Copleston was born in Barnes, London, the son of Rev. R. E. Copleston, Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' and Merton College, Oxford, where he graduated in 1869. In the same year he was elected to a tutorial fellowship at St John's College, Oxford, and ordained as deacon in 1871. During his time at Oxford he was editor of the Oxford Spectator.
Four years later, in 1875, he was ordained priest and received the degree Doctor of Divinity (DD). Later the same year he was appointed Bishop of Colombo as one of the youngest prelates to be consecrated bishop, and was occasionally known as the Boy Bishop in the following years. He served in Colombo for 27 years, spending some of his time studying the native religions. In early 1902 he was translated to become Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India. He arrived in Calcutta on 20 May 1902, and was enthroned at the St. Paul's Cathedral the following day. He held these posts until 1913.
Copleston married, in 1889, Edith Chenevix Trench (1844-1942), daughter of Richard Chenevix Trench, Archbishop of Dublin. They had one son and two daughters
- Theravada Buddhism, first published 1892
- revised edition 1993, Eastern Book Linkers, Delhi, India, ISBN 81-85133-80-8.
- Open Library
- "A History of the Church of England in India" Chatterton, E: London, SPCK, 1924
- "Ecclesiastical Intelligence", The Times (London), Thursday, 30 January 1902; pg. 6; Issue 36678; col B
- “Who was Who” 1897-2007 London, A & C Black, 2007 ISBN 978-0-19-954087-7
- "Ordinations Canterbury", The Times (London), Tuesday, 26 September 1871; pg. 4; Issue 27178; col D
- The London Gazette: . 18 April 1902.
- "Ecclesiastical intelligence" The Times (London). Tuesday, 10 June 1902. (36790), p. 10.
|Church of England titles|
Hugh Willoughby Jermyn
|Bishop of Colombo
Ernest Arthur Copleston
James Edward Cowell Welldon
|Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India
George Alfred Lefroy
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