He was born in Newbury, Berkshire, into an ecclesiastical family (his father was also named Rev. Richard Dunford). He was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford, and ordained in 1831. From 1833 he was Rector of Middleton, Lancashire, and then its Rural Dean.
In 1840 he married Emma, the daughter of his old Eton headmaster, John Keate. In 1867 he became Archdeacon of Manchester and in the following year Canon Residentiary at Manchester Cathedral. In 1870 he was elevated to the Episcopate of Chichester.
He died in Basel.
Durnford House at Brighton College was named after him. The Durnford House at Eton is named after his brother, Francis Edward Durnford, who taught there from 1839-1877.
- "Consecration Of Three Bishops In Whitehall Chapel". The Times. May 9, 1870. p. 8; col E. Issue 26745.
- "The Funeral Of The Late Bishop Of Chichester". The Times. Oct 21, 1895. p. 11; col B. Issue 34713.
- Sutton, Charles William (1901). "Durnford, Richard". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 170–171.
- Stephens, W.R.W, ed. (1899). A memoir of Richard Durnford, sometime bishop of Chichester (with selections from his correspondence). London: John Murray. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
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|Archdeacon of Manchester
|Bishop of Chichester
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