

Copleston had a missionary spirit, criticizing Buddhism and Europeans showing understanding towards it (Edwin Arnold and Rhys Davids).

Publications: “On the First Fifty Jātakas”, JRAS-CB 8:28, 1884, 112-115; “The Epic of Parakrama”, JRAS-CB 13:32 (?), 1893, 60-77; “The Verification of the Ancient Chronicles and Histories of Ceylon”, JRAS-CB 12:43, 1892, 161-172; “The Identification of the Sirivaḍḍhanapura of the Mahávaṇsa, Chapter LXXXV”, Ibid. 206-215 (with notes by others, 215-222); also wrote in The Orientalist.

Buddhism. Primitive and Present, in Magadha and Ceylon. 501 p. L. 1894 (see JRAS 1893, 174-176), 2nd ed. 301 p. L. 1908.

Sources: Alumni Oxonienses; Who Was Who 1916-28; Buckland, Dictionary; brief note in JRAS-CB 30:79, 1926; Harris 2006, 125ff.; Wikipedia with photo.

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