Champney, Anthony (DNB00)

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CHAMPNEY, ANTHONY, D.D. (1569?–1643?), catholic divine, descended from a family of good account in Yorkshire, was born in that county in or about 1669. He was sent to the English college of Douay, then temporarily removed to Rheims, where he arrived on 17 June 1590. After evincing much capacity in the study of the classics he completed his philosophical studies and was admitted to the minor orders on 24 Feb. 1591-2. He and several others left for Rome on 19 Jan. 1592-3 in order to pursue their theological studies in the English college there. After being ordained priest he settled in the university of Paris, where he was created D.D., and elected a fellow of the Sorbonne. For some years he was the superior of Arras college, a small community of English ecclesiastics in Paris who spent their time in writing books of controversy, and he was engaged in a dispute with Dr. William Reyner concerning the administration of that institution. Soon after Dr. Kellison was made president of the English coUege at Douay on the removal of Dr. Worthingfton, the cardinal protector, by A special deputation, appointed Champney vice-president. He accordingly left Paris and arrived at Douay on 25 April 1619. In addition to discharging the duties of vice-president he delivered lectures in divinity. Subsequently, at the request of the archbishop of Mechlin, he was appointed confessor to the English Benedictine nuns at Brussels, and he held that post for three years, surrendering it on 23 Sept. 1628 in consequence of a complaint made by the Benedictine monks that he was one of the thirteen priests who had signed the protestation of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth. He then exercised his former employments at Douay till he was sent to England, where he was chosen a canon of the chapter, and afterwards, in 1637, dean, on the death of Edward Bennet. He was living in January 1643. Dodd tells us that 'he was very tall and lean; yet of a strong constitution, and able to endure labour.'

His works are:— 1. 'An Answere to a Letter of a Iesvited Gentleman, by his Cosin Maister A. C. Concerning the Appeale, State, Iesvits,' 1601, 4to, sine loco. 2. 'A Manval of Controversies, wherein the Catholique Romane faith in all the cheefe pointes of controuersies of these daies is proved by holy Scripture. By A.C.S.' (i.e. Anthony Champney, Sacerdos), Paris, 1614, 12mo. Richard Pilkington replied to this work in 'The New Roman Catholick and Ancient Christian Religion compared,' which elicited from Champney 3. 'Mr. Pilkinton, his Parallela disparalled. And the Catholicke Roman faith maintained against Protestantisme,' St.Omer, 1620, 8vo. 4. 'A Treatise of the Vocation of Bishops, and other Ecclesiasticall Ministers. Proving the Ministers of the pretended Reformed Chvrches in generall, to have no calling: against Monsieur du Plessis, and Mr. Doctour Feild: And in particuler the pretended Bishops in England, to be no true Bishops. Against Mr. Mason.' Douay, 1616, 4to. Addressed to 'Mr. Gorge Abbat, called Archbishop of Canterbvry.' A Latin translation appeared at Paris, 1618, 8vo, with a dedicatory epistle by Champney to Henri de Gondy, bishop of Paris. This treatise was an answer to a work published in 1613 by Francis Mason, chaplain to George Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury and entitled 'A Vindication of the Church of England concerning the Consecration and Ordination of Bishops.' Mason's book was also, long afterwards, published in Latin. These works were the commencement of the controversy, which has been maintained down to the present day, respecting the validity of the Anglican ordinations. Henry Fern published an 'Examination of Anthony Champney's Exceptions against the lawful Calling and Ordination of the Protestant Bishops,' London, 1653, 8vo. 5. 'An Answer to a Pamphlet [by D. Featley], intituled The Fisher catched in his owne Net. By A. C.,' 1623, 4to. 6. A volume of sermons, preached chiefly in the monastery of Benedictine nuns at Brussels. Manuscript formerly in the Carthusians' library at Nieuport. 7. 'A History of Queen Elizabeth, civil and religious, ad annum Elizabethæ 31.' This manuscript work, preserved in the archives of the Old Chapter at Spanish Place, London, was largely used by Bishop Challoner in his 'Memoirs of Missionary Priests.' 8. 'Legatum Antonii Champnei Doctoris Sorbonici Fratribus suis cleri Anglicani Sacerdotibus, testamento relictum,' dated 5 Jan. 1643, and printed with the 'Monita quaedam vtilia pro Sacerdotibvs Seminaristis Missionariis Angliæ,' by Richard Smith, bishop of Chalcedon, Paris, 1647, 12mo.

[Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 81; Diaries of the English College, Douay, 231, 243, 249; Addit. MSS. 18393, 18394; Husenbeth's English Colleges and Convents on the Continent; Gillow's Bibl. Dict. i. 462; Jones's Popery Tracts, 212; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Panzani's Memoirs, 72.]

T. C.